Back to the Future

Universal Released 1985




out of 10
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Movie Summary

Robert Zemeckis

Marty McFly is a rebellious teen who befriends the local eccentric scientist Dr. Emmett Brown, constantly at his heels and lending his hand with the doctor's experiments. One night, he meets the 'Doc' at a secluded mall to test his latest invention: a time machine fashioned out of a DeLorean. Before you can say, 'Great Scott', the Doc has been murdered by the Libyan terrorists he cheated out of some Plutonium which he needed to power the device. Marty escapes in the time machine to the year 1955, where he accidentally bumps into his parents, effectively changing history so that his mother is now infatuated with him! If Marty doesn't want to evaporate from existence, he must now get his parents to fall in love so that he may be created one day and then get back to the future!


Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    Mr. Zemeckis is able both to keep the story moving and to keep it from going too far. He handles Back to the Future with the kind of inventiveness that indicates he will be spinnin...

  • 88

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The movie, in fact, resembles Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" more than other, conventional time-travel movies.

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times Sheila Benson

    It's big, cartoonish and empty, with an interesting premise that is underdeveloped and overproduced. [3 July 1975, p.Calendar 6]

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • A different instrument cluster was fitted to the DeLorean in the movie as the standard speedometer only went up to 85mph. A more powerful Porsche engine was also used.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Marty: Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Doc. Are you telling me that you made a time machine - out of a DeLorean?

    • Marty: Does it run on regular unleaded gasoline?
      Doc: Unfortunately, no. It requires something with a little more kick. Plutonium.
      Marty: Plutonium, wait a minute. Are you telling me that this sucker is nuclear?
      Doc: Hey, hey, hey! Keep rolling there. No, no, no, no ,no. This sucker's electrical but I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need.

    • Marty: (Marty tries to convince the 1955 Doc Brown that he is from the future) I'm telling the truth, Doc. You've got to believe me.
      Doc: Then tell me, future boy. [laughing] Who's president in 1985?
      Marty: Ronald Reagan.
      Doc: Ronald Reagan? The Actor? [exclaims] Then who's vice president? Jerry Lewis?
      Marty: Whoa. Wait, Doc!
      Doc: I suppose Jane Wyman is the first lady. And Jack Benny is the secretary of the treasury.
      Marty: Doc, you gotta listen to me.
      Doc: I've had enough practical jokes for one evening. Good night, future boy.

    • Doc: Now remember. According to my theory, you interfered with your parents' first meeting. If they don't meet, they don't fall in love, they don't get married and they won't have kids. That's why your older brother's disappearing from that photograph. Your sister will follow, and unless you repair the damage, you'll be next
      Marty: Sounds pretty heavy.
      Doc: Weight has nothing to do with it.

    • Biff: (Biff and Marty are at loggerheads) Since you're new here, I'm gonna cut you a break, today. So, why don't you make like a tree and get out of here.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Production Budget - $19,000,000
      Domestic Gross - $210,609,762 (1st)
      Worldwide Gross - $381,109,762 (1st)

      Domestic Adjusted for 2013 - $484,105,819
      Worldwide Adjusted for 2013 - $876,015,678

    • Other Production Companies:
      Amblin Entertainment
      U-Drive Productions

    • Academy Awards Win:
      1. Sound Editing

      Academy Awards Nominations:
      1. Original Screenplay
      2. Sound
      3. Original Song

      Saturn Awards Wins:
      1. Best Sci-fi Film
      2. Actor - Michael J. Fox
      3. Special Effects

      Saturn Awards Nominations:
      1. Best Classic Film DVD Release
      2. Costumes
      3. Director - Robert Zemeckis (won by Ron Howard for Cocoon)
      4. Music
      5. Supporting Actor - Crispin Glover (won by Roddy McDowall for Fright Night)
      6. Supporting Actor - Christopher Lloyd (won by Roddy McDowall for Fright Night)
      7. Supporting Actress - Lea Thompson (won by Anne Ramsey for The Goonies)

      BAFTA Nominations:
      1. Editing
      2. Best Film
      3. Production Design
      4. Original Screenplay
      5. Visual Effects

      Golden Globes Nominations:
      1. Best Comedy / Musical
      2. Best Original Song in a Movie
      3. Best Actor Comedy / Musical - Michael J. Fox (won by Jack Nicholson for Prizzi's Honor)

      Grammy Nominations:
      1. Best Album Written for a Motion Picture
      4. Screenplay

    • Music:
      The Power of Love / Back in Time
      Written by Huey Lewis and Chris Hayes
      Performed by Huey Lewis and the News
      Heaven is One Step Away
      Performed by Eric Clapton
      Time Bomb Town
      Performed by Lindsey Buckingham
      Mr. Sandman
      Performed by Four Aces
      The Ballad of Davy Crockett
      Performed by Fess Parker
      The Wallflower (Dance with Me Henry)
      Performed by Etta James
      Night Train
      performed by Marvin Berry and the Starlighters
      Pledging My Love
      Performed by Johnny Ace
      Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine) / Johnny B. Goode
      Performed by Marty McFly and the Starlighters

    • Filming locations include:
      Santa Clarita, California
      South Pasadena, California
      Pacoima, Los Angeles, California
      Pasadena, California
      Burbank, California
      Chino, California
      Universal Studios,Universal City, California
      Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
      Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California
      Panorama City, Los Angeles, California
      City of Industry, California
      Oak Knoll, Pasadena, California
      Newhall, California
      Whittier, California

    • Taglines:
      1. He's the only kid ever to get into trouble before he was born.
      2. He was never in time for his s . . .Then one day he wasn't in his time at all.
      3. 17 year old Marty McFly got home early last night. 30 years early.
      4. He was never in time for his s... He wasn't in time for his dinner... Then one day... he wasn't in his time at all.
      5. Marty McFly's having the time of his life. The only question is -- what time is it?
      6. Meet Marty McFly. He's broken the time barrier. Busted his parents' first date. And, maybe, botched his chances of ever being born.
      7. Marty McFly just broke the time barrier. He's only got one week to get it fixed.


More Info About This Movie


young love, outrageous situations, surviving high school, zany schemes, time travel