I can never have enough of this genius movie. My childhood, Hollywood, science – nothing would have been the same without it. So here is my own tribute and don’t miss the video and beautiful photos of 1955 Lorraine from the deleted scene…! They are towards the end of the article.
Amazing real story: President Ronald Reagan was amused by Doc Brown’s disbelief that an actor like him could become president, so much so that he had the projectionist stop and replay the scene. He also seemed to enjoy it so much that he even made a direct reference of the film in his 1986 State of the Union address: “As they said in the film “Back to the Future”, ‘Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.’“
It’s a long post for true fans with many behind-the-scenes photos and stories. To keep the post safe from getting stuck, I had to divide into several pages. Don’t miss the video and beautiful photos of 1955 Lorraine from the deleted scene… It’s towards the end of the article.
True fact: Director Christopher Lloyd stated that he always wanted to do one more movie, in which Marty and Doc Brown time-travel back to Ancient Rome.
The original Back to the Future film’s script was rejected 40 times before it was finally green-lit. It was the top grossing movie release of 1985. Then we received two more parts. And this train was from the Wild West in part 3. But that long awaited part 4 was never made. Yet. Who knows what the future holds…
Future quote? Marty McFly: Oh. One other thing. If you guys ever have kids, and one of them, when he’s eight years old, accidentally sets fire to the living room rug… go easy on him.
True story: After the film’s release, body kits were made for DeLoreans to make them look like the time machine. This is clearly my dream car. The DeLorean was deliberately selected for its general appearance and gull wing doors, in order to make it plausible that people in 1955 would presume it to be an alien spacecraft.
There was a small DeLorean goof: The door pull strap on the DeLorean driver’s door repeatedly alternates between being entirely absent, present, and present but installed incorrectly. You know why? The production ultimately used three real DeLoreans.
And the mandatory quote here is:
Marty McFly: Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Doc. Ah… Are you telling me that you built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?
Dr. Emmett Brown: The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?
True facts: There are only about thirty-two special effects shots in the entire first film. When this movie was previewed for a test audience, Industrial Light and Magic had not completed the final DeLorean-in-flight shot, and the last several minutes of the movie were previewed in black and white. It didn’t matter, as the audience roared in approval of the final scene anyway.
Have you noticed any goofs? Clearly the movie is not bulletproof of goofs, even with no relation to special effects. For example, the sound and volume of Marty’s singing never changes, even when he moves way back from the mic. I never noticed it and truth to be told, it doesn’t really matter, right?
They proved that nothing is impossible. This is why I love this quote… Marty McFly: If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.
Universal Pictures head Sid Sheinberg did not like the title “Back to the Future”, insisting that nobody would see a movie with “future” in the title.
Spaceman From Pluto: In a memo to Robert Zemeckis, he said that the title should be changed to “Spaceman From Pluto”, tying in with the Marty-as-alien jokes in the film, and also suggested further changes like replacing the “I’m Darth Vader from planet Vulcan” line with “I am a spaceman from Pluto!” Sheinberg was persuaded to change his mind by a response memo from Steven Spielberg, which thanked him for sending a wonderful “joke memo”, and that everyone got a kick out of it. Sheinberg, too proud to admit he was serious, gave in to letting the film retain its title.
Exact quote – George McFly: Last night, Darth Vader came down from Planet Vulcan and told me that if I didn’t take Lorraine out, that he’d melt my brain.
And also – George McFly: Who are you?
Marty McFly: [after giving him another earful of loud rock music] Silence, Earthling. My name is Darth Vader. I am an extraterrestrial from the planet Vulcan!
[makes Live Long and Prosper sign with his hand]
Great story, not exactly about this photo, but still wow! Michael J. Fox had always been the first choice for Marty, but he was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts with his work on Family Ties (1982). As “Family Ties” co-star Meredith Baxter was pregnant at the time, Fox was carrying a lot more of the show than usual. The show’s producer Gary David Goldberg simply couldn’t afford to let Fox go.
They started filming with another actor! Zemeckis and Gale then cast Eric Stoltz as Marty based on his performance in Mask (1985). After four weeks of filming Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale felt that Stoltz wasn’t right for the part and Stoltz agreed. By this stage, Baxter was back fully on the show and Goldberg agreed to let Fox go off to make the film. Fox worked out a schedule to fulfill his commitment to both projects.
5 Hours Sleep Only! Every day during production, he drove straight to the movie set after taping of the show was finished every day and averaged about five hours of sleep. The bulk of the production was filmed from 6pm to 6am, with the daylight scenes filmed on weekends. Reshooting Stoltz’s scenes added $3 million dollars to the budget.
Favorite Quote! Marty McFly: Look, Marvin, you gotta play. See, that’s where they kiss for the first time on the dance floor. And if there’s no music, they can’t dance. If they can’t dance, they can’t kiss. If they can’t kiss they can’t fall in love, and I’m history.
True fact! While most of the Back to the Future movie was filmed according to script, Biff’s catchphrases “make like a tree and get outta here” and “butthead” were improvised by actor Thomas F. Wilson. Not a butthead at all!
What’s behind the name? Biff Tannen is named in homage to Ned Tanen, one-time head of Universal, who threw Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis’s script for I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978) on the floor in a heated meeting, accusing it of being anti-Semitic. Despite the fact that Bob Gale is Jewish.
Quotes from Biff Tannen? Sure!
Since you’re new here, I-I’m gonna cut you a break, today. So, why don’t you make like a tree and get outta here?
What are you looking at, butthead?
The predictions in the Back to the Future movie inspired science, film and imagination alike. And while Jaws 19 was never made, 3D movies did happen big time.
What actually happened? Other predictions that came true include handless and wireless video games, handheld tablet computers, a baseball team in Florida, video conferencing, wall-mounted widescreen televisions, auto lacing sneakers, multiple TV channels on one set and many more. Some of the predictions are yet to come… like flying cars!
Remember what Marty tells the audience with shocked expressions after playing a wild heavy metal guitar solo at the dance?
“I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.”
Clint Eastwood was asked for permission about his name being used for Marty in the film. He consented and was said to be tickled by the homage.
Do you remember when? When Doc and Marty are at the drive-in preparing the DeLorean for the trip to 1885, Marty mentions Clint Eastwood and Doc replies, “Clint who?” In this shot, there is a movie poster on the drive-in’s wall showcasing Revenge of the Creature (1955) and Tarantula (1955), containing some of the first film appearances of a young, then-unknown Eastwood.
Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen: What’s your name, dude?
Marty McFly: Uh, Mar- Eastwood. Clint Eastwood.
Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen: What kind of stupid name is that?
One scene only: When Lorraine follows Marty back to Doc’s house, she and Doc exchange an awkward greeting. This marks the only on-screen dialogue that Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson ever have, though they have appeared together in five movies and one TV movie.
True Story! While filming the “parking” scene with Marty and young Lorraine in the car, the production crew decided to play a practical joke at Michael J. Fox’s expense. The scene called for Fox to drink from a prop liquor bottle filled with water and do a spit take when he sees Lorraine with a cigarette. For a specific take however, the prop liquor bottle was switched for one which contained real alcohol inside. Fox, unaware of this, performed the scene and drank from the bottle, only to discover the switch after-the-fact.
Marty McFly: Calvin? Wh… Why do you keep calling me Calvin?
Lorraine Baines: Well, that is your name, isn’t it? Calvin Klein? It’s written all over your underwear.