Seldom has there been a movie, or at least one not written by the Coen Brothers, that has as many memorable lines as Forrest Gump:
“I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.”
“My mama always said, Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”
“You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich.”
“Stupid is as stupid does.”
And on and on. Director Robert Zemeckis did a wonderful job turning what could have been another “disabled person overcomes handicaps” movie into a masterpiece of storytelling.
Part of what made the movie such a spectacle was the way Forrest Gump interacted with actual history, from Presidents Kennedy and Johnson to Bear Bryant to a march for peace in Washington, DC. And while many of the supporting characters weren’t as strong as a film of this importance required, casting Gary Sinise as Lieutenant Dan was brilliant. He helped propel the film, and the film in turn helped propel his career.
Forrest Gump was nominated for 13 Academy Awards, and won 6, including Best Picture. It ranked 71st in the American Film Institute’s countdown of 100 Years…100 Movies.
One more thing…the soundtrack. It must have been the dream job to have picked the songs that accompanied Forrest’s lifetime. It’s essentially a Greatest Hits of the 1960s and 70s.