Why Tom Hanks Helped Finance Some Scenes in Forrest Gump

forrest gump

Forrest Gump kind of changed the landscape of movies in its own way when it came along, but there was one sequence that almost didn’t make an appearance in the movie since the studio didn’t want to pay for it. The cross country running scenes that were so pivotal to the character were apparently quite expensive, enough to the point that the studio had already stated that they didn’t want to consider it. So Tom Hanks and Robert Zemeckis decided to split the cost and the running sequences were put in, much to the approval of many fans that happened to find the running endearing since not only did Forrest manage to do a lot of soul-searching during the run, but he even helped out a few people during his time on the road. Of course, it’s already known that Forrest wasn’t really the one behind the slogans that were devised during the cross country scenes, but it was a fun and endearing way to highlight a couple of key phrases that people tend to use on a regular basis. Plus, the running scenes were great since it wasn’t quite as meaningful until Forrest was relating the experience to Jenny as she lay there listening to him tell of what he’d seen during his run, but it was still a fun addition that would have left the movie lacking something if it had been left out.

To be fair the cross country scene is kind of an odd one to process when a person first watches this movie since it’s not bad, it’s too out of place, but it is kind of awkward to think that of all the things that Forrest could do, he went off running and just didn’t stop unless he absolutely had to in order to eat, sleep, and perform other bodily needs. Many upon many people would likely give a reason why he would simply run for so long, but the motivation behind it appears to be both metaphorical and in Forrest’s reckoning literal since he had to put the past behind him as it was stated, and this was the only way that Forrest knew how to do this since to be fair, he’d been through quite a bit before he took off running. His mother had passed away in the house he’d lived in since he was a child, the only woman he’d ever loved had come back into his life only to leave in the middle of the night after rejecting a marriage proposal, and despite anything else that might have been going good in Forrest’s life, this was his emotional bottom, and he had no other recourse but to do what he felt was needed in order to put the past behind him and simply keep going. It might sound a bit cheesy to some folks, but the truth of it is that putting the past in the rearview is one way that you can keep moving on, since allowing the past to rest on your shoulders and keep weighing you down is one way to keep failing and to keep feeling that failure. Forrest is a character that doesn’t fully understand everything that’s being told to him at all times, or why certain things happen, but he’s not stupid enough to not understand certain things and how they have to happen.

In his mind, running was likely the best way to put the hurtful moments behind him, to leave them where they were, where they belonged, and to keep himself moving forward. It’s very possible that his mother imparted other tidbits of knowledge that we weren’t privy to since they weren’t included in the movie, but it’s also very easy to think that Forrest eventually figured out that by sitting still the pain would only continue to settle with him, and running was a way to deal with the pain, to push it off his shoulders and let it settle far behind him, where it couldn’t hurt quite as much. He didn’t know much, but he knew enough to keep himself from sitting still where he could stew in the bad memories, which were far too recent. So running was a way to push it all behind him, to keep his mind moving forward to other things, to focus on a life that was still capable of being full and worth living. Dramatic as it sounds that feels like the case, and it was a wise decision for Hanks and Zemeckis to get together and decide to finance this sequence.

So many times it’s easy to think that what we’re seeing in a movie was absolutely planned out, but the truth is that sometimes what we see wasn’t meant to happen that way, no matter that it turned out so great.

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