Back to the Future was released in 1985. In this sci-fi classic, a small-town California teen, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), is taken back into the ’50s when an experiment by his eccentric scientist friend, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), goes awry. Traveling through time in a modified DeLorean car, Marty encounters young versions of his parents (Crispin Glover, Lea Thompson), and must make sure that they fall in love or he’ll cease to exist. All the while, Marty knows he has to return to his own time and save the life of Doc Brown. The film was almost titled Spaceman from Pluto. I’m thinking it is a good thing they went with Back to the Future.
1. The script was rejected over 40 times by every major studio at the time. I bet they all kicked themselves when it became such a big hit.
2. The school in the film is Whittier High in California which is Richard M. Nixon’s alma mater. James Tolkan’s Mr. Strickland (Prince in the City, Underworld,”Leverage”), who appears in all three films, was described by Gale as “a joy to work with.”
3. Early in the script, the time machine was a laser device in a room. The climax had it attached to a refrigerator on a truck which was driven to a nuclear test site with Marty inside. They changed it to lightning because they were afraid kids would lock themselves in refrigerators. That was probably an excellent call.
4. And Doc Brown had a pet Chimp.
5. The garage was on a flat just next to Burger King on Victory Boulevard; they had a deal to shoot the scene there at no cost. That is a pretty sweet deal.
6. 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 even though they have appeared together in five movies and one TV movie.
7. 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.
8. In the early 1990’s Back To The Future Cartoon, Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson) was the voice of Doc Brown.
9. In the window of the Cafe 80’s Marty sees several Nintendo games.
10. And a Roger Rabbit doll.
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