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Films to See Before You Die: #7 Back to the Future

back to the future

Back to the Future (1985)

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Cast: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson

Synopsis: In Hill Valley 1985, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), has a beautiful girlfriend and dreams of being a famous musician some day but can’t seem to escape the shadow of his loser family. His father George McFly (Crispin Glover) is still being intimidated by his high-school bully Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) who has just crashed George’s car ruining Marty’s plans for the weekend. The rest of his family is not much better both his brother and sister have crappy jobs and his mother Lorraine (Lea Thompson) is disappointed her brother didn’t make parole. Marty is also friends with the eccentric inventor Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd), needs Marty’s help because he has made a major breakthrough with his latest experiment. Marty meets the Doc after midnight in the local mall parking lot where Doc will test his latest experiment a time machine made out of a Delorean. After it is revealed that Doc stole the plutoneum used to run the time machine from some Libyan nationals both Marty and the Doc are attacked by the Libyans. The Libyans kill Doc but Marty manages to escape getting the Delorean up to 88 MPH inducing the time travel. Marty is unaware what has happened but quickly learns he is in 1955 and hides the Dolerean that no longer runs and find the current Doc Brown for help. Marty also runs into a younger Biff who isn’t to fond of the younger McFly. Before he finds the Doc, Marty runs into a teenage version of his dad and follows him to a house where he is peeping in on a girl in the window, where he falls out of the tree but before he can get hit by a car Marty pushes him out of the way. When Marty awakes he believes that it was all a dream but realizes that he is still in 1955 and the younger version of his mother is taking care of him as well as developing a large crush on him making the situation even weirder for Marty. After he finds the Doc and explains what he is doing there, the Doc makes sure that he didn’t come into contact with anyone else he is horrified to learn what has happened. After unsuccessfully trying to get Lorraine to notice George, Marty realizes that by pushing his father out of the way of the car he prevented his parents from meeting for the first time and from falling in love meaning he will soon be erased from history. Now in order to save himself and his family Marty must get his parents to have their first kiss before he can go back to the future.

Trivia: When Marty is being judged at the band auditions at the beginning, the judge who stands up to say he is “just too darn loud” is Huey Lewis, whose songs, “The Power of Love” and “Back in Time” are featured on the movie’s soundtrack, and also wrote Marty’s audition song (which is a re-orchestrated version of “The Power of Love.”) Doc’s distinctive hunched-over look developed when the filmmakers realized the extreme difference in height between Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox; Fox is 5′ 4½” while Lloyd is 6′ 1″. To compensate for the height difference, director Robert Zemeckis used specific blocking where the two often stood far apart at different camera depths. For close ups, Lloyd would have to hunch over to appear in frame with Fox. The same approach was used in the two sequels.

Why I think you should see this: Are you kidding me? This is Back to the Future so if you haven’t seen this you need to get out from under the rock you have been living and experience one of the most fun movies ever. Christopher Lloyd is spectacular as Doc Brown giving a whole new meaning to the word crazy. Michael J. Fox shines as Marty and Crispin Glover is pretty awesome as his dad George. Lea Thompson does a great job as Lorraine and Thomas F. Wilson plays probably the most memorable bully in film history. Although I only posted the first the trilogy is like a single entity and almost has to be watched simultaneously. Just an all around great film that is no surprise that Spielberg’s name is attached to it so check it out again sometime.


About Trevor

Hi my name is Trevor and this is my blog! Films are a passion of mine. I am a total film geek. I own over 700 films and the collection is ever growing. I studied Film Studies and Scriptwriting in College. What I have learned about films is mostly self taught.

6 responses to “Films to See Before You Die: #7 Back to the Future

  1. jmount43 ⋅

    Only saw the entire trilogy once. I liked it, but I just haven’t watched it again. Great review, Trevor.

  2. have the trilogy an’ watch it over an’ over an’ over an’ over……….

  3. I am honored to nominate you for the One Lovely Blog Award! Please pick-up your award at . Congratulations!! 🙂

  4. One of my favorite movie trilogies. Never gets old. Great post.

  5. Now I want to see it again! thanks for the memories of this great movie.

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