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 as teenager Marty McFly, who accidentally travels back in time to 1955, where he meets his future parents and becomes his mother's romantic interest. Christopher Lloyd portrays the eccentric scientist Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown, inventor of the time-traveling DeLorean, who helps Marty repair history and return to 1985.
Zemeckis and Gale wrote the script after Gale wondered whether he would have befriended his father if they had attended school together. Film studios rejected it until the financial success of Zemeckis' Romancing the Stone. Zemeckis approached Steven Spielberg, who agreed to produce the project at Amblin Entertainment, with Universal Pictures as distributor. Fox was the first choice to play Marty, but he was busy filming his television series Family Ties, and Eric Stoltz was cast; after the filmmakers decided he was wrong for the role, a deal was struck to allow Fox to film Back to the Future without interrupting his television schedule.
Back to the Future was released on July 3, 1985 and it grossed 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. It received three Academy Award nominations, five BAFTA nominations, and four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy). 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 it the 10th-best science fiction film. The film began a franchise including two sequels, Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990), an animated series, theme park ride, and several video games.
|Back to the Future|
Theatrical release poster
by Drew Struzan
|Directed by||Robert Zemeckis|
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$389.1 million|
In 1985 Hill Valley, California, teenager Marty McFly and his girlfriend, Jennifer Parker, are chastised by the school principal for lateness. Marty auditions for the Battle of the Bands, but is rejected for being too loud. At home, Marty's father George is bullied by his supervisor, Biff Tannen, while his mother Lorraine is an overweight, depressed alcoholic. Lorraine recalls how she met George when her father hit him with his car.
Marty is invited by his friend, eccentric inventor Dr. Emmett Brown, to meet him in a parking lot in the early hours. Doc unveils a time machine built from a modified DeLorean and powered by plutonium stolen from terrorists. Preparing to demonstrate the time machine, Doc sets the date to November 5, 1955: the day he conceived a time travel device. The terrorists arrive and shoot Doc. Marty escapes in the DeLorean, but inadvertently activates the time machine.
Marty finds himself in 1955 without enough plutonium to return. He encounters the teenaged George, who is bullied by his classmate Biff. After Marty saves George from an oncoming car, he is knocked unconscious and awakens to find himself tended to by Lorraine, who is infatuated with him.
Marty tracks down Doc's younger self for help. With no plutonium, Doc explains that the only power source capable of generating the necessary 1.21 gigawatts (1,620,000 hp) of electricity 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 due the coming Saturday night. Doc instructs Marty to not leave his house or interact with anyone, as he could inadvertently alter the future; because of this, Doc refuses to heed warnings from Marty about his death in 1985. When they realize that he has prevented his parents from meeting, Doc warns Marty that he must find a way to introduce George to Lorraine or he will be erased from existence. 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.
After Lorraine asks Marty to the school dance, Marty concocts a plan: he will feign inappropriate advances on Lorraine, allowing George to "rescue" her. The plan goes awry when a drunken Biff attempts to force himself on Lorraine. George, enraged, knocks out Biff, and Lorraine accompanies him to the dance floor, where they kiss while Marty performs with the band.
As the storm arrives, Marty returns to the clock tower and the lightning strikes, sending Marty back to 1985. Doc has survived the shooting, as he had listened to Marty's warnings and worn a bullet-proof vest. Doc takes Marty home and departs to the future. Marty awakens the next morning to find that George is a successful author, Lorraine is fit and happy, and Biff is now an obsequious auto valet. As Marty reunites with Jennifer, the DeLorean appears with Doc, insisting they accompany him to 2015 to resolve a problem with their future children. The trio board the DeLorean, which has been upgraded with hover technology, and warp to the future.
Writer and producer Bob Gale conceived Back to the Future after he visited his parents in St. Louis, Missouri after the release of Used Cars. Searching their basement, Gale found his father's high school yearbook and discovered he was president of his graduating class. Gale had not known the president of his own graduating class, and wondered whether he would have been friends with his father if they went to high school together. When he returned to California, Gale told director Robert Zemeckis about the idea. Zemeckis thought of a mother claiming she never kissed a boy at school when, in fact, she had been promiscuous. The two took the project to Columbia Pictures, and made a development deal for a script in September 1980.
