Continuity mistake: When Marty chases after Biff on the borrowed 'skateboard', Marty is wearing a dark grey belt and a red/blue print shirt under his red/beige jacket. However, when Marty is hanging on to the front of Biff's car as they turn a corner (and in another shot), Marty (stunt double) is wearing a light brown belt and solid tan shirt.
Continuity mistake: In 1955, when Marty drives the DeLorean to the 'start here' line that Doc painted on the street, the line and large white lettering are faded and filthy, but when Marty gets out of the car to insert the hook pole, the line and lettering are bright and immaculate. When he finally starts the DeLorean they're back to faded and filthy.
01:36:30 - 01:38:55Super Grover
Continuity mistake: When Marty is being chased by the Libyans, a few times it cuts away to show the instrumentation in the car. The first time the odometer reads 33064.2 and the trip counter says 88.8; the second time it's goes back a little to 33061.8 and 86.4. A few seconds later we see it as he turns the corner, and it goes down again from 33,061.8 to 32,994.4, the trip counter has gone from 86.4 to 19. In fact it's a completely different set of instrumentation - the bottom of the needle's angled in some shots and flat in others.
Continuity mistake: When Marty is writing the letter to Doc before he goes into the future, the word "disaster" is the only word in the last line. Yet when Doc shows Marty the letter when it has been all taped up, "terrible disaster" is the last line. Also, the handwritring in each letter is different (i.e. Marty's signature). They are two different letters.
Continuity mistake: In the cafe in 1955 Marty goes into the phone booth to look up Doc's name in the phone book. When he finds it the name is on the left hand page, but when he tears it out of the book he tears out the right hand page. One could say he turned the page to tear it right-handed, however when he is asking the waiter if he knew where the address was, he is reading the address on the same side he tore out - check the tears on the edge.
Continuity mistake: When Doc and Marty are at the Twin Pines Mall and Doc is telling Marty about the car, he says "never mind that now, never mind that now..." and Marty has the camera facing the ground, but later when Doc in 1955 is watching the video, you can see him saying that on the video.
00:18:50 - 00:50:05
Continuity mistake: When Marty is standing over his father's bed in 1955 persuading him to date Lorraine, there is a hair-dryer in Marty's belt that seems to disappear between different frames (note the hair dryer's cord leading to Marty's right hand, as he holds it behind his back). Really obvious. [This scene was originally longer, including a part where Marty removed the hair dryer from his belt. Still a mistake, but there's the explanation.]
Visible crew/equipment: When Doc Brown loses his footing on the clock tower as it begins to toll, in the next shot, when he swings about towards the clock the thin black stunt cable attached to his waist, that leads around the neck of the statue, is visible. Do not confuse it with the thick silver electric cable Doc is holding.
Factual error: The electric guitar Marty plays at the "Enchantment Under the Sea Dance" is a Gibson ES345. This guitar model debuted between 1957 and 1958 yet he's supposedly playing it in 1955. It would have been more accurate to have him using a Fender Telecaster (1950) or Stratocaster (1954) or a Gibson Les Paul (1952).
Continuity mistake: Marty has a brainwave about how to generate the power needed to get back to 1985, and shows Doc the flyer he was given, which Jennifer had written "I love you" on the back of, with her number. Problem is that after Doc grabs the flyer, we can see the back of it, and it's totally blank.
00:10:55 - 00:52:05Jon Sandys
Continuity mistake: In 1955, when Marty drives the DeLorean to the large 'start here' line that Doc painted on the street, in the first shot its front is up to the line completely covering the word 'here', with some distance to the last 't' in 'start'. Its position changes in following shots, such as when Marty tries to start the stalled car in the exterior shot, the DeLorean's front end is further back with the word 'here' perfectly visible.
Continuity mistake: At the end of the movie, when Doc Brown leaves Marty at his house, he then backs up the DeLorean, turns the car around and passes in front of Marty doing 35 mph at the most, but just as he leaves the frame you can hear the swishing noises the car makes when it travels through time. No way could Doc have reached 88mph.
