get in that machine, you will upset the space time continuum.
Back to the Future starts as a bizarre concept wrapped beneath the idea that a teenager from the í80s (who exemplifies the young and rebel spirit typical of bored white American teenagers in this time) is thrown into one of the most bizarre periods of youth culture plagued by restriction, formality, and a bunch of really horny teens. In other words: Itís the story of Marty McFly driving a DeLorean through time.
In the picture above, Doc Brown is trying
to read Marty's thoughts, something that is now
Zemeckis is refined in his take on this idea, careful to not be overly gratuitous and is wise to look for an ensemble which combines strange cultural icons like Crispin Glover and Christopher Lloyd (known at this time for his recurring role on Taxi, in addition to some bit parts in critical classics) with the marketability of Michael J. Fox. He pulled together a crew of likable talent and, in doing so, helped shape characters that are iconic even today through tailored writing and directing.
Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis, and written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale. It stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and Thomas F. Wilson. Set in 1985, the story follows Marty McFly (Fox), a teenager accidentally sent back to 1955 in a time-traveling DeLorean automobile built by his eccentric scientist friend Emmett "Doc" Brown (Lloyd). While in the past, Marty inadvertently prevents his future parents from falling in love
- threatening his existence - and is forced to reconcile the pair and somehow get back to the future.
Gale and Zemeckis conceived the idea for Back to the Future in 1980. They were desperate for a successful film after numerous collaborative failures, but the project was rejected over 40 times by various studios because it was not considered raunchy enough to compete with the successful comedies of the era. A development deal was secured with Universal Pictures following Zemeckis's success directing Romancing the Stone (1984). Fox was the first choice to portray Marty but was unavailable; Eric Stoltz was cast instead. Shortly after principal photography began in November 1984, Zemeckis determined Stoltz was not right for the part and made the concessions necessary to hire Fox, including re-filming scenes already shot with Stoltz and adding $4 million to the budget. Back to the Future was filmed in and around California and on sets at Universal Studios. Filming concluded the following April.
Following highly successful test screenings, the release date was brought forward to July 3, 1985, giving Back to the Future more time in theaters during the busiest period of the theatrical year. The change resulted in a rushed post-production schedule, and some incomplete special effects. Back to the Future was a critical and commercial success, earning $381.1 million to become the highest-grossing film of 1985 worldwide. Critics praised the story, humorous elements, and the
cast - particularly Fox, Lloyd, Thompson, and Glover. It received multiple award nominations and won an Academy Award, three Saturn Awards, and a Hugo Award. Its theme song, "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News, was also a success.
Back to the Future has since grown in esteem and is now considered by critics and audiences to be one of the greatest science-fiction films and among the best films ever made. In 2007, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry. The film was followed by two sequels, Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990). Spurred by the film's dedicated fan following and effect on popular culture, Universal Studios launched a multimedia franchise, which now includes video games, theme park rides, an animated television series, and a stage musical. Its enduring popularity has prompted numerous books about its production, documentaries, and commercials.
In 1985, teenager Marty McFly lives in Hill Valley, California, with his depressed alcoholic mother, Lorraine; his older siblings, who are professional and social failures; and his meek father, George, who is bullied by his supervisor, Biff Tannen. After Marty's band is rejected from a music audition, he confides in his girlfriend, Jennifer Parker, that he fears becoming like his parents despite his ambitions.
That night, Marty meets his eccentric scientist friend, Emmett "Doc" Brown, in the Twin Pines mall parking lot. Doc unveils a time machine built from a modified DeLorean, powered by plutonium he swindled from Libyan terrorists. After Doc inputs a destination time of November 5,
1955 - the day he first conceived his time travel invention
- the terrorists arrive unexpectedly and gun Doc down. Marty flees in the DeLorean, inadvertently activating
time travel when he reaches 88 miles per hour (142 km/h).