Zemeckis and Gale set the story in 1955 because a 17-year-old traveling to meet his parents at the same age arithmetically required the script to travel to that decade. The era also marked the rise of teenagers as an important cultural element, the birth of rock n' roll, and suburban expansion, which flavored the story. In an early script, the time machine was a refrigerator, and Marty would need the power of an atomic explosion at the Nevada Test Site to return home. Zemeckis was concerned that children would accidentally lock themselves in refrigerators, and felt it was more useful if the time machine were mobile. The DeLorean was chosen because its design made the gag about the family of farmers mistaking it for a flying saucer believable. Zemeckis and Gale found it difficult to create a believable friendship between Marty and Brown before they created the giant guitar amplifier, and only resolved his Oedipal relationship with Marty's mother when they wrote the line "It's like I'm kissing my brother." Biff Tannen was named after studio executive Ned Tanen, who behaved aggressively toward Zemeckis and Gale during a script meeting for I Wanna Hold Your Hand.
The first draft of Back to the Future was finished in February 1981 and presented to Columbia, who put the film in turnaround. "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." Every major film studio rejected the script for the next four years, while Back to the Future went through two more drafts. During the early 1980s, popular teen comedies (such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Porky's) were risqué and adult-aimed, so the script was rejected for being too light. Gale and Zemeckis finally pitched Back to the Future to Disney, but they felt the story of a mother falling in love with her son was not appropriate for a family film under the Disney name.
The two were tempted to ally themselves with Steven Spielberg, who produced Used Cars and I Wanna Hold Your Hand, which were both box office bombs. Zemeckis and Gale initially had shown the screenplay to Spielberg, who had "loved" it. Spielberg, however, was absent from the project during development because Zemeckis felt if he produced another flop under him, he would never be able to make another film. Gale said "we were afraid that we would get the reputation that we were two guys who could only get a job because we were pals with Steven Spielberg." Zemeckis chose to direct Romancing the Stone instead, which was a box office success. Now a high-profile director, Zemeckis reapproached Spielberg with the concept. Agreeing to produce Back to the Future, Spielberg set the project up at his production company, Amblin Entertainment, with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall joining Spielberg as executive producers on the film.
The script remained with Columbia until legal problems forced them to withdraw. The studio was set to begin shooting a comedic send-up of Double Indemnity entitled Big Trouble. Columbia's legal department determined that the film's plot was too similar to Double Indemnity and they needed the permission of Universal Pictures, owners of the earlier film, if the film was ever to begin shooting. With Big Trouble set to go, desperate Columbia executives phoned Universal's Frank Price to get the necessary paperwork. Price was a former Columbia executive who had been fond of the script for Back to the Future during his tenure there. As a result, Universal agreed to trade the Double Indemnity license in exchange for the rights to Back to the Future.
Executive Sidney Sheinberg made suggestions to the script, such as changing Marty's mother's name from Meg to Lorraine (the name of his wife, actress Lorraine Gary), changing Brown's name from Professor Brown to Doc Brown, and replacing Doc's pet chimpanzee with a dog. Sheinberg also wanted the title changed to Space Man from Pluto, convinced no successful film ever had "future" in the title. He suggested that the scene with Marty dressed as an alien should have Marty identify himself as "a space man from the Planet Pluto" [sic] instead of "Darth Vader from Vulcan", and that the farmer's son's comic book be titled Spaceman from Pluto rather than Space Zombies from Pluto. Appalled, Zemeckis asked Spielberg for help. Spielberg dictated a memo to Sheinberg convincing him they thought his title was a joke, thus embarrassing him into dropping the idea. The original climax was deemed too expensive by Universal executives and was simplified by keeping the plot within Hill Valley and incorporating the clocktower sequence. Spielberg used the omitted refrigerator and Nevada nuclear site elements in his 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Michael J. Fox was the first choice to play Marty McFly, but he was committed to the show Family Ties. Family Ties producer Gary David Goldberg felt that Fox was essential to the show's success. With co-star Meredith Baxter on maternity leave, he refused to allow Fox time off to work on a film. Back to the Future was originally scheduled for a May 1985 release and it was late 1984 when it was learned that Fox would be unable to star in the film. Zemeckis' next two choices were C. Thomas Howell and Eric Stoltz. Stoltz impressed the producers enough with his earlier portrayal of Roy L. Dennis in Mask (which had yet to be released) that they selected him to play Marty McFly. Because of the difficult casting process, the start date was pushed back twice.