Continuity mistake: When Marty's coming home at the beginning of the film, he's watching the discussion between his father and Biff who complains about the wrecked car and his reports. In the two shots which show Marty, there's a glass full of candies near to him. When Biff steps to the glass and lifts the lid, half of the candies are gone.
Continuity mistake: When Marty is in 1955, he is in shock and walking on the pavement when a car comes by. In the first shot when it comes towards him it has two speakers, on the second shot when it's moving away, it only has one. In the second shot of the car with only one speaker, the A-frame sign is also turned the other way.
Continuity mistake: 1955 Skateboard Chase Scene around Town square. Throughout the whole chase scene two visible different stunt drivers are used to drive the two different models of Biffs' Ford. One is a 1946, the other is a 1947. Note the different position and shape of the front turn sign.
Continuity mistake: While being chased by the terrorists Marty passes the J C Penny's store, drives a little farther and passes it again. Just before the Libyans aim their rocket at Marty, their van changes from about 100 yards from the store to right in front of it in less than a second.
Continuity mistake: In 1955, when Doctor Brown is watching the video of himself, he sees himself saying that the Libyans are coming. You can hear a significant pause between "They found me" and "I don't know how but they found me." But in the beginning of the film he says the entire phrase without any pauses.
00:28:45 - 01:08:10Movie_Freak 1
Continuity mistake: When Marty is standing over his father's bed in 1955, Marty puts the headphones on George and then puts the tape in the cassette player. If you notice the hairdryer is on the left side of the belt and is touching his left arm, but when they cut to Marty holding the tape player out in front of him the hairdryer is on the right side.
01:02:10StopNGo & Girls
Continuity mistake: In the cafeteria, when Mr. Strickland is glaring at Marty and Biff, the table Marty was sitting at with George is behind him. When Biff leaves there is a close-up of the table and both the lunch tray and Marty's jacket have changed positions significantly from the previous shots (George had already left).
Revealing mistake: When the DeLorean is struck by lightning near the end of the film, if you look closely, you can see that there are two people in the car, when it should just be Marty. You may have to look closely, but you don't need to zoom in to see it. Also, since they never re-shot this scene, you can see it in all three Back to the Future films.
Continuity mistake: As Marty drives the DeLorean towards the clock tower, if you look carefully you can see that he drives past the 'Bluebird Motel' billboard at least 3 times (which is where he started from) and drives past that small building with the slanted grey roof in the square about 4 times.
Continuity mistake: When George goes into the cafe to tell Lorraine he is her density/destiny, the people sitting at the bar keep changing with different shots. Best example is just after George refers to his "density" - in the background there's a brunette in a blue jumper at the bar. A blonde woman and a short-haired guy then sit on her left, but then disappear in the shot of Marty sitting at the bar - on the brunette's left there's now another brunette in a pink jumper with a different guy. The brunette's got shorter hair too. In the very next shot the blonde's back with no sign of Marty.
Continuity mistake: While Doc is waiting for Marty to get back from the dance, he looks at the watch on his left hand, his pocket watch, and the watch on his right hand. When he looks at the watch on his right hand, he is wearing it on the inside of his wrist. Then, as he is running around the car, he has no watch on his right wrist at all. Moments later, as he is pointing down the street, it is on the outside of his right wrist. When they are checking the alarm clock, he holds it in front of the alarm clock to check the time, and the watch is still on the outside of his right wrist.
01:31:15 - 01:32:30
Continuity mistake: When Biff chases Marty out of the cafe in 1955 and Marty 'makes' the skateboard, there is an odd shot of a tree. When Biff's car drives through the grass, the big tree in the shot is shaking violently, yet all the trees are completely still during the chase before and after this shot. During this entire scene, differences regarding varying degrees of windy then calm, wet vs dry pavement and variations in shadows cast are numerous.
