I have never seen any of the “Back to the Future” movies before. However, I can’t help but laugh and nod along with the popular joke circulating around on social media that it seems like it has already been “Back to the Future Day” several times over the past few months.
Not only have I never seen the triliogy, I also have very little knowledge on what the movie is actually about besides the obvious. However, the little that I do know is that the second movie takes place in the present time of 1989 and that Christopher Lloyd stars in the films. Ah yes, Christopher Lloyd. When I hear his name I don’t think about time travel, though. Rather, I think about one of my favorite movies from my childhood.
To me, the name Christopher Lloyd is synonymous with “Angels in the Outfield.” The 1994 Disney version, a remake of a different version made in 1951, pulled me in hard. I saw the movie in the theater and then probably saw it a hundred more times at home. The way Lloyd portrayed the character of Al, the head angel, was in my mind a stellar performance.
I think sometimes “Angels in the Outfield” is overlooked in this modern era by other family baseball movies that came out at the time like “Little Big League,” “Rookie of the Year,” and “The Sandlot.” While I enjoyed these three movies quite a bit, I do wholeheartedly believe that “Angels in the Outfield” is the best of them all.
What did I like (and still like) about “Angels in the Outfield”? It was easy to watch but it had a powerful story. It was funny but also extremely touching. It introduced many of us young boys and girls to the reality of foster families. Danny Glover turned in a powerful performance. It humanized baseball players. It had one of the best nerd characters of all time with the public relations dude. It no doubt had the best villian sports announcer ever in film. It had an incredible scene with the entire stadium making the angel motion. It had a tearjerker but inspirational ending with Glover adopting the kids. It also introduced some great catchphrases like “It could happen” and “We’re always watching.” It also had magic…
That magic I speak of was mostly because of Christopher Lloyd. He played an angel that was charismatic, sympathetic, believable, and FUNNY. As a kid, I knew the scenes he appeared in would be the best. He hit his cues perfectly, whether it meant he had to be humorous or whether he had to be serious. It always seemed to work. Perhaps if I had seen “Back to the Future” before “Angels in the Outfield” I might have thought that Christopher Lloyd playing an angel was a little awkward but to me he seemed perfect. In my mind, Lloyd was just Al.
So go ahead and watch “Back to the Future” today and go crazy on the references. However, plan a couple hours in the near future to sit down and watch “Angels in the Outfield.” That my friends, is Christopher Lloyd at his best. Don’t Blink.