Back to the Future

Back to the Future

A worldwide cultural phenomenon and the highest-grossing film of 1985, Back to the Future launched one of the most successful franchises in Universal’s history, including two theatrical sequels, an animated television series, a theme park ride, toys, comic books, video games and apparel.

The film has been inducted into the National Film Registry, having been deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and deserving of preservation by the Library of Congress. As one of the elite films selected as enduring importance to popular American culture, Back to the Future’s preservation ensures that this timeless classic will be enjoyed by future audiences throughout the rest of time!

Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale, it stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and Thomas F. Wilson. Set in 1985, the story follows Marty McFly (Fox), a teenager accidentally sent back to 1955 in a time-traveling DeLorean automobile built by his eccentric scientist friend Doctor Emmett “Doc” Brown (Lloyd). Trapped in the past, Marty inadvertently prevents his future parents’ meeting—threatening his very existence—and is forced to reconcile the pair and somehow get back to the future.

Back to the Future was conceived of in 1980, by Gale and Zemeckis. They were desperate for a successful film after numerous collaborative failures, their idea was rejected by over 40 studios because it was not considered raunchy enough to compete with the successful comedies of the era. A development deal was secured following Zemeckis’ success directing Romancing the Stone (1984). Fox was the first choice to portray Marty, but he was unavailable; Eric Stoltz was cast instead. Shortly after principal photography began in November 1984, Zemeckis determined Stoltz was not right for the part and made the concessions necessary to hire Fox. This included re-filming scenes already shot with Stoltz and adding $4 million to the budget. Back to the Future was filmed in and around California and on sets at Universal Studios. Filming concluded the following April.

About the Cast

MICHAEL J. FOX plays Marty McFly, a senior at Hill Valley High who is accidentally sent back in time to 1955. The popular star of NBC’s hit series “Family Ties,” Fox won the leading role in “Back to the Future” while he was still in daily production of his TV show. For two months, he worked on both projects simultaneously, devoting his days to Alex Keaton of “Family Ties” and his nights to Marty McFly.

Fox, 24, is a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, where he grew up in a family of five children. He began acting as a child, and won a role at the age of 15 in a regional TV series called “Leo and Me.” After a small role in a television film with Art Carney and Maureen Stapleton, he moved to Los Angeles and soon won a part in a Walt Disney feature, “Midnight Madness.”

From there, he appeared in the critically acclaimed miniseries, “Palmerstown USA,” and won guest starring roles on such television series as “Trapper John,” “Lou Grant” and “Family.” His most recent movie for television, “Poison Ivy,” co-starred Nancy McKeon.

An avid hockey player who says he has the scars to prove it, Fox is actively involved with several charitable organizations and serves as the National Chairman for Public Awareness of Spina Bifida.

CHRISTOPHER LLOYD plays Dr. Brown, an eccentric scientist whose nuclear- powered time machine accidentally sends a high school student named Marty McFly back to 1955. Best known to audiences for his Emmy Award winning role as the spaced-out Reverend Jim on TV’s long-running series “Taxi,” Lloyd is a versatile performer with a prolific list of credits in both motion pictures and television.

Born in Stanford, Connecticut, Lloyd began apprenticing in summer stock at the age of 16 and moved to New York to work in theatre when he was 20. Following his studies at the Neighborhood Playhouse with Stanford Meisner, Lloyd won roles in the Broadway production of “Happy End” opposite Meryl Streep and “Red, White and Maddox.”

He made an auspicious motion picture debut in the Academy Award winning “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and then moved to Los Angeles in 1976 in order to pursue more work in film.

Among his motion picture credits are “Goin’ South,” “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” “The Onion Field,” “The Lone Ranger,” “To Be or Not To Be,” “Mr. Mom,” “Buckaroo Banzai” and “Star Trek III.”

LEA THOMPSON takes on an interesting challenge for her role as Lorraine Baines McFly—she plays a flirtatious young 17-year-old in 1955, and a frustrated suburban housewife 30 years later.

A professional dancer at the age of 14, Thompson won scholarships with both the American Ballet Theatre and the San Francisco Ballet before deciding to pursue a career as an actress at the age of 20. She moved to New York, and within a year, had won both commercial assignments and a small role in “Jaws 3-D.”

