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In 1994 Paramount Pictures released Forrest Gump, a comedy-drama starring Tom Hanks that won six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Director. The highly acclaimed film is based on a novel written by Winston Groom and has become an American film staple and classic. Stars like Sally Fields and Tom Hanks had been around in the business for quite some time, but the Oscar winner had a huge hand furthering their careers and launching others.

Stars like Sally Fields and Tom Hanks had been around in the business for quite some time, but the Oscar winner had a huge hand furthering their careers and launching others. Haley Joel Osment, Robin Wright and Gary Sinese and Mykelti Williamson to name a few.

The plots, themes, and lines of this film are ultimately what make this film so unforgettable. It’s close link and accuracy to historical events is what has made it so appealing to the American viewer. Still, despite all of the praise and approval it’s received, the film holds several secrets the producers of the film have done their best to keep under wraps. Here’s a look at the bloopers, secrets, and embellishments that most people never hear about.

30. Forest’s Famous Lines Weren’t His Own

Forest’s famous line, “My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump,” was never actually in the film’s script.  Tom Hanks ad libbed the words during filming for the scene and director Robert Zemeckis liked it so much that he felt compelled to keep it in.

29. Tom Hanks Got A Bit Choosy

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Tom Hanks wasn’t entirely on board with the role when he first signed on. Though it only took an hour and a half of reading the script for him to figure out what it could mean for his career, the actor only agreed to take on the role under the condition that producers made sure the film was historically accurate. In reality, most of the events in Forrest Gump are at the very least loosely related to real events.

28. There Almost Wasn’t An Accent

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Tom Hank wasn’t entirely on board with Forrest’s Southern accent. He actually had to pattern his own accent to that of Michael Conner Humphreys who played young Forest and actually spoke that way.

27. Forest’s Famous Speech

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Paramount Pictures

At the Vietnam rally in Washington, Forrest gets up to talk in front of the crowd but eventually, the microphone plug is unplugged and you cannot hear him. Tom Hanks later shared the words he says which supposedly are: “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.”

26. Tom Hanks Didn’t Get Paid

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Paramount Pictures

Or, at least, not traditionally. Tom Hanks actually never received traditional payment for his role as Forrest Gump. He actually took percentage points for the role and ultimately netted forty million dollars for it instead.

25. The Movie’s Writer Didn’t Want Tom Hanks

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The writer of the book that inspired the film, Winston Groom had been vocal about his desire for John Goodman to play the role of Forest Gump. In his mind, Goodman would have been the perfect Forrest Gump.

24. Travolta Was Offered The Role

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Goodman never got the role and neither did Bill Murray, John Travolta or Chevy Chase. All three actors turned down the role of Forrest only to realize after the film won so many awards that they’d made a bad decision. Travolta would go on later to admit that passing on the role was one of his biggest career mistakes.

23. Those Ping-Pong Scenes Were Fake

Tom Hanks isn’t actually as good as a ping pong player as his role in the film might indicate. In fact, during the ping-pong matches, Hanks didn’t even play with a ball at all. The ping-pong scenes were entirely CGI to meet the actors’ paddles.

22. The Ultimate Oversight

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Forrest’s New Year’s Eve celebration takes place in 1972. In the scene, however, Forrest drinks a Dr. Pepper with a logo that didn’t come out until the mid-1980s.

21. Lieutenant Dan’s Necklace Belonged to A Real Veteran

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

Lieutenant Dan wears a rosary around his neck with a Saint Christopher medal, inscribed “Protect Us In Combat.” In reality, the necklace was worn by Lieutenant Dan actor Gary Sinise’s brother-in-law- Jack Treese in Vietnam.

20. Wrong Time Period

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In the movie, Jenny dies on a sorrowful Monday on March 22, 1982. In reality, March 22, 1982 was a Saturday.

19. Not Enough People Turned Up

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Paramount Pictures

There wasn’t a huge turnout at the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool on the day Forrest spots Jenny at the peace rally. The large crowd of people was actually created with the help of visual effects. Over the two-day course of filming 1,500 extras were used to create the packed scene. For each successive take, the extras were moved into different quadrants away from the camera and made to look like one massive crowd of several hundred thousand with the help of computers.

18. Jenny’s Death Was A Mistake

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Remember how Jenny dies on March 22, 1982? In the scene where she shows Forrest a clipping of himself in U.S.A Today the publication date is September 1982. Which means someone predicted Jenny’s death and had her gravestone made early or she jumped in a time machine.

17. Forrest’s Famous Line Was Stolen From Another Movie

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Forest’s famous line about life being like a box of chocolate isn’t so original. Albeit, slightly different, the line was used in a British film called The Likely Lads in 1976. The term in the film is chocolate box of life.

16. Bubba’s Shrimp Business Would Have Gone Out of Business

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The scene where Forrest catches his first batch of shrimp on the boat is probably one of the biggest oversights of the film crew in the movie. When the net drops the shrimp on the deck, it’s easy to see that not only are they already dead, they’re also headless and processed for a dinner plate.

