Taglines: Marty McFly’s having the time of his life. The only question is — what time is it?
Marty McFly, a typical American teenager of the Eighties, is accidentally sent back to 1955 in a plutonium-powered DeLorean “time machine” invented by a slightly mad scientist. During his often hysterical, always amazing trip back in time, Marty must make certain his teenage parents-to-be meet and fall in love – so he can get back to the future.
Back to the Future is a 1985 American science-fiction adventure comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale. It stars Michael J. Fox as teenager 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 portrays the eccentric scientist Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown, 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.
Back to the Future was released on July 3, 1985, grossing over $381 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1985. It won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film, and the Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing, as well as receiving three additional Academy Award nominations, five BAFTA nominations, and four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy).
Ronald Reagan even quoted the film in his 1986 State of the Union Address. In 2007, the Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry, and in June 2008 the American Film Institute’s special AFI’s 10 Top 10 designated the film as the 10th-best film in the science fiction genre. The film marked the beginning of 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 a forthcoming musical.
About the Story
Teenager Marty McFly is an aspiring musician dating girlfriend Jennifer Parker in Hill Valley, California. His father George is bullied by his supervisor, Biff Tannen, while his mother Lorraine is an overweight, depressed alcoholic. While dissatisfied with Marty’s relationship with Jennifer, Lorraine recalls how she met George when her father hit him with a car.
On October 26, 1985, Marty meets his scientist friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, at a shopping mall parking lot. Doc unveils a time machine built from a modified DeLorean and powered by plutonium stolen from Libyan terrorists. Doc demonstrates the navigation system with the example date of November 5, 1955: the day he conceived the machine. A moment later, the Libyans arrive and shoot him, apparently killing him. Marty escapes in the DeLorean, but inadvertently activates the time machine, and arrives in 1955 without the required plutonium needed to return.
There, Marty encounters the teenage George, who is bullied by classmate Biff. After Marty saves George from an oncoming car and is knocked unconscious, he awakens to find himself tended by an infatuated Lorraine. Marty leaves and tracks down Doc’s younger self to help him return to 1985. With no plutonium, Doc explains that the only power source capable of generating the necessary 1.21 gigawatts of electrical power for the time machine is a bolt of lightning.
Marty shows Doc a flyer from the future that recounts a lightning strike at the town’s courthouse the coming Saturday night. Doc instructs Marty to not leave his house or interact with anyone, as he could inadvertently change the course of history and alter the future; because of this, Doc refuses to heed warnings from Marty about his death in 1985. Marty realizes that he has prevented his parents 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 formulates a plan to harness the power of the lightning while Marty sets about introducing his parents, but he antagonizes Biff and his gang in the process.
When Lorraine asks Marty to the upcoming school dance, Marty plans to have George “rescue” Lorraine from Marty’s inappropriate advances. The plan goes awry when a drunken Biff attempts to force himself on Lorraine. George arrives to rescue her from Marty, but finds Biff instead. George knocks out Biff and Lorraine follows George to the dance floor, where they kiss and fall in love while Marty plays music with the band. Satisfied that he has secured his future existence, Marty leaves to meet Doc.
As the storm arrives, Marty returns to the clock tower and the lightning strikes on cue, sending Marty back to October 1985. He finds that Doc is not dead, as he had listened to Marty’s warnings and worn a bullet-proof vest. Doc takes Marty home, then departs to 2015.
Back to the Future (1985)
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson, Claudia Wells, Frances Lee McCain, Wendie Jo Sperber
Screenplay by: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale
Production Design by: Lawrence G. Paull
Cinematography by: Dean Cundey
Film Editing by: Harry Keramidas, Arthur Schmidt
Costume Design by: Deborah Lynn Scott
Set Decoration by: Hal Gausman
Art Direction by: Todd Hallowell
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: July 3, 1985