1994 • Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump, 1994 Best PictureAh, Forrest Gump, an old familiar friend. Without question, it is the movie from our Best Picture list that I am most familiar with and have seen the most times. I watched this movie probably twenty or more times on VHS in the 90s, and have seen it time and time again on TV in the 00s and 10s. Not only did I own the movie, I also owned the “making of” video called Through the Eyes of Forrest Gump that explained the technical stuff.

There was a time in grade school when I would go around talking like Forrest, and at one point I could recite large portions of the movie from memory. We almost talked our sixth grade teacher into letting us watch Forrest Gump for an “End of the Month Movie” but after the teachers did a screening, they declared it to be unsuitable for elementary kids due to a scene where Lieutenant Dan is getting a lap dance in his wheelchair… and the times when Jenny takes her top off.

So when Forrest Gump rolled around in our project, I thought “what’s the point of watching it for the 53rd time, I already know exactly what happens?” But that’s the spirit of the project, to watch every Best Picture in order, so there was no passing it up!

Forrest Gump of course stars Tom Hanks as the title character, who keeps accidentally running into fame at every turn, and is oblivious to most all of it. From teaching Elvis how to dance as a kid, to receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor for his war heroics, to leading the US ping-pong team to world domination, Forrest is in the middle of every major event over the 60s and 70s. All the while, he has his childhood best friend Jenny on his mind.

Forrest Gump is such a great story. It is one of the very few Best Pictures that has had me laughing out loud and holding back tears. Even besides Forrest, there are so many great characters… especially Bubba, Jenny, and Lt. Dan. It’s a simple movie to understand. Sure, there is probably some symbolism in the feather floating around in the beginning and end, but aside from the sexual references, it was all easy for me to understand as a 12-year old. I really didn’t think I would catch anything new this time around, but I was wrong… I hadn’t remembered the part where Forrest prematurely ejaculates into Jenny’s roommate’s bath robe after Jenny brings him in out of the rain into her dorm!

I can’t figure out why so many critics say this is one of the worst Best Picture winners. Yes, it was up against some very heavy competition that year with The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction, but I think any of the three would have been worthy winners. 1994 truly was a huge year for movies.

Clearly this is one of my all-time favorite movies, and had I not seen it so many times it would probably have easily landed at #1 on my list. But the fact remains that my rankings are more or less a list of how interested I would be in watching each movie again, and right now I would probably want to wait at least ten years before seeing Forrest Gump again. This will likely be the most difficult movie to place on my rankings… I think I need to think on it a little longer!

2 Comments

  1. […] the next couple Best Pictures in our project, 1993′s Schindler’s List and 1994′s Forrest Gump, the latter of which I have seen more times than any other movie ever, but it’s still part of […]

  2. You have to put Bull Durham on your list. I


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