15. Robin Wright Was Ill Durring Filming

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In Robin Wright’s famous nightclub scene where she sings in the nude, save for a guitar that covers her, the actress was actually pretty ill during filming. Despite being sick with the flu the actress was able to sing on her own and perform during a 24 hour non-stop shoot.

14. Dave Chapelle Wanted To Be Bubba

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Dave Chappelle, Ice Cube, and David Alan Grier all turned down the role of Bubba. Ice Cube told producers he would never play the role of an idiot and Chapelle was convinced the movie would be a box office disappointment. Chappelle has since admitted his disappointment in not taking on the role.

13. Tom Hanks Never Saved Bubba 

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

The scene where Forrest carries Bubba away from the napalm attack had most people thinking Hanks was a great actor with quite a bit of might. In reality, stunt actors and cable wire were used to make the scene happen. Stunt actors were used initially for compositing purposes and when all was done, the actor who plays Bubba was supported by a cable wire while Hanks ran with him. The explosion was filmed later and the actors were then digitally added.

12. What Lieutenant Dan Really Means

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Paramount Pictures

When Lieutenant Dan first meets Forrest and Bubba in Vietnam, he looks at them and remarks, “You must be my FNGs”. Generally speaking, FNGs stands for “Fuckin’ New Guys”.

11. The Actors In The Film Died More Than Once

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The film had a massive budget, but producers chose to recycle actors for various roles in the film. In the movie four of the movie’s actors take on multiple roles. Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise play Forrest and  Lieutenant Dan respectively as well as all of their ancestors. Mykelti Williamson plays Benjamin Beaufort “Bubba” Blue and the waiter opening soda bottles in the scene where Forrest meets JFK as an All-American. Sally Field plays Forrest’s mother but she also plays a male reporter interviewing Forrest on his run across America.

10. Forrest’s Award Was Given To Someone Else

When Forrest meets Lyndon B. Johnson to collect his Medal of Honor the image from the scene is actually one from the Medal of Honor ceremony held for Sammy L. Davis. The American soldier and author was awarded the medal on November 19, 1968 for his role in Vietnam a year earlier. Tom Hanks’s head was superimposed on Davis’ body for the scene.

9. A Major Studio Lost Out On Millions After Dropping The Film

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Paramount Pictures

Dave Chappelle and John Travolta weren’t the only ones who made mistakes when they passed on an opportunity to be part of this Amerian classic. Initially, Warner Bros. had been the studio who’d obtained rights for the film. However, they gave them up in 1988 in exchange for the rights for the film Executive Decision (1996), after the studio felt Rain Man (1988) meant the project had lost its commercial potential.

8. Forrest Lived In A Fake Town

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Forrest’s hometown Greenbow, Alabama is fictional. However, Bubba’s hometown Bayou LaBatre, Alabama is real.

7. Tom Hanks Is Why We Never Got Forrest Gump 2

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Ever wonder why such a great film like Forrest Gump never got a sequel in an industry that thrives off of them? You can thank Tom Hanks. When the film debuted to wide success, there was actually quite a bit of talk about a sequel. Tom Hanks, however, put the breaks on such talks when he refused to take part in a sequel.  Hanks has since gone on to star in several sequel/ prequel films including Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3  as well as the DaVinci Code series.

6. The Movie Had Bad Shrimp

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Shrimp catching scenes in Forrest Gump were a complete mess in the movie, as pointed out before. When Forrest and Lt. Dan first try their hand at catching shrimp, they catch a bunch of junk, including a Mello Yello can. Mello Yello was a drink that hadn’t been invented at the time.

5. One Scene Was Copied From A Famous Movie

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When Forrest pushes Lieutenant Dan in his wheelchair across the street in New York City, “Everybody’s Talking” by Harry Nilsson plays in the background. When a cab driver almost hits him, Lieutenant Dan exclaims “I’m walking here, I’m walking here!” It’s a scene that is extremely similar to the one that takes place in Midnight Cowboy 1969 which has a scene with a similar line and the same music

4. The Actor Who Played Bubba Became A Hollywood Cliché

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Paramount Pictures

Talk about a cliche. In three unrelated movies, the actor Mykelti Williamson —who plays Bubba, gets shot in the stomach and has his final words with the film’s hero before dying. You can see this happen in Con Air (1997), and The Purge: Election Year (2016).

3. Sally Fields Went On To Play Tom Hank’s Lover

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Sally Fields plays Tom Hanks’s mother in the film, but in reality, she is only ten years older than her. This dynamic is especially weird when you consider that the actress and actor played alongside each other as romantic interests in the 1988 film Punchline. 

2. Production Had A Problem With Lip Synching

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In probably one of the most glaringly shameful moments of the film, the real-life historical people who appear in the film have a lip-syncing problem. John Lennon’s lips fail to sync with what he’s saying. So do Kennedy’s, Johnson’s and Nixon’s.

1. Jenny Didn’t Die From AIDs


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In one of the saddest moments in the film, we find out that Jenny dies from a disease that doctors can’t identify. Most people assume that this is AIDS, however, in the book’s sequel Gump & Co. the author notes that Jenny actually dies from Hepatitis C.