Back to the Future

Question: What exactly did Biff do to George McFly's car? It is strongly suggested, but I couldn't understand what caused the accident.

Answer: He mentions spilling beer on his shirt so it's inferred that he was somewhat less than entirely sober, and he also refers to the car having a blind spot. Based on this, my assumption has always been that he was tipping his head back to take a drink from a can of beer, which means his eyes left the road, and he struck another vehicle; most likely at an intersection where the other driver had the right of way.

Phixius Premium member

Question: I heard that at one point during the part where Marty's being sent back to the future, Doctor Brown is seen putting the letter from Marty in his pocket. Is this true?

Movie_Freak 1

Chosen answer: In the scene where Doc tears it up, he stuffs the pieces into his jacket, because he is distracted by the tree limb that falls and "unplugs" the cable from the Clock Tower. He was likely going to throw the pieces away, but did not have time. We are then led to realize that when Doc got home after Marty left, he found the pieces in his pocket and became curious, thus taping it back together and following Marty's instructions in 1985. On a side note, since Marty comes back to that spot at the end of BTTF 2 to get Doc's help to go back to 1885, Doc had even more time to spend with Marty in 1955, and even more reason to become curious as to the contents of Marty's letter.

Jazetopher

Question: What is the principal's problem? Why is he taking it out on a 17 year old?

Answer: Just look at him and you'll know. LOL Seriously though, he just has a problem with slackers and he has a short fuse so he acts this way around them. In 1955, he acted the same way towards George and Biff too.

Question: In BTTF 1 when the family are around the dinner table, Marty is drinking Diet Pepsi, his mother is drinking vodka and his sister has some other soft drink. Who is drinking the Bud Light in front of these 3? It's too far away from his brother and George.

Answer: Considering that Lorraine was alcoholic, the beer was likely hers as well. It is what is known as a "beer chaser."

raywest Premium member

Question: Is it just me or is "Power of Love" playing in the background after Marty's audition?

Answer: Marty is playing a heavy metal version of 'Power of Love' FOR his audition. Immediately after the audition, a short excerpt of a March plays, for Mayor Goldie's election. The original Huey Lewis version plays at the end of the next scene.

ChiChi

Question: I have seen a different ending to this film. Every now and then when it airs on TV the movie ends with Doc in 1955, standing at the site where Marty just went back to 1985, and then Marty comes running up to him and says "I'm back" (or something similar). I seem to remember that this is the standard ending to the second film. Why is it occasionally used to end the first one?

Answer: That's actually the beginning scene in Back to the Future 3. It would make no sense to end the first film with that sequence, as at that point Marty hasn't returned to 1955 after getting home the first time.

Question: In the "first timeline", Marty's father is a loser. He has never hit Biff. Marty goes to the past, and when he's going to 1985, he says that to Doc. He returns to the "new" 1985, where his father is successful, and he has hit Biff. He sees himself going to 1955, and that Marty is about to do everything that Marty did in the movie. But here's a question: that Marty lives in the "second timeline", where his father has hit Biff. Why then, in the past, he would say that his father has never hit Biff in his whole life?

Answer: I see two possible explanations. One is simply that the improved George McFly never told Marty the story about how he clocked Biff, perhaps to keep Marty from getting into fights himself. The other explanation is that the 1955 Marty went back to had not yet changed before he came back to the improved 1985. As the slowly-changing photograph illustrates, changes in timelines can be very gradual. Therefore, the only version of 1955 we are able see is the 1955 that the Marty of the original 1985 went back to.

Matty Blast

Chosen answer: It only took me a couple of seconds to find a fan site with a credible answer. Apparently, in an early draft, Marty mentions in passing that Doc hired him to clean out his garage for fifty bucks and total access to his record collection. This scene was presumably never shot, thus the backstory was lost to time. See www.kristensheley.com/bttf/bttfuniverse.html for more extensive info.

Macalou

Question: At the beginning of the movie, the brother is a loser who works at Burger King. At the end, he wears a suit and work at an office. As a presumably successful business man, wouldn't he have moved out of his parents' house?

Answer: Who says he didn't? Perhaps he lives close enough to come over for breakfast each morning. There isn't enough information in the scene to show that he still lives there; he is simply sitting at the table.

Macalou

Question: In the scene where Marty is being chased around Twin Pines mall by the Libyans why is Marty driving straight towards the 1hr Photo Booth? I'm assuming he doesn't realise the time circuits were on, as he accidentally engaged them when changing gear. If he DID know, why drive 88+ mph knowing you don't have enough plutonium to get back from 1955? (00:30:00)

Paul Andrews

Chosen answer: He could have been planning on veering aside at the last second, hoping the Libyans would crash. In any case, it provides a convenient solution to the problem of the Libyans threatening our heroes when Marty returns from the future. :)

Krista

Question: What happened to the original timeline to cause such a dramatic change in Marty's mom? In the original timeline, Marty's mom was 'born a nun' as Marty described her to Jennifer. But when Marty goes back to 1955, Lorraine is a drinking, smoking, parking with boys kind of girl. In the original timeline, what would have made it to where Lorraine thinks it's inappropriate for a girl to make advances on a boy? She seems to already be a boy chaser before Marty even gets there.

unicorngoddess

Chosen answer: Actually, nothing happened to the original timeline to change Marty's mom. It's Marty, like many children, who had a rather unrealistic view about what Lorraine was actually like when she was a teenager. He always believed (and was deliberately given the impression) that she was extremely shy and proper, when in fact, she was a boy-crazy flirt, though she apparently changed after falling in love with George. Parents are often evasive regarding their own youthful behavior.

raywest Premium member

Question: Just before Marty hides the DeLorean, he flags down a passing car. What does the woman in the car shout at the driver?

