Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert try to figure out what has made Forrest Gump (1994) such a surprise success. Gene Siskel first points out that Tom Hanks is coming off three big successes in a row: A League of Their Own (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and Philadelphia (1993). He goes on to say that the movie is almost a religious experience for American audiences who haven't come to grips with the last thirty years in their tumultuous history. It works like a bedtime story or a parable. Ebert points out the brilliant device of having the title character narrate the story from a park bench. He says the technique of the narrator who knows less than we do dates back to Mark Twain and reminds him especially of Andy Griffith's comedy album, "What It Was, Was Football". He credits the amazing special effects that add Gump to historical footage. Siskel credits the writers, especially their technique of adding a joke at just the right moment. The critics examine the early career of Tom Hanks and then spotlight the fables, such as Splash (1984). Ebert's video recommendation for those who like "Forrest Gump" is Born on the Fourth of July (1989). Siskel's is Being There (1979).- Written by J. Spurlin
Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert try to figure out what has made Forrest Gump (1994) such a surprise success.- Written by J. Spurlin
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