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Issue 974



This week, Tidbits opens up the box of chocolates to discover info on one of our favorite movies, winner of Best Picture Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing in 1995.

• Can you imagine anyone but Tom Hanks in the title role? The studio’s first choice was John Travolta, but he declined the role. Bill Murray and Chevy Chase were also considered. Robin Wright was awarded the role of Jenny, after the part was rejected by Jodi Foster, Nicole Kidman, and Demi Moore. Tom Hanks took no salary for the film, having asked for a percent of the movie’s overall gross profit instead. This action earned him about $40 million.

• The famous line “My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump” was not part of the original script. Tom Hanks came up with it spontaneously during the filming of that scene, and the director kept it.

• Remember Forrest’s cross-country run? As he sat on the porch, “for no particular reason,” he decided to go for a “little run” that transitioned into a trek across the U.S. and back. Although Forrest said it lasted 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours, it was just seven minutes of the film. Because Tom Hanks wasn’t a runner, his body double stepped in for him in several shots. That body double was none other than Hanks’ younger brother, Jim.

• The music soundtrack from the movie sold 12 million copies, one of the top-selling albums in the U.S. It included songs from several famous musicians including Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Three Dog Night, Jimi Hendrix, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, and the Doobie Brothers. Six songs from The Doors were on the album, more than any other band.

• Forrest Gump was produced on a budget of $55 million over a four-month period. After 66 days at the box office, it had passed $250 million in ticket sales.

• As Forrest waited for the bus on a bench in Savannah, Georgia, he related the story of his life to strangers sharing the bench. He spoke of meeting Elvis Presley when Elvis rented a room at their home, which Forrest’s mother ran as a boarding house. After being named to the All-American college football team, he met President Kennedy at the White House. Following graduation, Forrest enlisted in the Army, where he met “Bubba,” who persuaded him to go into the shrimping business. While in Vietnam, Forest saved several soldiers and was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Lyndon Johnson.

• Forrest’s medal ceremony was taken from actual footage, with Tom Hanks’ head superimposed over that of Sammy L. Davis, who was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1968 for military valor during a Vietnam battle.

• Forrest met social activist Abbie Hoffman at the 1967 March on the Pentagon rally and musician John Lennon while being interviewed on the Dick Cavett Show. As an expert at ping pong, Forrest played on the U.S. team against China. During the filming of those matches, there was no actual ping-pong ball. Computer graphics were used to ensure that it always hit the paddle.

• Forrest claimed responsibility for discovering the Watergate scandal, resulting in Richard Nixon’s resignation.

• The novel by Winston Groom, from which the film was adapted, also featured Forrest as an astronaut, a professional wrestler, and a world-class chess player.

• The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company was started by Forrest and his former commander Major Dan, who had lost his legs in Vietnam. During the filming of the movie, actor Gary Sinise’s legs were covered with a special blue fabric that enabled the production crew to digitally remove his legs.