July 6, 1994 was a very educational day. We learned a lot about history. We learned a lot about running. We learned that “stupid is as stupid does” and that “life is like a box of chocolates.” Yes, it’s been 25 years since the Robert Zemeckis masterpiece Forrest Gump debuted in America. It was a movie that dazzled us on both an emotional level and on a visual level, as we saw the title character inserted into several pieces of iconic archival footage — he somehow met three U.S. presidents (Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon), along with legends like Elvis Presley and John Lennon. Tom Hanks, who won the second of his back-to-back Oscars for his work on the film, is still in awe of the technical wizardry that made those moments possible. (Click on the media bar below to hear Tom Hanks)
Of course, one of the character’s most remarkable attributes was his running ability — “Run, Forrest! Run!” — and that meant Hanks had to be in good enough shape to not only make the running scenes look convincing, but also avoid injury. That latter part, Hanks told us, is something that Zemeckis made abundantly clear to him during the shoot. (Click on the media bar below to hear Tom Hanks)
A few years ago, we heard a fun little story about the end of Gump’s memorable run across America. When Gump reached the Pacific Ocean, it was at the historic Santa Monica Pier. On the day of filming, the production hired several off-duty police officers to provide security so the pier could be kept clear for filming. But the shot’s first take was ruined when one of those officers mistakenly thought that Hanks — who looked rough and ragged from Gump’s cross-country marathon — was a homeless interloper … and the officer stopped him as he tried running onto the pier! What was your favorite scene or saying from Forrest Gump? Let us know in the comments below!