Incredible Soundtrack #9: Forrest Gump (Silvestri)

The music attached to a film creates the environment, I believe, moreso than the literal environment depicted through the visuals…

Alan Silvestri I have always admired. His unforgettable score for Back to the Future I was always under the impression was John Williams, but Silvestri has in fact scored all of Robert Zemeckis’ films including The Polar Express and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Outside of Zemeckis’ movies, he has alaso got Predator, The Abyss and the up-and-coming Captain America: The First Avenger to his name. But alas, this is his most memorable…

1. I’m Forrest … Forrest Gump – A gentle, soft beginning that summarises the fleeting nature of chance, whilst also encapsulating the fragility of life.

14. Jenny Returns – The Soundrack is available in two different editions. One version is a double-disc and includes two tracks by Silvestri – “I’m Forrest… Forrest Gump” and “Suite from Forrest Gump” whilst the rest of the soundtrack is music tracks that added to the context of the film – pop music including Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin and Randy Newman. Its amazing to think that Silvestri managed to fit into the film and important, memorable and definitive score behind so many pop tracks. The last two tracks are exclusively from the score CD and show the depth and emotion included – this tracks really highlights how personal some of those tracks are.

17. Run Forrest Run – Full of hope and success in a pretty depressing story otherwise. A boy who can’t walk, whose mother sleeps with teachers to ensure her child gets the best education, an emotionally unstable, drug-addicted, abused-as-a-child friend who he loves so much, his best friend dies on the front line in a war many did not believe in. Truly fascinating that this inspiring track is one of many signature melodies Silvestri created.

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  1. Recently on the Mayo and Kermode show there was a music discussion. Mark Kermode joked about Forrest Gump (a film he likes) being nominated for the Best Original Score Oscar in 1994 given that the soundtrack is just made up of pop songs from the time.

    Thanks for this post, Simon, as it shows that Forrest Gump's soundtrack is so much more than a jukebox collection. In some ways Kermode has paid Silvestri the ultimate compliment – not noticing the music and just being swept up in the film.

  2. @Jess – Y'know Silvestri also composed the music for PREDATOR and BACK TO THE FUTURE?? Quite skilled that fella.

    @Rhys – Yeah, and I think Kermode is a bit harsh by saying that the 'jukebox' element was so bad anyway – it provided the back bone to the film.

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