01:06:30Paul Van Scott
Continuity mistake: When Marty arrives in 1955, he puts the DeLorean behind the sign, and walks into Hill Valley. When Marty and the 1955 Doc come back later, the DeLorean is facing the other way round to what it was at the beginning (you can tell because at the start Marty pushes the BACK of the DeLorean AWAY from the Lyon's Estates billboard, but when they come later, the FRONT is facing TOWARDS the billboard).
00:35:05 - 00:51:15
Revealing mistake: When Marty crosses the park in front of the court house and the camera pans around following Marty while showing the town, watch one of the buildings in the middle background. Part of the building is grey and has 2 windows and is supposed to have a slanted roof, but if you watch closely, it appears that building is in fact only a wall with nothing behind it.
Continuity mistake: In the scene after Marty returns to 1985 he jumps out of the DeLorean to verify he's back and then jumps back in the car to go save Doc at the mall. In the shot where he's putting the car in gear, you can read part of the yellow "Last Time Departed" display on the time circuits as "1985, 1:20AM", and in the shot where he's trying to start the car, you can read "Oct". It should read "November 12, 1955, 10:04PM" since that was the time he just left. On top of all that, the display appears to relate to when Einstein traveled a minute into the future (you can see when Doc shows Marty the time circuits after he lets Einstein out that the "Last Time Departed" is "October 26, 1985, 1:20AM"), not when Marty traveled back to 1955 (October 26, 1985, 1:35AM). You could argue that the "Last Time Departed" display is not working properly, but Doc uses Marty's last time departed (October 26, 1985, 1:35AM) to set Marty's destination time when he's returning to 1985.
Continuity mistake: When the Doc is trying to pull the cable to connect it the cable is stuck and when he pulls the cable hard the other connection breaks off. Watch when it breaks off you cn see that after Doc pulled it the cable gave him more length and would surely get Doc's arm to the other cable but when they show the Doc a second after he hasn't moved one bit.
Visible crew/equipment: In the scene in the beginning where Marty meets up with Doc for the first time, Doc shows Marty how the DeLorean works with the remote control with Einstein in the car. In the shot that switches to see Doc put the car in reverse on the remote control, you can clearly see a crew member manually steering the car in a dog costume (You can even see his hands turning the steering wheel).
Continuity mistake: When Marty is at the "Start" line waiting for the alarm clock to ring, he moves up his return time and the engine stalls out. Next we see Marty turning an ignition key with several other keys on a chain like the ones used on ceiling fans with the little balls and a plastic fob with the paper insert that reads 555-1138 Out-A-Time on it. After Marty arrives back In 1985 in town square, he pauses and gets out for a moment. While returning the the car he puts the DeLorean in drive and again the car stalls out. Again we see Marty restarting the DeLorean, we see a different set of keys. The key mysteriously changed in the time travel to an after market type with a thin wire ring on it, no key fob and the other keys are missing.
01:38:43 - 01:42:44
Audio problem: Lorraine comes to see Marty in Doc's garage in 1955 to ask him if he will go to the dance with her. Just before Lorraine moves to the other side of the car from where she walked in, she begins to say something to Marty. The problem is that her lips don't move when she talks, I guess the right clip ended up on the editing room floor.
Continuity mistake: Beginning of film. When Marty arrives at Twin Pines as the Doc requested he cruises up alongside Einstein on his skateboard, saying "Where's the doc, boy?" There's a cut to the truck opening, then back to Marty, and for some strange reason the yellow wheels on his skateboard have turned pink, but the reflection on the wet car park is still yellow. It cuts back to the DeLorean coming out of the truck then back to Marty, and his wheels are yellow again. This doesn't happen in the VHS version.
Continuity mistake: When Lorraine gets George's book out of the package, the bracelet she is wearing on her right arm is down by her wrist in the close-up. In the next shot as George takes the book from her, that bracelet has moved up her arm and is hidden under her sleeve, so when she puts her arm down and then places her arm around George's waist we see that the bracelet has slipped back down to her wrist. (It doesn't disappear, it changes positions between shots.)
