Dave and Chuck the Freak

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Tom Hanks attends the photocall for "Elvis" during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2022 in Cannes, France.

Tom Hanks is one of the most celebrated actors of all time, but he’s a bit humble about his output. The two-time Oscar winner was talking to People  about his novel, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece. “Every character in the book does something I’ve experienced while making a movie, as well as discovered a philosophy or learned an important lesson. Even the foolish moments are some kind of stunt I’ve pulled or mistake I’ve survived.”

Per the novel’s official synopsis, it is about the making of a star-studded, multimillion-dollar superhero action film . . . “and the humble comic books that inspired it. Hanks has mostly avoided comic-book films (although Road To Perdition was based on a graphic novel, albeit not one that featured superheroes). His filmography is pretty incredible: Apollo 13That Thing You Do!Saving Private RyanCaptain PhillipsBridge of Spies, to name just a few.

“No one knows how a movie is made — though everyone thinks they do,” Hanks said in the interview. “I’ve made a ton of movies (and four of them are pretty good, I think) and I’m still amazed at how films come together. From a flicker of an idea to the flickering image onscreen, the whole process is a miracle.” Hang on. Hanks only thinks that he’s made four that are “pretty good?” We went back and forth for a while, and couldn’t narrow it down to four. We went with our ten favorites. We’re curious if his top four are on our list. Check them out below.

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece is out May 9, 2023.

 

  • Philadelphia

    Starring alongside Denzel Washington as lawyers in this 1993 trial drama, Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) hides his homosexuality and HIV status at a powerful Philadelphia law firm. But his secret is exposed when a colleague spots the illness’s telltale lesions. Fired shortly afterwards, Beckett resolves to sue for discrimination, teaming up with Joe Miller (Washington), the only lawyer willing to help.

  • The Polar Express

    Hanks plays five roles in the fantasy film including that of a small child (whose voice would later be dubbed in by Daryl Sabara). Initially, Director Robert Zemeckis considered having him play every role, but after trying this, Hanks grew exhausted, and they whittled down the number. The other character Hanks voiced were Hero Boy’s father, Conductor, Hobo, Santa Claus and Ebenezer Scrooge puppet.

  • Big

    The 1988 film follows the events that happen after a wish turns 12-year-old Josh Baskin into a 30-year-old man (Tom Hanks). Newly adult Josh heads to New York City and gets a job at MacMillen Toy Company where a chance encounter with the owner of the company leads to a promotion testing new toys. However, the pressure of living as an adult begins to overwhelm him and he longs to return to his simple, former life as a boy.

  • Catch Me If You Can

    Tom Hanks plays FBI Agent Carl Hanratty, whose prime mission is to capture the most successful master of deception in history, Frank Abagnale, Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio). Hanratty chases to bring Frank to justice, but Frank is always one step ahead of him.

  • Toy Story

    Hanks’ voicing of Woody in the Toy Story franchise is iconic. The constant bickering between Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) throughout the films is always entertaining. In the first movie, when Buzz is under the delusion of being a real spaceman, Hanks’ Woody harshly screams, “You! Are a toy!!!”

  • The Terminal

    When European tourist Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) arrives at JFK airport war breaks out in his country and he finds himself caught up in international politics. Because of the ongoing war, the Department of Homeland Security won’t let him enter or exit the United States, trapping him at JFK indefinitely. While living at the airport, Viktor falls for a flight attendant (Catherine Zeta-Jones) but he can’t leave the terminal in this Steven Spielberg-directed comedy.

  • Road to Perdition

    One of Hanks’ darker films, Road to Perdition (2002) takes place during the Great Depression in the Midwest. Hanks plays Mike Sullivan, an enforcer for powerful mobster John Rooney (Paul Newman). Rooney’s son, Connor (Daniel Craig), is jealous of the close bond they share and when Mike’s eldest son witnesses a hit, Connor uses the incident as an excuse to murder Sullivan’s wife and youngest son, forcing Sullivan and Michael to flee.

  • The Green Mile

    The Green Mile stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb, who walked the “green mile” (a convicted criminal’s final walk before being executed) with a variety of cons. He never met someone as special as John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), a massive Black man convicted of brutally killing a pair of young sisters. Coffey had the size and strength to kill anyone, but not the demeanor. Beyond his simple, naive nature and a deathly fear of the dark, Coffey seemed to possess a prodigious, supernatural gift.

  • Cast Away

    Wilson!!! This classic film from 2000 follows FedEx employee Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) en route to Malaysia when his plane crashes over the Pacific Ocean during a terrible storm. As the sole survivor of the flight, Chuck washes ashore on a deserted island. When his efforts to sail away and contact help fail, Chuck learns how to survive on the island, where he remains for years, accompanied by his only companion — a volleyball painted with blood for a face, who he names Wilson.

  • Forrest Gump

    After putting off watching this movie my entire life because of the assumption of this being just a movie about running, was I sure taken aback when I finally watched it. Slow-witted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) has never thought of himself as disadvantaged, and thanks to his supportive mother (Sally Field), he leads an extraordinary life. Forrest inspires the people who cross paths with him, or infuriates them (like Lieutenant Dan — who ends up loving him).