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Back to the Future (1985) Poster

Trivia

From November 5, 2010 to November 12, 2010 week-long events were planned to celebrate the 25th anniversary that was for the fans and by the fans. The web page that hosted this was weregoingback.com. Since the ending of the events, the web page will be devoted to the pictures and videos taken during the course of that week.
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Apparently 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.'"
Thomas F. Wilson almost had his collarbone broken in the scene where Marty and Biff are about to fight in the cafeteria, as Eric Stoltz roughed up Tom for real, take after take, despite repeated requests from Tom to tone down the aggression. Tom later said he was about to return the favor during filming of the car park scene outside the dance, but Eric was fired before that confrontation could take place.
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. 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. 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.
According to Bob Gale, on October 26th, 1985, a group of people showed up at the mall used to film the Twin Pines Mall location to see if Marty would arrive in the DeLorean. He, of course, did not.
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.
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. 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.
Christopher Lloyd always wanted to do one more movie, in which Marty and Doc Brown time-travel back to Ancient Rome.
After the film's release, body kits were made for DeLoreans to make them look like the time machine.
Claudia Wells, who played Jennifer Parker in Back to the Future (1985), gave her role up to Elisabeth Shue for Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990) when her mother was diagnosed with cancer.
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.
The script was rejected 40 times before it was finally green-lit.
When Marty is being judged at the band auditions at the beginning, the judge who stands up to say he is "just too darn loud" is Huey Lewis, whose songs, "The Power of Love" and "Back in Time" are featured on the movie's soundtrack, and also wrote Marty's audition song (which is a re-orchestrated version of "The Power of Love.")
Writers Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis actually received a fan letter from John DeLorean after the film's release, thanking them for using his car in the movie.
According to an interview he did on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), Crispin Glover lost his voice due to nervousness while filming Back to the Future. For some scenes, he had to silently mouth his lines, with his voice being dubbed in later at a recording studio.
Crispin Glover has claimed to have only seen the film once, shortly after its release. In contrast, Christopher Lloyd has stated that when he occasionally stumbles across a Back to the Future film while channel surfing, he will often sit and watch it.
Doc Brown refers to "jigawatts" of electricity. This is the now-obscure but once-standard pronunciation of the word "gigawatt", one billion watts. Nowadays it is usually pronounced with a hard "g" as in "gander" and "gold". In neo-Latin languages, still, it's pronounced with a soft "g". So he chose it.
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. The full gag is featured on the "Outtakes" section of the DVD.
Sticker on Doc's rear truck: One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.
In the opening sequence, all of Doc's clocks read 7:53 (25 minutes slow) except for one clock. It is on the floor next to the case of plutonium and it reads 8:20. There's also a black and white picture of a man hanging on the town hall clock of Hills Valley, the way it happened right before the lightning strikes it in 1955.
When Robert Zemeckis was trying to sell the idea of this film, one of the companies he approached was Disney, who turned it down because they thought that the story of a mother falling in love with her son (albeit by a twist of time travel) was too risqué for a film under their banner. In fact, Disney was the only company to think the first was risqué. All other companies said that the film was not risqué enough, compared to other teen comedies at the time (e.g. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Revenge of the Nerds (1984), etc).
Doc's distinctive hunched-over look developed when the filmmakers realized the extreme difference in height between Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox; Fox is 5' 4½" while Lloyd is 6' 1". To compensate for the height difference, director Robert Zemeckis used specific blocking where the two often stood far apart at different camera depths. For close ups, Lloyd would have to hunch over to appear in frame with Fox. The same approach was used in the two sequels.
Biff's catchphrases "make like a tree and get outta here" and "butthead" were improvised by Thomas F. Wilson.
Ralph Macchio turned down the role of Marty McFly, thinking the movie was about "A kid, a car, and plutonium pills."
