Sep 152013

Actor Tom Hanks

I would be hard pressed to find an actor whose movies I love more than Tom Hanks. His films have taken me on so my journeys that I have an immense interest in.

Tom Hanks has often “spoke” to me through cinema. Whether it was a love story, war, controversy or spirituality I’ve always been absolutely captivate. Ranking the last three of My Top 10 +1 Favorite Tom Hanks Movies was a complete shuffling of the deck.

I offered my own personal take plus trivia questions and answers provided by IMDB and videos by YouTube.

+1 Sleepless In Seattle (1993)

Question: What movie did director Nora Ephron also write?

I’ve always loved the story of meeting at the top of the Empire State Building with a girl in some full circle completion of serendipity. It doesn’t even have to be Valentine’s Day!

Answer: When Harry Met Sally

Playing Sam Baldwin
Ross Malinger – Jonah Baldwin
Rita Wilson – Suzy
Victor Garber – Greg
Tom Riis Farrell – Rob
Meg Ryan – Annie Reed
Bill Pullman – Walter
David Hyde Pierce – Dennis Reed
Victor Garber – Greg
Rosie O’Donnell – Becky
Barbara Garrick – Victoria
Directed by Nora Ephron

10 A League Of Their Own (1992)

Question: All of the actresses in the film refused stunt double and were actually in for all baseball shots, except for which one?

The summer between my 7th and 8th grade years my Dad coached my step-sister’s softball team. She and most of the girls on the team were a year older than me and so many of them were super cute. Needless to say I was at every possible practice and game (often neglecting my own obligations) to continually run to 7-11 to grab them Slurpees. All of the cute women on the Rockford Peaches remind me exactly of that summer.

Answer: Geena Davis

Playing Jimmy Dugan
Geena Davis – Dottie Hinson
Madonna – Mae Mordabito
Lori Perry – Kit Keller
Jon Lovitz – Ernie Capadino
David Straithairn – Ira Lowenstein
Garry Marshall – Walter Harvey
Bill Pullman – Bob Hinson
Megan Cavanagh – Marla Hooch
Rosie O’Donnell – Doris Murphy
Directed by Penny Marshall

9 The Polar Express (2004)

Question: What number do all of the tickets and the train have on them?

Oh the outside I’m known as being very aloof and Scrooge-like at Christmas time. But, as my friends and Phoenix will attest to. All of the magic comes back e for the child inside of me and the spirit of giving to others. I’m infatuated with trains and the seemingly mystical journeys you can escape to going on rides with them. Our local park here in Reno has a real life mock mini train that takes kids for rides around the track through the park. I will jump at any chance to ride on it.

Answer: 1225

Playing Hero Boy/Father/Conductor/Hobo/
Scrooge/Santa Clause
Leslie Zemeckis – Sister Sarah/Mother
Eddie Deezen – Know-It-All
Nona Gaye – Hero Girl
Peter Scolari – Billy/Lonely Boy
Steven Tyler – Elf Lieutenant/Elf Singer
Directed by Robert Zemeckis

8 The Terminal (2004)

Question: This movie was inspired by the story of Merhan Nasseri, an Iranian refugee, who landed Charles de Gaulle Airport near Paris and was denied access to the country nor could he return home. He was finally given permission to enter or go home many years ago. Where did Mr Nasseri choose to live?

This has two storylines that I related to. The first has always been my fear of traveling overseas and being stranded with no one to truly help me. But, Viktor’s perseverance and innate ability to survive helped him overcome that. Second was Viktor’s pursuit of Benny Golson’s autograph for his Dad. I grew up kind of closet NY Yankees fan because that was my Dad’s love and joy he had known his whole life. And it wasn’t cool with my friends. Today I’m unabashedly support multiple teams in different sports. On the Yankees though my Dad and I often talked about Mariano Rivera for years and I always wanted something special attributed to The Sand Man. Last year a wonderful girl friend had her grandfather from New York had him do a painting for me. Sorry you weren’t here to see it Dad.

