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Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump is the lead character of the eponymous 1985 novel by Winston Groom, and of the 1994 Paramount Pictures film based on the novel. more...

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The film was a huge commercial success, although Paramount, in line with Hollywood accounting, claimed it was a commercial failure, and did not pay Groom his share of the profits. As such, Groom has refused to allow the novel's sequel, Gump and Co., to be filmed, stating that he could not in good conscience sell the rights to film the sequel to a failure. The film garnered a total of 13 Academy Award nominations, of which it won 6, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film differs substantially from the book on which it was based.

The film

The film, which was directed by Robert Zemeckis, tells the story of a simple man's epic journey through life, meeting historical figures and experiencing first-hand historic events largely unaware of their significance, due to his low IQ of 75. In the film, Forrest (played by Tom Hanks) calls the police about the Watergate break-in, invents the smiley face without realizing it, inspires John Lennon to write "Imagine", and makes millions on Apple Computer stock thinking he has invested in a fruit company.

The film was praised by many critics as a modern fable. The film's special effects include blending of Gump with footage of various historical figures, a process sometimes referred to as "gumping."

Plot summary of the movie

Young Forrest Gump was born in fictional Greenbow, Alabama with a crooked spine, forcing him to walk with the aid of leg braces from a young age. His odd walk proves paramount to the inception of young musician Elvis Presley's dance routine. Overcoming his physical handicap one day when he is attacked by other children with rocks, his friend Jenny tells him to "run, Forrest, run.", he runs off, with his braces breaking off and he discovers that he can 'run like the wind'. When he is older a similar incident occurs when he is running away from people throwing things at him in a car. He runs away from them, through a football field where scouting is taking place, and he is spotted by the coach and signed up for the football team. This running ability brings him great success with the football team of the University of Alabama (playing for the legendary Paul Bryant). About this time he is spotted on television behind Governor George Wallace on June 11, 1963 when the governor stands in front of a schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama in an attempt to stop desegregation of that institution by the enrollment of two black students. Forrest goes to college while playing football and after five years, receives a college degree, (the audience is not told the major, but it includes a class on home economics). On his graduation day, he is approached by an army officer and asked to sign up for the army. While serving with the US Army in the Vietnam War, he carries wounded members of his platoon to safety during an intense bombing raid, earning him the Medal of Honor. During this rescue, his commander, Lieutenant Dan Taylor (Gary Sinise) loses his legs, and his army buddy Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue (Mykelti Williamson) is killed. While Forrest recovers from a wound sustained during the rescue, he becomes such an expert in playing Ping-Pong, that he goes to play in People's Republic of China during Ping Pong Diplomacy period. He becomes a national hero and is offered $25,000 to endorse a certain brand of Ping-Pong paddles.


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