Forrest Gump (1994) Poster

(1994)

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  • Abbot Howard "Abbie" Hoffman (November 30, 1936 - April 12, 1989). He was a Jewish-American social and political activist who co-founded the Youth International Party ("Yippies"). Hoffman remains an icon of the anti-war movement and the counterculture era. Edit

  • Whilst sitting and waiting for a bus, Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) an slow but well meaning Southern idiot decides to tell his life story to random strangers also waiting at the bus stop. Forrest recalls events from the last 30 years of life: Forrest recalls his childhood as he lived in Greenbow, Alabama with his mother (Sally Field). Meeting his longtime best friend Jenny Curran (Robin Wright) when she was an abused little girl. Meeting the legendary rock singer Elvis Prestley which he shown him his unique dance move which Elvis made his own signature dance move and being badly bullied. Growing into a young man, Forrest has his first sexual experience with Jenny. Becoming a talented college American football player and meeting the ill-fated American President John F. Kennedy. After college, Forrest joins the United States military and serves during the Vietnam war which he befriends a soldier named Bubba (Mykelti Williamson) whom is killed in action and his commanding officer Lt. Dan Taylor (Gary Sinise) whom is left crippled. After Vietnam, Forrest becomes a ping pong ball player and becomes a shrimp boat captain. After Forrest's mother succumbs to cancer, Forrest reunites with Jenny and after Jenny has sex with him and leaves quietly in the middle of night, a lonely and depressed Forrest spends 3 years running across America and again achieves fame. As Forrest finishes telling his life story, Forrest reveals to one of the strangers that he is waiting to catch a bus to go and visit Jenny and learns Jenny lives nearby. At Jenny's apartment, Jenny reveals to Forrest that he has a son named Forrest Jr. (Haley Joel Osment) and Jenny also has bad news for Forrest which soon leaves him broken hearted. Edit

  • Because she was unsure whether or not she wanted to be in a committed relationship with him or not. Throughout the film she has trust issues stemming from her childhood trauma. Edit

  • When the country doctor put braces on Forrest Gump's legs, he explains to Mama Gump, "His legs are strong, Mrs. Gump. As strong as I've ever seen. But his back is as crooked as a politician."

    The doctor prescribed leg braces because Forrest's spine was as "crooked as a question mark". That seems to indicate that he had scoliosis but he evidently did not. The doctor may have mistakenly thought that if Forrest walked straighter, his spine would grow straighter, as well. Edit

  • It means that you don't really know what a chocolate tastes like until you bite it. And in the end, you've tasted whether you liked it or not.

    This applies the same for life. You don't really know what every day of your life is going to be until you live it. It may be great experience or can be worse, but you would not know it until you live it.

    When you open a box of chocolates, there is a variety of flavors available. Problem is, since they are covered in chocolate, you can't really tell what any given piece of chocolate is going to taste like. You're going to eat a chocolate (you know you are! admit it! you want chocolate!), but you won't know what you are getting until you bite into it - and then it's done. Like it or not, you've tasted it.

    You never know what life is going to give you. But you live nevertheless. So every day - every new experience - is something you really don't know about until you actually live it. It may not be an experience you like. It may be the greatest experience ever. But you don't know until you've lived it, and by then it's too late to not live it.

    Forrest uses this quote to exemplify the randomness of life.

    Forrest has had such a random, eclectic life - much like the variety of chocolates which is in the box. And Forrest, like someone without the box lid, hasn't been going through life with any sort of plan, he's just been picking up the next chocolate and just finding out if it's a toffee or something else once he has eaten it. Edit

  • The real truth is that the character is based on several different people! So it seems that while Forrest Gump is based on several different characters, the entire character in the film is fictional after all. Still, it is very interesting to learn about the people who inspired this incredible character! Edit

  • Forrest Gump (1986) is also a novel written by American novelist Winston Groom. The book was adapted for the movie by American screenwriter Eric Roth. Forrest Gump won the 1995 Academy Award for Best Motion Picture. Edit

  • A million-dollar wound referenced in the movie is a military slang referring to a type of wound received in combat which is serious enough to get the person sent away from the fighting, but is not fatal, nor will it leave the person permanently crippled. I.e. getting shot in the buttocks. Edit

