Forrest Gump is a 1994 American comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Eric Roth, and stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump (Hanks), a slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama who witnesses several defining historical events in the 20th century in the United States.
The film differs substantially from the novel. Principal photography took place in late 1993, mainly in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Extensive visual effects were used to incorporate Hanks into archived footage and develop other scenes. The soundtrack features songs reflecting the different periods seen in the film.
Released in the United States on July 6, 1994, Forrest Gump received favorable reviews for Zemeckis’ directing, Hanks’ performance, visual effects, and script. The film was a massive success at the box office; it became the top-grossing film in North America released that year and earned over US$677 million worldwide during its theatrical run, making it the second highest-grossing film of 1994. The soundtrack sold over 12 million copies. Forrest Gump won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Hanks, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing. It won many other awards and nominations, including Golden Globes, People’s Choice Awards, and Young Artist Awards.
Varying interpretations have been made of the protagonist and the film’s political symbolism. In 1996, a restaurant based on the film, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, opened, and has since expanded to locations worldwide. In 2011, the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.