Back to the Future is every bit as fun to watch today as it was when it was first released in 1985. Marty (Michael J. Fox) is friends with Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd), an inventor who creates a time machine out of a DeLorean. Marty is accidentally sent back to 1955, where he meets his own parents when they were teenagers.
Marty’s parents Lorraine (Lea Thompson) and George (Crispin Glover) are unforgettable characters as played by these two wonderful actors. Doc warns Marty that he must not interact with anyone in 1955 as it could change the future. The warning comes too late however, and Marty has to make sure his parents get together or he and his siblings won’t exist! This is not an easy task, as Lorraine has developed a crush on Marty. Further complicating the situation is Biff (Thomas F. Wilson), a bully who terrorizes George and tries to come on to Lorraine. George lacks the confidence to ask Lorraine to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, and Marty painstakingly coaches him to take a chance on Lorraine.
Doc meanwhile has problems to solve with the time machine, as there is no plutonium readily available back in the fifties to power his invention. Fortunately Doc is creative, his heroes being Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein.
The contrasts between 1985 and 1955 are still striking, and part of the fun of the movie. Doc doesn’t understand Marty’s slang, and people understandably find Marty strange. Science fiction was very big in the fifties, and Marty uses this to his advantage with George, pirating a bit of Darth Vader mixed with Van Halen to get him to pursue Lorraine.
I also enjoy seeing how Marty’s influence on his father has repercussions for years to come. George stands up to Biff, and doesn’t take his bullying anymore, and this changes Marty’s family in very positive ways when he finally does get back home. It reminds me how acting courageous and taking risks can change the course of one’s whole life.
Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale wrote this classic comedy, science fiction, and action/adventure that received an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay. It won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture in 1986, and an Academy Award for Best Effects/Sound Effects Editing. There were two sequels to Back to the Future, which I will review at a later date.