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Tom Hanks and His Movies

Updated on August 8, 2010

It seems that it doesn't take much for a movie star to be called "great" these days, appear in a couple of profitable movies and you get the acclaim whether it's justified or not. But for me there aren't that many "great" actors these days with the mainstream movie industry turning into an almost manufacturing line as it turns out one average movie after another. But one actor who over the last 3 decades has proven himself as a "great" actor right up there with those stars of the golden era of cinema such as "James Stewart", "Paul Newman" and "Gary Cooper" is Tom Hanks.

Born in Concord, California in 1956 Tom Hanks made his movie debut in 1980 with the slasher flick "He Knows You're Alone". But it would be 4 years before he made his next movie "Splash" one of his more memorable movies from the 80s, which saw him team up with Ron Howard as director, something wchich would happen again later on in his career. During the 80s Hanks gave us other such memorable movies as "Big" (1988) with the memorable keyboard scene and "Turner & Hooch" (1989). But he also had quite a few less than memorable movies including "Volunteers" (1985) and "Nothing in Common" (1986).

Ushering in the 90s with a couple more less than great movies "Joe Versus the Volcano" and "The Bonfire of the Vanities" it would be 2 years later when Tom Hanks' star started to rise as he featured in "A League of Their Own". The next year he gave us the memorable "Sleepless in Seattle" and then came the big one with his award winning performance as Andrew Beckett a gay lawyer suffering with AIDS in "Philadelphia". He followed this up the next year with another award winning performance in "Forrest Gump". Hanks could do no wrong and the rest of the 90s saw him star in such great movies as "Apollo 13", "Toy Story", "Saving Private Ryan" and "The Green Mile" among many other popular movies.

A new millenium didn't see any change and during the first decade of the 21st century Tom Hanks continued to wow audiences with such movies as "Cast Away ", "Road to Perdition", "The Terminal" and "The Da Vinci Code". And most recently started the second decade on fine form with "Toy Story 3" where he reprises his role of Woody.

With more movies in the works and continuing to work behind the scenes, writing, producing and directing both on the big screen and small screen it seems like Tom Hanks will continue to wow audiences as one of cinema's movie greats.

Road to Perdition (2002)

When his son spots him killing another man, Mike Sullivan (Tom Hanks) is forced to explain that he works as a hitman for local crime boss John Rooney. Things don't get any easier when John Rooney's own son Connor becomes jealous of the relationship between his father and Mike, ending up not only trying to get him killed but also succeeding in killing his wife and youngest son. Whilst determined to avenge the death of his wife and child, Mike and his son Micheal Jr. take to the road when it becomes clear that Rooney has hired a hitman to stop him from getting to Connor.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

A year and half after his wife passed away, Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) is still struggling to move on as he looks after his some Jonah. Realising that his dad is still struggling, Jonah ends up phoning up a radio chat show and pours out his heart live on air about his father's sadness. Jonah and Sam's story hit's a chord with all the women who hear it, including Annie who although engaged to be married sends Sam a letter suggesting that they meet at the top of the Empire State Building on the 14th February, Valentine's Day. When Jonah read's Annie's letter he decides that she's the woman for his dad and sets about making it happen.

Forrest Gump (1994)

Whilst he may have been born with dodgy legs and is a little bit simple it never stopped Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) having an exciting life. As a child he showed Elvis how to shke his hips, he went to war and came back a hero, ran his own successful shrimping business, played table tennis for his country and met plenty of important men. But to Forrest none of that was important as all he cared about was Jenny, he met her as a child and became life long friends as she was never far from his thoughts where ever he was.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

When it becomes apparent that Mrs. Ryan is about to recieve the devestating news that 3 of her 4 sons have all been killed in action the US government decide they must prevent any more heart ache by bringing her fourth son back alive. Having just battled ashore during the Normandy Landings Capt. John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) is ordered to put together a small group of men from the 2nd Ranger Battalion and go and find Private Ryan, bringing him back alive.

Philadelphia (1993)

Having proved himself as a solid worker at a a prestigeous Seattle law firm, Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) is given their biggest and most important case to handle. But when one of the associates notices a lesion on Andrew's face it becomes known that Andrew is not only gay but also has AIDS. Panicing his homophobic bosses sack him. Determined to prove he had been fired unjustly Andrew decides to sue his former employers and manages to convince lawyer Joe Miller to help him, despite also being homophobic.

Tom Hanks Movie List

  • Toy Story 3 (2010)
  • Beyond All Boundaries (2009)
  • Angels & Demons (2009)
  • The Great Buck Howard (2008)
  • Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
  • The Da Vinci Code (2006)
  • Cars (2006)
  • Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D (2005)
  • The Polar Express (2004)
  • Elvis Has Left the Building (2004)
  • The Terminal (2004)
  • The Ladykillers (2004)
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)
  • Road to Perdition (2002)
  • Cast Away (2000)
  • The Green Mile (1999)
  • Toy Story 2 (1999)
  • You've Got Mail (1998)
  • Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  • That Thing You Do! (1996)
  • Toy Story (1995)
  • Apollo 13 (1995)
  • Forrest Gump (1994)
  • Philadelphia (1993)
  • Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
  • A League of Their Own (1992)
  • Radio Flyer (1992)
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)
  • Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)
  • Turner & Hooch (1989)
  • The 'burbs (1989)
  • Punchline (1988)
  • Big (1988)
  • Dragnet (1987)
  • Every Time We Say Goodbye (1986)
  • Nothing in Common (1986)
  • The Money Pit (1986)
  • Volunteers (1985)
  • The Man with One Red Shoe (1985)
  • Bachelor Party (1984)
  • Splash (1984)
  • He Knows You're Alone (1980)

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Tom Hanks Movies

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    • DarylnCochrane profile image

      Darylen Cochrane 

      6 years ago from New York, NY

      Tom Hanks has definitely come a long way in his career, developing into an awesome actor. My favorites of his are Castaway and Forrest Gump. Great hub for Tom Hanks fans. I linked your hub to my top 10 actors list!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Hanks has really matured as an actor! I love several of his movies.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I've only seen "Philadelphia," Andy Webb. I gave up going to contemporary movies after seeing three in a row that were hailed as great movies but which I found to be terrible. But Tom Hanks did indeed do an excellent acting job in that picture. It so happens that my employer at the time, The Hour newspaper, took a group of us to the premiere of "Philadelphia" at the Darien, Conn., theater. If I have an opportunity, I will watch the other Tom Hanks movies, but I have no intention of going to any more movie theaters to see what they are producing today. Thumbs up.

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