Insecure but intelligent and wise-cracking 17-year-old Hill Valley High student Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) is working as an assistant to his eccentric scientist pal Dr Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) when he is accidentally sent back to 1955 in a specially-adapted plutonium-powered time-travelling DeLorean.
When Marty lands in Hill Valley 30 years ago, Cattle Queen of Montana with Ronald Reagan and Barbara Stanwyck is playing at the Bijou, 16 Tons is at the top of the hit parade, and Mr Sandman seeps from the radio.
Luckily, Marty finds “Doc”, 30 years younger but still as screwy, at his previous (er . . . future) address, and the pair try to figure out how to generate 1.21 “jigawatts” of electricity to power the flux capacitor (pictured) in the modified DeLorean and return Marty to 1985.
The twisty, turny plot of Back to the Future thrives on little cross-time touches – like Marty being mistaken for “Calvin Klein” since that’s the name sewn on his underwear and the residents of Hill Valley thinking he’s a sailor as he’s wearing a vest which looks like a life preserver.
Marty’s biggest challenge, though, is how to peel the repressed but precocious Lorraine Baines (Lea Thompson) – his young drooling nubile mother-to-be – off his elbow and turn her attention to the school’s biggest twerp, terminally nerdy George McFly (Crispin Glover). If he can’t make a match for his future mother and father, there won’t be any Marty, and he will be erased from existence.
Along the way, he invents the skateboard and plays an “oldie but a goodie” on his guitar, inspiring Chuck Berry to invent rock ‘n’ roll . . .
The creativity and manic energy of the film helped earn Director Robert Zemeckis and co-writer Bob Gale an Academy Award nomination, and the film itself became one of the biggest hits of the decade. Steven Spielberg was an executive producer.
Two sequels followed, as did a successful cartoon series and a motion ride at the Universal Studios theme parks in California and Florida.
“Lorraine, you are my density.”
Marty Mc Fly
Michael J. Fox
Thomas F. Wilson
Wendie Jo Sperber