According to the book "Billy Gibbons: Rock & Roll Gearhead", ZZ Top was hanging around the set and was asked to be the town band. During one take, the camera broke. While waiting for the camera to be repaired, Michael J. Fox asked if they would play "Hey Good Lookin'" which they did. Afterwards, more requests were played. Two hours later, someone inquired if the camera had been repaired. Robert Zemeckis replied that it had been fixed for quite a while, he just didn't want to stop the party that had evolved.
Marty uses a Frisbie pie plate to knock a gun out of Mad Dog's hand. In 1871, the Frisbie Pie Company started in Connecticut. Their pie pans were thrown on the campus of Yale and these eventually lead to the invention of Frisbees (tm).
The DeLorean used in the filming of this movie was on display at the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is suspended from the ceiling and hung upside down to give restaurant patrons a better view of the vehicle from above. The restaurant closed in 2010.
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.
Actor and former President Ronald Reagan was originally approached to play the part of Mayor Hubert because of his fondness for the first film in the trilogy. He reluctantly turned down the role, and the part went to Hugh Gillin instead.
In Back to the Future (1985), Doc tells Marty that he was inspired to create the flux capacitor after hitting his head on the bathroom sink while trying to hang a clock over his toilet. In Back to the Future Part III (1990), when Doc freaks out after seeing Marty in his house and runs into the bathroom, you can just see the clock hanging above the toilet he slipped on.
The character of Clara Clayton is in reference to Clara Clemens, Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain's daughter. Clara Clemens went on a sleigh ride with her future husband, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the horse took fright from a wind-swept newspaper and bolted while the Gabrilowitsch lost control. At the top of a hill, next to a 50 foot drop, the sleigh overturned, throwing Clemens out. Gabrilowitsch leaped to the ground and caught the horse by the head, stopping it as it was about to plunge over the bank, dragging Clemens with her dress caught in a runner.
Buford Tannen is arrested by Marshall Strickland's Deputee, rather than the Marshall himself. During the arrest, when the charge "robbing the Pine City Stage" is read, the camera cuts away to Marty and Emmett. There is a reason for both of these: Buford was originally arrested for the murder of Marshall Strickland. The murder scene was deleted as it was deemed too dark for a family film, and the line was dubbed over.
The man in the saloon with barbed wire that Doc Brown converses with is not named, but appears to be historical figure Joseph Glidden. Glidden invented barbed wire, and the character's appearance is consistent with pictures and descriptions of Glidden.
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.
A horse dealership in 1885 is own by the Statlers. In Back to the Future (1985) there is an ad on the radio for "Statler Toyota" in 1985. In 1955, "Statler Motors Studebaker" is visible near the town theater.
Before sending Marty back to 1885, Doc mentions that he uses the drive-in theatre so Marty doesn't run into a tree that existed in the past. In Back to the Future (1985), one of the first things Marty does in 1955 is run into farmer Peabody's pine tree that existed in the past.
Doc Brown states his German ancestors' surname was "von Braun". This is a reference to Wernher von Braun, one of Germany's leading rocket scientists, who was taken to America following World War II and assisted greatly in the NASA program.
In a scene that was cut from the film, Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen shoots Marshall Strickland in the back, just as the disgruntled schoolboys try to gun down their former school principal in BTTF2. It appears that multiple generations of rowdy defiant Hill Valley residents have consistently wanted to kill the stern "by the book" Strickland men who became authority figures throughout the decades.
The train station is near the site of the station built for Pale Rider (1985), another Clint Eastwood movie. The two halves of the "Pale Rider" station became new buildings in "Hill Valley". One can be seen at the north end of town by the corrals and tracks, and the other at the south end by the waterwheel.
A common FAQ for this film is: why didn't Doc and Marty remove the Delorean that was already in 1885 to use for traveling into the future. The reason why this doesn't work is because this is the Delorean Marty needs to go back to 1885 to begin with. For some reason, most fans don't get it, even though they should have figured it out by this time into the trilogy.
In 1996, Lego released their line of time travel themed sets. As part of the promo for both the Time Cruisers and the Wild West sets being released, the comic section of the Lego magazine did a two part piece sending a character to the Wild West.
In this film, Mary Steenburgen played Clara Clayton, a 19th Century woman who falls in love with a time traveller from the 20th Century. In Time After Time (1979), she played Amy Robbins, a 20th Century woman who falls in love with a time traveller from the 19th Century.
The railed version of the Delorean released to the public in a 1:18 sized scale was the last Delorean model to be released, leaving a two to three year span in between model releases when the 1:15 sizes of the Delorean were released.
The 1:15 scale Delorean model with the rail wheels was originally set to be released on December 29, 2010, however because of the 25th anniversary of the series it was rushed into release on December 26, 2010.
The recent release of the 1:15 scale model of the railed version of the Delorean is the first model of the railed version to have wheels strong enough to support the body of the car, as well as not having the train track bed as part of the model display.
