Top 365 Films – #016 – Back To The Future (1985)

Top 365 Films - Back to the FutureDIRECTED BY: Robert Zemeckis

STARRING: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson, Claudia Wells, James Tolkan, Marc McClure and Wendie Jo Spencer

BUDGET: $19m

EARNED (Worldwide): $381.1m

AWARDS: Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing



A young man is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence.


It’s the year 1985 and we see Marty McFly receiving a message from his scientist friend Doc Brown requesting his help from him for his latest invention, leading him to meeting him at a shopping mall parking lot. Doc unveils a time machine that he has built…out of a DeLorean which is powered by plutonium stolen from Libyan rebels. As Doc sets the navigation of the time machine to go back in time to 1955, when he first conceived the machine, he’s gunned down by the Libyans and Marty escapes in the DeLorean, accidentally sending himself back to 1955. Not only does Marty have to find the younger version of Doc to help him, he also has to make sure his parents get to be together after he unintentionally interrupts their path of getting together.


The premise. The characters. The music. There’s numerous things that keeps working in the films favour throughout the decades as to why a lot of people have love for Back To The Future which really comes down to the screenplay penned by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale and perfect casting choices, particularly with the dynamic chemistry between Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd as Marty McFly and Doc Brown. The film still carries an upbeat energy and sense of fun as throughout its runtime, from Marty believed to be an alien by a family on a farm that the DeLorean crashes into as he travels back to 1955 (believing that it is indeed a spaceship), to not only having to get his parents together as that was the year they fell in love with one another to save his very own existence but also keep his teenage mother away from him as she has the hots for him, giving us a number of laughs at his plight in the process. What also worked in the films favour with the teenage son actually getting to meet his parents teenage selves and their hopes and dreams, sure it sounds cliche in text but it provides the film the heart that makes it fondly remembered. Can you remember such a film where an audience collectively cheered or celebrated one punch? How could you not smile during Johnny B. Goode? Or not enjoy the way the tension and suspense builds and how perfectly edited the climatic act is? Marty and Doc are two iconic characters in their own right and it’s wonderful to hear that we won’t be seeing a Back To The Future instalment (or remake) anytime soon….in Zemeckis’s and Gale’s lifetime at least.


FAVOURITE SCENE: George McFly finally stands up for himself against Biff.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.’ – Doc Brown

DID YOU KNOW?: Writers Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis actually received a fan letter from John DeLorean after the film’s release, thanking them for immortalizing his car. In 2010, during a cast reunion, Michael J. Fox said that strangers still call him “McFly!” constantly. Fox said that the most remarkable instance was when he was in a remote jungle in the South Asian country Bhutan, located between China and India in the eastern Himalayas. A group of Buddhist monks passed him and one of them looked at Fox and said, “Marty McFly!” The rights to the film and its sequels are owned by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. In a 2015 interview, Zemeckis maintained that no reboot or remake of the series would be authorized during his or Gale’s lifetime.


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