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Where Was ‘Forrest Gump’ Shot?

February 10, 2020
5 min read

When it comes to the most celebrated films in cinema history, Tom Hanks’ 1994 film ‘Forrest Gump’ is surely somewhere high up on the list. Not only was the movie a resounding commercial success, but it also bagged six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Hanks. Despite being over a quarter of a century old now, the movie has aged like fine wine, so much so that the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

At its heart, ‘Forrest Gump’ is a feel good movie about love, friendship, loss, and forgiveness. The story line of the film follows Forrest Gump, a slow-witted, but pure of heart man whose childlike enthusiasm and love for his childhood friend Jenny sees him travel all over the world and witness some of the most momentous occasions in history first hand. The film stars legendary actor Tom Hanks in the lead as Forrest Gump and ‘House of Cards’ actress Robin Wright as Jenny Curran. ‘CSI: NY’ actor Gary Sinise as Lieutenant Dan Taylor, Mykelti Williamson as Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue and Sally Field as Mrs. Gump make up rest of the main cast.

If you were wondering where exactly ‘Forrest Gump’ was filmed, read on to find out everything we know.

Where Was Forrest Gump Filmed?

The story line of ‘Forrest Gump’ takes Forrest all across the United States and even beyond starting from his hometown of Greenbow, Alabama to the war-torn jungles of Vietnam. During his great marathon that lasts for three years, Forrest visits a number of locations across America including California, Maine, Montana, North Carolina, Arizona, and Utah.

Filming for the movie also took place in a number of locations across the US, but principal production was based out of South Carolina. Filming was done both on set and on location at a variety of different venues including Los Angeles, Savannah in Georgia, Port Clyde in Maine, and Fripp Island in South Carolina.

Check out this picture of the first day of filming:

Yemassee, Beaufort County, South Carolina

In the movie, Forrest’s hometown is the city of Greenbow in Alabama. However, there is no such place in real life as Greenbow is entirely fictional. In fact, the scenes set in Greenbow were actually filmed in towns of Beaufort and Yemassee in South Carolina. Special sets were constructed for certain structures including Jenny’s house and Forrest’s bungalow. Unfortunately, you cannot see those structures in person as they were torn down after the filming. Some of the downtown portions of Greenbow were filmed in the nearby town of Varnville.

Yemassee is a very small town with a population of only 1,000 and is surrounded by historical sites of the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Check out these pictures of some of the filming locations:

Chippewa Square, Savannah, Georgia

‘Forrest Gump’ opens up with Forrest sitting on a park bench and talking to a stranger beside him. This is where Forrest first begins to recount his life story and also gives us some of the most memorable lines in all of cinema including “Life is like a box of chocolates” and “Stupid is as stupid does”.

The filming for these scenes was done on location at the Chippewa Square in Savannah, Georgia. It is a testament to the enduring popularity of the movie that the very same bench Forrest sat on is now placed for viewing in the Savannah History Museum nearby.

Check out this picture of Tom Hanks with director Robert Zemeckis in between takes:

Fripp Island/Huntington Island, South Carolina

When Forrest joins the army his first assignment is in Vietnam during the height of the war. There are several scenes where Forrest and his unit are wading through thick mud and overgrown vegetation. However, these scenes were not actually filmed in Vietnam; instead, they were filmed in Fripp Island and Huntington Island in South Carolina. Both islands are natural conservatories and Huntington Island is even a classified state park.

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

The famous scene where Forrest sees Jenny and runs through the Reflecting Pool in the Lincoln Memorial was filmed on location in Washington D.C.

Other Locations

Forrest runs through numerous memorable locations all across the US in his three-year long marathon. Most of these shots were filmed on location in a variety of different places. These places include the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Maine, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Grandfather Mountains State Park in North Carolina (where the part of the road where Forrest is shown to be running has now been christened as “Forrest Gump Curve”), the Twin Arrows Trading Post in Arizona, Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California, Glacier National Park in Montana, East Los Angeles College, and Monument Valley in Utah and Arizona, which is the location where Forrest finally decides to stop running.

Check out this picture of the filming of ‘Forrest Gump’ at East Los Angeles College:

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