Huey Lewis was asked by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale to write a song for the film. However, the two Bobs were not thrilled with the first song Huey brought back to them. After explaining what they were hoping for, Huey came back with "Power of Love". He was then told they needed one more song. And so, upon viewing a cut of the film, Huey got the inspiration for "Back in Time".
When Claudia Wells temporarily dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, Melora Hardin was briefly cast as Jennifer, but had to be replaced when it was discovered she was taller than Michael J. Fox.
Producer Neil Canton offered the role of Doc Brown to Christopher Lloyd after having worked together on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984). Lloyd originally turned it down, but changed his mind after his wife convinced him to take the role. He improvised some of his lines.
The inspiration for the film largely stems from Bob Gale discovering his father's high school yearbook and wondering whether he would have been friends with his father as a teenager. Gale also said that if he had the chance to go back in time he would really go back and see if they would have been friends.
During Doc's demo of the time machine, just before he is about to leave for the future, he tells Marty "I'll get to see who wins the next twenty-five World Series." At the time the scene was written and shot, no one was thinking there would be a sequel, let alone one where the hook Back to the Future Part II (1989) would be Marty wanting to get a hold of a "sports almanac" so he could bet on games.
When Doc Brown first sends Einstein "one minute" into the future, the time elapsed between when the DeLorean disappears and reappears is actually 1 minute 21 seconds, just as the reappearance occurred at 1:21am, and the flux capacitor required 1.21 gigawatts of electricity.
In the first scene at the diner, Marty asks for a Pepsi Free. This refers to a brand of Pepsi that was the company's first caffeine free cola. Ironically, in the same scene, Marty asks for a Tab, which was actually a diet cola brand produced by Pepsi's rival Coca-Cola.
According to Bob Gale, Johnny Depp auditioned for the role of Marty McFly: "I looked through the notes, and I said, 'Geez, I don't even remember that we read Johnny Depp!' So whatever he did, it wasn't all that memorable, I guess!"
The parts of the script with references to President Ronald Reagan needed to be reviewed by the White House for approval so as not to offend the President. Producers had some concerns over Reagan's reaction to Doc Brown's famous line mocking the improbability of his being President in 1985, but Reagan was said to get a real kick out of it.
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.
From the day the film wrapped to the day it was released was a mere 9 and a half weeks, an unprecedentedly short lead time for a major movie release.
The 1985 version of Doc's home is the garage that Marty and Doc hide the DeLorean in in 1955. In the opening scene an article shows that the mansion burned down years before, either for insurance money or due to an explosive experiment. The presence of the commercial development also implies that Doc sold the land surrounding the house for more money to fund his project. After all, he does state later that it took "many years and his entire family fortune" to build the time machine.
Marty McFly mimics famous rock stars during the later part of his performance at the school dance, when he starts playing heavy metal. His kicking of speakers (The Who), playing the guitar while lying down (Angus Young of AC/DC), hopping across the stage with one leg kicked up (Chuck Berry) and his solo (Jimi Hendrix/Edward Van Halen).
Another deleted scene shows Marty peeking in on a class in 1955 and seeing his mother cheating on a test.
The Screen Actors Guild can't have two people with the same name on their books. So Michael J. Fox inserted the letter J in his name to differentiate himself from an actor called Michael Fox. In Back to the Future (1985), Marty goes back to the year 1955. His dad is a huge fan of the show Science Fiction Theatre, something Marty uses to his advantage. The original Michael Fox starred in the real Science Fiction Theatre in the year 1955.
Was the top grossing release of 1985.
On November 5, 2010, a large number of fans gathered at the Puente Hills Mall to kick off a week long series of events to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Back To The Future. It was here that the city mayor declared October 26, 2010 officially Back To The Future Day for the city.
When Thomas F. Wilson is asked about Back to the Future by enthusiastic fans, he will often hand them a postcard of frequently asked questions as a timesaver.
A persistent myth is that Michael J. Fox had to learn to skateboard for the film. In fact, he was a reasonably skilled skateboarder, having ridden throughout high school. However, Per Welinder acted as a skateboarding double for the complex scenes, Per Welinder also choreographed and coordinated the skateboarding action together with Robert Schmelzer.