Four weeks into filming, Zemeckis determined Stoltz had been miscast. Although he and Spielberg realized re-shooting the film would add $3 million to the $14 million budget, they decided to recast. Spielberg explained Zemeckis felt Stoltz was not comedic enough and gave a "terrifically dramatic performance". Gale further explained they felt Stoltz was simply acting out the role, whereas Fox himself had a personality like Marty McFly. He felt Stoltz was uncomfortable riding a skateboard, whereas Fox was not. Stoltz confessed to director Peter Bogdanovich during a phone call, two weeks into the shoot, that he was unsure of Zemeckis and Gale's direction, and concurred that he was wrong for the role.
Fox's schedule was opened up in January 1985 when Baxter returned to Family Ties following her pregnancy. The Back to the Future crew met with Goldberg again, who made a deal that Fox's main priority would be Family Ties, and if a scheduling conflict arose, "we win". Fox loved the script and was impressed by Zemeckis and Gale's sensitivity in releasing Stoltz, because they nevertheless "spoke very highly of him". Per Welinder and Bob Schmelzer assisted on the skateboarding scenes. Fox found his portrayal of Marty McFly to be very personal. "All I did in high school was skateboard, chase girls and play in bands. I even dreamed of becoming a rock star."
Christopher Lloyd was cast as Doc Brown after the first choice, John Lithgow, became unavailable. Having worked with Lloyd on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (1984), producer Neil Canton suggested him for the part. Lloyd originally turned down the role, but changed his mind after reading the script and at the persistence of his wife. He improvised some of his scenes, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein and conductor Leopold Stokowski. Brown pronounces gigawatts as "jigawatts," which was the way a physicist would say the word, when he met with Zemeckis and Gale as they researched the script, (rather than with an initial hard "g", although both pronunciations are acceptable). Doc Brown's notable hunch came about because at 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) Lloyd was considerably taller than Fox at 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m), and they needed to look closer in height.
Crispin Glover played George McFly. Zemeckis said Glover improvised much of George's nerdy mannerisms, such as his shaky hands. The director joked he was "endlessly throwing a net over Crispin because he was completely off about fifty percent of the time in his interpretation of the character". Due to a contract disagreement, Glover was replaced by Jeffrey Weissman in Part II and Part III.
Lea Thompson was cast as Lorraine McFly because she had acted opposite Stoltz in The Wild Life; the producers noticed her as they had watched the film while casting Stoltz. Her prosthetic makeup for scenes at the beginning of the film, set in 1985, took three and a half hours to apply.
Thomas F. Wilson was cast as Biff Tannen because the producers felt that the original choice, J. J. Cohen, wasn't physically imposing enough to bully Stoltz. Cohen was recast as Skinhead, one of Biff's cohorts. Had Fox been cast from the beginning, Cohen probably would have won the part because he was sufficiently taller than Fox.
Melora Hardin was originally cast in the role of Marty's girlfriend Jennifer, but was let go after Stoltz was dismissed, with the explanation that the actress was now too tall to be playing against Fox. Hardin was dismissed before she had a chance to shoot a single scene and was replaced with Claudia Wells. Actress Jill Schoelen had also been considered to play Marty's girlfriend.
Following Stoltz's departure, Fox's schedule during weekdays consisted of filming Family Ties during the day, and Back to the Future from 6:30 pm to 2:30 am. He averaged five hours of sleep each night. During Fridays, he shot from 10 pm to 6 or 7 am, and then moved on to film exterior scenes throughout the weekend, as only then was he available during daytime hours. Fox found it exhausting, but "it was my dream to be in the film and television business, although I didn't know I'd be in them simultaneously. It was just this weird ride and I got on." Zemeckis concurred, dubbing Back to the Future "the film that would not wrap". He recalled that because they shot night after night, he was always "half asleep" and the "fattest, most out-of-shape and sick I ever was".
The Hill Valley town square scenes were shot at Courthouse Square, located in the Universal Studios backlot ( ). Gale explained it would have been impossible to shoot on location "because no city is going to let a film crew remodel their town to look like it's in the 1950s." The filmmakers "decided to shoot all the 50s stuff first, and make the town look real beautiful and wonderful. Then we would just totally trash it down and make it all bleak and ugly for the 1980s scenes." The interiors for Doc Brown's house were shot at the Robert R. Blacker House, while exteriors took place at Gamble House. The exterior shots of the Twin Pines Mall, and later the Lone Pine Mall (from 1985) were shot at the Puente Hills Mall in City of Industry, California. The exterior shots and some interior scenes at Hill Valley High School were filmed at Whittier High School in Whittier, California. The Battle of the Bands tryout scene was filmed at the McCambridge Park Recreation Center in Burbank, and the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance was filmed in the gymnasium at Hollywood United Methodist Church. The scenes outside of the Baines' house in 1955 were shot at Bushnell Avenue, South Pasadena, California.