Answer: Aside from a brief hospital stay never left the terminal for 17 years and told his story to all that wished to hear it.

Playing Viktor Navorski
Catherine Zeta-Jones – Amelia Warren
Stanley Tucci – Frank Dixon
Chi McBride – Mulroy
Diego Luna – Enrique Cruz
Barry Shabaka Henley – Thurman
Kumar Pallana – Gupta Rajan
Zoe Saldana – Dolores Torres
Guillermo Diaz – Bobby Alima
Honorine Bell – Nadia
Sasha Spielberg  – Lucy
Directed by Steven Spielberg

7 Road To Perdition (2002)

Question: In the diner scene why isn’t Tyler Hoechlin eating his pie and ice cream?

My Dad was never real emotional with me growing up. Well, except when I sent him to the brink of homicide (mine) on numerous occasions during my last two years of high school. He was awesome man who taught high school for nearly 30 years and I absolutely idolized him when I was younger. Though, there was no illegal dark side as portrayed in the movie my Dad would have gone to any lengths to protect me when I was a very small little boy.

Answer: Because he devoured so much during the earlier takes he didn’t take into consideration he would have to do multiple retakes and was too full. (the seasoned Tom Hanks took very small bites and ate slowly to be prepared for this)

Playing Michael Sullivan
Tyler Hoechlin – Michael Sullivan Jr
Rob Maxey – Drugstore Owner
Paul Newman – John Rooney
Liam Aiken – Peter Sullivan
Jude Law – Harlen Maguire
Jennifer Jason Leigh – Annie Sullivan
Daniel Craig – Connor Rooney
Ciaran Hinds – Finn McGovern
Directed by Sam Mendes

6 Philadelphia (1993)

Question: At the end of the movie there are home movies shown of Andrew. Who is the real life person those movies are taken of?

A.I.D.S. was crashing onto the American scene when I was in high school as this disease that was “out there” but no one had a clue as to how deadly it would become. I have had many gay friends over my lifetime and some of my closest, loving relatives have been as well. I was blessed with being a medic for a few years on the street so I became very educated on safety precautions. This film so powerfully and many times in raw form exemplified what not only a gay person faced in society still full of bigotry but also homophobia. I do believe we have come a long ways in 20 years.

Andrew: Tom Hanks

Playing Andrew Beckett
Denzel Washington – Joe Miller
Roberta Maxwell – Judge Tate
Joanne Woodward – Sarah Beckett
Jason Robards – Charles Wheeler
Antonio Banderas – Miguel Alvarez
Julius Erving – Himself
Gary Goetzman – Guido Paonessa
Mary Steenburgen – Belinda Conine
Charles Napier – Judge Garnett
Directed by Jonathan Demme

5 Cast Away (2000)

Question: Why was filming halted for a year?

When I a small boy I wanted so desperately to have a dog as my companion. I was instead given a teddy bear that I clutched to dearly for that same closeness.  In a unique way I completely understand what Wilson meant to Chuck Noland and how intensely horrible that was after the fact that he was his only known friend on this planet. Do, you remember the end of the movie with the mystery package? I had not seen my teddy bear in 30 years and last Christmas through the magic of Santa Claus he arrived via the US Postal Service at my front door step. True story:

Box At Front Door

Answer: Hanks had to gain 50 pounds for the beginning of the film. Then filming was stopped for a year so he could lose all of the weight and grow his hair and beard so he looked like he had been stranded for a year.

Playing Chuck Noland
Paul Sanchez – Ramon
Nick Searcy – Stan
Helen Hunt – Kelly Frears
The Soccer Ball – Wilson
Directed by Robert Zemeckis

4 Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Question: What is unique about the story Ryan tells towards the end of the film about spying on his brother in the barn with the ugly girl?

I have never been in the military and hence never war. I’ve studied WWII and our military as a hobby for most of my adult life. I loved how despite boys being commanded by a young man that they all responded as a team and in unison. Albeit almost with a mutiny. When I was on the Sheriff’s Hasty Team we had training frequently on auto extrication using junk cars. Each time there would be a new person put in charge of the accident scenario. The majority of the team members were very long-term, highly experience men. Having the opportunity to direct these men to do as I needed them to so as to save a victim was a very powerful and confidence building experience.