It was her role as Lisa Lietske in “All the Right Moves” opposite Tom Cruise which brought her to the attention of audiences and critics, and led to a challenging role soon after in John Milius’ “Red Dawn.” She next starred in Universal’s “The Wild Life” and will be seen in the upcoming British feature “Yellow Pages,” also starring Jean Simmons.

CRISPIN GLOVER portrays George McFly, the 47-year-old father of Marty McFly, and the 17-year-old student Marty will meet when a nuclear- powered time machine accidentally sends him to 1955.

“Back to the Future” marks the fifth film role for the 20-year-old actor who has been performing since elementary school. Most recently, he was seen as a rebellious teenager who is shot in a school hallway in “Teachers,” co-starring Ralph Macchio and Nick Nolte. His other film credits include “Friday the 13th, Part V,” “Racing With the Moon,” “My Tutor” and an AFI film, which he particularly enjoyed, called “The Orkly Kid.” Born in New York, but raised in Los Angeles, Glover has also appeared on such television series as “Hill St. Blues,” “Family Ties” and “Happy Days.”

THOMAS F. WILSON deftly handles the amusing role of Biff Tannen, a high school bully whose behavior hasn’t changed at all in the 30 years that follow.

The Philadelphia-born actor discovered a love for acting in high school and soon became active in summer stock. While performing “Richard III” one summer, he joined some friends at a comedy club for improvisations and discovered a natural talent as a stand-up comic. Following his move to Los Angeles, he has become a popular attraction at the Comedy Store and continues to perform there between assignments. “Back to the Future” marks his motion picture debut.

CLAUDIA WELLS portrays Jennifer Parker, Marty McFly’s beautiful girlfriend.

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Wells, 18, grew up in San Francisco, where her lovely soprano voice won her many performances with the San Francisco Opera. She also studied at the famed American Conservatory Theatre and performed with the San Francisco Dance Theatre.


In addition to a co-starring role in the recent TV comedy series “Off the Rack,” she has appeared in such shows as “Family,” “Simon and Simon,” “Trapper John” and “Fame.”

About the Filmmakers

Director ROBERT ZEMECKIS, considered to be one of the most talented young filmmakers working today, most recently completed the 1984 hit, “Romancing the Stone,” starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.

A 1973 graduate of the USC School of Cinema, Zemeckis showed his Academy Award winning student film, “Field of Honor,” to Steven Spielberg and John Milius, who arranged for him and his USC writing partner, Bob Gale, to develop their next script, “1941,” which Spielberg later directed. Zemeckis made his directorial debut in 1978 with “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” a comically nostalgic story of a group of New Jersey teenagers who travel to Manhattan during the Beatles’ first trip to New York.

Zemeckis then directed another Zemeckis-Gale screenplay, based on an idea from Spielberg and Milius, “Used Cars,” which starred Kurt Russell.

Born and raised in the southside of Chicago, Zemeckis began making short films with his 8mm camera while still in high school. He attended Northern Illinois University before transferring to the University of Southern California.

Writer-Producer BOB GALE, whom California magazine called “one of today’s hottest young writers,”was born and raised in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Tulane University as an engineering major, but soon opted for a film program and transferred to the USC School of Cinema.

There, he met Robert Zemeckis and the talented duo came to the attention of several prominent filmmakers. In addition to writing and producing “Used Cars,” Gale wrote the novelization of “1941” and continues to write screenplays, both with Zemeckis and on his own.

Producer NEIL CANTON most recently produced “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.” Born and raised in New York City, Canton graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., and landed a summer job with noted director Peter Bogdanovich. Canton continued as his assistant for six films, and worked on such productions as “What’s Up, Doc?”, “Paper Moon” and “Nickelodeon.” He also spent two years on Orson Welles’ long-awaited “The other Side of the Wind” and then left to work with Walter Hill on “The Warriors.”

Executive producers STEVEN SPIELBERG, KATHLEEN KENNEDY and FRANK MARSHALL represent an association that has not only re-written box office history, but also is responsible for fostering and developing several of the motion picture industry’s most outstanding new talent.

