Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Synopsis of Movie

“Wait a minute, Doc. Are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?”

Every teenager knows that his or her parents must have been geeks when they were seventeen, but Back to the Future gave one teen a chance to see for himself. Directed and co-written by Robert Zemeckis (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Forrest Gump), this mid-80’s time-traveling romp became the highest-grossing movie of the year, and it helped turn Michael J. Fox, then best known as Family Ties’ orthodox conservative Alex P. Keaton, into a genuine movie star.

At the start of the film, Marty McFly (Fox) lives at home in 1985 with his pantywaist father George, alcoholic shut-in mother Lorraine and siblings Dave and Linda. George is such a wimp that high school thug Biff Tannen, now George’s supervisor, still bullies him around on a daily basis. Marty’s only escape is the home/lab of the eccentric Doc Brown, inventor of various gadgets and doo-dads.

After a routine day of disappointment at school and at home, Marty meets up with Doc at the local mall, where the white-haired genius unveils his latest and greatest creation: a time-traveling DeLorean. The first test, with Doc’s dog Einstein in the driver’s seat, is a success, but before Doc himself can take a whirl, a group of Libyan terrorists (from whom Doc stole the plutonium to power his time machine) peel into the parking lot for a drive-by shooting. Doc is gunned down, but Marty escapes in the DeLorean, which sends him thirty years into the past.

Landing in 1955, Marty finds that the DeLorean is out of radioactive fuel and can’t make the jump back. When Marty goes to find the 1955 Doc for a way back, he accidentally interferes with his own past. A teenage George (as dorky as ever) misses his chance to meet the teenage Lorraine (a bit of a scamp in her younger years), who instead falls for the cute new kid in town… Marty. Marty eventually does find Doc and convince him his story isn’t a crock, but if Marty can’t put George and Lorraine back together, he won’t even have a future to come home to.

The twisty, turny plot of Back to the Future thrived on little cross-time touches—like Marty’s being mistaken for “Calvin Klein,” since that’s the name sewn on his underwear. That type of creativity and the script’s manic energy helped earn Zemeckis and co-writer Bob Gale an Academy Award nomination, and the film itself became one of the biggest hits of the decade. Two feature sequels followed, as did a successful cartoon series and a motion ride at the Universal Studios theme parks in California and Florida.

Movie Release History

1985 - Back to the Future
1989 - Back to the Future Part II
1990 - Back to the Future Part III

Movie Sub Categories

live-action
sci-fi/fantasy
action/adventure
comedy

Movie Studio

Universal, Amblin

Cast

Marty McFly Michael J. Fox
Dr. Emmett L. "Doc" Brown Christopher Lloyd
Lorraine Baines / McFly Lea Thompson
George McFly Crispin Glover
Biff Tannen  Thomas F. Wilson
Jennifer Parker  Claudia Wells
Dave McFly Marc McClure
Linda McFly Wendie Jo Sperber
Sam Baines George DiCenzo
Stella Baines Frances Lee McCain
Mr. Strickland  James Tolkan
Skinhead Jeffrey Jay Cohen
3-D Casey Siemaszko
Match Billy Zane
Marvin Berry Harry Waters Jr.
Goldie Wilson Donald Fullilove
Babs Lisa Freeman
Betty Cristen Kauffman
Clocktower Lady  Elsa Raven
Pa Peabody Will Hare
Ma Peabody Ivy Bethune
Sherman Peabody Jason Marin
Peabody Daughter Katherine Britton
Milton Baines Jason Hervey
Sally Baines Maia Brewton
Dixon Courtney Gains
Terrorist Richard L. Duran
Terrorist Van Driver Jeff O'Haco
Scooter Kid #1 Johnny Green
Scooter Kid #2  Jamie Abbott
Lou Caruthers Norman Alden
Cop  Reed Morgan
Bystander #1  Sachi Parker
Bystander #2 Robert Krantz
Guy #1 Gary Riley
Girl #1 Karen Petrasek
Red  George 'Buck' Flower
Starlighter  Tommy Thomas
Starlighter Granville 'Danny' Young
Starlighter  David Harold Brown
Starlighter  Lloyd L. Tolbert
Pinhead Paul Hansen
Pinhead  Lee Brownfield
Pinhead  Robert DeLapp
Newscaster Deborah Harmon
High School Band Judge Huey Lewis

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