Tom Hanks once picked his five favourite films
(Credit: Netflix)


Tom Hanks once picked his five favourite films

With his unparalleled charm, remarkable versatility, and relaxed charisma, the A Man Called Otto star Tom Hanks has captivated a global audience for decades. His appeal is so winsome that fans regularly pray no negative stories about him ever surface. It will shatter their hearts like no other. Yes, Hollywood is full of people who are as varied as the box of chocolates he sat with at the bus stop in Forrest Gump, but Hanks better not be an earwax or booger-flavoured bean. He is a bonafide institution at this point. So naturally, we are curious about his favourite roles and films too. 

As per Far Out Magazine, when asked about some of his favourite films, not starring him, he had picked Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part I (1972) and Part II (1974), Joel and Ethan Coen’s Fargo (1996), and Gus Van Sant’s Elephant (2003). But in an interview on The Bill Simmons Podcast, Hanks disclosed that his personal favourites, starring himself, included the films Cloud Atlas, A League of Their Own, and Cast Away. He mentioned his choice was purely based on his “personal experience”.

His filmography is studded with roles that have a distinct streak of hopefulness. Not surprising that this is what Hanks had to say about the film that earned him an Oscar at the 67th Academy Awards, “When I read the script for Gump, I saw it as one of those kind of grand, hopeful movies that the audience can go to and feel … some hope for their lot and their position in life … I got that from the movies a hundred million times when I was a kid. I still do.”

It is no surprise that such a deeply philosophical (and visually stunning) film as 2001: A Space Odyssey would be one of Hanks’ favourites. Speaking with Germany’s Bild newspaper, Hanks commented that “I just can’t see enough of 2001: A Space Odyssey”.

Ever the reliable man-next-door, Hanks has evolved over the years as an actor—from stage to television to films. He embarked on his acting journey with a stage debut in 1977 as Grumio in a Great Lakes Theater production of The Taming of the Shrew. From there to a few years later came his breakthrough performance in the comedy Big (1988), which catapulted him to stardom. His portrayal earned him his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor, solidifying his status as a remarkable talent in the industry. The 1993 Nora Ephron romcom Sleepless in Seattle solidified his image as the endearing and relatable romantic icon in Hollywood. 

The other chapter of his career, which also grew in tandem, saw him pivot to roles like Philadelphia (1993), where Hanks gave a deeply moving and transformative performance as Andrew Beckett, a lawyer battling AIDS discrimination. His portrayal was praised for its emotional depth and vulnerability, earning him his second consecutive Academy Award for ‘Best Actor’.

Considered to be modern classics, The Godfather (especially the sequel) and Fargo, and even the rather grim Palm D’or-winning Elephant find themselves in his list of favourite films for good reason. Hanks had explained, “…when I go to see a film, just like any other cinema-goer…the period, the topic or the genre don’t matter to me. The only thing that matters for me is: ‘Boy, what would you do if that were you?’”

Tom Hanks’ five favourite films:

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
  • The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
  • The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
  • Fargo (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 1996)
  • Elephant (Gus Van Sant, 2003)