Kathleen Kennedy served as co-producer, with Spielberg, of the biggest grossing picture in film history, “E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial.” She met Spielberg as a production assistant on “1941” and later became an associate producer for “Poltergeist” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Kennedy served as co-executive producer on “Gremlins” and, along with Marshall and Spielberg, handles the same duties for a wide variety of projects, including “The Goonies” and “Young Sherlock Holmes.”

Frank Marshall first worked with Spielberg as producer of 1981’s blockbuster, “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” He was also producer of “Poltergeist,” production supervisor on “E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial” and executive producer on “Twilight Zone – the Movie,” as well as on “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

Steven Spielberg, whose own legendary successes as a director have resulted in more than a billion dollars in box office grosses, has also emerged as an enthusiastic supporter of the motion picture industry’s top young talent. As an executive producer, Spielberg plays an important role in the development of each project and remains an active contributor throughout the production of each film under his aegis.

Director of photography DEAN CUNDEY established a relationship with director Bob Zemeckis when they collaborated on “Romancing the Stone.” His six-film association with director John Carpenter includes all three “Halloween” pictures “The Fog,” “Escape From New York” and “The Thing.” A native Californian, Cundey graduated from UCLA film school in 1968.

Production designer LARRY PAULL received an Academy Award nomination for the visually unusual “Bladerunner.” Impressed by his style, Zemeckis hired Paull to design the visual concept of “Romancing the Stone” and the association proved to be a good one. Paull’s additional credits include an upcoming release, “American Flyer,” as well as “Doctor Detroit,” “In God We Trust,” “Blue Collar” and “W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings” among others.

Composer ALAN SILVESTRI is virtually self-taught as a film composer. After attending the Berklee College of Music, Silvestri played guitar for the Wayne Cochran Band in Las Vegas, and eventually ended up in Los Angeles. In 1972, a friend asked Silvestri if he knew anything about scoring motion pictures. Eager for a job, Silvestri said yes, then read up on the subject and got hired to do “The Doberman Gang.” This led to more low budget feature work, followed by five years of television’s “CHIPS.” More recently, Silvestri scored “Cat’s Eye,” “Fandango” and “Romancing The Stone” for director Robert Zemeckis.

Film editor ARTHUR SCHMIDT grew up around cutting rooms because his father was a film editor. His credits include the feature films “Marathon Man,” “Jaws II,” “The Idolmaker,” “Firstborn” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” for which he received an Academy Award nomination, in addition to the highly acclaimed TV movie, “The Jericho Mile,” for which he took home an Emory.

Film editor HARRY KERAMIDAS came to the film business by way of the Peace Corps. His interest in anthropology and human cultures led him to the Ethnographic Film Division at UCLA, and then into a joint project with the Office of Economic Opportunity and the Canadian Film Board, for which he worked in various capacities on 70 films in one year! After working several years on various documentaries and educational films for Encyclopedia Britannica, Keramidas moved into low budget features, then to television where he edited “The Hardy Boys-Nancy Drew Mysteries” and various TV movies. Keramidas’ recent credits include “Children of the Corn,” “Bustin’ Loose” and “Scared Straight: Another Story.”

The special effects for “Back to the Future” were created by George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the company which has won five consecutive Academy Awards for its work on “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Raiders of the Los Ark,” “E.T.,” “Return of the Jedi” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

KEN RALSTON supervised the ILM crew who developed the time travel effects for “Back to the Future.” Ralston has served as visual effects supervisor for “Star Trek II” and “III,” “Return of the Jedi” (for which he won an Academy Award) and the upcoming film “Cocoon.”

Steven Spielberg presents a Robert Zemeckis film “Back to the Future,” starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson. The screenplay is by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, with music by Alan Silvestri. It is produced by Bob Gale and Neil Canton. The executive producers are Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. The director is Robert Zemeckis.

Back to the Future – Official Digital Remaster Trailer 2020

Sci-fi comedy classic Back to the Future has been digitally remastered in fabulous 4K for the first time and is available as part of our ‘For the Love of Cinema’ package.

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Back to the Future

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