The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the events of Vietnam, Watergate, and other historical events unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75, whose only desire is to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.
Forrest Gump is a simple man with a low I.Q. but good intentions. He is running through childhood with his best and only friend Jenny. His 'mama' teaches him the ways of life and leaves him to choose his destiny. Forrest joins the army for service in Vietnam, finding new friends called Dan and Bubba, he wins medals, creates a famous shrimp fishing fleet, inspires people to jog, starts a ping-pong craze, creates the smiley, writes bumper stickers and songs, donates to people and meets the president several times. However, this is all irrelevant to Forrest who can only think of his childhood sweetheart Jenny Curran, who has messed up her life. Although in the end all he wants to prove is that anyone can love anyone.Written by
Joe Pesci was considered for the role of Lieutenant Dan Taylor. See more »
The girl behind Forrest and Jenny on the school bus disappears and reappears between shots. See more »
Hello. My name's Forrest, Forrest Gump. You want a chocolate?
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Two additional historical figure scenes which didn't make the final cut appear on the DVD version:
Gump plays Ping-Pong with George H. Bush and hits him in the crotch.
Jenny talks to Gump about the fact that she has just been accepted to a college. Gump sees a civil rights march, which he believes is a parade. Guard dogs advance towards Gump, but he is able to fend them off by throwing a stick, since he knew them when he was younger. He apologizes to Martin Luther King for interrupting the "parade," saying they're just dogs and don't know any better.
I remember John Byner, the stand-up comic and impressionist of the 1970s talking about guys crying at movies, how it's not an acceptable behavior. He advised the men in his audience to drop their keys, do something that gets them to lean forward, wipe their faces, and get things under control.
I dropped my keys watching Forrest Gump. Lieutenant Dan comes over the hill at Forrest and Jenny's wedding, new legs, fiancé at his side, clean-cut and happy.
Forrest states the obvious, "Lieutenant Dan, you gawt le-eggs!"
And the water-works just started to flow.
I sit up straight and clear my throat. Got 'em (the keys, that is). My wife leans over and gives me a kiss. She says, "That's why I love you."
Other than a few historical fussinesses and plot slickeries, none of which are worth mentioning, this is as close to a perfect, emotionally-satisfying entertainment as I have ever seen.
I love this movie. I never tire of the simple story of the guy with the lowest IQ in the room being the smartest guy in the room. It's filled with a patriotic decency you can only find in The Wizard of Oz and To Kill a Mockingbird.
When Dorothy is aching for home and the Wizard can't deliver, I drop my keys. When Scout points to the man behind Jem's bedroom door and says, "Hey, Boo," the fob goes flying.
The next time I get out my copy to show to my 11th Grade US History kids, I'll start fingering my key chain.
I can't help it.
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