A-List: Back to the Future - Favorite Moments

By J. Don Birnam

October 21, 2015

That's a doozy of a letter.

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This is it folks, the future has arrived. Thirty years after the release of the original movie, and on the date to which the characters travel in the sequel, millions of diehard fans gather worldwide in a dorky but well-intended celebration of one of the cultural moments of our childhoods or teenage years, one of the creative visions of the 1980s, and, frankly, one of the smartest and best put together movies of all time. Today, we close out our own homage to the Back to the Future trilogy by examining the best scenes from the trilogy.

When you tell people you write for a movies website, inevitably they will ask you for your favorite movie. It’s an impossible task, akin to trying to pick one favorite food or name a favorite child. One simply cannot compare horror movies to epic dramas or award winners to musicals. They are entirely different experiences.

But when push comes to shove, I always default to Back to the Future at or near the top of the list, and I’m not just saying that because of the occasion. The movie is well made throughout - every sequence is well considered, every reference is there for a reason, every moment is key. The lack of false notes combines well with the adventurous and exciting story and with two of my favorite thematic elements - nostalgic views of the past with exciting dreams about the future. Add to that two memorable and enduring characters, and the movie is one that lives for the ages.

It is for these reasons, I suspect, that many of us have seen the trilogy over three dozen times. And in those repeat viewings, it is the following sequences that stand out the most. Feel free to Tweet us your own favorite parts of the Back to the Future trilogy either here or here.


5. The arrival into 2015 in Part II.

We’ve explored some of the misses that the writers made in predicting what 2015 would look like, but we know that for the most part their predictions were tongue-in-cheek. And it is that tongue-in-cheek nature that makes the entire sequence of 2015 one of the cleverest of the entire trilogy.

There are all the predictions about the future, but then there is also the tying back of some of the classic elements from the first movie into a futurist spin, specifically the skateboard chase sequence turned into a hover board. Then, there is also the entire sequence of Jennifer being taken by the police to her house (and remarking of how great her plastic surgery must be), and all of the kitsch in that sequence.

There, we meet Marty and his two kids, both of whom are played by Michael J. Fox, we meet an older Marty, we pick-up a key fax (YOU’RE FIRED!!!) that reappears cleverly at the end of the entire movie, and we have the classic old Jennifer meets young Jennifer encounter. It’s memorable in that classic BTTF way - past meets present, future meets past, and the comedy that results from it.

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