Filming wrapped after 100 days on April 20, 1985, and the film was delayed from May to August. But after a highly positive test screening ("I'd never seen a preview like that," said Frank Marshall, "the audience went up to the ceiling"), Sheinberg chose to move the release date to July 3. To make sure the film met this new date, two editors, Arthur Schmidt and Harry Keramidas, were assigned to the picture, while many sound editors worked 24-hour shifts on the film. Eight minutes were cut, including Marty watching his mom cheat during an exam, George getting stuck in a telephone booth before rescuing Lorraine, as well as much of Marty pretending to be Darth Vader. Zemeckis almost cut out the "Johnny B. Goode" sequence as he felt it did not advance the story, but the preview audience loved it, so it was kept. Industrial Light & Magic created the film's 32 effects shots, which did not satisfy Zemeckis and Gale until a week before the film's completion date. The compositing involved for the film's time travel sequences, as well as for the lightning effects in the climactic clock tower scene, was handled by animation supervisor Wes Takahashi, who would also work on the subsequent two Back to the Future films with the rest of the ILM crew.
Alan Silvestri collaborated with Zemeckis on Romancing the Stone, but Spielberg disliked that film's score. Zemeckis advised Silvestri to make his compositions grand and epic, despite the film's small scale, to impress Spielberg. Silvestri began recording the score two weeks before the first preview. He also suggested Huey Lewis and the News create the theme song. Their first attempt was rejected by Universal, before they recorded "The Power of Love". The studio loved the final song, but were disappointed it did not feature the film's title, so they had to send memos to radio stations to always mention its association with Back to the Future. In the end, the track "Back in Time" was featured in the film, playing during the scene when Marty wakes up after his return to 1985 and also during the end credits.
Although it appears that Fox is actually playing a guitar, music supervisor Bones Howe hired Hollywood guitar coach and musician Paul Hanson to teach Fox to simulate playing all the parts so it would look realistic, including playing behind his head. Fox lip-synched "Johnny B. Goode" to vocals by Mark Campbell (of Jack Mack and the Heart Attack fame).
The original 1985 soundtrack album only included two tracks culled from Silvestri's compositions for the film, both Huey Lewis tracks, the songs played in the film by the fictional band Marvin Berry and The Starlighters (and Marty McFly), one of the vintage 1950s songs in the movie, and two pop songs that are only very briefly heard in the background of the film. On November 24, 2009, an authorized, limited-edition two-CD set of the entire score was released by Intrada Records.
Back to the Future opened on July 3, 1985, on 1,200 screens in North America. Zemeckis was concerned the film would flop because Fox had to film a Family Ties special in London and was unable to promote the film. Gale was also dissatisfied with Universal Pictures' tagline "Are you telling me my mother's got the hots for me?".
When the film was released on VHS in 1986, Universal added a "To be continued..." graphic at the end to increase awareness of production on Part II. This caption is omitted on the film's DVD release in 2002 and on subsequent Blu-ray and DVD releases.
In October 2010, in commemoration for the film's 25th anniversary, Back to the Future was digitally restored and remastered for a theatrical re-release in the US, the UK and Italy. The release also coincided with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment's Blu-ray Disc releases of the trilogy.
Back to the Future spent 11 weeks at number one. Gale recalled "Our second weekend was higher than our first weekend, which is indicative of great word of mouth. National Lampoon's European Vacation came out in August and it kicked us out of number one for one week and then we were back to number one." The film went on to gross $210.61 million in North America and $178.5 million in foreign countries, accumulating a worldwide total of $389.1 million. Back to the Future had the fourth-highest opening weekend of 1985 and was the top-grossing film of the year. Box Office Mojo estimates that the film sold over 59 million tickets in the United States.
On review aggregator Metacritic the film received an average score of 87, which indicates "universal acclaim", based on 12 reviews. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 96% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 77 reviews; the average rating is 8.71/10. The website's consensus reads: "Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is a rousing time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit."