Continuity mistake: As the Peabodys try to determine what crashed into their barn, the DeLorean's left indicator flashes throughout. When the family is onscreen, the barn's interior goes completely dark between flashes - whereas there should be illumination from the headlights as well. Compared to a later point in time where Marty opens the barn door to get shot at, it's not hard to notice how bright the headlights are.
Continuity mistake: When Marty arrives in 1955, he lands on Peabody's farm and rams through the pine tree he then hits a scarecrow which flies over the top of his car. Then as they show it from the inside the scarecrow slams into the windshield - but how can it slam into his windshield if it is already over the car?
Revealing mistake: When Marty first arrives in 1955, right when Mr. Sandman starts playing, you can see a truck directly behind him. If you look closely you can see that the logo on the truck looks like a Miller Beer logo. That's because it *is* a Miller Beer logo. The "Y" is actually a stylized twirl off the "R."
Continuity mistake: Towards the very end of the film when George and Lorraine are unpacking George's new book, you will notice in the close-up of Lorraine's hands that they are actually someone else's for that shot. They are very aged and much larger than her real hands, which you can compare right away when the camera goes back to full view.
Continuity mistake: Near the beginning, right after Einstein time travels, Doc walks up to the time machine and says it's cold. He then opens the door and greets Einstein. In this split second you can see Einstein's stopwatch has a non-illuminated LED display, but in the next shot the face has changed to the bright red numbering.
Continuity mistake: When Biff is grousing to George about who will pay his cleaning bill (for spilling beer on his jacket when he wrecked George's car), there is a picture frame on a stand in the background. It's initially facing fairly rightwards, but in the next shot of the argument, it's facing more towards the camera.
Continuity mistake: Marty is hitching a ride on the back of a jeep, a wide shot shows him going past and beyond the 'Lou's Aerobic Fitness Center' next to the Texaco garage, there's a cut to his skateboard then back to a medium shot of him going pass the same fitness centre again, this time waving to the people inside.
Continuity mistake: When Michael J Fox's parent kiss and the family picture (with everyone standing on the grass) gets fixed, Michael places the photo on the guitar, gets very happy and starts playing the guitar enthusiastically. Seconds later, a brief shot of the guitar shows the picture empty: just the green grass, no people in it.
Continuity mistake: In the escape from Biff on the skateboard, Marty collides with a couple near some steps. His skateboard is left at their feet, but after a cut his skateboard's now behind the woman's head in an ideal place for Marty to grab it. The papers thrown in the air suddenly multiply and appear on the ground (under the people, which means they must have dropped the papers first before falling over!).
Continuity mistake: When Marty leaves the Peabody farm and turns onto the paved road, it has solid white lines marking the sides of the road. A few seconds later, Marty is shown driving down a road without white lines on the sides, even though he's apparently only driven a short distance down the road.
Continuity mistake: After Marty borrows the improvised skateboard from the boy, in the first close-up of his feet his tied looped laces are extremely short, but when he climbs over Biff's moving car and then lands on the skateboard, the length of his tied looped laces is significantly longer. It shortens again thereafter.
Continuity mistake: At the clock tower, after the tree limb falls, Doc Brown grabs the loose, messy bundle of rope and instructs Marty, but in the next shot when Doc runs up the stairs, the rope is tied up in a rather tidy bundle. This rope bundle changes yet again as he rushes up and then reaches the top.
Continuity mistake: Moments before Doc and Marty witness the DeLorean's first trip through time, Doc's left hand changes its position on the radio control unit between shots. Initially he's holding a toggle switch, but after saying, "You're gonna see some serious s***," he has a grip on the unit's side instead.
Continuity mistake: At Twin Pines Mall, when Marty is recording Doc Brown, Marty is raising the video camera to record Doc Brown saying, "No, no, no, this sucker's electrical," but when this piece of film is played back in the Doc's garage in 1955 it appears as if Marty was already recording when the Doc starts speaking.
