Forrest Gump #AutismMovie


This movie won the 1994 Oscar for Best Picture.

Based on Winston Groom’s novel of the same name, the screenplay made significant changes to the story.


In both the book and the movie, Forrest is bullied at school.

  • In the book, Forrest is 6′ 5”/240 and responds by punching a bully in the face
  • In the movie Forrest is cast as average height and build


Here’s what happens in the movie, on a day that Forrest is being bullied by school children.



The book casts Forrest as an Autistic Savant.

  • A mathematics/physics Savant

Forrest displays no indication of any Savant math or physics ability in the movie.


But there is certainly a suggestion of Savant skills in his ping-pong/table tennis prowess.

  • Which for a while is his clearly his all consuming special interest



In both the book and the movie, Forrest is cast with an IQ in the low/mid 70s.

Despite his autism and his intellectual impairment Forrest seems to demonstrate quite a high degree of independence.

  • Albeit a ‘charmed life’
  • With luck being the main factor leading to his financial independence by his 30s


Forrest’s ambiguous mixture of abilities makes his precise place on the Autism Spectrum unclear.

  • His ability to look after himself and communicate with others suggests Higher functioning
  • But his particularly low IQ, would usually indicate Low functioning


That said this is a movie, not a documentary!

It’s also worth remembering this movie was made in 1994, the year that Asperger’s Syndrome was first included in the DSM.

  • Ironically this may be one of the greatest legacies of this movie
  • An eternal reminder that Autism is a spectrum rather than just a series of coat hooks?


Forrest showing his eye for detail and beauty as he recounts some of his life experiences.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Aspercats Diary
    Sep 01, 2012 @ 16:23:20

    That is one of my top 3 films ever.


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