Celebrating 30 Years of Back to the Future!

So today is Back to the Future day (or to be more specific Back to the Future 2 day – as it is on this day October 21st 2015 in Back to the Future 2 that Marty and Doc travel to the future), more importantly while today might be Back to the Future 2 day, this year is the 30th anniversary of the release of the first movie, and we here at Nerd Lowdown being big fans, look back on the film and the cult like status that it has.

July 3rd 1985 is when it all started. On that day Back to the Future was released worldwide. With a modest budget of $19 million, it took the world by storm. It spent 11 weeks at number one. Co-writer Bob Gale recalled: “Our second weekend was higher than our first weekend, which is indicative of great word of mouth”. Fans went mad for this movie. The film went on to gross $210.61 million in North America and $173.2 million in foreign countries, generating a worldwide total of $383.87 million, it was also the highest grossing movie of 1985.


But what made this film so enjoyable? What made it such a hit?. Firstly lets start with the story and concept. The idea of time travel is something that would intrigue many people and catch their interest. Basing the plot of an entire film around the idea of time travel would definitely garner the interest of a worldwide audience. The story is straight forward, our main character time travels back to the past, and has to find a way to send himself Back to the Future.

Back to the Future (1985) Directed by Robert Zemeckis Shown from left: Christopher Lloyd (as Dr. Emmett Brown), Michael J. Fox (as Marty McFly)

The two lead characters, Doctor Emmett Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox). Christopher Lloyd was an excellent casting choice as Doc Brown, he has the natural look of a mad inventor, he has the quirkiness of an eccentric inventor who invents crazy contraptions in his home. Michael J Fox was also the perfect choice and the first choice for Marty McFly, he brought lots of energy and dumbfoundedness to the role, he really got stuck into the role, even though he was committed to Family Ties as the time. The chemistry between Marty and Doc though is what made people fall in love with them, Lloyd and Fox had a great onscreen chemistry, often improvising scenes on set, and showing what a friendship between an eccentric inventor and a teenage kid would really be like.

The DeLorean, of course this was going to appeal to so many people, this movie was released in the 1980’s went cool and flashy cars were in style, while the DeLorean itself as a car did not do well commercially, it had huge success as the time machine in the Back to the Future trilogy. As Doc said himself: if you are going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style? and that is exactly what Doc did. The DeLorean being made into a time machine caught the attention of millions worldwide. It became a character in itself within the movie, who could forget the moment we first laid eyes on it? when it rolled off the back of Doc’s truck? (as seen in the above video). People loved the idea of the DeLorean being a time machine and flocked in masses to cinema’s to see it.


Looking back at the lasting legacy this film has left and the impact it has had on the fans. The first Back to the Future is listed as the 10th greatest movie in the Sci-fi genre (it is this nerds favourite movie), it has a cult like following. People to this day still hold it up on a pedicle of its own. It is a movie that does not need a remake nor should it get anymore sequels. Co-Writer Bob Gale has gone on record and said that a sequel or a reboot would only happen over his dead body. It is a film that has its own that as is evident by today, not many films have their own day. It is a film that to this day is still as enjoyable to watch for the 100th time as it was the first time people watch it.

It has created its own legacy, it has captured the imagination of millions worldwide, and more importantly it has brought joy to the millions of fans around the world. It is a film that will stand the test of time, and forever be considered a classic. When looking at the overall legacy of the film, its fans and what road they will continue on, to quote Doc Brown again: Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

How are you celebrating Back to the Future day? What are your thoughts on the film? let us know.




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