Before sending Marty back to 1885, Doc mentions that he uses the drive-in theater, 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.
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. Marty even looks to and briefly points to the poster as he says to Doc "That's right, you haven't heard of him yet."
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's" 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 this eventually lead to the invention of Frisbees.
According to the clock behind them, Doc and Marty have their picture taken at 8:08 p.m. This is possibly a reference to the eighty-eight miles per hour speed the DeLorean must reach before it can travel through time.
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.
For Back to the Future Part II (1989) and III, two years were spent building the sets and completing the scripts. They were filmed back-to-back over eleven months, in order to take advantage of Michael J. Fox's extended break from Family Ties (1982), which was coming to the end of its run. While Part III was being filmed, Part II was being edited.
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 Gabrilowitsch lost control. At the top of a hill, next to a fifty 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.
In the first movie, 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 this movie, 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, on which he slipped.
When Marty comes back from 1885 on the train track, you can see that the ravine is now called "Eastwood Ravine", not "Clayton Ravine". Because Marty supposedly "died" in the train crash, known as Clint Eastwood.
A horse dealership in 1885 is owned 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.
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.
Michael J. Fox compared the filming of all three movies to "being back in school", as it seemed like someone was always teaching him something for the films. During the course of filming the trilogy, Fox was taught how to play a guitar, how to ride a horse, and how to shoot a gun.
Before the new courthouse clock is reset to 8:00 ready for its official 8:00 start, it can be seen behind 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.
DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (Robert Zemeckis): (citation): 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 long 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.
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 N.A.S.A. program.
For approximately three weeks, Robert Zemeckis would fly to Los Angeles after his day's filming of the train climax of this movie to approve the sound dub that Bob Gale had been supervising of Back to the Future Part II (1989). He would then get up at 4:30 a.m. the next day to fly back to the northern California set to continue with his filming for that day.
If you start this movie after the lightning rod is hit on the 1955 clock tower, at the end of the second movie, as Doc then reconnects the wire, it will play seamlessly from the second to the start of this movie.
In 2011, the DeLorean with the white-walled 1950's wheels was finally restored after a good six to seven year period, by Back to the Future enthusiast, Joe Walser. His team cleaned up both this version of the DeLorean, as well as the original DeLorean used for production of all three films.
In the 1880s, the fastest steam locomotive in active service was the Eight Wheeler Steam Engine (wheel configuration 4-4-0) with a top speed of forty-five miles per hour. Thus, Marty and Doc Brown were faced with the task of doubling the speed of the fastest steam engine then in existence.
In the Back to the Future trilogy, the "present" date is October 26, 1985 (2015 is the future, 1885 and 1955 are the past). Exactly twenty-five years later on October 26, 2010, the trilogy was released on Blu-ray in a 25th Anniversary Edition.
The man in the saloon with barbed wire, with whom Doc Brown converses, is not named, but is John Warne Gates, who was a salesman for the Southern Wire Company of St. Louis, Missouri, which merged with the wire company of William Edenborn to form Braddock Wire Company, from which Consolidated Steel and Wire Company was organized in 1888. With the help of Chicago attorney Elbert Henry Gary, he created a monopoly in the U.S. wire industry in 1898 with American Steel and Wire Company, which was sold in 1901 to J.P. Morgan in a deal (also negotiated by Gary) to become part of the new U.S. Steel conglomerate.1. Gates was a founder of The Texas Company which became the Texaco oil company. This is another reference to the Texaco company which is represented in the first and second movie and (due to this reference) in all time frames.
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.
In a scene that was cut from the film, Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen shoots Marshal Strickland in the back, just as the disgruntled schoolboys try to gun down their former school principal in Part II. 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.
In this film, Mary Steenburgen played Clara Clayton, a nineteenth century woman who falls in love with a time traveller from the twentieth century. In Time After Time (1979), she played Amy Robbins, a twentieth century woman who falls in love with a time traveller from the nineteenth century.
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.
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).
When Doc blows the train whistle he exclaims "I've wanted to do that my entire life!" This was also said by the boy in The Polar Express (2004), when he blew the train whistle. Both movies were directed by Robert Zemeckis.
This film marked the second time Christopher Lloyd (Doc) worked in a film with Pat Buttram (black hat cowboy), as they also appeared in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) as Lloyd played Judge Doom, and Buttram was the voice of one of the Talking Bullets.
In the scene where Doc and Marty are analyzing the map and talking about how Clayton ravine is then called Shonash ravine, Miss Clara Clayton can be seen in the background in her purple dress. You can also see the soon-to-be clock for the courthouse.
The scene in which Marty crashes into the fence and his found by his paternal great-great grandfather is similar to the scene in Back to the Future (1985) in which he is hit by his maternal grandfather's car.
As mentioned before, ZZ Top cameos as the town band during the big dance scene; if you watch closely, they do their trademark guitar spin right after Marshal Strickland breaks up the fight between Marty and Tannan and says, "Let's have some fun!"