A marketer hoped to get a prominent placement for California Raisins somewhere in the film. He suggested putting a bowl of raisins on a table at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. He had also told the California Raisins board that this would do for raisins what E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) did for Reese's Pieces. Bob Gale informed him that a bowl of raisins would photograph like a bowl of dirt. The only thing that appears in the film is Marty jumping over Red, sleeping on a bench that is advertising California Raisins. Unhappy with their product placement, the California Raisins representatives complained to the producers, and had their $5000 refunded.
It took three hours in make-up to turn the 23-year-old Lea Thompson into the 47-year-old Lorraine.
The main setting, 1955, is the year that Albert Einstein, the dog's namesake, died.
In the entire Back To The Future trilogy, the "present" date is October 26, 1985 (2015 is the future, 1885 and 1955 are the past). Exactly 25 years later on October 26, 2010 the entire Back To The Future trilogy was released on Blu-ray in a 25th Anniversary Edition.
Despite Marty and Jennifer crediting Doc as the origin of the repeated line "If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything" (Jennifer claims it is something he always says), Doc never says the line once in any of the Back to the Future movies.
A Texaco gas station is shown in both 1955 and 1985. Interestingly, Christopher Lloyd's maternal grandfather was one of the founders of the Texaco oil company.
The test audience to whom the movie was initially screened was not told that the movie was intended to be a comedy. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale recalled that the atmosphere in the cinema started to get really tense during the scene where Einstein the dog is sent through time, because the audience was expecting that something gruesome had happened to the dog.
According to Michael J. Fox on the 2010 DVD/Blu-Ray interviews, the interior of the DeLorean was so tight due to the added props, that every time he had to shift gears, he would repeatedly hit his forearm on the handle that turns on the time circuits and he would also rap his knuckles hard against the time display board. If you pay attention during the car chase with the terrorists, you can hear these hits every time Marty uses the shifter.
When Marty McFly leaves Doc Brown's garage because he is late for school, co-writer Bob Gale mentioned in a commentary that the garage was actually a flat put next to a Burger King restaurant in Burbank. As part of their agreement with Burger King, the studio wasn't given any money from the restaurant for their cameo, but Burger King did allow the crew to film their scenes for free and allowed them to park there.
Michael J. Fox was allowed by the producer of Family Ties (1982) to film this movie on the condition that he kept his full schedule on the TV show - meaning no write-outs or missing episodes - and filmed most of the movie at night. He was not allowed to go on Back to the Future (1985) promotional tours.
The back lot used as the town of Hill Valley is also seen in the first episode of Twilight Zone: Where Is Everybody? (1959)
Musician Mark Campbell did all of Michael J. Fox's singing. He's credited as "Marty McFly".
Sid Sheinberg, the head of Universal Pictures, requested many changes to be made throughout the movie. Most of these he got, such as having "Professor Brown" changed to "Doc Brown" and his chimp Shemp changed to a dog named Einstein. Marty's mother's name had previously been Meg and then Eileen, but Sheinberg insisted that she be named Lorraine after his wife Lorraine Gary.
The script never called for Marty to repeatedly bang his head on the gull-wing door of the DeLorean; this was improvised during filming as the door mechanism became faulty.
As of 2011, the Hill Valley clock tower set has been through three different fires. The first one happened shortly after the finishing of Back to the Future Part II (1989) where all the original surrounding buildings burned to the ground by lightning. The second fire in 1994 almost destroyed the structure. In 2008, the fire that destroyed the nearby King Kong (1933) ride/set, along with two archive vaults and the New York street, slightly scorched the tower.
The "present day" date that the initial time travel occurs on is October 26, 1985. However, the film actually debuted *before* that date (the US premiere was July 5, 1985). This means that, from the film's perspective, audiences who saw the film during its initial release in some markets (US, Australia, West Germany, and Italy) were actually seeing the "future" -- which is ironic considering the film's subject.