Arriving in 1955, Marty discovers he has no plutonium to return. While exploring a burgeoning Hill Valley, Marty encounters his teenage father and discovers Biff was bullying George even then. George falls into the path of an oncoming car while spying on the teenage Lorraine changing clothes, and Marty is knocked unconscious while saving him. He wakes to find himself tended to by Lorraine, who becomes infatuated with him. Marty tracks down and convinces a younger Doc that he is from the future, but Doc explains the only source available in 1955 capable of generating the power required for time travel is a lightning bolt. Marty shows Doc a flyer from the future that documents an upcoming lightning strike at the town's courthouse. As Marty's siblings begin to fade from a photo he is carrying with him, Doc realizes Marty's actions are altering the future and jeopardizing his existence; Lorraine was supposed to tend to George instead of Marty after the car accident. Early attempts to get his parents acquainted fail, and Lorraine's infatuation with Marty deepens.
Lorraine asks Marty to the school dance, and he plots to feign inappropriate advances on her, allowing George to intervene and "rescue" her, but the plan goes awry when Biff's gang locks Marty in the trunk of the performing band's car, while Biff forces himself onto Lorraine. George arrives expecting to find Marty but is assaulted by Biff. After Biff hurts Lorraine, an enraged George knocks him unconscious and escorts the grateful Lorraine to the dance. The band frees Marty from their car, but the lead guitarist injures his hand in the process, and Marty takes his place, performing while George and Lorraine share their first kiss. With his future no longer in jeopardy, Marty heads to the courthouse to meet Doc.
Doc discovers a letter from Marty warning him about his future and destroys it, worried about the consequences. To save Doc, Marty re-calibrates the DeLorean to return ten minutes before he left the future. The lightning strikes, sending Marty back to 1985, but the DeLorean breaks down, forcing Marty to run back to the mall. He arrives as Doc is being shot. While Marty grieves at his side, Doc sits up, revealing he pieced Marty's note back together and wore a bulletproof vest. He takes Marty home and departs to 2015 in the DeLorean. Marty wakes the next morning to discover his father is now a confident and successful science fiction author, his mother is fit and happy, his siblings are successful, and Biff is a servile valet in George's employ. As Marty reunites with Jennifer, Doc suddenly reappears in the DeLorean, insisting they return with him to the future to save their children from terrible fates.
THE DELOREAN TIME MACHINE
The DeLorean was developed under the supervision of Lawrence Paull, who designed it with artist Ron Cobb and illustrator Andrew Probert. They intended for the vehicle to look fixed together from common parts. The time machine was originally conceived as a stationary device; at one point it was a refrigerator. Spielberg vetoed the idea, concerned child viewers might attempt to climb into one. Zemeckis suggested the DeLorean because it offered mobility and a unique design; the gull-wing doors would appear like an alien UFO to a 1950s family. The Ford Motor Company offered $75,000 to use a Ford Mustang instead; Gale responded, "Doc Brown doesn't drive a fucking Mustang". Michael Fink was hired as the art department liaison and tasked with realizing Cobb's sketches and overseeing the car's construction. He was recruited by Paull and Canton, who had worked with him on
Blade Runner (1982) and Buckaroo Bonzai, respectively. Fink had a project lined up but agreed to help in the free weeks he had remaining. Three DeLoreans used were purchased from a
collector - one for stunts, one for special effects, and a more detailed hero version for close-up shots. They were unreliable and often broke down. 88 mph (142 km/h) was chosen as the time travel speed because it was easy to remember and looked "cool" on the speedometer.
The flying DeLorean in the final scene used a combination of live-action footage, animation, and a 1:5 scale (approximately 33 inches (840 mm) long) model built by Steve Gawley and the model shop crew. The act of the DeLorean traveling through time was called the 'time slice' effect. Zemeckis knew only that he wanted the transition to be violent. He described it like a "Neanderthal sitting on the hood of the DeLorean and chipping away the fabric of time in front of him". The effect is so quick as to be imperceptible. Zemeckis preferred this as he did not want the audience to think too much about how everything worked.