I just watched a documentary about Back to the Future and boy did that bring back some memories. I was all of 13 years old when I saw this film in the theater (grossing 390,000,000) and of course there was the Delorean with all of its glory and gull-wing doors. The stainless steel body, rear engine car with all of its gadgets and tubes has become a cultural icon. Michael Fox stars with Christopher Lloyd as the lead roles and Huey Lewis and the News composing the theme song “The Power of Love” and Lewis having a cameo in the film as a judge in the battle of the bands dismissing Fox’s band (the Pinheads) from the high-school contest.
I showed this film to my step daughter a couple of years ago they were ages 13 and 7 both were literally on the edge of their seats throughout the movie—illustrating the timeless qualities of the film. Another great feature of BTF was the non-computer generated special effects that were all done manually so to speak right down to the 1950’s store fronts, cars and costumes. It is said that when Fox’s “mother” appeared as the depressed overweight boozer at the start of the movie it took three hours for her make-up to be done. The film still retains its popularity as on the 21st of October of this year there was a one day viewing in the theaters. Only Star Wars boasts that kind of longevity and staying power.
The writers, producers (Spielberg) and director (Robert Zmeckis) had the film in the making for almost 7 years shopping to every movie studio including Disney who turned it down because they didn’t want the Disney banner associated an incestuous theme.
The story, a mad scientist makes a time machine out of a Deloran motor car, but is hunted by Libyan terrorists that he sole plutonium from. Fox escapes by jumping into the car and hitting 88 mph which triggers the “flux capacitor” to control time travel. The time machine preset for 30 years in the past takes Fox back to the 1950’s when his parents were in high school. The question is can the son get along with his parents while they were kids? Having to set up his parents to date so he can be born Fox discovers that his mother was actually quite the player despite her prostrations to the contrary in 1985, The picture of the parents as straight arrow nerds is dispelled throughout the middle and end of the film. Eventually Fox coaxed his father into punching a bully giving him the self-confidence needed to become a success in the future so when Fox returns to the future of 1985 he finds his life changed, his parents are successful and his friend Doc the inventor of the time machine escaping death by wearing a bullet proof vest heeding the warning of Fox that he would be shot on the night when the time machine was successfully tested.
Normally I don’t like these kind of films, but this one from my childhood as wildly successful as it is (was) has passed every test it could have encountered. Just a fresh as it was in 1985, anyone can watch this movie at any time and enjoy it like some of us did in the theater, and my proof was watching my step daughters appreciate it as much as I did when I was their age.
Note in the first clip the reference to the CRM 114—the radio device in Dr. Strangelove talked about by Slim Pickens.