Michael J. Fox is only ten days younger than Lea Thompson who plays his mother, and is almost three years older than his on-screen dad, Crispin Glover. This is not very surprising, since most of their scenes take place in 1955. They were cast to match their younger self's ages.
Billy Zane makes his first on-screen appearance in this film as "Match", one of Biff's cronies.
The owner of the home where the tree that George McFly dangles from is a small time producer who does documentaries and biographies. Just recently he put together a fifteen minute documentary on the tree on Bushnell Avenue that was used in the film, which featured never before seen footage.
The Twin Pines Mall is, in fact, the Puente Hills Mall in City of Industry, California. Today, JCPenney is no longer an anchor there.
The gas-powered struts that hold the De Lorean's gullwing doors open would fail during the course of filming a take, so crew members had to be on stand-by with hairdryers to warm them up to stop the doors from drooping.
Alan Silvestri's score begins 18 minutes into the movie, appropriately when the DeLorean time machine is revealed.
When Marty pretends to be Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan, he plays a tape labeled "Van Halen" to scare George out of his sleep. It is an untitled Edward Van Halen original written for a movie called The Wild Life (1984) which featured Lea Thompson.
A very brief scene was cut in-between the scenes of the McFly family dinner and Marty being woken up by Doc's phone call. It involved Marty preparing to send his demo tape to a record company. Marty decides not to do it, and leaves the empty manila envelope on his desk. In a scene that remains in the film, he goes to breakfast with the manila envelope sealed, suggesting he decided to send it in.
The house used for Doc Brown's home is the Gamble House at 4 Westmoreland Ave., Pasadena, California. It was the home of the Gamble family until 1966, when it was turned over to the University of Southern California. It is now a historical museum.
Lea Thompson was cast as Lorraine McFly because she had acted opposite Eric Stoltz, the original actor cast as Marty, in The Wild Life (1984).
During the production of Used Cars (1980), Zemeckis and Gale had a production assistant named "Marty" (Martin Casella) whose name they then used for "Marty McFly".
There are only about 32 special effects shots in the entire film.
The production ultimately used three real DeLoreans.
Christopher Lloyd based his performance as Doc Brown on a combination of physicist Albert Einstein and conductor Leopold Stokowski. Brown's pronunciation of gigawatts as "jigowatts", is based on the way a physicist whom Zemeckis and Gale met with for research said the word.
The time machine has been through several variations. In the first draft of the screenplay the time machine was a laser device that was housed in a room. At the end of the first draft the device was attached to a refrigerator and taken to an atomic bomb test. Robert Zemeckis said in an interview that the idea was scrapped because he and Steven Spielberg did not want children to start climbing into refrigerators and getting trapped inside. (See also Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008).) The Nevada desert bomb test was left out in order to reduce the budget. In the third draft of the film the time machine was a DeLorean, but in order to send Marty back to the future the vehicle had to drive the DeLorean into an atomic bomb test.
On June 2, 2008 a massive fire broke out in the back-lot destroying two archive video vaults and the New York set used for Spider-Man 3 (2007), which is right across from the Hill Valley clock tower, which was minorly scorched by the time the fire was out.
According to Bob Gale, in one of the early drafts of the script, Marty's original last name was McDermott, but it was thought to have too many syllables. It was Robert Zemeckis who then came up with naming him McFly.
The set for Kingston Falls in Gremlins (1984) is the same one used for Back to the Future (1985). Both movies were filmed in the Universal Studios backlot.
The space alien gag first appeared in the screenplay's third draft, with the primary difference being that it was to be done to Biff.
In the original script, Doc Brown and Marty sell bootleg videos in order to fund the time machine.
On 10 November 2010 Bob Gale received a plaque from the principal of Whitter High School, aka Hill Valley High School in dedication of the film. This plaque can be seen by the students of the school near the front end of the building stating that Back to the Future (1985) had been shot there.