Answer: He completely ad-libbed it from Peter Bart’s book “The Gross” and Speilberg liked it and left the scene in.

Playing Captain Miller
Tom Sizemore – Sergeant Horvath
Edward Burns – Private Reiben
Barry Pepper – Private Jackson
Adam Goldberg – Private Mellish
Vin Diesel – Private Caparzo
Matt Damon – Private Ryan
Ted Danson – Captain Hamill
Paul Giamatti – Sergeant Hill
Harrison Young – Older Ryan

3 The Green Mile (1999)

Question: Which member of the film’s administrative staff asked off camera to be strapped into Old Sparky to see how it felt?

I’ve always believed that all of us have a special gift. It’s a matter of allowing it to be and feeling it and giving it to other’s. Until I know otherwise, and I believe in all things possible, what we have today is our journey. So, make it be everything we can. How ironic, this is playing on tv right now as I was editing.

This could have easily been first choice for My Top 10 +1 Favorite Tom Hanks Movies.

Answer: Stephen King. He didn’t like it and asked to be released.

Tom Hanks – Paul Edgecomb
David Morse – Brutus ‘Brutal’ Howell
Michael Clarke Duncan – John Coffey
Bonnie Hunt – Jan Edgecomb
James Cromwell – Warden Hal Moores
Michael Jeter – Eduard Delacroix
Graham Greene – Arlen Bitterbuck
Doug Hutchison – Percy Wetmore
Sam Rockwell – ‘Wild Bill’ Warton
Barry Pepper – Dean Stanton
Jeffrey DeMunn – Harry Terwilliger
Patricia Clarkson – Melinda Moores
Harry Dean Stanton – Toot-Toot
Dabbs Greer – Old Paul Edgecomb
Eve Brent – Elaine Connelly
Directed by Frank Darabont

2 Apollo 13 (1995)

Question: How were the weightlessness scenes filmed?

I can still remember to this day sitting on the couch as a little boy and watching Armstrong step foot on the moon on live television. I was hooked on exploring space every day since. My Dad and I watched all new Star Trek episodes in the evenings. I do remember him being stressed about Apollo 13 but I didn’t quite understand until several years later what had occurred.

Answer: The cast and crew flew between 500 and 600 parabolic arcs in NASA’s KC-135 airplane (nicknamed the “Vomit Comet”) to achieve real weightlessness. Each of the arcs got them 23 seconds of zero gravity. All of these flights were completed in 13 days

Tom Hanks – Jim Lovell
Bill Paxton – Fred Haise
Kevin Bacon – Jack Swigert
Gary Sinise – Ken Mattingly
Ed Harris – Gene Kranz
Kathleen Quinlan – Marilyn Lovell
Mary Kate Schellharedt – Barbara Lovell
Emily Ann Lloyd – Susan Lovell
Miko Hughes – Jeffrey Lovell
Max Elliott Slade – Jay Lovell
Jean Speegle Howard – Blanch Lovell
Tracy Reiner – Mary Haise
Chris Ellis – Deke Slayton
Joe Spano – NASA Director
Directed by Ron Howard

1 Forrest Gump (1994)

Question: What advice did Jenny give Forrest before he left for Vietnam?

I love the journey through time that Forrest takes us on. What really got me with this movie was his life long dedication and love to Jenny. I’ve always believed that, that person is out there for all of us to fall head over in heels in love with. It’s so often about timing.

Answer: Don’t be brave, just run away.

