Did you fall for Future Day? Twitter was all a-tweet over the weekend with folks wishing each other a Happy Future Day, referring to the date punched into the time machine at the end of Back to the Future, widely gossipped/tweeted to be July 5, 2010. However, entertainment site totalfilm.com admitted this morning that the initial Happy Future Day tweet that they sent out was a mistake. But deciding to have a little fun, they continued to spread that information as a rumor and had provided a Photoshopped picture of the DeLorean’s control panel thingy as “proof.” No such date actually appears in any of the Back to the Future movies.
I’m still not totally clear why this was necessary and why July 5th was the date picked for the hoax. Don’t the folks at totalfilm.com know that the internets are serious business? But perhaps that’s because I’m too achy to get up from my rocking chair and put my teeth in. You see, as of this past Saturday, Back to the Future is 25 years old.
I was seven years old when it came out and I can’t remember if I saw it in the theater or not. I feel like I must have, because back then things didn’t appear on HBO for a year or two afterward and it was one of my favorite movies early on. We own it on DVD now and our 8-year-old son really likes it, too. The only part that worried me before we watched it was the ooky Oedipal tension between Marty as “Calvin Klein” and his teenage mother, but he’s already processed the kiss between Luke and Leia in Star Wars, so we’re good.
The retrofuturism of the Back to the Future movies is now particularly charming since it pokes fun at the retrofuturism of the 1950s, which were then just 30 years in the past and therefore easily recalled by our parents. At that time, we imagined a time when every room in our house would be equipped with a fax machine and giggled at those silly Baby Boomers who lived in giddy fear of spacemen and flying cars.
Of course, that futuristic view probably didn’t imagine that there would be a time when we would have every bit of information at our disposal, including digital copies of Back to the Future which we could have easily cued up to verify any dates plugged into the flux capacitor, and fall for a hoax. The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades. Or something.
Checking IMDb for information about Back to the Future, I decided to take a quick glance at the top-grossing movies from 1985. And, you know, it was a pretty kick-ass year.
- Back to the Future
- The Goonies
- The Breakfast Club
- Brazil (TOTALLY shocked that this would rank so high, money-wise. It’s so bizarre.)
- Out of Africa
- Ran (don’t know this one)
- Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
- Weird Science
- Rocky IV
- Real Genius
- The Color Purple
- Rambo: First Blood Part II (leave it to Stallone to have something be both first and second at the same time)
- Better Off Dead
- St. Elmo’s Fire
- Fright Night
- Teen Wolf
- Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
And that’s just the top 20! Check out the full list here.
Jesus. If I had thought of it sooner and had more time and resources, I would have persuaded the local artsy theater to do a 1985 retrospective and done special showings of each movie on the 25th anniversary of its release.