|The subject of this article pertains to the canon of the Forrest Gump film but not the novel.|
Mr. Curran (born 1908/1909) was a minor character in the Forrest Gump film. He is the father of Jenny Curran and her sisters, the father-in-law of Forrest Gump, and the maternal grandfather of Forrest Gump Jr. He is played by Kevin Mangan, a crew member who worked in the movie's art department.
In the film
In the movie, he is the father of Jenny and her sisters. He is a mentally unsound man whose wife died five years after she gave birth to Jenny. It was never specified what Mrs. Curran's cause of death was, but it was assumed to be natural. While not stated in the film, it may also be surmised that the death of Jenny's mother contributed to the mental health difficulties of Jenny's father.
At one point, he had a job as a farmer, and resided in a very old shack with Jenny and his other daughters. According to Forrest, Mr. Curran was “a very loving man, always kissing and touching Jenny and her sisters”. However, unknown to Forrest, Mr. Curran was actually abusing them, both physically and sexually. Because of this, Jenny was always spending time with Forrest, and never seemed to want to go back to her own home.
One day, when Jenny doesn’t come to school, Forrest rushes to her house and finds her in the backyard, wearing a torn and rumpled dress. He asks her why she didn’t come to school, and she tells him to be quiet because her daddy is taking a nap. Then Mr. Curran comes out in a rage and calls for Jenny; Jenny grabs Forrest by the hand, and they run into the cornfield. Mr. Curran runs after them, trying to catch his daughter, and continues to call for her, but is too drunk to find her. Jenny and Forrest then pray for God to turn her into a bird so she can fly far away. Subsequently, Mr. Curran loses Jenny, who goes to live with her grandmother, and is presumably arrested. Sometimes Jenny would sneak out of her grandmother's house and come and stay at Forrest's house because she was scared of something to which Forrest thought was her grandmother's mean dog but it is implied that she was afraid that her father was either gonna get out of jail or break out and try to find her and abuse her some more.
When Jenny returns to Forrest's house many years later, she and Forrest go for a walk and she listens while he tells her about Vietnam, ping pong, shrimping and his mother going up to Heaven where her mother is. They soon come to her father’s now abandoned house, and Jenny remembers how her father abused her as a child. Finally, unable to stand it any longer, she begins throwing rocks at the house, revealing her hatred for her father, and the collapses in tears when she runs out. Forrest finally realizing what Mr. Curran did many years ago, just quietly sits with her, comforting her. However, by this time he has become a somewhat more mature and astute man, deciding not to be public with that aspect of the life of his future bride. When he is recounting the return to Jenny's childhood home to an old lady sitting next to him on the bench, he says, “Sometimes I guess there just aren’t enough rocks.” It is presumed Jenny's father is deceased by that time.
In the end, after Forrest is widowed from Jenny, he buys his father-in-law’s land. Out of posthumous respect for his bride and that it has now become a decrepit hovel which would have likely been condemned anyway, Forrest orders the house demolished, personally overseeing the project.