Playing Forrest Gump
Rebecca Williams – Nurse At Park Bench
Sally Field – Mrs Gump
Michael Conner Humphreys – Young Forrest
Sam Anderson – Principal
Peter Dobson – Young Elvis Presley
Siobhan Fallon – School Bus Driver
Hanna Hall – Young Jenny Curran
Robin Wright – Jenny Curran
Sonny Shroyer – College Football Coach
Mykelti Williamson – Bubba Blue
Gary Sinise – Lieutenant Dan Taylor
Dick Cavett – Himself
Kurt Russell – Elvis Presley (voice) (uncredited)
Directed by Robert Zemeckis

So there is My Top 10 +1 Favorite Tom Hanks Movies. What is your favorite Tom Hanks movie?

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 40+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories, commentary, and (of course) my greatest love... my Golden Retriever, Phoenix.

  30 Responses to “My Top 10 +1 Favorite Tom Hanks Movies”

  1. We were just discussing Turner and Hooch about 15 minutes ago, because a friend has a dog that looks like Hooch!

    At the risk of exposing my geeky past, I also have to go a little old school and mentioned the work of Mr. Hanks in “Mazes and Monsters” from 1982. Early in his career and clearly not of the caliber of his later performances, but one that was memorable for me as an impressionable young gamer.

    • Wow, yes that would date us both, Mike C! And how completely ironic on your comment because it was really difficult for me to omit Tuner and Hooch for obvious reasons and I flat out liked the movie 🙂

  2. This is a great list – I’d be hard pressed to pick one over another, they’re all so good but I’d probably have to go with Forrest… Forrest Gump followed closely by A League of Their Own. Castaway was good, but didn’t do it for me – I thought the ending was flawed because he was supposed to be the love of her life but she married and had a child too fast – it wasn’t convincing. Really liked Apollo 13 and Saving Private Ryan as well, and yes, of course Philadelphia. I think it’s safe to say the man can act. Fun post!

    • I think the ending of Cast Away tweaked a lot of people, Patti so you’re definitely not alone! Though, I also wonder if that was pretty darn realistic in today’s day and age of relationships 🙂

  3. Oh, come one, Mikey!!! Really??? Where’s the man with one red shoe???

    I will say that this list reminded me that I’ve wondered if Road to Perditin was worth watching. Now’ll I’ll Netflix it.

    • Sorry Chris, that one wasn’t on my radar for this favorite’s list. But, I’m glad you will check out Road To Perdition. I’m not telling you to watch it with your son but it’s father son movie for adult audiences for sure.

  4. This is the first time I have seen at least 5 of the movies on the list! Woo hoo!

    Forrest Gump, Green Mile and Castaway are my absoute favorites here along with League of Thier Own.

    Id have thrown in a couple of cheesy movies that I like that arent exactly his masterpieces but I love these movies.

    Big- because we could all relate to that at one time. But what happened to the seque..Little? Wouldnt it be cool to know what we know now and go back and be kids again?

    Bachelor Party- Funny, corny movie with a young hot Tawny Kitean. Grrrrrrr!

    Toy Story franchise- I know its only his voice but I dont think anyone elses voice would have done Woody justice! Great cast as a whole.

  5. It is funny – of the movies you listed 1/2 I would rate the same way and the other half I haven’t seen. I now know what movies to watch!

  6. Nothing compares to ” Philadelphia.” I’ve watched this classic, brilliant, heartwarming, moving movie a MILLION times. & I’ve always wondered about those home movies at the end.

    Loved the post! Xxx KISS for Phoenix

    • Kim, I agree….Philadelphia could easily be a #1 choice. I’m glad you liked it as much as I did. Phoenix sends xxx’s back to you always! 🙂

  7. I didn’t see Money Pit in there. One of my first real Hanks movies that I liked a lot and laughed a lot. Also the one where he puts money in a gypsy machine at the boardwalk and wakes up an adult, Big? Then there’s the one where he joins the Peace Corp with John Candy? Meh, “it was the 80s” I guess.

    OK, but those were comedies. I aggree with your #4, #3, #2, and #1 picks fa sho!

    Looking forward to seeing the new one!

    How about a Kurt Russel review?