Doc Brown stands at the bar with a shot of whiskey in his hand all night, and then promptly passes out after drinking it, after which, the bartender makes a special concoction called "wake up juice" to revive him. In Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971), Doc Schultz (Dub Taylor), who is already quite drunk, is similarly seen drinking a single shot of whiskey at the bar before immediately passing out, after which, the bartender concocts a special drink of the Doc's own design to revive him quickly. In this movie, Dub Taylor plays one of the three old-timers in the bar who heckles Marty and Doc Brown.
Biff "has a lot of room to talk" when he accuses Marty of being "the little hothead" in Part II, since his own great-grandfather Buford lost his cool when Marty said, "You're Mad Dog Tannen", and started ferociously shooting up the saloon. It appears that getting terribly upset, offended, and defensive whenever they are called an uncomplimentary, or unflattering name ("chicken", "yellow", et cetera) is a long-running trait of some of the males in both the McFly and Tannen families.
When Clara teaches Doc lunar geography, she asks him if people will ever travel to the moon they way they travel on trains. Doc replies "not for another 84 years". 1885 plus 84 equals 1969, the year of the first moon landing.
The DeLorean that was specifically used for travelling back to 1885 is the only other fully intact on-screen DeLorean to have been shown to the public other than the original A Car (the one used in all three films), by the time the A Car reached the Peterson Auto Museum. Both cars have been on display there, but not at the same time.
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.
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.
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 franchise, it was rushed into release on December 26, 2010.
The *REAL* Central Pacific #131 was a 4-4-0 American (4 pilot wheels in the front and 4 driving wheels in the back) built by the Rhode Island Locomotive Works in November 1868 and it carried the name Greyhound. It was sold to an unknown buyer in January 1872.
For all the reasons it was this way, not only do all the years that Marty and Doc, and even Jennifer and Einstein in one or two instances visit in this film along with the year that is their home year in this film all end in 5, but also all of the months that they visit along with when their present month in the story is, are all Autumn months. The only closest exception of that is the fact that the 1885 visit by Marty is in September, which only borders Autumn. While the early part of September is what is visited in this film, it would still be late Summer on calendar.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
To film the destruction of the DeLorean (right after Marty McFly's eventual return to 1985), the filmmakers consulted with the engineer of the diesel freight train (The VCRY #9, which belonged to the Ventura County Railway) that would smash the DeLorean to pieces. When asked if smashing the car might derail the train, the engineer replied, "Are you kidding? I've been waiting to do this my whole life!"
Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen is arrested by Marshal Strickland's Deputy, rather than the Marshal 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 Marshal Strickland. The murder scene was deleted, as it was deemed too dark for a family film, and the line was dubbed over.
FRANCHISE 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 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 a movie is. Before Marty can answer, a woman calls out the name, "David... David Llewelyn Wark Griffith". This is the real name of pioneer filmmaker D.W. Griffith, who, having been born in 1875, would've been nine or ten years old in 1885.
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 travelled by himself, the DeLorean spent nearly seventy-one 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 approximately fourteen days, three hours, and twenty-seven minutes older than he should have been; Jennifer, on the other hand, is seven hours and twenty-six 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 a.m., whichever came later) and 6:38 p.m. (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 seventy years of peace, then (1) arrives, then (2) and (3) arrive in some order; (2) then leaves at 6:38 p.m., (3) leaves around 10 p.m., and (1) leaves at 10:04 p.m. (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 one hundred-year gap near the end of this movie, when Marty takes the DeLorean on its final journey. Seventy years into it, for a few hours, there are four instances of the car.
In the mid 1990s, there was plans for Back to the Future Part IV. One discussed plot would have involved Doc and his family going to Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, with Michael J. Fox appearing only in a cameo role. In 2004, Michael J. Fox talked about doing Back to the Future Part IV, saying that he wanted Marty McFly to be a mentor to a different family.
In Back to the Future Part II (1989), Biff watches 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.
In the deleted scene (shown on DVD), Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen was supposed to shoot Marshal 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-dubbed to compensate for the change.
Throughout the trilogy, the DeLorean, and its duplicates created via time travel make fifteen trips through time, thirteen on-screen. 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 to 2015 from 1985. 5) (Not seen on-screen) Doc travels to some point beyond 2015 to learn that Marty's family has unraveled. 6) (Also not on-screen) Doc travels to 2015 from the future to find the beginning of the unraveling of Marty's family. 7) Doc returns to 1985 from 2015. 8) Doc takes Marty and Jennifer forward to 2015 from 1985. 9) Biff travels from 2015 to 1955 to give himself the sports almanac, thus creating an alternate timeline. 10) Biff returns to 2015 from 1955. 11) Doc, Marty, and Jennifer return to the alternate 1985 from 2015. 12) Marty and Doc travel back to 1955 from the alternate 1985 to get the sports almanac from Biff. 13) Doc accidentally travels from 1955 to 1885 when the DeLorean is hit by lightning. 14) Marty travels from 1955 to 1885 to rescue Doc. 15) Marty returns to 1985 from 1885. A sixteenth (fourteenth on-screen) time travel voyage is made by Doc and his family in the Time Train 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 travelling has occurred as stated by Doc Brown (presumably in both the DeLorean and the Time Train), but these are the sixteen confirmed travels.