Steven Spielberg gives a nod to Stanley Kubrick in the first few minutes of the film. When Marty is first over at Doc's house looking for him and doesn't find him, he hooks up his guitar to Doc's electrical equipment. The first dial he turns up is labeled CRM 114, which Kubrick used as a reference throughout many of his films.
According to Bob Gale, when the movie was shown recently on broadcast television, the lines about "Libyan terrorists" were altered for "political correctness". This is similar to the issues Gale and Robert Zemeckis had with a terrorist scene in Used Cars (1980) (See IMDb trivia on that film).
The "Back to the Future" series (including Back to the Future (1985), Back to the Future Part II (1989), and Back to the Future Part III (1990)) ranked at #9 on IGN's Top 25 Movie Franchises of All Time (2006).
When 1955 Doc Brown sees the videotape of himself explaining the need for 1.21 GW of power, he goes to an adjacent room and is seen talking to a picture frame that he refers to as "Tom". When he returns the picture to the mantle we can see that is was Thomas A. Edison he was speaking with. To Edison's left on the mantle are Sir Isaac Newton and Benjamin Franklin, to his right is Albert Einstein, Doc's inspiration for time machine invention.
Though the film Marty (1955) won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1955, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale say in the DVD QandA session that they were not aware of this fact when they named their main character Marty. Both films also have a diner owner named Lou.
Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale's Oscar-nominated screenplay was actually written just after they'd made Used Cars (1980).
Doc's van says, "Dr. E. Brown Enterprises 24 Hr. Scientific Services".
Alan Silvestri's orchestra for the score of the film was the largest ever assembled at that time (85 musicians).
Doc's phone number in 1955 is Klondike 54385. The letters "K" and "L" are both on the digit 5; thus, the number still begins with the 555- prefix, indicating a fictional number.
John Lithgow, Dudley Moore, and Jeff Goldblum were all considered for the role of Doc Brown.
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.
The comic book "Tales from Space" pays homage to EC Comics, a controversial and influential line of 1950s comics. If you look carefully at the cover of the comic you can see the EC logo in the upper left. Although there was no "Tales from Space" by EC (Their science fiction titles were "Weird Science" and "Weird Fantasy"), there was a comic entitled "Tales from the Crypt." Robert Zemeckis is a fan of the now defunct EC and served as an executive producer of Tales from the Crypt (1989).
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When Marty is walking down the street to the Soda Fountain in 1955, the music score is the The Four Aces singing 'Mr Sandman'. He passes a record shop with a poster in the window advertising The Chordettes original version of the song.
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Doc Brown's car in 1955 is a 1950 Packard Super Eight convertible.
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In the French translation of the movie, Marty McFly is called "Pierre Cardin" in 1955, instead of "Calvin Klein". In the Spanish translation of the movie, Marty McFly is called "Levi's Strauss" in 1955, instead of "Calvin Klein".
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Several Pepsi references are visible through time in the movie:
  • During the opening sequence, when all clocks ring at 8:00am (25 minutes slow) there's a Pepsi board visible on the upper right corner of the frame.


  • 1985: A Pepsi Cola can is visible when Marty's band is playing in front of the jury at HVHS.


  • 1985: Diet Pepsi can when Marty and his father are talking about the wrecked car.


  • 1985: Diet Pepsi can next to Marty when he sleeps, before Doc calls. Clock shows 12:28am.


  • 1955: When Marty enters Lou's Cafe, Pepsi thermometer on the upper right of the wall.


  • 1955: When George meets Marty at the Texaco petrol station, a Pepsi machine is visible. Marty takes a can out and drinks it.


  • 1955: When Marvin Berry & The Starlighters are playing at the Enchantment Sea Party, a Pepsi Cola suitcase is standing under the amp.


  • 1955: Pepsi bottle in Marvin Berry & The Starlighters' car, when the brats put Marty in the trunk.


