Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Forrest Gump (1994)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Forrest Gump (1994)

In Robert Zemeckis' Best Picture-winning tearjerker comedy, with a floating feather motif:

  • the opening lyrical title credits sequence that followed the progress of a single floating white feather - it randomly landed at the feet of the seated title character - who picked up the feather, opened a briefcase, and placed the feather inside a copy of Curious George
  • the sequences of big-hearted, slow-witted, simple-minded (with an IQ of 75), dullard Forrest Gump's (Oscar-winning Tom Hanks) flashbacks while sitting on a city bus-stop bench in Savannah, Georgia; he introduced himself to his benchmate: ("Hello. My name's Forrest. Forrest Gump. Do you want a chocolate? I could eat about a million and a half of these"); and then he delivered one of the most oft-quoted statements of the film to the listener after offering a chocolate: ("My mama always said, life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get")
  • and his further recollections to various listeners, for example, when he was young, innocent and crippled as a young boy (Michael Conner Humphreys) living in Alabama, and forced to wear braces on his legs because of his crooked back; he recalled his first acquaintance with young Jenny (Hanna Hall) who allowed him to sit next to her on the school bus on the first day of school: ("I do remember the first time I heard the sweetest voice in the wide world....I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. She was like an angel"); when she asked: "Are you stupid or somethin'?", he replied: "Mama says, 'Stupid is as stupid does'"; Forrest told how they became fast friends: " From that day on, we was always together. Jenny and me was like peas and carrots...She was my most special friend. My only friend")
  • he remembered one uplifting moment when he quickly ran away from bullies who pursued him on bikes, and his braces fell off, while young Jenny encouragingly yelled out: "Run, Forrest, Run!"; Forrest recalled: "Now you wouldn't believe it if I told you that I could run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was goin' somewhere, I was running!"; the scene soon segued into Forrest's streaking ahead into a Univ. of Alabama football game as a running star
First Day of School - Meeting with Jenny
Discarding Leg Braces
  • the sequences of Forrest's transforming progression through the decades (as a college student, Vietnam war hero, anti-war protestor, Yippie, ping-pong champion, shrimp tycoon, Apple Computers investor, and father)
  • black military friend and shrimp-lover Bubba Blue's (Mykelti Williamson) short speech about all the ways that shrimp could be prepared, while assembling a rifle and doing other military duties: "Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. 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. That - that's about it"
  • the tragic lethal wounding of Bubba - dying in Forrest's arms during combat; Forrest (voice-over): "If I'd have known this was gonna be the last time me and Bubba was gonna talk, I'd of thought of something better to say"; Bubba asked: "Forrest, why did this happen?...I want to go home"; Forrest (voice-over): "Bubba was gonna be a shrimpin' boat captain, but instead, he died right there by that river in Vietnam. That's all I have to say about that"
  • the computerized special-effects and imaging that put intellectually-challenged Forrest Gump into many comedic situations with historical events (i.e., Gov. Wallace's stand-off in Little Rock, and his assassination attempt) and with Presidents and other celebrities (JFK - with his plea: "I gotta pee", LBJ, Nixon, Elvis Presley, John Lennon)
  • Forrest's ping-pong prowess against the Chinese - ping-pong diplomacy
  • Forrest's reunion scene with true love Jenny Curran (Robin Wright) in Washington DC's reflecting pool, during an anti-war rally; she had been living a hippie lifestyle
  • the sequence of Forrest's shrimping partnership with Lt. Dan (Gary Sinise), with prosthetic legs, who joined him as First Mate on his boat; he made peace with Forrest and the loss of his legs, telling him: "I never thanked you for saving my life"; Forrest (voice-over): "He never actually said so, but I think he made his peace with God" - Forrest's statement after watching Lt. Dan swim out to sea
  • the sad sequence of Forrest's death-bed reconciliation with his matter-of-fact mother (Sally Field) who was dying of cancer: "I'm dyin', Forrest...It's just my time...Now, don't you be afraid, sweetheart. Death is just a part of life. Somethin' we are all destined to do"; and then she repeated a variation of her oft-repeated phrase, to describe the forging of his destiny: "Well, I happen to believe you make your own destiny. You have to do the best with what God gave you....You're gonna have to figure that out for yourself. Life is a box of chocolates, Forrest. You never know what you're gonna get"
  • the touching scene of Forrest proposing to Jenny: ("Will you marry me? I'd make a good husband, Jenny...but you won't marry me...Why don't you love me, Jenny? I'm not a smart man, but I know what love is"); she declined his request but later that rainy night entered his bedroom and asserted her love ("Forrest, I do love you") and then decided to sleep with Forrest to express her love to him
  • years later, the scene of Forrest's first meeting in Savannah with young Forrest, Jr. (Haley Joel Osment) and being told by Jenny that he was the father of her very normal child: ("You're his daddy, Forrest") and her reassurances: ("You didn't do anything wrong") followed by his reply: ("He's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen") - and the scene of them happily watching Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie on TV together
  • Forrest's moving, tear-jerking eulogy-meditation for his newly-wed bride Jenny at her gravesite under a tree after she died of the AIDS virus: ("You died on a Saturday morning. And I had you placed here under our tree. And I had that house of your father's bulldozed to the ground. Mama always said that dyin' was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn't. Little Forrest is doin' just fine. About to start school again soon, and I make his breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I make sure he combs his hair and brushes his teeth every day. Teach him how to play ping-pong. He's really good...We fish a lot. And every night, we read a book. He's so smart, Jenny. You'd be so proud of him. I am. He wrote you a letter. And he says I can't read it. I'm not supposed to, so I'll just leave it here for you. I don't know if Mama was right or if it's Lieutenant Dan. I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floatin' around accidental-like on a breeze. But I-I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time. But I miss you, Jenny. If there's anything you need, I won't be far away")
Meeting Young Forrest, Jr. (Haley Joel Osment)
Forrest's Eulogy at Jenny's Gravesite
The Floating Feather - on Young Forrest's First Day of School
  • the floating feather uplifted into the sky at the conclusion, after Forrest waited at the bus stop for young Forrest's school bus

White Feather

"Do you want a chocolate?"

Forrest Gump's Flashbacks on Park Bench

Forrest's Service in the Military

Bubba: "Shrimp is the fruit of the sea..."

Bubba's Death at War

Forrest in Historical Situations

Ping-Pong Against the Chinese

Lt. Dan (Gary Sinise) - Forrest's First Mate

Lt. Dan Without Legs Before Swimming in Ocean

Forrest's Last Visit With His Dying Mother

Forrest to Jenny: "Will you marry me?"

Sleeping Together


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