00:25:15 - 00:50:40Bunglebus
Continuity mistake: When the clock tower tolls at 10:00, Marty rushes to the DeLorean and as he drives off there are two huge cable spindles at the curb's red edge, near the cloth (lying on the street) that covered the DeLorean. In the next overhead shot, with Doc Brown on the ledge, the cable spindles are gone down below.
Continuity mistake: Inconsistent mileage progression on the DeLorean at the beginning of the movie has already been noted. However, mileage when Marty is going back to the future is also inconsistent, both in those scenes and with the beginning of the movie. As Marty is driving toward the cable, the mileage is shown as 33051. Just as Doc begins to slide down to reattach the cable, the odometer is visible again and shows 33044. These scenes were obviously filmed out of sequence, and were filmed before the beginning scenes (32994, 32064, etc) of the movie.
Continuity mistake: When the DeLorean sets off for the lightning strike, you can see it leaving tracks and spray on a wet road, later there is a close up of one of the wheels, which shows the road to be dry. Throughout this scene the road appears to alternate between wet and dry, during what is supposed to be a storm.
Continuity mistake: School Cafeteria 1955, Biff groping Lorraine Baines. Between Marty trying to convince George McFly that Lorraine fancies him and pulling Biff off Lorraine, note the dis/reappearance of the child in a blue/red t-shirt and a man in a blue shirt/tank top sat at the table behind George.
00:57:25 - 00:58:45Paul Andrews
Continuity mistake: After the clock tower's ledge breaks and Doc's hanging off the edge, we see a shot from below, then of Doc looking straight up at the clock, which changes to 10:03. But look at the clock in the below shot: the minute hand ticks over behind him, then moves again in the close-up.
Continuity mistake: Just as Marty is going to be set back to 1985, the camera keeps showing shots of Marty, and the lightning poles coming closer and closer to him. Now Marty is supposed to be going 88MPH and mostly every shot just as the lightning is about to strike is basically the same distance from the lighting poles to the car.
Continuity mistake: After the scene where Marty and his band are rejected from the school tryouts, Jennifer and Marty are sitting down and a lady comes by and asks them for change to save the clock tower. After they attempt a kiss, Jennifer's dad calls for her from the car. In the background, an African-American man is standing looking in the window of a building, and then walking right. In the next shot, he has moved all the way to the left and is walking right.
Continuity mistake: When Marty is filming the Doc in the parking lot, Doc says that he needs '1.21 gigawatts' to power the time machine. Marty then says 'Doc, you don't just walk into a store and buy plutonium.'. However, when Marty and the Doc of 1955 are listening to it on his TV, the Doc keeps talking after he says '...of electricity I need'.
00:26:35 - 00:53:05
Continuity mistake: When Marty is using the phone to call Doc while he is in the diner, his watch (which is on his left arm) starts beeping and the guy behind the counter gives him a strange look. Marty rips out the phone book page and asks the guy behind the counter where XXX Riverside Drive is. Marty is no longer wearing the watch which he just had on seconds earlier.
Continuity mistake: In 1955, when George walks into his house, Marty thinks of Mystery Science Theatre and looks at the vanishing photograph, and at the dance, after George punches Biff and rescues Lorraine, again Marty looks at the vanishing photo. In these two close-ups the thumb holding the photo looks nothing like Marty's thumb/nail in other close-ups, such as when he powers up the amp at Doc Brown's at the start.
00:03:15 - 01:23:45Super Grover
Continuity mistake: After the dance, when Marty arrives at the clock tower in Doc's car (across the street from the DeLorean), he parks precisely midway between the two stores. As the clock tolls, Marty jumps into the DeLorean, and, in the overhead shot as Marty drives off, Doc's car is directly in front of the store with the blue awning.
01:31:20 - 01:36:00Super Grover
Continuity mistake: After Einstein comes back Doc Brown is demonstrating to Marty how to set the time machine. He simply pushes the buttons on a key pad. To set it for July 4, 1776 he punches 3 buttons. To set it for December 25, 0000 he punches 6 buttons. To set it for November 5, 1955 he punches 12 buttons. Later, when Marty is resetting the time machine to go back 10 minutes early he punches 7 buttons (all not including the ENTER button on the keypad).