Doc's flying time-travel train is a culmination of technology used by Doc in all three films - the train (1885), time travel (originated in 1955, completed in 1985); and hover conversion and fusion (2015).
Before the new courthouse clock is reset to 8:00 ready for it's official 8:00 start, it can be seen behind the Doc and Marty when they are looking at the map of the ravine where it reads 10:04, the precise time in the future it is destined to stop.
When Marty walks along the railroad tracks and finally reaches the town, he comes to the railway station. Then he walks into the town, while the camera slowly rises up above the station and finally shows Marty at a large distance walking into the town. This scene is shot exactly the same way as the scene in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), when Jill arrives at the station.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
SERIES TRADEMARK: In every film Marty is knocked out. He always wakes up and says "Mom?", Lea Thompson is always present, she tells him to "be still now", and tells him for exactly how long he's been out cold.
In every film of the trilogy there is a scene where Marty is knocked unconscious and awoken by someone resembling his mother as he thinks the whole film a has been a dream. There is always a scene with him entering a public drinking place where Biff (or one of his relatives) enters calling for one of Marty's relations. There is always a scene with Marty being chased by someone resembling Biff (or Biff himself) and his gang (in one and two he was on a skateboard). The time machine always becomes unusable at some point. Characters related to Biff have been covered in manure in every film, and are always beaten up by Marty.
There exists enough clues in all three movies to reconstruct the travels of the DeLorean precisely (to within a few minutes at worst, except 2015 Biff's arrival in 1955 and Doc's personal travels). There are a few interesting things to note: Not counting the time Doc traveled by himself, the DeLorean spent nearly 71 years (on its own time scale) from its first time travel to its destruction. By the time Marty made his ultimate return to 1985, he was approx. 14 days, 3 hours, and 27 minutes older than he should have been; Jennifer, on the other hand, is 7 hours and 26 minutes younger than she should have been. Another interesting conclusion is a point of contention. There are two theories, one of which drops the last item. On November 12, 1955, between the time Biff arrived (or 6 am, whichever came later) and 6:38 pm (the time he left), there were four DeLoreans present in Hill Valley (ordered from its point of view): (1) The instance when Marty was trapped in 1955 in the original movie. (2) the instance when Biff came to 1955 to give himself the almanac. (3) the instance when Marty and Doc came back to 1955 to take the almanac back. (4) the instance when it was waiting in the abandoned mine. Those who do not agree with (4) argue that according to the "ripple effect" timeline as presented in the films, there wouldn't be a DeLorean hidden by Doc in the mine until later that evening, when the lightning blast would accidentally send Doc back to 1885, thereby altering the timeline. It is *entirely true* that *we* do not ever witness a moment in the films where all four instances coexist, but the text "ordered from its point of view" above should hint at a solution. Once the DeLorean is in 1885, consider what it would detect (if it were in a position to witness the comings and goings of its former selves): over 70 years of peace, then (1) arrives, then (2) and (3) arrive in some order; (2) then leaves at 6:38, (3) leaves around 10 pm, and (1) leaves at 10:04. (4) itself leaves soon after that. If we grant that all three of those instances (1-3) continue to exist in the "final" timeline, then there should be no problem accepting this theory. Still not convinced? Consider the 100-year gap near the end of BTTF III when Marty takes the DeLorean on its final journey. 70 years into it, for a few hours, there are 4 instances of the car.
In the novelization after the little boy hands Marty back his gun he asks him where he got the idea to wear the oven door under his clothes, Marty replies he saw it in a movie. The boy asks Marty what is a movie. Before Marty can answer a woman calls out the name 'David... David Llewelyn Wark Griffith'. This of course is the real name of pioneer filmmaker 'D. W. Griffith (I)', who having been born in 1875 would've been 9-10 years old in 1885 when this movie takes place.
SERIES TRADEMARK: In each of the three films a common theme is that Marty always ends up in a public drinking place, shortly after arriving at his time destination and is confronted by a Tannen shouting "Hey McFly!". In Back to the Future (1985), shortly after Marty arrives in 1955 he walks into a café and is drinking a coffee whilst his father George McFly is sitting next to him. Biff Tannen comes in and shouts "Hey McFly!", to which Marty acknowledges but doesn't realize Biff is shouting his father. In Back to the Future Part II (1989), shortly after arriving in 2015 with the Doc, Marty enters the 80s nostalgia café when Griff Tannen (Biff's grandson) shouts "Hey McFly!" to Marty's future son (Marty Junior) who just entered before him. In Back to the Future Part III (1990) shortly after arriving in 1885 Marty enters the saloon and is confronted by Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen who shouts "Hey McFly!" confusing Marty with Marty's great, great grandfather Seamus McFly.
