by Larry Smith
"Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get." - Forrest Gump
SAVANNAH, Georgia— Live oak and magnolia trees drape the historic squares of this 18th century town, whose cobbled streets and museum-quality buildings attract hordes of movie producers and millions of visitors from all over the world.
Greater Savannah is about the same size as Nassau, and it is a model of architectural preservation, restoration and adaptive reuse. But since this is still America, the park bench where Tom Hanks sat to deliver his opening lines in the movie Forrest Gump is one of the city's top visitor attractions.
Almost every gift shop offers copies of Clint Eastwood's 1997 film, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which portrays Savannah's eccentric Southern society through the lens of a celebrated murder trial. And tour guides will mention these cinematic novelties in the same breath as Savannah's actual history.