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times felt Back to the Future had similar themes to the films of Frank Capra, especially It's a Wonderful Life. Ebert commented "[Producer] Steven Spielberg is emulating the great authentic past of Classical Hollywood cinema, who specialized in matching the right director (Robert Zemeckis) with the right project." He gave the film 3 1/2 out of 4 stars. Janet Maslin of The New York Times believed the film had a balanced storyline: "It's a cinematic inventing of humor and whimsical tall tales for a long time to come." Christopher Null, who first saw the film as a teenager, called it "a quintessential 1980s flick that combines science fiction, action, comedy, and romance all into a perfect little package that kids and adults will both devour." Dave Kehr of Chicago Reader felt Gale and Zemeckis wrote a script that perfectly balanced science fiction, seriousness and humor. Variety praised the performances, arguing Fox and Lloyd imbued Marty and Doc Brown's friendship with a quality reminiscent of King Arthur and Merlin. BBC News lauded the intricacies of the "outstandingly executed" script, remarking that "nobody says anything that doesn't become important to the plot later." Dennis Fischer of Cinefantastique gave the film four stars out of five, calling it an "instant classic". Back to the Future appeared on Gene Siskel's top ten film list of 1985.
At the 58th Academy Awards, Back to the Future won for Best Sound Effects Editing, while Zemeckis and Gale were nominated for Best Original Screenplay, "The Power of Love" was nominated for Best Original Song, and Bill Varney, B. Tennyson Sebastian II, Robert Thirlwell and William B. Kaplan were nominated for Best Sound Mixing. The film won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film. Michael J. Fox and the visual effects designers won categories at the Saturn Awards. Zemeckis, composer Alan Silvestri, the costume design and supporting actors Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson were also nominated. The film was nominated for numerous BAFTAs at the 39th British Academy Film Awards, including Best Film, original screenplay, visual effects, production design and editing. At the 43rd Golden Globe Awards, Back to the Future was nominated for Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), original song (for "The Power of Love"), Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Fox) and Best Screenplay for Zemeckis and Gale.
President Ronald Reagan, a fan of the film, referred to the film in his 1986 State of the Union Address when he said, "Never has there been a more exciting time to be alive, a time of rousing wonder and heroic achievement. As they said in the film Back to the Future, 'Where we're going, we don't need roads'." When he first saw the joke about him being president, he ordered the projectionist of the theater to stop the reel, roll it back, and run it again.
The film ranked number 28 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies. In 2008, Back to the Future was voted the 23rd greatest film ever made by readers of Empire. It was also placed on a similar list by The New York Times, a list of 1000 movies. In January 2010, Total Film included the film on its list of The 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. In 2007, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". In 2006, the original screenplay for Back to the Future was selected by the Writers Guild of America as the 56th best screenplay of all time.
In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed the AFI's 10 Top 10 – the best ten films in ten classic American film genres – after polling more than 1,500 people from the creative community. Back to the Future was acknowledged as the 10th best film in the science fiction genre.
A musical theater production, also called Back to the Future, is in development for a debut in London's West End theatre during the film's 30th anniversary in 2015. Zemeckis and Gale reunited to write the play, while Silvestri and Glen Ballard provide music.
The scenes of Marty McFly skateboarding in the film took place during the infancy of the skateboarding sub-culture and numerous skateboarders, as well as companies in the industry, pay tribute to the film for its influence in this regard. Examples can be seen in promotional material, in interviews in which professional skateboarders cite the film as an initiation into the action sport, and in the public's recognition of the film's influence.
Part II was released on November 22, 1989, to mixed reviews and similar financial success as the original, finishing as the third highest-grossing film of the year worldwide. The film continues directly from the ending of Back to the Future and follows Marty and Doc as they travel into the future of 2015, an alternative 1985, and 1955 where Marty must repair the future while avoiding his past self from the original film. Part II became notable for its 2015 setting and predictions of technology such as hoverboards.
Part III, released on May 25, 1990, continued the story, following Marty as he travels back to 1885 to rescue a time-stranded Doc. Commercially, Part III was the least successful in the trilogy but has better reviews than Part II.
Alan Anthony Silvestri (born March 26, 1950) is an American composer and conductor known for his film and television scores.
