The central winning elements in the scenario are twofold; hurtling the audience back to 1955, which allows for lots of comparative, pop culture humor, and delivering a 1985 teenager (Michael J. Fox) at the doorstep of his future parents when they were 17-year-old kids. That encounter is a delicious premise, especially when the young hero’s mother-to-be develops the hots for her future son and his future father is a bumbling wimp.
Film is also sharply anchored by zestful byplay between Fox’s Arthurian knight figure and Christopher Lloyd’s Merlin-like, crazed scientist. The latter has mounted a nuclear-powered time machine in a spaced-out DeLorean car, which spirits the bedazed Fox 30 years back in time to the same little town in which he grew up.
In the film’s opening sequences, the father (wonderfully played by Crispin Glover) is an unctuous nitwit, and the mother (Lea Thompson) a plump, boozey, turtle-necked frau.
Performances by the earnest Fox, the lunatic Lloyd, the deceptively passionate Lea Thompson, and, particularly, the bumbling-to-confident Glover, who runs away with the picture, merrily keep the ship sailing.
1985: Best Sound Effects Editing.
Nominations: Best Original Screenplay, Sound, Song (‘Power of Love’)