Each movie in the trilogy has an early scene that foreshadows an event that occurs in the third act. In the first movie, a figure of a guy clinging to a clock is seen in Doc's lab which foreshadows the climax of the movie in which Doc clings to a clock in a similar way. In the second movie, Doc says that he wishes the post office was as punctual as the weather and at the end a post office man gives a letter to Marty in 1955 at the precise time Doc is sent to 1885. In the third movie, when Doc is explaining to Marty at the Clayton Ravine how the train is going to push the DeLorean to eighty-eight miles per hour, he laments that nobody is going to be there to witness it. At the end, Doc remains with Clara, and thus witnesses the event.
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 Part I, he was on a skateboard; in Part II, he was on a hoverboard). 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.
FRANCHISE 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 cup of coffee, while his father George is sitting next to him. Biff Tannen comes in and shouts "Hey McFly!", to which Marty acknowledges, but doesn't realize Biff is shouting at his father. In Back to the Future Part II (1989), shortly after arriving in 2015 with Doc, Marty enters the Café '80s, when Griff Tannen (Biff's grandson) shouts "Hey McFly!" to Marty's future son (Marty, Jr.) who just entered after him. In this movie, 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.
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 at Universal Studios Orlando.
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 and flying conversion, 1955 vacuum tubes and transistors (replacing a burned out microchip), and 1885 train wheels.
If the DeLorean was equipped with a time odometer which measured years travelling backwards or forwards in time incrementally (much like a standard odometer measures miles travelled forwards incrementally), it would have travelled a grand total of five hundred seventy 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 = thirty years (Marty's original trip to 1955). 2) 1955 to 1985 = sixty years (Marty's return to 1985). 3) 1985 to 2015 = ninety years (Doc's trip to 2015). 4) 2015 to 1985 = one hundred twenty years (Doc's return to 1985 to warn Marty and Jennifer). 5) 1985 to 2015 = one hundred fifty years (Doc, Marty, and Jennifer's trip to 2015). 6) 2015 to 1955 = two hundred ten years (Old Biff's trip to 1955 to give his younger self the Almanac). 7) 1955 to 2015 = two hundred seventy years (Old Biff's return). 8) 2015 to 1985A = three hundred years (Doc and Marty's trip to Alternate 1985). 9) 1985A to 1955 = three hundred thirty years (Doc and Marty's trip to 1955 to retrieve the Almanac and restore 1985 time line). 10) 1955 to 1885 = four hundred years (Doc's trip to 1885, when the DeLorean was struck by lightning). 11) 1955 to 1885 = four hundred seventy years (DeLorean was buried in 1885, and sat undisturbed for seventy years, before being unearthed in 1955, and used to travel to 1885). 12) 1885 to 1985 = five hundred seventy years (Marty's return to 1985, and final trip of the DeLorean).
The person who has time travelled the farthest into the future is Clara Clayton. At the end of the film, when Marty asked Doc where he's headed "Back to the future?" Doc responds with "Nope, already been there." Clara was with him during the time travels, and assuming they visited the year 2015, she travelled one hundred thirty years into the future. Many believe the DeLorean travelled the farthest back to the past, but actually it's the hoverboard. Being from October 21, 2015, it travelled all the way to September 2, 1885, for a total of one hundred thirty years, one month and nineteen days. Coincidentally, both of those dates fell on a Wednesday.
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 seventy years, two months, seven days, two hours, and four minutes.
The film is the final chapter of the Back to the Future trilogy. However, an animated television series based on the trilogy premiered on September 14, 1991, and it ran for two seasons. The series took place after this movie, and it depicted the further adventures of Marty, Doc, Clara, their sons Jules and Verne, their family dog Einsten, and the DeLorean time machine is rebuilt, and is now voice-activated. In 2016, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd unofficially return in their roles for a Back to the Future Part IV trailer, which was a parody of the trilogy, and the trailer saw Marty and Doc embarking on one last adventure. However, Doc inventing a time travel machine out of a steam train hinted at a possible second trilogy or spin-off. But, due to Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's Disease, Michael J. Fox returning as Marty is doubtful.
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.
If Marty had killed Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen in the duel, Biff Tannen would never had been born, and he would be erased from existence, unless Buford had already fathered a son before the events depicted in this movie.
At the scene in the saloon, Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen makes Marty dance by shooting at him on the floor. After Marty flips the spittoon onto him, Tannen tries to shoot right at Marty, but he is luckily saved, because Tannen ran out of bullets. In the scene where the Libyans shoot Doc at Twin Pines Mall in the first movie, they also shoot at Marty, who tries to escape. Then the Libyan terrorist also tries to shoot right at him, but Marty is luckily saved, because the Libyan terrorist's gun jammed.
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 and 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.