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Back to the Future at 25.

July 20, 2010

On July 3, 1985, American Audiences were introduced to a little movie entitled Back to the Future. From this point on, audiences would forever be enthralled by the time traveling shenanigans of Marty McFly (played with perfection by Michael J. Fox) and the endearing mad scientist antics of Dr. Emmett Brown, (played by the irreplaceable Christopher Lloyd.) During the initial theatrical run, the movie became one of the highest grossing movies at the time, and eventually the movie earned itself 4 Academy Award nominations, which included a nomination for Best Original Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. (Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale).

Not too shabby considering that the movie had a hard time getting made in the first place. This was during the time in 80’s cinema when raunchy was in. Porky’s, Revenge of the Nerds, Meatballs, etc. The filthier a movie was, the better. Major studios felt that the movie wasn’t raunchy enough, with the exception of Disney Studios, who thought the implied Oedipus complex was too raunchy as it was. Eventually, the movie found a home at Universal Pictures, where executives were impress by Zemeckis’ previous film,  Romancing the Stone. Production got under way with Eric Stoltz  (He’s the guy who played Rocky Dennis in the movie Mask. crazy, right?) in the role of Marty. Halfway through production, the film was scrapped and Michael J. Fox was recast as Marty, and the second production got under way. (This isn’t really a BTTF trivia post, so this will be one of a couple trivia nuggets in here.)

With the picture finally in the can, the film was set to make movie history. The movie was almost three years old when I came around in 88, and preproduction was already under way for parts II and III. I don’t really know how old I was the first time I saw the movie, or even heard of it, but I really wish I did. I’d give the person who introduced me to the movie a gigantic hug. My earliest memory of having the movie in my consciousness would have to be when I was 7 or 8. We had gone out to God knows where, and I was rushing my folks to get to the house by 8, because the movie was going to come out on NBC. I had seen the TV previews and was dead set on not missing it. (This was before Netflix and on demand young’uns, also I didn’t own a VHS copy :\)

Anyway, I had already seen the movie before hand…Although it’s possible that this could have been the first time I saw the movie…hmm who knows? Any rate, we got home a couple of minutes into it. It was the scene at the beginning where the camera pans across several random clocks inside Doc Brown’s house. Right at the beginning, I was hooked on that movie for life. I was just in awe at what I saw; giant amplifiers blowing up, a strange looking time machine with gull doors, and then at the very end, said machine literally getting up and flying away.  I don’t know if you have picked up on it yet, but I love this movie. There are a lot more things I can and probably will write about the movie on here, but now it’s on to the real purpose of the post.

When a movie is celebrating a major anniversary like 20th,25th, 50th, or whatever it may be, different sites write their own version of ‘best of’ or a list of their ‘favorite’ things about the movie. Usually the lists have a number of items that correspond to the anniversary it is celebrating. These lists often give the reader new insight in the film making process, or just gives random trivia. I really enjoy these lists but my biggest gripes with them is the fact that they always list the items with a numbered ranking. These sites also have the unfortunate habit of labeling their lists as ‘definitive’. When in reality, these lists are objective to the person who is writing them, and everyone’s own lists would include different items. Who’s to say that their number one item listed, will be number one for everyone else? Or, that the lowest ranked item isn’t going to appear higher on other’s lists?  So now in honor of Back to the Futures 25th Anniversary, and  in no particular numerical order, here are my 25 personal favorite (not the definitive list for the public),one liners, catch phrases, and dialog exchanges from the film.

Great Scott!

My density has popped me to you.

Say hi to your mom for me.

Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need…..roads.

It’s already mutated into human form! Shoot it!

Marty: Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Doc. Ah..are you telling me, that you built a time machine out of a Delorean?!

Doc: The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?

If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you’re going to see some serious shit.

Marty: Ah! Where are my pants?

Lorraine: Over there…on my hope chest.

Time circuits on. Flux Capacitor….Fluxing.

Doc: Then tell me, ” future boy”, who’s president of the United States in 1985?

Marty: Ronald Reagan.

Doc: Ronald Reagan? The actor? Ha! Then whose vice president? Jerry Lewis?

Doc: I suppose Jane Wyman is the first lady.

Marty: Wait, Doc!

Doc: And Jack Benny is secretary of the treasury

Jesus, George, It’s a wonder I was even born.

Doc: 1.21 gigawatts!! 1.21 gigawatts.. great scott!

Marty: What..what the hell is a gigawatt!?

Doc: How could I have been so careless? 1.21 gigawatts! Tom, how am I gonna generate that  kind of power? It can’t be done, can it?

Marty: Doc, look. All we need is a little plutonium.

Doc: Oh! I’m sure that in 1985, plutonium is available in every corner drug store, but in 1955, it’s a little hard to come by. Marty I’m sorry, but I’m afraid you’re stuck here.

Marty: Doc, you’re my only hope.

Doc: Marty, I’m sorry, but the only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is a bolt of lightning.

Marty: What did you say?

Doc: A bolt of lightning. Unfortunately, you never know when or where it’s ever gonna strike.

Marty: We do now.

Next Saturday night, we’re sending you back!…to the future!

Since when can weathermen predict the weather, let alone the future?

Save the clock tower!

What are you lookin’ at, butthead?

Let’s see if you bastards can do 90.

You’ve got a real attitude problem, Mcfly! You’re a slacker!

I have the car towed all the way to your house, and all you got for me light beer?

(Doc reaches out to the touch the Delorean, and winces in pain.)

Marty: What? What? Is it hot?

Doc: It’s cold. Damn cold.

Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think Mcfly. Think!

Marty: This is great. Does this run on like regular unleaded gasoline?

Doc: Unfortunately, no. It requires something with a little more kick. Plutonium.

Marty: Uh, plutonium, wait a minute,  are you telling me that this sucker is nuclear!?

What are you lookin’ at, butthead?

Lorraine: Well, it’ll just happen, like the way I met your father.

Linda: That was so stupid, grandpa hit him with the car!

Lorraine: It was meant to be.

Silence, Earthling! My name is Darth Vader! I am an extraterrestrial from the planet Vulcan!

Marty: Do you know where 1640 Riverside…

Lou: Are you gonna order somethin’, kid?

Marty: Uh, yea..gimme gimme a Tab.

Lou: Tab? I can’t give you a Tab unless you order somethin’.

Marty: Right. Give me a Pepsi Free.

Lou: If you want a Pepsi, pal, you’re gonna pay for it.

Marty: Just give me something without any sugar in it, ok?

Lou: Somethin’ without sugar.

(Hands Marty a cup of black coffee.)

…..? (most likely.)

(This post was initially going to be uploaded on 7-3-10, the actual 25th anniversary of the movie, but I was having computer troubles, and other stuff kept coming up. Stayed tuned. The story of this issue coming in another post. )

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