Life Lessons from Movies

Back to the Future

In Fantasy, Movies on December 21, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Back to the Future (1985) is a sci-fi fantasy co-written and directed by Robert Zemeckis about a teenaged slacker named Marty McFly  (Michael J. Fox), who is ready to give up on his dreams until he goes 30 years into the past on a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his scientist friend, Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd), and changes his future.

Life Lesson:

Learn to persevere – if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

Movie Scene:

Goldie Wilson (Lou’s Cafe Worker): “Say, what do you let those boys push you around like that for? “

George McFly (Marty’s father): “Well, they’re bigger than me.”

Goldie: “Stand tall, boy! Have some respect for yourself. Don’t you know if you let people walk over you now, they’ll be walking over you for the rest of your life. Look at me. You think I’m gonna spend the rest of my life in this slop house? No, Sir! I’m gonna make something of myself. I’m going to night school. And one day, I’m going to be somebody.”

Marty: “That’s right. He’s gonna be mayor!”

Goldie: “Yeah, I’m– Mayor! Now that’s a good idea! I could run for mayor.”

Lou: “A colored mayor. That will be the day.”

Goldie: “You wait and see Mr. Carruthers. I will be mayor. I’ll be the most powerful mayor in Hill Valley. And I’m gonna clean up this town.”

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  1. Doc learns this Life Lesson as well, as evidenced in the scene where Marty shows him the time-travelling machine and the flux capacitor that makes time travel possible, and Doc replies “It works! It works! I finally invent something that works!” Doc also shows this Life Lesson in action when the cables are simultaneously getting stuck and pulling apart in the crucial moments before the time machine is to operate again. He bravely and quickly acts to make the setup functional, risking life and limb to do it. And it pays off.

    In addition, Marty’s father articulates this Life Lesson exactly when he tells Marty, while handing him over a copy of his first novel, “Like I’ve always told you: You put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

  2. Marty’s band, The Pinheads, gets rejected during auditions for the school dance for being “too darn loud.” When he is sent back thirty years to 1955, it is Marty’s guitar playing that allows the dance where his parents kiss for the first time to continue, thereby sealing their destiny.

    Marty: “Marvin you gotta play … If there is no music, they can’t dance. And if they can’t dance, they can’t kiss. If they can’t kiss, they can’t fall in love and I’m history.”

    Marvin Berry Band Member: “Hey man, look at Marvin’s hand. He can’t play with his hand like that, and we can’t play without him … The dance is over. Unless you know somebody else that can play the guitar.”

  3. Don’t let rejection stop you.

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