Back to the Future is an American science-fiction adventure film. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis, and written by Zemeckis and his friend Bob Gale, and produced by their mentor and movie-buddy, Steven Spielberg. In 1985, an absent-minded scientist discovers time travel and begs the use of his good young friend, Marty McFly. But the teenager is accidentally sent back in time, to 1955, when his parents were his age, and he much find a way back to the future. Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and Thomas F. Wilson. (Running time: 116 minutes)(Rated PG)
Now an audience, cult, and critical classic, Back to the Future is considered as one of the first cinematic portrayals of the dangers of time traveling and the issues that can arise by returning in time and messing around with your past. Where did this fantastic idea of a wacko scientist who continually exclaims, “Great scott!”, and a young spaz of the eighties who aspires to play in a band on stage in front of people originate from? Who came up with the silly origin of the flux capacitor?
…It was none other then young, creative filmmaker like Robert Zemeckis and his writing buddy, Bob Gale.
Bob Gale had been visiting his parents in their home town in Missouri, and was rummaging through boxes full of high school yearbook pictures of his folks when the question hit him, what if he had been friends with his parents in high school?–what would it have changed today? He flew back to California and immediately pitched the idea to Zemeckis, who loved it, and added to the story further still. They brought it to the studio who did not want to invest in it. “They thought it was a really nice, cute, warm film, but not sexual enough,” Gale said. “They suggested that we take it to Disney, but we decided to see if any other of the major studios wanted a piece of us.” Zemeckis eventually had to put the project on hold, and went on to make Romancing the Stone (1984), which became a box office hit, allowing the director to make anything he wanted. Steven Spielberg became interested in this sci-fi project of his prodigy’s, and produced the film.
Filming began with Eric Stoltz playing the lead of Marty McFly, and they filmed with him for four weeks and had almost completed the movie in half the time they had been given. The original choice the director wanted was Fox, but the studio did not approve of the young actor and he was busy completing the current season of the TV series Family Ties. Knowing full-well that Stoltz had been miscast, the actor left the set, and Zemeckis convinced Fox to come in and take over the role, making them film almost all the scenes over again, and pushing the cast and crew beyond the original filming schedule. Filming wrapped after a 100 days of shooting in California and moved to Hollywood for editing, made a quick preview for a selected audience, gaining very positive feedback from everyone. The producers and the studio were caught off-guard by the movie and the audience’s reaction.
The film became a success, bringing in $380 million dollars on a $19 million dollar budget–which in the mid-eighties–was an amazing success. Zemeckis and Gale were now among the circle of “hot” filmmakers in a place called Hollywood.
My thoughts on Back to the Future? Well, I would have to agree on the classic part of it, agreeing with both the audience and the critics about the original story concepts, fun characters, and those little suspenseful twists here and there throughout the film. I have no clue why, but some people have compared this film to Inception (2010). Two totally different films, but both with an equal “purpose”, as it were.
Back to the Future is a clever, sometimes funny, adventure science fiction film that I would encourage any film-buff, movie-lover, or cinema-cravin’ bloke to go out and see. It won’t be wasting your time! Oh, I suppose I would rate it a…eh, reasonably high 4 out of 7 stars? Definitely on my list of movies-to-buy.