Back To The Future at 35- A Love Letter To A Timeless Classic From A Lifetime Fanboy.
On Wednesday, July 3rd 1985 the world changed as we knew it. A franchise was born, and the world of science fiction was thirsty for a new story to latch onto with Return Of The Jedi being released 2 years prior.
Creators Bob Gale & Bob Zemeckis were worried about time travel movies not making money, and the original tagline the studio had given the movie "Are you telling me my mother has the hots for me?!"...but thankfully that didn't stick.
Their concerns were soon vanquished as the movie stayed at the number one slot in the box office until National Lampoon's European Vacation was released in August, which only ousted BTTF for one weekend, then it popped back up to the top slot. Overall, the film went on to gross nearly $390 Million in it's theatrical release worldwide, which was top grossing film of 1985.
Here we are, 35 years later. I am 37 years old still loving these movies for their fun AND their imperfections. I did not discover Back To The Future until 1989 when part 2 came out and the Pizza Hut promo craze started. I became obsessed with the concept of time travel, and what the past/future was/would be like. My grandmother purchased the VHS of part 1 shortly after seeing part 2 in the theater. It was over. I've been down the rabbit hole ever since.
I love the films and I live in their fantasy when watching them, my suspension of disbelief leaves from when the screen fades in to the clocks ticking in Doc Brown's garage, to when the DeLorean flies down the street and back at the camera leaving us wanting to watch the sequel.
For just about my entire adult life since I have had disposable income, I've spent varying amounts of time buying, selling and trading Back To The Future toys, collectibles, memorabilia and trinkets. Many items were lost in 2010 when due to a relationship ending and me not paying attention, a storage unit of mine was sold off, thus resetting my time circuits.
Over the years, I've seen so many different takes on the film. I've seen deep dives, conspiracy theories, and entire documentaries on the "mistakes" in the film which claim to invalidate the timelines of each flick because "if X happened in 1955 then how could Y happen in 2015?"...yeah that's not me. I don't need to peel back more layers than a bloomin' onion to make "sense" of the dates in the franchise. I love the films and I live in their fantasy when watching them, my suspension of disbelief leaves from when the screen fades in to the clocks ticking in Doc Brown's garage, to when the DeLorean flies down the street and back at the camera leaving us wanting to watch the sequel.
For some fun, let's go over some facts you may or may not know about the most fun time travel franchise in history. Feel free to use these for trivia nights, I won't ask for royalties...just follow me on Instagram and we'll call it even. ;)
Doc Brown's original companion was a chimpanzee named "Shemp", it was later changed due to the fact that 'movies with chimps never made money' according to Bob Gale.
In an early version of the script, Doc Brown(at the time he was named 'Professor') used the combination of an old refrigerator and an atomic blast to travel through time. It was nixed by Spielberg because he didn't want kids trying to replicate the process and get trapped inside fridges.
Huey Lewis & The News turned down offer to record the theme to Ghostbusters by Columbia Pictures due to their loyalties to Zemeckis.
Disney lambasted the picture due to its depictions of implied incest.
A studio executive tried to have the name of the film changed to "Spaceman From Pluto" because he was worried people would balk at movie with "Future" in the name.
Doc & Marty became friends after Marty snuck into Doc's lab when he was a young teen(reportedly 13 or 14) and he was fascinated by all of the cool gadgets. Doc gave Marty a part time job to help with experiments and take care of the dog.
Most of the other factoids you've probably heard so I wanted to keep that list short.
I've become a bit of a library of BTTF knowledge, and I'm proud of it despite the looks I get sometimes. It's always exciting to meet someone who loves it "as much" as me, but I know I edge them out.
I've included some photos of part of my BTTF collection. Some items are new, some are old, but if it has a likeness or is an official piece of memorabilia, I'll basically collect it and need to have it. (That's secret code for sell me your BTTF stuff)
As I type this, I'm watching Back To The Future on my television in my office at Spotlight Marketing Solutions, LLC on a beautiful Friday of a holiday weekend. I've been watching this franchise for over 3 decades and I love it just as much as I did when I discovered it, if not more and more each time.
If you'd like to support our mission, we've got oodles of Back To The Future items available on our website store and Etsy Shop! There's more available on the Etsy shop and some stuff was just added today! Here's a preview taste!
Just for fun, here's the original teaser trailer released in 1985. It's actually a pretty stark difference to the actual film that was released. Much less "80's science fiction" music in the film, but it's still fun to watch.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some movies to watch today...er...really important work to do at my Back To The Future museum...er...office.
In a world that seems upside down, inside out, and every which way but right...I still have my escapism in this franchise that really helps me disconnect and just revel in the fantasy.
Be well, thanks for reading, and I'll see you in the future!
(If you're reading this from the future, do NOT set your time circuits to 2020!)