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Back to the Future Part III (1990)

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Enjoying a peaceable existence in 1885, Doctor Emmet Brown is about to be killed by Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen. Marty McFly travels back in time to save his friend.

Director:

Robert Zemeckis

Writers:

Robert Zemeckis (characters), Bob Gale (characters) | 3 more credits »
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2,715 ( 780)
5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael J. Fox ... Marty McFly / Seamus McFly
Christopher Lloyd ... Dr. Emmett Brown
Mary Steenburgen ... Clara Clayton
Thomas F. Wilson ... Buford 'Mad Dog' Tannen / Biff Tannen
Lea Thompson ... Maggie McFly / Lorraine McFly
Elisabeth Shue ... Jennifer Parker
Matt Clark ... Chester the Bartender
Richard Dysart ... Barbwire Salesman
Pat Buttram ... Jeb, Saloon Old-Timer #3
Harry Carey Jr. ... Zeke, Saloon Old-Timer #2
Dub Taylor ... Levi, Saloon Old-Timer #1
James Tolkan ... Marshal James Strickland
Marc McClure ... Dave McFly
Wendie Jo Sperber ... Linda McFly
Jeffrey Weissman ... George McFly
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Storyline

Stranded in 1955, Marty McFly receives written word from his friend, Doctor Emmett Brown, as to where can be found the DeLorean time machine. However, an unfortunate discovery prompts Marty to go to his friend's aid. Using the time machine, Marty travels to the old west where his friend has run afoul of a gang of thugs and has fallen in love with a local schoolteacher. Using the technology from the time, Marty and Emmett devise one last chance to send the two of them back to the future. Written by Vampire Sharpshooter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They've saved the best trip for last... But this time they may have gone too far.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Three See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,089,645, 27 May 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$87,727,583

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$244,527,583
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The twinkly piano cue, used at the start of the main title theme of Back to the Future III is an homage by Alan Silvestri to the George Pal movie, H.G. Wells' The Time Machine (1960). An almost identical twinkly piano or harpsichord motif can be heard at the start of a track called "Fear", used in the original Russell Garcia score from the 1960 classic. See more »

Goofs

In one shot during the aftermath of Marty's "shootout" with Tannen, a modern California state flag can be seen hanging from one of the buildings. This design was not developed until 1911, the original having been destroyed in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Marty McFly: Doc! Doc! Doc!
Young Doc: [not paying attention] What?
Marty McFly: Doc!
Young Doc: What?
Marty McFly: Doc!
Young Doc: [finally seeing him] Aaaah!
Marty McFly: Okay, relax, Doc, it's me! It's me, It's Marty!
Young Doc: No, it can't be! I just sent you back to the future!
Marty McFly: Oh, I know you did send me back to the future. But I'm back, I'm back *from* the future.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with all four versions of the Universal Pictures company bumper. See more »

Alternate Versions

When the film premiered on NBC in 1993, many edits were made to censor language. Examples being Marty saying "he's an [idiot]" instead of asshole, Strickland saying "dig him out of that [stuff]" instead of shit, and "holy [shoot]" instead of shit. "Son of a bitch" however was allowed. While these were all dubbed in, one shot was actually re filmed for the NBC version though, when Marty looks back at Needles driving off, the shot was re filmed and Marty says "I'm not stupid enough to race that [butthead]" instead of asshole. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Looking Back at the Future (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Power of Love
Written by Huey Lewis, Johnny Colla, and Chris Hayes
Performed by Huey Lewis & The News (as Huey Lewis and The News)
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"There's a man who can't hold his liquor."
20 April 2004 | by DarthBillSee all my reviews

Picking up where #2 left off, Marty is stuck in 1955 again and has to explain to the 1955 Doc why he's back and uses a letter Doc sends him from 1885 to explain what happened. After fixing up the time machine (hidden in a from 1885 cave), they find out that Doc is murdered in the past by Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen (played by Thomas F. Wilson) "over a matter of $80 dollars." So Marty decides to go back and rescue Doc before the murder can occur, but he is bedeviled by a rip in the fuel line - meaning they have to find another way to get the time machine to hit 88 miles per hour - and Doc falling in love with school teacher Clara Clayton (Mary Steenburgen). Along the way, he gets advice both from Doc and his 1885 ancestor Seamus McFly (also played by Michael J. Fox) that he should really learn to control his temper.

Fox and Lloyd are fun to watch as always, and I give my hat off to the studio for hiring Mary Steenburgen as Doc's love interest and not some super model type; it's more fitting of who Doc is. Wilson's Biff Tannen officially became a traditional "villain" in #2 with him murdering George McFly, and now Wilson plays an even bigger villain in Buford Tannen, whom he makes both funny and menacing.

Ironically, Wilson is said to be a very nice man in real life. Leah Thompson makes the most of a thankless dual role as both Lorraine McFly and Marty's great, great grandmother Maggie McFly, and James Tolkan plays his Principal character's soft spoken law man ancestor (killed in a deleted scene by Buford Tannen; "Remember son... discipline.")

It should be noted that originally there were no sequels planned with the first movie; that bit with Doc taking Marty and Jennifer to the future to help their kids was just another gag. But the film was such a hit that the studio couldn't NOT do sequels, so this one and part 2 were filmed back to back, which is becoming more of a craze these days.

Although on the surface it's a lighthearted comedy about time travel, it's also about what it means to be a man. The first film defined being a man through violently standing up to your tormentors, while this film and #2 go with the theme that being a man also means you have to reign yourself in when people start annoying you. Marty' willingness to fight back was his strength in the first film but here it is his flaw, as people in both 2015, 1955 and 1885 continually get his goat. The message of self-control is bluntly stated when Doc says to Marty "You can' t keep going off the handle every time someone calls you a name, that's why you get into that accident in the future!" (referring of course to the car accident mentioned in part 2). It is not until Marty realizes his error when he's about to meet Buford in the gun fight that he achieves this ideal and, much to Seamus's glee, says of Buford and the opinions surrounding him "He's an asshole! I don't care what Tannen says, and I don't care what anyone else says either!" Because of this, he is able to avoid said accident.

Also loaded with gags, references to other great westerns ("My name is Clint Eastwood.") and Doc's response to being asked if his hijacking the train is a hold up: "It's a science experiment!"


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