Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads”

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Back to the Future is one of my all time favorite movies and is currently playing on the Marist channel. I remembered how we discussed this movie in earlier in class, so I thought it would be appropriate to blog about it. For those of you who are not familiar with the movie, Back to the Future is a “science fiction adventure comedy” that tells the story of Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox. Marty is accidentally sent back in time from 1985 to 1955 in a time machine created by scientist Doctor Brown, or “Doc”. Marty encounters his parents while they are in high school, where his mother inadvertently falls in love with him instead of his father. In addition to somehow finding a way back to the future, he has to set up his parents and make them fall in love in order to secure his life in the future.

As we discussed in class, the central theme of Back to the Future focuses on how one person (Marty) has the ability to reconstruct the past, and essentially, the future. Whether it is for better or for worse, one person can make a difference in the lives of several people. When Marty goes back in time to 1955 and tells Doc about his future invention of a time machine, Doc says “You’ve made a difference in my life by really giving me something to shoot for.”

Marty doesn’t only positively affect Doc, but both of his parents, the class of 1955, and eventually his siblings; even the kid on the skateboard admires Marty. After coaching his father on how to get his mother to notice him and telling his mother “you might regret it later in life” when she starts drinking and smoking a cigarette, he is positively affecting their future. Marty even tries to tell Doc about “the future” in order to save his life from being shot at by terrorists.

When Marty arrives back to the future, there are several obvious changes that he had incidentally caused when he had gone back in time. His sister dates and has quite a few boyfriends, his brother is a businessman, his mother is thinner and more cheerful, his father is more assertive and a successful author, and everyone seems to be a better, more positive person.

The theme of this movie and the context in which it was released have a very obvious connection. We discussed the “hard body” Hollywood image portrayed during the 80’s, but Marty was more of a hard body in the sense of his contagious personality and his effect on people. His actions essentially created a stronger family dynamic; everyone seemed to love each other and get along. Therefore, he fits the hard body mold because all of the positive changes that resulted can be attributed to Marty and the decisions he made. As Principal Strickland said in the beginning of the movie, “No McFly has ever amounted to anything in the history of Hill Valley,” when McFly responds (and later proves), “Well history is going to change.”

Principal Strickland and Marty McFly


Written by Meghan Carroll

May 20, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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