He is best known for his frequent collaboration with Robert Zemeckis, composing for such major hit films as the Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Cast Away, and Forrest Gump, as well as the superhero films Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, and Avengers: Infinity War. His other film scores include Predator and its sequel Predator 2, The Abyss, Stuart Little, The Mummy Returns, Lilo & Stitch, Night at the Museum, and Ready Player One. He is a two-time Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee, and a three-time Saturn Award and Primetime Emmy Award recipient.Back to the Future (TV series)
Back to the Future (also known as Back to the Future: The Animated Series) is an American animated science fiction comedy adventure television series for television based on the live action Back to the Future movie trilogy. The show lasted two seasons, each featuring 13 episodes, and ran on CBS from September 14, 1991, to December 26, 1992, and reran until August 14, 1993, on CBS. The network chose not to renew the show for a third season (citing low ratings). It later reran on FOX, as a part of the FoxBox block from March 22 to August 30, 2003. It was the very first production of Universal Cartoon Studios.
Although the cartoon takes place after the movies, Bob Gale has stated that the animated series and the comic books take place in their own 'what if' and alternate timelines and are not part of the main continuity. This show marked the debut television appearance of Bill Nye on a nationally broadcast show.Back to the Future (franchise)
The Back to the Future franchise is an American science fiction–adventure comedy film series written and directed by Robert Zemeckis, produced by Bob Gale and Neil Canton for Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, and distributed by Universal Pictures. The franchise follows the adventures of a high school student, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), and an eccentric scientist, Dr. Emmett L. Brown (Christopher Lloyd), as they use a DeLorean time machine to time travel to different periods in the history of Hill Valley, California.
The first film was the highest-grossing film of 1985 and became an international phenomenon, leading to the second and third films, which were back-to-back film productions, released in 1989 and 1990, respectively. Though the sequels did not perform quite as well at the box office as the first film, the trilogy remains immensely popular after 30 years and has yielded such spinoffs as an animated television series and a motion-simulation ride at the Universal Studios Theme Parks in Universal City, California; Orlando, Florida; and Osaka, Japan (all now closed), as well as a video game. The film's visual effects were done by Industrial Light and Magic. The trilogy was nominated for five Academy Awards all together, winning one (Best Sound Editing).Back to the Future Part II
Back to the Future Part II is a 1989 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Bob Gale. It is the sequel to the 1985 film Back to the Future and the second installment in the Back to the Future trilogy. The film stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Thomas F. Wilson, and Lea Thompson. The film follows Marty McFly (Fox) and his friend Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown (Lloyd) as they travel to 2015 to prevent Marty's son from sabotaging the McFly family's future. Their arch-nemesis Biff Tannen (Wilson) steals Doc's DeLorean time machine and uses it to alter history for his benefit, forcing the duo to return to 1955 to restore the timeline.
The film was produced on a $40-million budget and was filmed back to back with its sequel, Part III. Filming began in February 1989 after two years were spent building the sets and writing the scripts. Two actors from the first film, Crispin Glover and Claudia Wells, did not return. While Elisabeth Shue was recast in the role of Wells's character, Jennifer, Glover's character, George McFly, was not only minimized in the plot, but also was obscured and recreated with another actor. Glover successfully sued Zemeckis and Gale, changing how producers can deal with the departure and replacement of actors in a role. Back to the Future Part II was also a ground-breaking project for effects studio Industrial Light & Magic (ILM): In addition to digital compositing, ILM used the VistaGlide motion control camera system, which allowed an actor to portray multiple characters simultaneously on-screen without sacrificing camera movement.
Back to the Future Part II was released by Universal Pictures on November 22, 1989. The film received mixed reviews from critics and grossed over $332 million worldwide, making it the third-highest-grossing film of 1989.Back to the Future Part III
Back to the Future Part III is a 1990 American science fiction Western comedy film and the third and final installment of the Back to the Future trilogy. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis, and stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F. Wilson and Lea Thompson. The film continues immediately following Back to the Future Part II (1989); while stranded in 1955 during his time travel adventures, Marty McFly (Fox) discovers that his friend Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown, trapped in 1885, was killed by Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen (Wilson), Biff's great-grandfather. Marty travels to 1885 to rescue Doc and return once again to 1985, but matters are complicated when Doc falls in love with schoolteacher Clara Clayton (Steenburgen).
