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What is Back to the Future?

By Kathy Hawkins
Updated May 17, 2024
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Back to the Future is a popular science-fiction comedy motion picture that was released in 1985. The film stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, and Crispin Glover, and was directed by Robert Zemeckis, with Steven Spielberg as an executive producer. On its release, the film brought in $210 million US Dollars (USD) in the United States alone, and was the highest grossing movie of 1985. The film was later followed by two sequels.

The movie is about a young man named Marty McFly, who goes back in time to meet his parents when they were teenagers, with the help of a time-traveling DeLorean car created by Doc Brown. In the film, Marty's teenage mother, Lorraine, becomes attracted to him, and Marty must help his nerdy father win her over — if he doesn't, the course of history will be changed, and Marty and his siblings will cease to exist. Fortunately, Marty manages to get his teenage parents together, so the world's order is restored. He then travels back to present day by harnessing electricity from a lightning bolt during a storm to power the time-traveling car.

The original Back to the Future movie was so popular that director Robert Zemeckis decided to film two sequels, even though it was originally envisioned as a stand-alone film. In the first sequel, Marty goes into the future to help his family, while in the final chapter of the trilogy, Marty and Doc Brown go back to the Wild West. Though the sequels were popular, they did not reach the box office success of the original film, with respective box office sales of $118 million USD and $88 million USD. In 2002, all three movies were released together in a box set from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Back to the Future is considered a classic film, and appears frequently on cable and network television. It has also inspired a ride at Universal Studios theme park, and an animated TV series. It was also instrumental in launching the film career of its star, Michael J. Fox.

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Discussion Comments
By truman12 — On Mar 26, 2012
@summing - I think that another sequel is unlikely but back to the Future is the kind of movie that is primed to be remade. Everyone knows the story and the characters but I think that they would be willing to revisit the entire franchise if it had new actors and some flashy modern special effects.

And of course it would be in 3D. Can't you just imagine the Delorean racing off of the screen and into the theaters. I am not a fan of remakes in general but I would be willing to see a new version of the Back to the Future trilogy

By summing — On Mar 26, 2012

I thought that I heard a while back that they were going to make a Back to the Future 4. Has anyone heard of this? Is there any truth to the rumor?

Obviously Michael J Fox would have a hard time reprising his role but I feel like there must be a way to do it. I love all three of the films and I would be ecstatic if the made another one, even if it was not as good as what came before it.

By tigers88 — On Mar 25, 2012
I almost can't believe that this article exists. Who hasn't seen or at least heard of Back to the Future? That movie is a classic and for good reason. It is funny, exciting, weird and has an appeal for people of all ages.

Lots of films have tried to replicate the feel of Back to the Future but for my money none of them comes close to matching that movie's unique brand of charm.

By mendocino — On Aug 03, 2009

I believe the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios was replaced with something new.

When new films become popular, some of the older attractions are dismantled and new rides take their place.

Is it Backdraft that replaced the Back to the Future ride?

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