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Tom Hanks Defends The 'Problem' With Forrest Gump And Its Oscar Win

Jake Massey

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Tom Hanks Defends The 'Problem' With Forrest Gump And Its Oscar Win

It's hard - almost impossible in fact - to think of an actor who has starred in as many universally adored films as Tom Hanks.

For decades, Hollywood's number one nice guy has been pumping out classics, such as Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away, Toy Story, Catch Me If You Can and The Green Mile - and that's barely scratching the surface.

Indeed, that's omitting his consecutive Oscar wins, for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, the latter of which many people think was undeserved.

The much-loved 1994 movie won a total of six Academy Awards, and almost 30 years on, it boasts an impressive rating of 8.8 on IMDb.

Many people think the movie wasn't the best of the year. Credit: Paramount
Many people think the movie wasn't the best of the year. Credit: Paramount

However, it was up against Quentin Tarantino's classic Pulp Fiction, which it pipped to Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.

All these years on, Pulp Fiction's snubbing comes up every awards season, and in a recent interview, Hanks admitted that he understands why, labelling the movie a 'masterpiece'.

However, he argued that the astronomic success of Forrest Gump may have caused it to be looked upon less favourably.


Speaking to The New York Times, the 65-year-old said: "The problem with Forrest Gump is it made a billion dollars.

"If we'd just made a successful movie, Bob [director Robert Zemeckis] and I would have been geniuses. But because we made a wildly successful movie, we were diabolical geniuses.

"Is it a bad problem to have? No, but there's books of the greatest movies of all time, and Forrest Gump doesn't appear because, oh, it's this sappy nostalgia fest.

"Every year there's an article that goes, 'The Movie That Should Have Won Best Picture' and it's always Pulp Fiction. Pulp Fiction is a masterpiece without a doubt."


And while any movie beating such a masterpiece to the top prizes was always going to be contended, Hanks highlighted that Forrest Gump has more about it than a lot of people give it credit for, referencing one scene in particular that still makes him emotional to this day.

He said: "Look, I don't know, but there is a moment of undeniable heartbreaking humanity in Forrest Gump when Gary Sinise — he's playing Lieutenant Dan — and his Asian wife walk up to our house on the day that Forrest and Jenny get married…

"Then I look at him, and I say, 'Lieutenant Dan.' I might get weepy thinking about it now.


"Forrest and Lieutenant Dan in those four words — 'magic legs'; 'Lieutenant Dan' — understand all they had been through and feel gratitude for every ounce of pain and tragedy that they survived.

"That’s some intangible [expletive] right there. That is not just running along to Duane Eddy's 'Rebel Rouser'."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Paramount

Topics: TV and Film, Tom Hanks

Jake Massey
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