On This Day: ‘Back to the Future’ Hits Theaters in 1985

by Keeli Parkey

Great Scott, movie fans! Today marks the 36th anniversary of the premiere of “Back to the Future.” The film was originally released on July 3, 1985.

For those of you who haven’t seen the film (and you definitely should), it follows the character Marty McFly as he is sent back in time in a time machine built by his friend – the odd, yet brilliant, Dr. Emmett Brown. The time machine was made out of a DeLorean no less, making it stylish in a very, very 1980s way.

In that time machine, Marty is sent back to his hometown of Hill Valley, California, in 1955. There, he encounters his mother and father as teenagers. Of course, time travel unexpected occurrences are part of time travel and through a series of events, Marty must make sure that his parents fall in love. Fortunately, he has help from the 1955 version of Doc Brown.

Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd give very memorable performances of Marty and Doc Brown, respectively, in “Back to the Future.”

The rest of the cast is also very fun to watch. Lea Thompson plays Marty’s mother, Lorraine. Crispin Glover plays his father, George. Also, both Thompson and Glover play the 1955 and 1985 versions of their characters, as does Lloyd.

Here’s something you might not know about “Back to the Future” – Michael J. Fox was not the only actor cast to play the role of Marty McFly. In fact, parts of the film were shot with another actor in the role. That actor was Eric Stoltz.

Stoltz worked for about two weeks on the film before he was fired. This reportedly took place for a few reasons. Stoltz was very “method” in his acting approach to the role. He also played Marty differently than Fox. Fox’s take on the character was much lighter than Stoltz’s.

Stoltz was also let go from the project because he and Thomas F. Wilson did not have a good relationship. Wilson played the character of Biff Tannen in “Back to the Future.” Also, Wilson actually created a few of Tannen’s most famous lines himself. These included “butthead,” as well as “make like a tree and get outta here.”

Here’s another fact about the film – it almost wasn’t called “Back to the Future” at all. Its original title was “Space Man from Pluto.”

Also, the famous time machine made out of a DeLorean was almost made out of a Ford Mustang. And, it also wasn’t even a car. At one point, the time machine was going to be a refrigerator.

You can watch the trailer for “Back to the Future” below.

Success of ‘Back to the Future’ Led to Two Sequels

“Back to the Future” was a huge success. It remains a beloved film to this day. It made more money than any other film released in 1985. And it spawned not one, but two sequels.

“Back to the Future Part II” was released in 1989. In this film, Marty goes 30 years into the future to 2015. For the third installment of the franchise, Marty travels back to the Hill Valley of 1885 in the Old West. “Back to the Future Part III” was released in 1990.