1994 was one of the best ever years for movies. Jim Carrey burst onto the scene with Ace Ventura, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber. And the competition at the Academy Awards included The Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, and the eventual winner, Forrest Gump.
Here are 13 interesting facts to take in about Tom Hanks’ charming, semi-historical drama…
1. With every transition of Forrest’s age, one thing remains the same- in the first scene of each transition he wears a blue plaid shirt.
2. Bill Murray, John Travolta and Chevy Chase turned down the role of Forrest Gump. Travolta later admitted that passing on the role was a mistake. Try and imagine Chevy Chase…
3. Every still picture of Forrest during this film shows Tom Hanks with his eyes closed.
4. The park bench that Tom Hanks sat on for much of the movie was located in historic Savannah, Georgia, at Chippewa Square. The fiberglass bench he sat on, since then, has been removed and placed into a museum to avoid being destroyed by bad weather, or possibly stolen. The church where the feather first falls was about 100 yards just down the street from the bench. To this day, the bench is held in the Savannah History Museum, Savannah, Georgia.
5. Robert Zemeckis used the paintings of Norman Rockwell as the design inspiration for the town of Greenbow, Alabama. The scene where Forrest sits in the hallway of his school while his mother talks to the principal is a direct re-creation of Rockwell’s painting “Girl with a Black Eye.”
6. David Alan Grier, Ice Cube and Dave Chappelle turned down the role of Bubba. Chappelle thought the movie would bomb, and has since admitted to deeply regretting not taking the role.
7. The shrimp boat used in the film now resides in the moat surrounding the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Downtown Disney, at the Disneyworld Resort in Florida. Also, one of the ping-pong paddles used in the film is signed by Tom Hanks and hung up on one of the walls inside the restaurant.
8. When Forrest gets up to talk at the Vietnam rally in Washington, the microphone plug is pulled and you cannot hear him. According to Tom Hanks, he says, “Sometimes when people go to Vietnam, they go home to their mommas without any legs. Sometimes they don’t go home at all. That’s a bad thing. That’s all I have to say about that.”
9. Tom Hanks’ younger brother Jim Hanks doubled for him in many of his numerous running sequences.
10. Gary Sinise’s lower legs were wrapped in a special blue fabric that allowed them to be digitally removed later.
11. Kurt Russell has said that he did the voice of Elvis Presley (uncredited) in the film.
12. Robin Wright was sick with a cold while shooting the nightclub scene. In spite of this, she was still able to perform her own singing during a non-stop twenty-four hour shoot in which she was nearly nude except for her guitar.
13. According to writer Winston Groom, John Goodman was the perfect Forrest Gump in his mind.