Back to the Future Part III was filmed in California and Arizona, and was produced on a $40 million budget back-to-back with Part II. Part III was released in the United States on May 25, 1990, six months after the previous installment. Part III earned $244.5 million worldwide, making it the sixth-highest-grossing film of 1990.Christopher Lloyd
Christopher Allen Lloyd (born October 22, 1938) is an American actor, voice actor, and comedian. Lloyd came to public attention in Northeastern theater productions during the 1960s and early 1970s, earning an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award for his work. He made his screen debut in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), and gained widespread recognition as Jim Ignatowski in the comedy series Taxi (1978–1983), for which he won two Emmy Awards. Lloyd also starred as Emmett "Doc" Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy, Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), and Uncle Fester in The Addams Family (1991) and its sequel Addams Family Values (1993).
Lloyd earned a third Emmy for his 1992 guest appearance in Road to Avonlea, and won an Independent Spirit Award for his performance in Twenty Bucks (1993). He has done extensive voice work, including Merlock in DuckTales the Movie (1990), Grigori Rasputin in Anastasia (1997), the Woodsman in the Cartoon Network miniseries Over the Garden Wall (2014), and the Hacker in PBS Kids series Cyberchase (2002–present), which earned him two further Emmy nominations. He has also been nominated for two Saturn Awards and a BIFA Award.Crispin Glover
Crispin Hellion Glover (born April 20, 1964) is an American actor and director.
Glover is known for portraying eccentric characters on screen, such as George McFly in Back to the Future, Layne in River's Edge, unfriendly recluse Rubin Farr in Rubin and Ed, mentally ill Cousin Dell in David Lynch's Wild at Heart, Andy Warhol in The Doors, the Thin Man in Charlie's Angels and its sequel, Willard Stiles in the Willard remake, Bobby McBurney in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Ilosovic Stayne/The Knave of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, Phil Wedmaier in Hot Tub Time Machine, and 6 in 9.
He is also the voice of Fifi in the Open Season franchise and appeared in the screen adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel Freaky Deaky. He played a German-speaking clairvoyant during World War I in the Polish-language film Hiszpanka, and an unwitting employee in service of Robert De Niro's character in The Bag Man. In the late 1980s, Glover started his company, Volcanic Eruptions, which publishes his books and also serves as the production company for Glover's films, such as What Is It? and It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine. He currently stars in the Starz television series American Gods as Mr. World, the god of globalization.
Glover was recognized for his directorial work in 2013 when the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City staged the series It Is Crispin Hellion Glover. The program consisted of screenings of all of his directorial work, live performances, and speaking engagements.DeLorean time machine
The DeLorean time machine is a fictional automobile-based time travel vehicle device featured in the Back to the Future franchise. In the feature film series, Dr. Emmett L. Brown builds a time machine based on a DeLorean car, to gain insights into history and the future. Instead, he ends up using it to travel over 130 years of Hill Valley history (from 1885 to 2015) with Marty McFly to change the past for the better and to undo the negative effects of time travel. One of the cars used in filming is on display in Paarl South Africa and the official Back to the Future DeLorean can be viewed at the Petersen Automotive Museum.Elisabeth Shue
Elisabeth Judson Shue (born October 6, 1963) is an American actress, best known for her starring roles in the films The Karate Kid (1984), Adventures in Babysitting (1987), Cocktail (1988), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990), Soapdish (1991), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), The Saint (1997), Hollow Man (2000), and Piranha 3D (2010). She has won several acting awards and has been nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. She starred as Julie Finlay in the CBS procedural forensics crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation from 2012 to 2015. More recently she had supporting roles in Battle of the Sexes (2017) and Death Wish (2018).Hoverboard
A hoverboard (or hover board) is a levitating board used for personal transportation, first described by author M. K. Joseph in 1967 and popularized by the Back to the Future film franchise. Hoverboards are generally depicted as resembling a skateboard without wheels. During the 1990s there were rumors, fueled by director Robert Zemeckis, that hoverboards were in fact real, but not marketed because they were deemed too dangerous by parents' groups. These rumors have been conclusively debunked. The hoverboard concept has been used by many authors in various forms of media, for instance in the 1998 film Futuresport, used by Dean Cain's character.
Guinness World Records recognizes the term hoverboard to include autonomously powered personal levitators. In May 2015, the Romania-born Canadian inventor Cătălin Alexandru Duru set a Guinness World Record by travelling a distance of 275.9 m (302 yd) at heights up to 5 m (16 ft) over a lake, on an autonomously powered hoverboard of his own design.On April 30, 2016, Guinness World Records recognized a new record of 2,252.4 m. The Flyboard Air was powered by jet engine propulsion, and its use allowed Franky Zapata, in Sausset-les-Pins, France to beat the previous record by nearly 2 km. Another method of achieving self-levitation is superconductivity, used by the Slide hoverboard.List of Back to the Future characters
The Back to the Future film trilogy and subsequent animated series feature characters created by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale.
