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Back to the Future Trilogy DVD Cover

A Special GSFS Marathon Presentation
at Friday Saturday Night Movies:

Back to the Future Trilogy

Saturday, September 20th
Movies @ 3p, 6p and 9p *

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Marty McFly's having the time of his life. The only question is -- what time is it?


USA: 1985/1989/1990 -- Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Written by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale
Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Thomas F. Wilson, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover (Part I), Elizabeth Shue (Parts II and III), and Mary Steenburgen (Part III)

I'm sure in 1985, plutonium is available at every corner drugstore, but in 1955 it's a little hard to come by!
--Christopher Lloyd as Dr. Emmett Brown


Filmmaker Robert Zemeckis topped his breakaway hit Romancing the Stone with Back to the Future, a joyous comedy with a dazzling hook: what would it be like to meet your parents in their youth? Billed as a special-effects comedy, the imaginative film (the top box-office smash of 1985) has staying power because of the heart behind Zemeckis and Bob Gale's script. High schooler Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox, during the height of his TV success) is catapulted back to the '50s where he sees his parents in their teens, and accidentally changes the history of how Mom and Dad met. Filled with the humorous ideology of the '50s, filtered through the knowledge of the '80s (actor Ronald Reagan is president, ha!), the film comes off as a Twilight Zone episode written by Preston Sturges. Filled with memorable effects and two wonderfully off-key, perfectly cast performances: Christopher Lloyd as the crazy scientist who builds the time machine (a DeLorean luxury car) and Crispin Glover as Marty's geeky dad.

Critics and audiences didn't seem too happy with Back to the Future, Part II, the inventive, perhaps too clever sequel. Director Zemeckis and cast bent over backwards to add layers of time-travel complication, and while it surely exercises the brain it isn't necessarily funny in the same way that its predecessor was. It's well worth a visit, though, just to appreciate the imagination that went into it, particularly in a finale that has Marty watching his own actions from the first film.

Shot back-to-back with the second chapter in the trilogy, Back to the Future, Part III is less hectic than that film and has the same sweet spirit of the first, albeit in a whole new setting. This time, Marty ends up in the Old West of 1885, trying to prevent the death of mad scientist Christopher Lloyd at the hands of gunman Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson, who had a recurring role as the bully Biff). Director Zemeckis successfully blends exciting special effects with the traditions of a Western and comes up with something original and fun.

Hope to see you there. I'll save you an aisle seat and a ride in my DeLorean.

Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future Michael J. Fox and Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future III

Awards

Back to the Future:
Won Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing
Won Saurn Award for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Special Effects and Best Actor (Michael J. Fox)
Won Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation

Back to the Future II:
Nominated for Oscar for Best Visual Effects
Won Saurn Award for Best Special Effects

Back to the Future III:
Won Saurn Award for Best Music and Best Supporting Actor (Thomas F. Wilson)

More awards


Memorable Quotes

Back to the Future:
George McFly: Last night, Darth Vader came down from planet Vulcan and told me that if I didn't take Lorraine out that he'd melt my brain.

Marty McFly: Whoa, this is heavy.
Dr. Emmett "Doc" L. Brown: There's that word again; "heavy". Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?

Dr. Emmett "Doc" L. Brown: Don't worry! As long as you hit that wire with the connecting hook at precisely eighty-eight miles per hour the instant the lightning strikes the tower ... everything will be fine!

Back to the Future II:
Marty McFly: There he is, Doc! Let's land on him, we'll cripple his car.
Dr. Emmett "Doc" L. Brown: Marty, he's in a '46 Ford, we're in a DeLorean. He'd rip through us like we were tin foil.

Dr. Emmett "Doc" L. Brown: The justice system moves swiftly, now that they've abolished all the lawyers.

Dr. Emmett "Doc" L. Brown: The time-traveling is just too dangerous. Better that I devote myself to study the other great mystery of the universe: women!

Back to the Future III:
Marty McFly: Is there a back way out of here?
Bartender: Sure.
Marty McFly: Where is it?
Bartender: Out the back.

[Final words]
Marty McFly: Where you going now? Back to the future?
Dr. Emmett 'Doc' L. Brown: Nope. Already been there.

More quotes


Trivia

Back to the Future:
The device originally considered for use as the time travel machine was a refrigerator. Director 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.

Eric Stoltz was originally cast as Marty McFly, but changed because he didn't act enough like a teenager. Stoltz had already filmed two weeks as Marty McFly, before Michael J. Fox came in and can still be seen in one scene of the film. When the Libyans shoot at Marty and he dives into the car, the person actually diving into the DeLorean IS Eric Stoltz.

Farmer Peabody's son is named Sherman. Sherman was the name of the little boy time traveler in one segment of Jay Ward's cartoon show, "Bullwinkle Show, The" (1961). The dog who owned his time machine was named Mr. Peabody.

Back to the Future II:
Filmed at the same time as Back to the Future Part III (1990). In the five years since the original was made, Michael J. Fox had forgotten how to ride a skateboard.

In 2015, several cars from other sci-fi movies can be seen, including a Spinner from Blade Runner and the StarCar from The Last Starfighter. Other cars seen are (highly) modified Ford Probes and Mustangs, as well as concept cars.

In the alternate timeline, George McFly is murdered on March 15th - the ides of March.

Back to the Future III:
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 the movie Revenge of the Creature (1955) which features an appearance by a young Clint Eastwood.

The futuristic looking cab that takes 'old Biff' to the DeLorean, whilst it is parked near Marty & Jennifer's 2015 home, is a Citroen DS. This car went into production in October 1955, so it could, conceivably, have appeared in the original movie. The same car appears as a wreck in the 'alternative' 1985.

More trivia


Goofs

Back to the Future:
In 1955 Marty plays a Gibson ES-355, a model which didn't exist until 1959.

The episode of The Honeymooners that Lorraine's family watches wasn't shown until 31st December, 1955, yet is seen in November 1955.

Back to the Future II:
Doc says "This is our exit" when they are exiting the futuristic freeway. He turns the steering wheel counter-clockwise, but in the next shot, the car is exiting to the right of the freeway.

Back to the Future III:
The train takes a full minute to traverse the last quarter-mile of track, corresponding to a speed of 15 mph, nowhere near 88 mph.

The complex logic and conflicting theories of time travel have resulted in a great many potential plot holes, especially when the movie is viewed in the context of the whole trilogy.

More goofs


The DeLorean from Back to the Future II Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future