    • Thank you Hugh! And yes Money Pit, Big and Volunteers were all good. Hmmm, that’s the first time someone has posted a request! I will put right up there for consideration if there are enough movies! 🙂

  8. The Green Mile made me cry like I was in mourning, and I thought about that movie for days afterwards. Tom Hanks is an excellent actor, he’s just brilliant.

    • Roni, he is brilliant. And that is so ironic that it was playing right when I finished editing and published this post. And yes, the tears were pouring! Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

  9. My favs….Sleepless in Seattle and BIG.
    Saving Private Ryan was hard for me. They landed on the beach, hell broke lose and my stomach broke lose. I couldn’t watch anymore. To know that happened for real like the movie Pearl Harbor, and others they are hard for me to watch. I prefer a made-up world. Cast Away, BORED ME TO TEARS!!!! I dind’t finish that because I found someting better to watch. Watching grass grow is more exciting.
    The Green Mile. I loved the books better than the movie but i am not saying the movie was bad. I loved Michael Clark Duncan as John Coffey he was fabulous!! Michael Jeter as Eduard Celacroix was also great, can’t forget the mouse “Mr. Jingles” Books and movie both made me cry.
    Sleepless is one of those movies I can watch again and again and never get bored with it. the music helps. Harry sings a song. =)

    • Jennifer, excellent choices on Sleepless in Seattle and BIG! There were a few callouts for BIG. Sorry you didn’t care for Cast Away and yes Saving Private Ryan was very gory, realistic and intense. I’ve heard The Green Mile novel is absolutetly phenomenal which is no suprise from one of my favorite authors, Stephen King 🙂

  10. “Castaway” is definitely my all time favorite Tom Hanks film. It was a reminder of how truly talented he is to be able to keep his audience engaged when he was the only one on screen for the majority of the film! And I cried when Wilson floated away. That was such a heartbreaking scene. But I also love “Forrest Gump” and “Saving Private Ryan”. I can’t wait to see “Captain Philips” which is coming out in October. Love Tom Hanks!

    • You and I are on the same page with Cast Away, Dana! I watched the trailer for Captain Phillips just two nights ago. I remember when that event actually happened to in real life. Can’t wait! 🙂

  11. I liked lots of these, including Sleepless In Seattle, The Terminal and League Of Their Own (though that was really Gena Davis’s movie, and Tom was a fine support). And Forrest Gump is a classic movie, with real spiritual depth. Also a great example of ensemble acting, with many strong presences, not just one star.

    What I like about TH is that he is not a self-absorbed pretty-boy actor, but rather a grounded, authentic presence in whatever situation in the world you might drop him into.

    — Which, come to think of it, is what I want to be, myself.

    Thanks for yet another good post, Mike, also for your comment at Diamond-Cut Life. (I’m not as quick on the uptake with replies as you are — cannot access blogs from work :))

    • Thank you, Alison, that’s very nice of you! I really liked the “grounded, authentic presence…” part of your comment and I think you are probably far more “there” than you realize! You’re doing great! 🙂

  12. Another great list, Mike. I’ve always admired Tom Hanks’s talent and his versatility. I’ve seen most of these but my all time favorite Tom Hanks movie is still Sleepless in Seattle followed closely by Forrest Gump,

    • I hear ya, Mary, and thank you! It would be so incredible to finally be united with the one of your dream’s just like that! 🙂

  13. I haven’t seen The Terminal, or Road to Perdition – I must look out for them!

    • Oh Clowie, yes if you’re a Tom Hanks fan give them a try when you get a chance! Great to hear from you 🙂

  14. Tom Hanks has been in so many movies that I just adore. I think he is very talented.

  15. Yep I so love Tom Hanks 🙂

    My favorites are :: Sleepless In Seattle
    Forrest Gump
    Cast Away
    Polar Express – we have watched that very movie on DVD so many times because all of our family loves it 🙂

    • Sweet, I found another fan of Cast Away! I absolutely love that movie, Lisa. My close friend, Chris, wrote a guest post on here about The Polar Express in which he, his wife and most importantly his son, Nathan, go on the ride nearby here in Reno, Nevada here in the States. Your boys would love it! 🙂

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