  • Alternative 1985: when Marty wakes up from an 'horrible dream', a Pepsi Free can is visible next to the clock.


Canadian pop singer Corey Hart was asked to screen test for the part of Marty.
The two red labels on the flux capacitor say "Disconnect Capacitor Drive Before Opening" (at the top) and "Shield Eyes From Light".
Ranked #10 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Sci-Fi" in June 2008.
Executive producer Steven Spielberg initially had some reservations about hiring composer Alan Silvestri, having been unimpressed by Silvestri's score for Romancing the Stone (1984). During a preview screening in which the film was accompanied by a temp track that only used part of Silvestri's score, Spielberg commented to Robert Zemeckis that a particularly grand cue was 'the sort of music the film needed', unaware that it was indeed one of Silvestri's cues.
After the dog travels into the future, Doc compares his watch to Einstein's watch to show the difference. Physicist Albert Einstein described a stationary clock versus a moving one in order to illustrate Relativity (the latter clock moving more slowly).
After 1955 Doc Brown scoffs at the notion of Ronald Reagan becoming the President, he says "I suppose Jack Benny is the Secretary of the Treasury!" This is a reference to Benny's stage/screen persona as a "tightwad" with money.
When Marty tells Doc that Ronald Reagan is President in 1985, Doc scoffs by asking if Jane Wyman is the First Lady. Wyman had actually been married to Ronald Reagan from 1940 to 1948, though Reagan was already married to Nancy Reagan in 1955.
The school that served as Hill Valley High was Whittier High School in Whittier, California just outside of Los Angeles. Richard Nixon is an alumnus (class of 1930) and Pat Nixon taught there from 1937 to 1941. Also just beyond the school is where Strickland's home is, as seen later in Back to the Future Part II (1989). The back side of the school can be seen as Marty jogs up to the porch.
The DeLorean time machine is a licensed, registered vehicle in the state of California. While the vanity license plate used in the film says "OUTATIME", the DeLorean's actual license plate reads 3CZV657.
The man driving the jeep that Marty hangs on to at the beginning of the movie is stunt coordinator Walter Scott.
Tim Robbins was considered for the role of Biff Tannen.
The town square/clock tower can be found at coordinates: 34.141426,-118.349783 is are located on the Universal back lot.
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The café owner in 1955 scoffs at the idea of a black mayor. The first black mayor of a California town was Edward Duplex, elected mayor of Wheatland in 1888.
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While it was planned to use the date, November 5th in the film, which happens to be Bob Gale's father's birthday as well as Mary Steenburgen's, interestingly enough, based on accurate calendars, November 12, 1955 actually did occur on Saturday.
C. Thomas Howell was considered to play the role of Marty McFly.
Crispin Glover based his performance as 47 year old George in the early part of the film on Jack Nance's portrayal of Henry Spencer in Eraserhead (1977). While filming George's writing scene in 1955, Crispin attempted to have the scene shot with his hair standing straight up, like that of Henry Spencer. When Robert Zemeckis rejected the idea, saying it wouldn't match what was shot the previous day, Crispin replied, "Brando never matched".
The lion statues in front of the Lyon Estates subdivisions were inspired by two like statues in the University City Loop in St. Louis, where writer Bob Gale grew up.
The license plate on a car outside the band audition (which says "FOR MARY") is a tribute to Mary T. Radford, personal assistant to second unit director Frank Marshall.
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J.J. Cohen originally considered for the role of Biff after Eric Stoltz was cast as Marty. He was replaced by Thomas F. Wilson because Cohen was considered not physically imposing enough next to the six-foot-tall Stoltz. Cohen was cast as one of Biff's gang. According to Bob Gale, had Michael J. Fox been cast from the beginning, Cohen would have probably won the part because he was much taller than the five-foot-four Fox.
