Back To The Future- Nobody asked me, but…
In December of 2007, the original Back To The Future film was added to the National Film Registry. This registry annually selects 25 films for preservation for being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant to American culture. I watched both the first and second films, on DVD, last night. Lucky for them I wasn’t on the institute”s panel.
The premise of the plot, which I read as as how our every action predetermines the future, was serviceable. It would have been more effective had not the satirical elements been overwhelmed by the farce. How many chase scenes, substituting for real suspense, does a movie need? Watching the film, I was reminded of the old Republic Studio Westerns in which, if the cowboys weren’t chasing the Indians, the Indians were chasing the cowboys and that was the whole of the plot. By film’s end, you really don’t give a shit who wins.
Jerry Lewis-ish over-acting (beat them over the head with the point) was not an asset, either. While the whole cast was guilty (and it thus was the director’s fault), the best of the worst examples were Christoper Lloyd’s Professor Brown, and Thomas F. Wilson’s unrelenting bully incarnations. In Lloyds case, his hair was the most subtle thing about his performance. I haven’t even a sarcastic caveat for the performance Wilson gave.
As I remember, I deliberately avoided these films at their first showings. The word of mouth, and the professional reviews, at the time, were largely favorable, but not, according to my instinct, favorable enough to warrant spending money on a movie ticket that I could spend at a used book store. I know these films are classics, in the public mind. Most, if any, responses to this opinion will be less than charitable. Still, I’m glad I saved the money.