Back to the Future (1985)

USA,
116m
35mm film, Technicolor, 1.85:1
Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints), 70mm 6-Track (70 mm prints), English

An American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Plot Summary

Marty McFly finds his life falling apart when his eccentric friend Doc Emmet Brown has invented a time machine built into a DeLorean car. When the Doc is attacked by Libyan while testing the machine Marty finds himself in 1955 where he accidentally prevents his parents from meeting and has to repair the damage before he fades from existence.

Credits

Crew
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
© MCMLXXXV [1985] by Universal City Studios, Inc.
Steven Spielberg presents a Robert Zemeckis Film
Executive Producers: Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy
Produced by: Bob Gale and Neil Canton
Written by: Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale
Director of Photography: Dean Cundy
Edited by: Arthur Schmidt, Harry Keramidas
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Production Sound Mixer: William B. Kaplan
Costume Designer: Deborah L. Scott
Make-Up Created by: Ken Chase
Hair Stylist: Dorothy Byrne
Visual Effects Produced at: Industrial Light & Magic, Marin County, California
Production Designed by: Lawrence G. Paull

Cast
Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly)
Christopher Lloyd (Dr Emmett Brown)
Lea Thompson (Lorraine Baines)
Crispin Glover (George McFly)
Thomas F. Wilson (Biff Tannen)
Claudia Wells (Jennifer Parker)
Marc McClure (Dave McFly)
Wendie Jo Sperber (Linda McFly)
George DiCenzo (Sam Baines)
James Tolkan (Mr Strickland)
Jeffrey Jay Cohen (skinhead)
Casey Siemaszko (3-D)
Billy Zane (Match)
Harry Waters Jr (Marvin Berry)
Donald Fullilove (Goldie Wilson)

Alternative Titles

Aftur til framtíðar – Iceland
Atgal i ateiti – Lithuania
Behazara La'Ateed – Israel
Epistrofi sto mellon – Greece
Gelecege Dönüs – Turkey
Inapoi in viitor – Romania
Návrat do budoucnosti – Czechoslovakia
Návrat do budúcnosti – Czechoslovakia (Slovak)
Paluu tulevaisuuteen – Finland
Povratak u buducnost – Croatia
Povratak u buducnost – Croatia (television), Yugoslavia (Croatia)
Povratak u buducnost – Serbia
Powrót do przyszlosci – Poland
Regreso al futuro – Spain
Regresso ao Futuro – Portugal
Retorn al futur – Catalan Spain
Retour vers le futur – French, Canada (French)
Ritorno al futuro – Italy
Tagasi tulevikku – Estonia
Terug naar de toekomst – Netherlands
Tilbage til fremtiden – Denmark
Tilbake til fremtiden – Norway
Tillbaka till framtiden – Finland (Swedish), Sweden
Vissza a jövobe – Hungary
De Volta para o Futuro – Brazil
Volver al futuro – Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay
Vrnitev v prihodnost – Slovenia
Zurück in die Zukunft – Germany

Sequels
Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Back to the Future Part III (1990)
Back to the Future (1991-1993)

Remake
Action Replayy (2010)

Extracts included in
1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014)

Press

1985
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.52 n623 (December 1985) p.376
The opening sequences of the film are enlivened by excellent performances, especially from mad scientist Christopher Lloyd, but they remain very much in the sloppy comic spirit of such previous Zemeckis/Spielberg/Gale collaborations as 1941, I Wanna Hold Your Hand and Used : indeed, the hero's elder brother and sister are played by Marc McClure and Wendie Jo Sperber, who had appeared in the earlier films as manic . But once the necessary reams of exposition have been run through, and the Libyan terrorist menace has proved itself too anachronistic even for a film about anachronisms, the movie becomes as magical as Spielberg's previous excursions (E.T., Gremlins) into the American heartland created by Disney and Capra. […] The film is, of course, unable to go through with the Oedipal triangle it sets up, and cops out by having Lorraine declare that kissing Marty is like kissing her brother. But otherwise it is a delight, unravelling with the economical mix of suspense, humour and narrative neatness Zemeckis demonstrated in Romancing the Stone. The film is able to veer from crowd-pleasing slapstick – as Marty improvises a skateboard in order to escape from Biff and his gang – to a gentler, almost melancholy wit, as when Marty finds an uncle (doomed to the life of a jailbird) as an infant in a playpen, and murmurs, “Better get used to those bars”. The mechanics of the plot are as complex and pleasing as those of the novelty clocks that tick and whirr under the credits, with Marty trying to patch up the history he has changed and accidentally improving his lot in the future. […] The performances of Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson as the 50s people are exactly in the movie image of that decade, and do a lot to give life to the film's picture of an era when the very idea of having two television sets is science-fictional, or when an EC comic-clutching kid can, upon seeing a time traveller emerge from his crashed machine, exhort his father with, “It's taking human form, shoot it!” – from an illustrated review by Kim Newman

References

Periodicals

  • L'Écran Fantastique no.52 (January 1985) p.10 – note (Cineflash: Echos de tournage by Glles Polinien)
  • L'Express 19 June 2013 p.112, – review (by Génération Spielberg. Hollywood ne répond plus by Christophe Carrière
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.52 n623 (December 1985) pp.375-376 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review (by Kim Newman)
  • Première October 1985 p.13 – review (by Stella Molitor)

Newspapers

  • Diário de Notícias 7 March 1999 p.55 – review
  • The New York Times 3 July 1985 – review (Movie Review: In ‘Future,' Boy Returns to the Past by Janet Maslin)

Books

  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.391
  • The Best 80s Movies by Helen O'Hara pp.86-87 – illustrated review
  • BFI Screen Guides: 100 Science Fiction Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.15-16
  • Escape Velocity by Bradley Schauer p.203
  • The Films of the Eighties by Douglas Brode pp.137-139 – illustrated credits, review
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.29-30 – credits, synopsis
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.29
  • Jules Verne on Film by Thomas C. Renzi p.164
  • Nuclear Movies: A Filmography by Mick Broderick p.100
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes: An Illustrated Filmography, with Plot Synopses and Critical Commentary by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester pp.40-42 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Science(ish) by Rick Edwards & Dr Michael Brooks pp.102-126 – article
  • Steven Spielberg by Donald R. Mott & Cheryl McAllister Saunders pp.148-149, 185-186
  • Steven Spielberg (2nd ed) by Philip M. Taylor pp.26, 29, 60, 63, 119, 125, 159
  • Steven Spielberg: A Biography by Joseph McBride pp.367, 380-381, 384-385, 505
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) p.13  – illustrated credits, review