Deliberate mistake: The 45's advertised as new releases on the record store sign actually came out at different times throughout 1955. A true selection of new releases from early November 1955 would have most likely included minor hit singles that 80's moviegoers wouldn't have recognized. The songs listed were some of the biggest hits of that year and were obviously chosen for their ability to help set the musical tone of the time.
Continuity mistake: Whilst George McFly is pegging out the laundry, Marty is explaining his plan as to how he can make Lorraine fall in love with him. At the start of the scene, both of Marty's breast pocket flaps are untucked. After putting the bag down, one tucks itself in, then they return to normal when Marty says "let's go over the plan again".
Continuity mistake: When Marty is up on stage "disappearing" and yells "George..." (wanting for George to resume the dance with Lorraine and ultimately kiss her), this exact shot of Marty shows him slumping over and appearing very weak, almost on his knees. A split second later showing that same scene (right when George finally walks back to Lorraine) only from the "crowd view", Marty is still standing upright, not slumped, maintaining his composure.
Continuity mistake: In the scene at the beginning of the film where Marty cranks up his giant amplifier, the resulting explosion blows Marty into a shelf which tips over, spilling all of its contents on top of him. In the next shot, despite the shelf having been emptied in the previous shot, papers and file folders continue to fall on Marty.
Continuity mistake: After Goldie Wilson arrives at the manure truck scene, we can see onlookers approaching at the street corner in front of Texaco - one of which is the kid who Marty borrowed a skateboard from. But once the shot changes, that same kid is instantly standing on the sidewalk near Marty holding a crate instead.
Continuity mistake: After Doc Brown sends Einstein one minute into the future, the rest of the scene until he returns is played out in real time. There are no scene cuts, and any camera angle changes are accompanies by continuous audio which negates any possibility that time has been stretched or compressed. However, it takes Einstein 1 minute 21 seconds to return.
Continuity mistake: When Biff and gang are chasing Marty on the skateboard, they eventually crash into the rear of a manure-hauling dump truck. When the car swerves left in an attempt to miss it, it will obviously pull somewhat to the left. In the shot just before impact, you can see that just the rear half of the car should impact the truck, but in the next shot the car rests perfectly centered behind the dumps open load.
Continuity mistake: When the McFlys are together in their kitchen, Lorraine asks everyone to drop Uncle Joey a line. At this point George lowers his left hand and seemingly reaches for silverware on the table. But between shots, he lifts his hand back to its original position all of a sudden.
Continuity mistake: When Marty gets hit by the car and wakes up in Lorraine's bedroom. She constantly calls him Calvin. Marty says "Calvin, why do you keep calling me Calvin"? When he says this he puts his arm on his lap. In the next shot behind him when Lorraine replies, his hand/arm is by his side.
Continuity mistake: When Marty is on a skateboard being chased around the town square by Biff and his friends, he grabs the back end of a truck. After the truck makes a right turn, notice how the two kids he initially stopped to get a skateboard from at the beginning of the scene suddenly appear standing at the street corner between shots, holding their wooden crates.
Continuity mistake: When Marty drives out of the Peabody barn after arriving in 1955, it's night, or certainly pre-dawn - the sky is very dark from every angle when he's fired at while driving away. Next shot he drives past the "Peabody ranch" sign onto the main road and it's significantly brighter, with the sun rising over the horizon. Then when he notices the Lyon Estates sign shortly afterwards it's broad daylight - judging from the length of the shadows the sun's very high in the sky. Lyon Estates isn't that far from Twin/Lone Pine(s) mall.
Continuity mistake: When Marty takes a swig from the bottle, we see the motion of Lorraine's hands as she lights a cigarette. She finishes lighting and then grabs it with her left hand. In the next shot where Marty spits alcohol all over the place, Lorraine is busy lighting her cigarette a second time.
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