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Marty's guitars used throughout the movie: - Erlewine Chiquita ("big amp" sequence) - Ibanez black Strat copy (scenes of Marty's band performing in the 80s) - Gibson 1963 ES-345TD (Marty performing at the dance)
When the McFly family is sitting down for dinner before Marty travels back in time (early in the movie), Michael J. Fox is seen drinking a can of Pepsi. Fox was a major endorser of Pepsi in 1985, and some viewers criticized this scene as being a thinly-disguised commercial.
Eric Stoltz insisted that the cast and crew address him as Marty, even when cameras weren't rolling. He would also wear Marty's wardrobe while traveling to and from the set each day.
The name 'D. Jones' appears on the side of the manure truck. This is a reference to the film's unit production manager Dennis E. Jones.
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James Woods was considered for the part of Doc Brown.
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According to Marty's supposed age of 47 (by 2015), he was born in 1968, thirteen years after his parents met, during his first adventure in the past (in 1955).
Wendie Jo Sperber, who played Linda McFly, was in fact three years older than Lea Thompson who played her mother, and six years older than Crispin Glover who played her father.
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The DeLorean used in the trilogy was a 1981 DMC-12 model, with a 6-cylinder PRV (Peugeot/Renault/Volvo) engine. The base for the nuclear-reactor was made from the hubcap from a Dodge Polaris. In the 2002 Special-Edition DVD of the BTTF Trilogy, it is incorrectly stated that the DeLorean had a standard 4-cylinder engine.
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John Cusack was considered to play Marty McFly.
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The film takes place from October 25 to October 26, 1985 and from November 5 to November 12, 1955.
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The picture of Mayor Red Thomas on the election car in 1955 is set decorator Hal Gausman.
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According to the documentary on the Blu-ray, the two cat sculptures standing beside the clock were originally created for the film Cat People (1982).
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Another of the numerous notes sent to Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale from Universal studio head Sid Sheinberg were to change Doc Brown's original sidekick from a chimpanzee to a dog (Sheinberg argued that no film with a monkey in it ever made money, disregarding the recent Clint Eastwood hits Every Which Way But Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980)).
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The film was almost titled "Spaceman from Pluto".
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The donning of a Burger King uniform by Marty's brother, Dave, may have been a tribute to Lea Thompson's early acting gigs as a Burger King spokesperson.
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The "Tales From Space" comic book reappeared in at least two episodes of the television series Oliver Beene (2003) and in a commercial for McDonald's Mighty Kids Meals.
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The backlot used as the town of Hill Valley is also seen in the first episode of Twilight Zone (1959).
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When the Delorean lives 1955 and fire tracks are visible on tar road at Hill Valley, the movie shown in cinema is The Atomic Kid (1954). When he arrives in the alternative 1985 the cinema changed into an Assembly of Christ.
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When Marty dressed up as an alien is using a cassette player (to convince his father to ask his mother) the model is an Aiwa MK-PO2 MKII.
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In early drafts of the script, Marty's girlfriend's name is Suzy Parker.
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On November 12, 2010 the Hollywood Methodist Church, where the Enchantment Under The Sea dance was filmed, was opened for the fans along with J.J. Cohen, Claudia Wells, Jeffrey Weissman, Bob Gale, Courtney Gains, and a few other members of the cast and crew.
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The song "Earth Angel" by The Penguins is played during the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance on November 12, 1955. It was also played during the Smallville High School reunion dance in Superman III (1983). Marc McClure (Dave McFly) also appeared in that film, in which he played Jimmy Olsen.
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Ron Cobb was originally hired to design the DeLorean time machine but left for another project and was replaced by Andrew Probert.
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Voted number 7 in channel 4's (UK) "Greatest Family Films".
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Christopher Cundey's scenes as Lorraine's classmate were deleted from the final print.
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George as a fan of science fiction and novelist, reads magazines called Amazing Stories, Fantastic Stories Magazine and Thrilling Wonder Stories. Those were real magazines.
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Even though you never hear mention of the sports teams played at Hill Valley High, their sports mascot is the Bulldogs.
