Great Scott! Today marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the premiere of Back to the Future. The film follows teenage slacker Marty McFly who accidentally travels back in time thirty years where he interrupts his parents meeting and must make them fall in love before he literally disappears from existence.
The film began life when the producer saw his parents' yearbook and wondered if he would have been friends with them. The writer and eventual director developed the idea and began shopping it around to various studios including Columbia Pictures and The Walt Disney Company. Every major studio turned it down. Most felt it was not as risque as other popular teenage movies of the time, while Disney felt it was too risque given the subplot where Marty's mother falls in love with him. It wasn't until director Robert Zemeckis found success with Romancing the Stone that the film began production with Columbia. When the studio faced legal troubles due to another film, they made a deal to give the film to Universal Pictures.
The film went on to become an enormous success. It had the fourth highest grossing opening weekend of the year and became the highest grossing film of the year spending a total of eleven weeks at the top. It received nearly universal praise from critics. It won the Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing while being nominated for three others. It won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film. It was also nominated for Best Film at the British Academy Film Awards and Golden Globes. It spawned an enormous franchise including two sequels for a beloved trilogy, theme park ride, animated series, musical adaptation, and numerous video games. It has been ranked as one of the greatest movies ever made and often ranks near the top of best movies lists. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It was referenced by President Ronald Reagan, who himself is referenced in the film, in his 1986 State of the Union Address. It also vastly increased the popularity of skateboards, which was in its infancy at the time.
The film features the talents of Thomas F. Wilson as main antagonist high school bully Biff Tannen, George DiCenzo as Marty's grandfather Sam Baines, and Tony Pope as a radio announcer. Jeff Goldblum auditioned for the role of Emmett "Doc" Brown but lost the role to his The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai co-star Christopher Lloyd.