Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
After looking through the list of the 10th edition of the American Film Institute’s 100 Movie Award Ballad, a beloved movie of mine stood out to me; Forrest Gump was named #71, as one of the best American Movie produced . The storyline of a mentally challenged man (Tom Hanks), who has a heart of gold and tells his story to anyone who would listen. He finds himself in all the important American events from the late 50’s to the 70’s. Those major historical moments include the hippie movement, the Vietnam War as well as the Watergate Scandal. Not to mention, Forrest Gump finds himself meeting remarkable people in the production, which includes Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Richard Nixon. Even though he has an IQ of 75, Gump is still intelligent enough to see the pros and cons of certain situations while he overcomes some major obstacles in his life, yet he still finds the bright side in the end. That being said, the heart warming film is well deserving to be named America’s #1 movie due to the number of diverse genres, the memorable dialogue and the award winning actor, Tom Hanks.
To start off, Forrest Gump has many genres within the production. The genres that the production consist of include romance, comedy, action, and drama. The movie begins with young Gump and his friend Jenny Curran, who helps him overcome bullies and is there to support his physical leg disabilities by encouraging him to run. As the movie develops, Jenny’s life is spinning out of control, but Forrest Gump is still madly in love with her, despite her insecurities and actions, giving her the type of love that every person desires. In fact, he loves all of his friends and family members in that way, due to his loyalty towards them and his huge heart. From that, action and drama tie in; the emotions come from the death of his best friend in war, the major events happening in America, and his mental disability. When it comes to being a comedy, Forrest Gump does a phenomenal job on capturing light humor by making Gump himself a funny character. Unlike an actual comedy, there is a sense of light humor and quiet truths hidden in the scenes. That being said, Forrest Gump deserves the recognition of top 100 best American movies solely based on the diversity of genres within the production. Secondly, Forest Gump has memorable as well as award winning quotes; the most famous being the line that is ranked #40 on AFI’s 100 Movie Quotes: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” (Fraley 1). The quote has a significant meaning behind it. It signifies the relationship between Gump and his mother who believed that one day her son is going to achieve greatness. Another significant quote from the production is “Run, Forest Run!” (Fraley 1), which was stated by Jenny, after Gump’s bullies were chasing him. Not only does the quote represent the relationship between the two, it also shows the significance of Forrest Gump breaking his leg brace in order to run more freely and faster. The last significant quote is “Stupid is as stupid does” (Fraley 1). Although the two previous quotes are the most popular, the last quote holds the greatest meaning behind it. In this scene, Forrest Gump collects as much money as he can in order to buy a boat to catch the shrimp to support his beloved friends’, and his dream of opening up his own restaurant. All of these memorable quotes and famous scenes would not hold their title if it wasn’t for one of the most famous American actors to fill these rolls.
Throughout the history of production, there have been many famous actors that have made a significant impact on the movie industry, with one of those actors being Tom Hanks.
Hanks, having the lead role in the famous production as Forrest Gump, does a spectacular job in portraying every role of Forrest; not to mention, winning Best Actor in the 67th Academy Awards for his role in the movie. That being said, playing the role of Forrest is not as simple as it might seem. “Let me say this: bein an idiot is no box of chocolates,” mentioned by the novel writer himself, Winston Groom (“Novel vs. Movie”). Tom Hanks is portraying a boy with an IQ of 75, and takes the movie watchers on a journey of capturing the growth process and challenges that come in play with his disability- all the way to being a middle aged man. Not to mention, Hanks plays a role of a kind hearted, simple, loyal and passionate man throughout the production and is consistent with his emotions, even though he is not entirely sure what is happening and the dangers of some of his actions. In all, Hanks as Gump manages to draw in the audience and expose the simple truths and values in life, in the most innocent way. Tom Hanks acting pulls in the audience’s attention which makes people more interested in the production, therefore, making him a good actor. That being said, Tom Hanks does a phenomenal job being the leading role of the production, by doing so he contributes to the well deserved AFI’s movie award.
Although Forrest Gump has won numerous awards and Oscars, including making the American Film Institute’s top 100 American movies, some critics may argue that the production is not deserving of the title. The movie itself is two and a half hours long, with various unique scenes as well as historical events, not to mention the diverse genre that is within the production. That being said, a critic would argue that it is an unstructured film without a specific plot, climax or resolution. Not to mention, a movie is based around a mentally challenged individual and the humor behind it can be seen as cruel. Nonetheless, Forest Gump won multiple awards which included Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, People’s Choice Award for favorite movie, best visual effects, and the list goes on. With all the awards earned, Forrest Gump still stands #71 on the AFI’s top 100 American movies and the overall score of 8.8/10 according to IMDb. There is no doubt that Forrest Gump will go down as one of the most historical made movies in production history.
In conclusion, the beloved movie Forrest Gump is an American drama film filled with comedy, romance and action. The movie, which starts off with a heartwarming adventure of a mentally ill man who inspires those around him with his optimism, has been known for winning multiple awards and nominations. Some of these awards include the 1995 Golden Globe Awards, 67th Academy Awards, 1995 Peoples Choice Awards and marking #71 on the American Film Institute top 100 best American movies. With the numerous genres within the movie, the memorable heartfelt quotes and life lessons, down to Tom Hanks’ award winning performance; Forrest Gump is well deserved on being on the AFI’s list of best American movies.