Back to the Future
Release year: 1985
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Screenwriter: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson, Claudia Wells, Marc McClure
Ratings: 1 Oscar: Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing. 3 Oscar nominations: Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound, Best Original Song. 4 Golden Globes nominations: Best Comedy/Musical, Best Actor Comedy/Musical (Michael J. Fox), Best Screenplay, Best Original Song.
When 17-year-old Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) meets up with his friend, the scientist and inventor Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd), to observe and film his first trip in a DeLorean ‘time machine’. But unexpected events lead to Marty driving away in the DeLorean and back to 1955 where he meets his parents and risks his own exsistence.
Robert Zemeckis’s charming time travel adventure has quickly become a classic beloved by many, mainly due to an insanely inventive script, great humour, and an outstanding cast. Perfectly balancing science fiction, action, comedy, and romance, as well as sillines and seriousness, it has no problem finding an audience and despite taking place in the 1980’s and 1950’s its themes are timeless and universal. Who wouldn’t want to know what their parents were really like when they were young? or whether you would even like them? Writer Bob Gale asked himself that question and approached Zemeckis who added the idea of a mother claiming to never have been kissed but who was in reality promiscuous. The script moved around without gaining interest until Zemeckis had a hit with Romancing the Stone (1984) after which it was picked up by Steven Spielberg. When first choice Michael J. Fox (The Secret of My Succes, 1987) was unavailable due to other commitments the movie started filming with Eric Stolz. However, after four weeks filming it became clear to everybody that he was miscasted giving a great but dramatic performance that lacked the humour the movie required. Despite adding to the budget they decided to reshoot with the now available Fox and a classic was born. Fox perfectly hit the charming laid back humour of the movie and had incredible chemistry with his co-star Lloyd (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988), creating a natural connection between them that made you never doubt their friendship, despite the age difference, and Fox’s wide-eyed wonder and Lloyd’s slightly manic yet loveable Doc gave you characters to embrace and care for. With lovable Thompson (Howard the Duck, 1986), and a nerdy Glover (Charlie’s Angels, 2000) stepping in as Marty’s young father, the brilliant cast was completed and ready to deliver one of the warmest family comedies to come out of the 1980’s. From an opening that shortly but effectivly introduces our maincharacters before moving on to the rocking fifties where Marty accidently messes up his own timeline and has to fight to ensure he is even born. Through a picture of him and his siblings slowly fading the tension is building as we follow him getting seemingly into deeper and deeper trouble, while struggling to find a way back to the future together with a younger version of Doc. The result is a movie that isn’t afraid to mix humour with more serious matters, and with incredibly engaging characters and a fun storyline that still feels fresh today Back to the Future is nothing less than one of the very finest time travelling movies ever made. It tackles the time travel paradox perfectly in the most entertaining way while perfectly weaving everything together to a wonderful pattern of delightful fun, up-lifting action, and sweet moments. Grand, epic, and with an outstanding spirit and a deliciously sense of humour; a perfect package.
The songs ‘The Power of Love’ and ‘Back in Time’ by Huey Lewis and the News were written for the movie.
Picture copyright: UIP