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In the background, there are three guys wearing the official Hill Valley High School jacket. The school's official colors are gold and red.
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Michael J. Fox and Crispin Glover appeared together in the January 5, 1984 episode of Family Ties (1982).
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Cameo 

Huey Lewis:  A judge in the Battle of the Bands tryouts.
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Deborah Harmon:  newscaster on TV in the opening sequence.
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Walter Scott:  Driver of the jeep Marty hitches a ride on during "The Power of Love".
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The mall where Marty McFly meets Doc Brown for their time travel experiment is called "Twin Pines Mall." Doc Brown comments that old farmer Peabody used to own all of the land, and he grew pines there. When Marty goes back in time, he runs over and knocks down a pine tree on the Peabody's property. When he comes back to the mall at the end of the film, the sign at the mall identifies the mall as "Lone Pine Mall."
Co-writer Bob Gale confirmed that for wide shots, the wind during the storm at the Clock Tower was created by using a McBride, which was described by the writer as "basically a airplane engine on a huge cherry picker" and was placed a good fifty feet away from the actors. The McBride was so loud that all of the dialog said by actors Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd had to be re-recorded later. However, the McBride also had an effect on Fox's health: while filming the sequence where Marty yells up at Doc at the Clock Tower to tell him about the future, he coughed up blood after filming those scenes.
To be continued" was inserted into the end of the VHS release Back to the Future (1985), and was omitted from the 2002 DVD release. The cliff-hanger ending of the film was not originally intended to set up a sequel, but rather just as one last joke. It was admitted by the writer that had they originally intended the following two sequels, the ending would not have had Jennifer get into the car with Doc and Marty. This is why Jennifer was almost immediately knocked unconscious at the beginning of Back to the Future Part II (1989).
In the original script, Marty's playing rock and roll at the dance caused a riot which had to be broken up by police. This, combined with Marty accidentally tipping Doc off to the "secret ingredient" that made the time machine work (Coca-Cola) caused history to change. When Marty got back to the 1980s, he found that it was now the 1950s conception of that decade, with air-cars and what-not (all invented by Doc Brown and running on Coca-Cola). Marty also discovers that rock and roll was never invented, and he dedicates himself to starting the delayed cultural revolution. Meanwhile, his dad digs out the newspaper from the day after the dance and sees his son in the picture of the riot.
In the shot of the clock tower of 1985, after Doc Brown sent Marty into the future (with a flying-by helicopter), you can clearly see that the piece of the ledge under the clock dial is broken off. It was broken off by Doc Brown in 1955.
The dialogue where Lorraine says that when she grows up she'll let her kids do anything they want was cut. That dialogue is re-inserted in Back to the Future Part II (1989) when the second Marty creeps past the car the first Marty and 1955 Lorraine are in. Lorraine states she'll let her kids do anything, Marty replies, "I'd like to have that in writing."
According to Back to the Future Part III (1990), the clock in the clock tower started running at 8:00 p.m. on September 5, 1885. The date is provided by the caption on the photograph that Doc Brown gives Marty at the end of Back to the Future Part III. The time is provided by the mayor in 1885 in Back to the Future Part III, who starts it. The lightning strikes the clock tower at 10:04 p.m. on November 12, 1955. This means that the clock tower operated for exactly 70 years, 2 months, 7 days, 2 hours, and 4 minutes.
In the opening scene of the movie, as the camera pans across the clocks, one clock in the foreground has a small figure of Harold Lloyd hanging from the minute hand (see Safety Last! (1923)) - a foreshadowing of the story's climax, where Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) clings to the face of the clock tower while trying to reconnect the cable.
The "Mr. Fusion Home Energy Converter", which is sitting on the DeLorean when Doc returns from the future, is made from (among other things) a Krups coffee grinder.
The "Mr. Fusion" energy converter at the end of the film originally had the Westing House logo on it. However, the company wouldn't allow the logo to be used, so the art director added some additional lines to the symbol to differentiate it.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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