  • The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award that can be conferred on any soldier who shows exceptional valor during combat, what the US armed forces often call "action above and beyond the call of duty." Forrest was awarded the medal because he carried most of the wounded men of his squad, including his commanding officer, Lt. Dan Taylor, to safety from a hostile combat zone. Edit

  • The makers of Forrest Gump identify themselves as political liberals (in American parlance). However, since the film was released in 1994, some scholars have argued that it promotes conservative ideals, rejecting Jenny's counterculture habits (showing her dying of AIDS as a result of her choices) and rewarding Forrest's 1950s family values and clean-cut behavior with long life and financial success. Others consider this a manipulative reading of the film. Read both sides of the discussion here. Edit

Spoilers

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The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • According to an article on Shmoop "Forrest Gump opens and closes with the image of a white feather floating through the air. In the opening, it comes to rest in Forrest's suitcase. At the end, it flies back up into the air, helping to symbolize the cycle that has now been completed- specifically, the cycle of life and death, and of new beginnings. After all, the first day of school just like Forrest did at the beginning go the movie. It symbolizes Forrest's view of life rather than Lt. Dan's; there's no big destiny endgame we're all trying to achieve, there's just a random series of events knocking us about." Edit

  • There is no explicit confirmation that forrest and jenny had sex In the late stages of the movie, Jenny comes back into Forrest's life to spend some time at his home. The two reconnect after years of tension that finally culminates in a bedroom scene that, allegedly, changes their connection permanently. The two share a passionate kiss, Jenny climbs in his bed, and the implication is that the two had sex. With that said, there's no explicit confirmation that happened. There's a litany of other things a couple can get into in that circumstance, and sex is only one of them. In fact, Forrest is a virgin to that point in Forrest Gump, so he's largely ignorant of the act required to create a son. Jenny, to be honest, probably knew that, so there would likely be little to no worry on her end of being discovered. but by no means do we know Forrest and Jenny had sex. And even then, we only know they had sex once. We all know once is all it takes, but given the context of the rest of the points, it certainly makes the odds of Forrest being the father much less certain. In the context of Forrest Gump, we're to believe that Jenny had her night with Forrest, fled in the morning, and then nine months later had a baby. She then returns an undetermined amount of time later with Forrest Jr. and informs Forrest that the boy is his. Forrest is shocked by the news, but eventually snaps out of it and joins Forrest Jr. for an episode of Sesame Street. There's quite a gap of time between Forrest Jr.'s birth and Jenny's revelation to Forrest though. Jenny mentions that he's one of the brightest kids in school, which would presumably put him in the kindergarten age range of 5. Jenny spent five years past Forrest Jr.'s birth to reveal him to Forrest, and only really decides he should know his father when she gets sick. It's safe to say Forrest would've been a part of that child's life at any point in that process, and he would've been thrilled to have Jenny around. Why did she stay away and raise a child alone, Perhaps she wasn't alone and had another relationship with another man. In either case, there had to be something keeping Jenny away for so long, and one would think it wasn't her fear of Forrest's reaction that he had a son.

    When Jenny first shows up at Forrest's home, she's looking to leave the hard life she's led to that point behind. Forrest gladly takes her in, but does notice that Jenny seems to be very fatigued throughout the visit. Forrest specifically notes that "She just sleeps, and sleeps like she hasn't slept for days." What happened to Jenny that made her so sleepy. At that time dna tests did not exist. So, the only person who could have known the paternity of little Forrest was Jenny and I doubt she was 100% certain herself.

    About the only thing we can rely on is an assessment of Jenny's character to determine if she was probably telling the truth.

