Forrest Gump to be preserved in Library of Congress

December 29, 2011

"My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.’" That line was immortalized by Tom Hanks in the award-winning movie Forrest Gump in 1994. Today, the movie, along with 24 others, has been chosen to be preserved as cultural, artistic and historical treasures in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

Walt Disney's 1942 classic animated film Bambi and Charlie Chaplin's first feature length comedy The Kid (1921) also make it onto the list. The selected 25 films, which are picked from 2,228 titles nominated by the public, span the period from 1912 to 1994 and include an eclectic mixture of feature films, documentaries, short subjects and experimental films. A majority of the 25 titles chosen this year for inclusion in the National Film Registry are lesser-known.


"These films are selected because of their enduring significance to American culture," Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement. "Our film heritage must be protected because these cinematic treasures document our history and culture and reflect our hopes and dreams."

As "Forrest Gump," Tom Hanks portrays an earnest, guileless "everyman" whose open-heartedness and sense of the unexpected unwittingly draws him into some of the most iconic events of the 1960s and 1970s. A smash hit, "Forrest Gump" has been honored for its technological innovations (the digital insertion of Gump seamlessly into vintage archival footage), its resonance within the culture that has elevated Gump (and what he represents in terms of American innocence) to the status of folk hero, and its attempt to engage both playfully and seriously with contentious aspects of the era’s traumatic history. The film received six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

In March 2011, Forrest Gump had already been voted "the greatest film character of all time" in a survey carried out by ABC TV and People magazine.