The lead character of the series is Marty McFly. During the course of the trilogy, he travels through time using a DeLorean time machine invented by his friend Emmett Brown and encounters the villain, Biff Tannen, in several different time periods and visits his family ancestors and descendants.Marty McFly
Martin Seamus McFly is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Back to the Future trilogy. He is portrayed by actor Michael J. Fox. McFly also appears in the animated series, where he was voiced by David Kaufman. In the videogame by Telltale Games, he is voiced by A.J. Locascio; in addition, Fox voiced McFly's future counterparts at the end of the game. In 2008, McFly was selected by Empire magazine as the 12th Greatest Movie Character of All Time.Mary Steenburgen
Mary Nell Steenburgen (born February 8, 1953) is an American actress and singer. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing the role of Lynda Dummar in Jonathan Demme's 1980 film Melvin and Howard.
Steenburgen, who studied at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse in the 1970s, also received a Golden Globe nomination for the 1981 film Ragtime, a BAFTA TV Award nomination for the 1985 miniseries Tender is the Night and an Emmy Award nomination for the 1988 TV film The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank. Her other film appearances include Cross Creek (1983), Parenthood (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990), Philadelphia (1993), What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Elf (2003), The Brave One (2007), Step Brothers (2008), The Proposal (2009), and The Help (2011).Michael J. Fox
Michael Andrew Fox (born June 9, 1961), known professionally as Michael J. Fox, is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, author, and film producer with a film and television career spanning from the 1970s. He starred in the Back to the Future trilogy where he portrayed Marty McFly. Other notable roles have included Mike Flaherty on the ABC sitcom Spin City (1996–2000) and his portrayal of Alex P. Keaton on the American sitcom Family Ties. He has won five Primetime Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, a Grammy Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991 at age 29, and disclosed his condition to the public in 1998. He partly retired from acting in 2000 as the symptoms of his disease worsened. He has since become an advocate for research toward finding a cure; he created the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and Sweden's Karolinska Institutet gave him an honoris causa doctorate on March 5, 2010 for his work advocating a cure for Parkinson's disease.Since 1999, Fox has mainly worked as a voice-over actor in films such as Stuart Little and Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire. On the CBS TV show The Good Wife, he earned Emmy nominations for three consecutive years for his recurring role as crafty attorney Louis Canning. He has also taken recurring guest roles and cameo appearances in Boston Legal, Scrubs, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Rescue Me, and Designated Survivor. He has written 3 books: Lucky Man: A Memoir (2002), Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist (2009), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned (2010). He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2010. He also was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2000.Nike Mag
The Nike MAG is a limited edition shoe created by Nike Inc. It is a replica of a shoe featured in Back to the Future Part II. The Nike Mag was originally released for sale in 2011 and again in 2016. Both launches were extremely limited in quantity.Robert Zemeckis
Robert Lee Zemeckis (; born May 14, 1952) is an American director, film producer and screenwriter frequently credited as an innovator in visual effects. He first came to public attention in the 1980s as the director of Romancing the Stone (1984) and the science-fiction comedy Back to the Future film trilogy, as well as the live-action/animated comedy Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). In the 1990s he directed Death Becomes Her and then diversified into more dramatic fare, including 1994's Forrest Gump, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Director; the film itself won Best Picture. The films he has directed have ranged across a wide variety of genres, for both adults and families.
Zemeckis' films are characterized by an interest in state-of-the-art special effects, including the early use of the insertion of computer graphics into live-action footage in Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Forrest Gump, and the pioneering performance capture techniques seen in The Polar Express (2004), Monster House (2006), Beowulf (2007), A Christmas Carol (2009) and Welcome to Marwen (2018). Though Zemeckis has often been pigeonholed as a director interested only in special effects, his work has been defended by several critics including David Thomson, who wrote that "No other contemporary director has used special effects to more dramatic and narrative purpose."Thomas F. Wilson
Thomas Francis Wilson Jr. (born April 15, 1959) is an American actor, voice-over artist, and podcaster best known for playing Biff Tannen, Griff Tannen and Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen in the Back to the Future trilogy and Coach Ben Fredricks on NBC's Freaks and Geeks and for his voice-over work in movies, TV shows and video games.
Films directed by Robert Zemeckis