Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction adventure comedy film written by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis, who was also the director. The film stars Michael J. Fox as Martin "Marty" McFly, who is sent back in time to 1955, where he meets his future parents in high school and accidentally becomes his mother's romantic interest. Christopher Lloyd stars as Dr. Emmett Brown or simply "Doc", Marty's friend who helps him repair the damage to history by helping Marty cause his parents to fall in love. Marty and Doc must also find a way to return Marty to 1985.
Zemeckis and Gale wrote the script after Gale thought up the idea of what would happen if he befriended his father and what would happen if he and his mother had attended the same school. A number of film studios turned down the script until Romancing the Stone (another film directed by Zemeckis) was released a year earlier. Following the success of Romancing The Stone, Zemeckis decided to speak with Steven Spielberg about the film and was offered to be the producer and Spielberg said that he would produce the film at Amblin Entertainment and have Universal Pictures present the film. The first pick for Marty McFly was Michael J. Fox. However, Michael couldn't do the role since he was busy working on the hit series Family Ties and the show's producers refused to let Michael star in the film. Eventually, Eric Stoltz was cast as Marty. While filming, Stoltz and the filmmakers agreed that the role was miscast, and Fox was again approached for the part. Now with more flexibility in his schedule and the blessing of his show's producers, Fox managed to work out a timetable in which he could give enough time and commitment to both.
Back to the Future was released on July 3, 1985, with a worldwide gross of $381 million, making it the highest grossing film of 1985. The film won a number awards including, the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film. The film even won an Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing and received three additional Academy Award nominations, It also had five nominations for BAFTA, four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy). In 1986, when Ronald Reagan was giving a State of The Union Address, he made quotes about the film. 22 years after the film's release, the film was selected in the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry, and in June of 2008, the American Film Institute's special AFI's 10 Top 10 designated the film as the 10th-best film in terms of science fiction films. The film sparked a franchise, with two sequels, Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990), as well as an animated series, theme park ride, several video games and even a musical.
Marty McFly is a teenage musician who dates his girlfriend Jennifer Parker in the city of Hill Valley, California. Biff Tannen constantly harasses Marty's father, George. Lorraine, Marty's mother suffers from depression and alcoholism and is rather unhappy with Marty's relationship with Jennifer and tells Marty, his brother, David and sister Linda how she met George after her father hit him with his car.
On October 26, 1985, Marty meets his scientist friend, Dr. Emmett Brown the Twin Pines Mall parking lot. Doc unveils a time machine built from a modified DeLorean and powered by plutonium that he had stolen from Libyan terrorists. Doc gives demonstrates on how the DeLorean's navigation system works with the example dates of various years including November 5, 1955: when he came up with the idea of time travel. Without warning, the Libyans show up at the mall and shoot Doc, apparently killing him. Marty escapes from the Libyans in the DeLorean, however, he accidentally activates the time machine and arrives in 1955 without any of the plutonium to get him back to 1985.
While in Hill Valley, Marty encounters the teenage version of George, who is bullied by classmate Biff. After Marty saves George from an oncoming car and is knocked unconscious, he wakes up to find himself being cared for by a trim and slim Lorraine. Marty leaves and tracks down a younger version of Doc to get him to help him return to 1985. Even with a lack of plutonium, Doc explains that the only source that's available to help the DeLorean travel back to 1985 is by generating the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity for the time machine by using a bolt of lightning to power up the time machine. Marty shows Doc a paper from 1985 that talks about a lightning strike at the town's courthouse on a Saturday night. Doc tells Marty to not leave his house or talk to anyone, as he may inadvertently change history and alter the future; because of this, Doc refuses to believe or listen to Marty's warnings about his death in 1985. Marty than realizes that he has prevented his George and Lorainne from meeting and Doc warns Marty that he will be erased from existence if he does not find a way to introduce George to Lorraine. Doc hatches a plan to obtain the power of the lightning while Marty plans on how he can introduce his parents to each other, unfortunately, while he's making his plans he harasses Biff and his gang while making the plans.
When Lorraine asks Marty to the upcoming school dance, Marty makes plans to have George "rescue" Lorraine from Marty's inappropriate advances. Things don't go as planned when Biff attempts to hurt Lorraine. George runs to rescue her from Marty, but he instead finds Biff. George hits Biff, knocking him out and Lorraine follows George to the dance floor, where they kiss and fall in love while Marty plays music with the band. Marty successfully secures his future existence and leaves to see Doc.
As the storm arrives, Marty drives back to the clock tower and the lightning strikes arrive, sending Marty back to October 1985. Marty arrives back in 1985 and finds out that Doc somehow survived and realizes that he listened to Marty's warning about getting shot and he reveals that he wore a bullet-proof vest before he could die. Doc drives Marty home in the DeLorean and travels to the year 2015 while Marty goes to bed.
Marty wakes up the next morning and finds out that his family changed in various ways. George is a highly successful author, Lorraine is now happy and slim, his brother David is a successful businessman, Linda now works at a boutique and has many "boyfriends" and Biff is now a compliant auto valet. When Marty sees Jennifer, the DeLorean appears and Doc emerges out dressed in futuristic clothes and tells Marty and Jennifer that they need to travel to 2015 to fix a future problem.
Why It Rocks
- The movie presents a clever and well-written story focused on time travels for comedy purposes that still don't affect the sci-fi/fantasy feeling of the movie.
- A lot of funny dialogue.
- The idea of traveling back in time gives very interesting topics such as what it would be like to meet your own parents when they were younger.
- A great protagonist duo by Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd who have excellent chemistry.
- A pretty good choice for the actors who portray very interesting characters. Thomas F. Wilson especially plays a great villain with Biff Tannen, but the movie offers nice performances by Crispin Glover as George McFly and Lea Thompson as Lorraine McFly too.
- The movie features the DeLorean (an actual car) time machine which became an iconic vehicle in the movie industry and a pop culture icon.
- Memorable musical score by Alan Silvestri.
- Awesome songs by Huey Lewis and The News among many other artists.