    Throughout her adult life (up to a point), she is portrayed as a free spirit, leading a high-risk lifestyle. She is shown singing nude at a strip club, leading a hippie and promiscuous lifestyle, and taking hard-core drugs. She loves and deeply cares for Forrest as a "lifelong friend," but there is no romantic connection (at least on her part). For this reason, she turns down his marriage proposal (in Greenboro). At the low point of her life (around 1975 I'm guessing), she is shown in a dirty hotel room, dressed like a slut, with drugs everywhere. She steps onto the balcony, tears rolling down her face and is ready to jump to her death (about 10 flights down). Several years later (it appears), [actually, the next scene we see her in, following the drug scene] she shows up unexpectedly at Forrest's house in Greenboro, sometime after his mother has passed away. Her appearance is a complete opposite from the previous time we see her. Her face is clear, is neatly groomed and appears to be clear thinking. However, we receive our first clues she is sick. Forrest says, "She just sleeps, and sleeps like she hasn't slept for days." Forrest proposes after they get reconnected, but Jenny declines. He is heart-broken. "Why don't you love me, Jenny?" Later that evening (after the proposal), Jenny crawls into Forrest's bed (he was originally sleeping alone), and sleeps with him. Removing her nightgown, the presumption is that they had sex. The next day, she gets into a taxi, disappearing, once again. Forrest is naturally heartbroken, once again. I get the feeling that Jenny was already late when she visited Forrest. I don't think that she would have slept with him otherwise. Jenny always rebuffed his attempts at courtship before. She wasn't prepared for a relationship and she knew that he wasn't prepared for the consequences of sex.

    She knew that if she was pregnant, her child would need a father. So, she slept with Forrest to create the possibility that Forrest could be a father. Ultimately, it doesn't matter if Forrest really was the father because Forrest loved Jenny and if Jenny needed him to take care her child he would. There is a lot we can learn from Forrest Gump. There are a lot of reasons, one of them being she's in the early stages of pregnancy. Fatigue is a big part of pregnancy, and it's possible Jenny arrived at Forrest's doorstep already pregnant. Perhaps she realized her lifestyle was no place to raise a child, and that there was always that option where she could settle down and have a comfortable life with Forrest. He'd be a great father and she'd never have to worry or want for anything ever again.

    After some time there, Jenny gets cold feet because she realizes she could never love Forrest, or maybe feels guilty about the plan she made. Jenny then leaves, perhaps deciding to bear the responsibility for the child on her own. It's only when she realized she's dying that she returned, realizing that her initial plan is now the only way to give her child a good life and ensure his safety.

    It's hard to push the issue that Forrest Jr. is not Forrest Gump's child when Jenny literally named him after the father. Why would she do that if she felt otherwise? If someone else was the father, wouldn't they think it's a bit weird she named her son after her very famous childhood friend, but seemingly has no relationship with him through a bulk of Forrest Jr.'s life

    There are probably a lot of opinions about this. But alot of fans agree that he is indeed the father

    But one thing that sure is indicated that he actually is the father is that there are two clues in the movie. Their inclusion into the movie plot indicate that the creators wanted you to conclude that Little Forrest is in fact Forrest's biological son.

    When Forrest first finds out about being a father, he asks if he can be with Little Forrest. He goes over to him, sits down, and they both start watching TV. From that point on their actions are identical: They get caught up in the show at the same time, and they tilt their heads slightly to the left at the same time.

    Later on, we see that they both love the same things naturally. Little Forrest loves to fish. Once again they get caught up in the sitting "action" of fishing with their heads tilted slightly to the left.

    Forrest also asks Jenny (when he sort of understands it's his son), if the boy is like him (ie. somewhat challenged), to which Jenny replies "No". So Forrest obviously think it's his son (and Jenny probably got why he asked, but didn't correct the assumption Beyond that, Jenny had never lied to Forrest before and there was no reason to doubt her about Forrest being the father. Edit

  • Several possibilities:

    1) He may have left her, or he was born out of wedlock.

    2) Its a euphemism for him having abandoned them; just without having to say it outright. A slightly later scene with Forrest asking what vacation means, and his mother tells him it's when someone goes away and doesn't ever come back. Which seems like a sanitised version of "deadbeat father running off", suitable for a child.

    3) It could be that he's deceased, but Forrest seems to understand the concept of going to heaven so I would probably argue that he left either getting a divorce or just leaving for whatever reason. Edit

  • Those who have both seen the movie and read the book say that there are quite a few differences. Generally, they say that the book is even sillier than the movie and that the book doesn't have the tragedy that the movie has. Forrest lives with Jenny for a long time before Jenny gets fed up with him and leaves. The book, more so than the film, pokes fun at Forrest. There's a long, slapstick sequence where Forrest spends time with his buddy Sue the orangutan. Forrest is more cynical and abrasive in the novel, and his fantastic adventures are the primary focus as opposed to the love story. Jenny and Mrs. Gump do not die in the novel. Edit

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