Throughout the trilogy, the Delorean and its duplicates created via time travel make 15 trips through time. They are: 1) Doc's dog, Einstein, is sent one minute into the future to test the machine. 2) Marty travels back to 1955 from 1985. 3) Marty returns to 1985 from 1955. 4) Doc travels past 2015 from 1985. 5) Doc travels to 2015 from the future to find the beginning of the unraveling of Marty's family. 6) Doc returns to 1985 from 2015. 7) Doc takes Marty and Jennifer forward to 2015 from 1985. 8) Biff travels from 2015 to 1955 to give himself the sports almanac, thus creating an alternate timeline. 9) Biff returns to 2015 from 1955. 10) Doc, Marty, and Jennifer return to the alternate 1985 from 2015. 11) Marty and Doc travel back to 1955 from the alternate 1985 to get the sports almanac from Biff. 12) Doc accidentally travels from 1955 to 1885 when the Delorean is hit by lightning. 13) Marty travels from 1955 to 1885 to rescue Doc. 14) Marty returns to 1985 from 1885. 15) Doc and his family travel from the future to 1985 to introduce Marty and Jennifer to Jules and Verne, and to give Marty an undamaged photo of him and Doc Brown in front of the clock. Additional off screen time traveling has occurred as stated by Doc Brown, but these are th 15 confirmed travels.
In the deleted scene (shown on DVD), Buford Tannen was supposed to shoot Marshall Strickland in the back, killing him. His son was present at the time. This was edited out of the final cut as it was deemed too depressing. This is why Strickland's deputy arrests Buford at the end of the movie rather than Strickland himself. The deputy's dialogue from the latter scene had to be re-looped to compensate for the change.
In the mid 1990s, there were plans for Back to the Future Part IV. One discussed plot would have involved Doc and his family going to Roswell, NM in 1947, with Michael J. Fox appearing only in a cameo role. In the early 2000s, Michael J. Fox talked about doing Back to the Future IV, saying that he wanted Marty McFly to be a mentor to a new, different family.
In Back to the Future Part II (1989), Biff watches A Fistful of Dollars (1964) in the alternative 1985, in which Clint Eastwood's character uses steel plating underneath his poncho. Marty (calling himself "Clint Eastwood") uses the hatch from a stove under his poncho in 1885. The sign at the train crossing in 1985 identifies the location (formerly Clayton Ravine) as "Eastwood Ravine" named for Marty's character.
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 Doc gives Marty at the end of the movie. 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.
By the time it is destroyed, the time machine is made up of components of each era it visited in the films: 1980's DeLorean chassis, 2015 Mr. Fusion, 1955 vacuum tubes and transistors (replacing a burnt out microchip), and 1885 train wheels.
Early in 2008, several directors, including Steven Spielberg voted on an attraction room for Universal Hollywood that would contain rare and old costumes and props. Two of the items pulled out from storage vaults were the miniatures of Doc's time travel train and the railroad version of the DeLorean. The full sized version of the time train can be seen over in the Orlando park.
Two versions of the DeLorean were used for the smashing of the time machine. One was simply half flattened while the other was destroyed with small explosions. The one that is half smashed is suspended upside down at Planet Hollywood in Honolulu.
When Marty in the Hilldale neighborhood decides to "race" Needles, as Needles' truck swerves away from the Rolls Royce you can see a street sign that reads "Clark." Clark & Hilldale was a very popular spot for Bay Area rock bands in the 1960s, and is even mentioned in the title of a song on Love's "Forever Changes" album in 1967.
If the Delorean Time Machine was equipped with a "Time Odometer" which measured years traveling backwards or forwards in time incrementally (much like a standard odometer measures miles traveled forwards or backwards incrementally), it would have traveled a grand total of 570 years through time before being destroyed. Here's how the "Time Odometer" would have been measured (for the sake of simplicity, any short time hops, such as Einstein's one minute future jump in 1985 and Doc's one day future jump in 2015 will be ignored, as will the exact times for each jump listed): 1) 1985 to 1955 = 30 years (Marty's original trip to 1955). 2) 1955 to 1985 = 60 years (Marty's return to 1985). 3) 1985 to 2015 = 90 years (Doc's trip to 2015). 4) 2015 to 1985 = 120 years (Doc's return to 1985 to warn Marty and Jennifer). 5) 1985 to 2015 = 150 years (Doc, Marty, and Jennifer's trip to 2015). 6) 2015 to 1955 = 210 years (Old Biff's trip to 1955 to give his younger self the Almanac). 7) 1955 to 2015 = 270 years (Old Biff's return). 8) 2015 to 1985A = 300 years (Doc and Marty's trip to Alternate 1985). 9) 1985A to 1955 = 330 years (Doc and Marty's trip to 1955 to retrieve the Almanac and restore 1985 time line). 10) 1955 to 1885 = 400 years (Doc's trip to 1885 when Delorean was struck by lightning). 11) 1955 to 1885 = 470 years (Delorean was buried in 1885 and sat undisturbed for 70 years before being unearthed in 1955 and used to travel to 1885). 12) 1885 to 1985 = 570 years (Marty's return to 1885 and final trip of Delorean).