“Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need… roads!” -“Doc” Brown
By Britt Argo
As movie theaters are temporarily closed around the country, I wanted to highlight and recommend a great iconic movie to stream and watch at home. It’s the 35th anniversary of Back to the Future and a time to celebrate it again—the clock tower, the DeLorean, the flux capacitor, 88 miles per hour, two flaming tire tracks, 80s songs by Huey Lewis and the News, and of course the perfect casting: Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly), Christopher Lloyd (“Doc” Brown), Lea Thompson (Lorraine “Marty’s Mom”), Crispin Glover (George “Marty’s Dad”), and Thomas Wilson (Biff Tannen).
What It’s About
Taking place in 1985, high-schooler Marty McFly meets his eccentric, science inventor neighbor, Doc Brown, in the Twin Pines Mall parking lot to video record his biggest breakthrough—a DeLorean Time Machine. To power his machine, Doc swipes plutonium from Libyan terrorists. When they find and shoot him, Marty’s escape in the DeLorean sends him back in time to 1955. Back to the day Doc had thought up the time travel “Flux Capacitor” and back to the day Marty’s parents first met. Marty bumps into his dad and accidently takes his place—getting hit by a car and finding his mom swooning over him instead of his dad.
Stuck in 1955, Marty must get a 30-year younger Doc to quickly figure out time travel, in order to send him back. He must get his parents to fall in love at the “Enchantment Under the Sea” dance or he and his siblings will never be born. Plus, he has a run in with his dad’s bully, Biff and his gang, and becomes the new target of their revenge. Doc realizes the only power source strong enough to fuel the car in 1955 is lightning. Luckily, Marty kept a “Save the Clock Tower” flyer and knew the exact day and time that lightning struck the town’s clock tower. If Doc can harness the lightning at the precise moment and Marty can reunite his parents, then he can finally get “Back to the Future!”
The Hidden Gems
In the opening sequence, we catch a glimpse into Doc’s home with all the gadgets and clocks. One of his clocks has silent film star Harold Lloyd hanging from a clock face—a foreshadowing of the big climatic scene when he is dangling from the clock to reconnect the wire.
When Marty helps Doc load the plutonium, he is wearing a yellow hazmat suit and ends up wearing it when he crashes into a barn in the 50s. The farmer’s son mistakes him for a space alien out of his sci-fi comic book. Later when he needs to convince his sci-fi aficionado dad to date Lorraine, he wears the yellow “space suit” ordering him to comply as Darth Vader from Planet Vulcan.
In 1985, Marty and his band tried out for the school talent show. The prudish judge tells them they are “just too darn loud.” That prudish judge is actually played by award-winning musician Huey Lewis, of Huey Lewis and the News—who in real life wrote and recorded the very song they were playing, “The Power of Love.”
When high-school bully Biff brings his gang, one of them is played by a young Billy Zane (Titanic fame). He never gets a speaking part, but I never realized until now that he was in the movie.
Why You Will Love Watching It Again
Your favorite scenes. Remember these:
- Marty at the diner trying to order “Tab” and “Pepsi Free” or saying everything is “heavy.”
- Marty on a makeshift skateboard, hanging onto a truck, and outrunning Biff and the gang as they end up crashing into a manure truck.
- The school dance when Marty plays guitar to ensure his parents have their first kiss. He starts fading away when they are separated. Then when they kiss, he comes back fully amped-up.
- The big action scene when Doc can’t get the lightning wire to work at the clock tower and there are only seconds to get everything to line up for the DeLorean to return.
Now on Netflix
“Great Scott!” Netflix is adding the entire Back to the Future trilogy this month… “your kids are gonna love it.”
Britt Argo, an avid movie fan for 30 years, sees an average of 150 movies a year in movie theaters. She is the marketing coordinator at Area 51: Aurora Cineplex and The Fringe Miniature Golf—5100 Commerce Parkway in Roswell. 770-518-0977.