Answer: "Don't stop, Wilbert. Drive!"

Bishop73

Question: When Marty is playing "Johnny B. Goode", he is doing guitar moves from different performers. What performers is he imitating?

Answer: It seems to me that he is imitating the following: Chuck Berry (which makes sense), Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen and Pete Townsend (the kicking the amp bit.)

Daniel Wilkie

Also Bruce Springsteen doing the full guitar circle, Angus Young crawling on the floor and Jimi Hendrix with the guitar solo.

Answer: Due to his scheduling on Family Ties, Michael J. Fox was not originally available, so they went with their second choice of Eric Stoltz. The studio, however, permitted Fox to film the movie only if it didn't interfere with his obligations to them. So, he filmed Back to the Future at night and on days he wasn't needed at the Family Ties set.

Macalou

Question: Doesn't anybody think that when the Star Wars movies were released, that the name of the enemy, Darth Vader, would get George McFly a little suspicious? After all, he had to have remembered the name of the spirit that "came down to him from planet Vulcan" since it is on the cover of his book at the end.

Answer: Suspicious of what? He never finds out Doc Brown has a time machine or that Marty affected his past. It might make him believe in some sort of "The truth is hiding in plain sight" conspiracy theory. Oh and BTW, he'd see Star Trek in 1966 (with the Vulcan reference) before he sees Star Wars.

Grumpy Scot

Marty says that he is "Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan", and unless George doesn't remember "meeting him", he might think back to it and be like "wait a minute..." Regardless of when Star Trek and Star Wars would come out, a nerd like him would be able to put two-and-two together and see that they don't add up, unless he thinks that it's just a coincidence.

Answer: I think it was mostly as a shock to him waking up like that with loud noises right in his ear. Disoriented and confused and already being kind of a jittery and craven person he just did what he was told. Doesn't matter at that point how unalien the encounter actually was. I mean the music was guitars, Vulcan is a common word, the "alien" spoke plain english and i'll bet people from the 50's have seen an environmental suit before (basically a diving suit with a gasmask).

lionhead

Answer: In a special "front page wrap" of USA Today for October 22, 2015, written by Michael Klastorin. The name of the alien is "Garth D'Vade." Obviously done as a joke, it does show that George may have not remembered the name and didn't associate it with Darth Vader, so there's nothing for him to be suspicious about. It's also possible he believes Darth Vader to be real and thinks Vader must have visited George Lucas.

Bishop73

I highly doubt George became a paranoid alien conspiracy theorist and a respected scifi author at the same time.

lionhead

Answer: Vulcan had long been used as the name of fictitious planets (when 19th century astronomers thought they'd discovered a planet closer to the sun than Mercury, they were going to name it 'Vulcan'). As for Vader, George wouldn't have heard the name again until more than 20 years after his 'dream, ' and either chalked it up to coincidence or misremembering what he heard.

Brian Katcher

Answer: The release of the DVD was delayed because of legal issues over the Eric Stoltz footage, which was eventually removed. Stoltz can, in fact, be glimpsed in the final film: in the scene where Marty jumps into the DeLorean to escape the Libyans, that's actually Stoltz.

Sierra1 Premium member

Answer: Yes, in the final film. When Marty punches Biff in the cafe there is a quick shot focused on Biff. If you put it on extreme slow motion the hair is darker, unlike Fox's brown hair and a slightly different skin tone, unlike Fox's bright skin.

Question: When Biff and his gang are first chasing Marty on the skateboard in 1955, Marty escapes by grabbing the tailgate of a passing pickup truck which tows him around the corner. The gang jumps into Biff's convertible to continue the pursuit, and Biff's convertible actually has a rear-end collision with the pickup truck, barely missing Marty. How is it that the truck driver doesn't even react to all this insane activity and the rear-end collision? Rather than stopping and demanding an explanation, the truck driver continues away from the scene without even slowing down.

Charles Austin Miller

Chosen answer: It's likely any answer would be speculation at best, so it's hard to say. We can start with the fact that Biff barely taps the guy's bumper. He's seen stopping when Marty moves out of the way, although not enough, but I would not call it a "collision." Second, the style of the truck's metal bumper would have absorbed the impact to the point the driver didn't feel anything. In terms of if he actually felt an impact, in an era where you can't just call 9-1-1 on your cell phone to get police help, the man probably thought it prudent not to confront a car full of crazy teenage boys who just wildly rammed him for no reason. And if he did pull over, Biff had already turned the corner and so the man in the truck would have been off camera, so perhaps he does get out and inspect the damage and even sees Biff hit the manure truck, after which we don't know what happened.

Bishop73

Question: What is the make and model of the car that belongs to the McFly family, that Biff wrecks and had towed to the McFly house at the beginning of the film - not the 1941 Ford that 1955 Biff owned.

Answer: The wrecked car towed back to the house was a '78 Nova.

Question: Since Marty's actions led to him not existing, shouldn't no Marty mean that there would have been no Marty to get hit by the car in the first place, meaning that Marty would have just reappeared when he ceased to exist?

Answer: The simple answer is NO. According to the time travel rules established in the films, alternate realities are created when changes are made to the past. Marty continues to exist as long as there's the possibility that he exists in 1985. Small changes don't affect him. Marty only begins to disappear after the past has been altered so significantly that he would *never* exist in the present. But at the time he gets hit by the car, Marty hadn't impacted the timeline enough to assure his non-existence.

JC Fernandez

Question: When Marty returns to 1985, we see that the "Twin Pines Mall" sign has changed to "Lone Pine Mall," but then Marty sees himself travel to the past. Wouldn't we see it alter the instant the DeLorean vanishes, not before he goes back (because technically, he hasn't changed the past yet)?

Answer: This is a time loop type of question that could be argued for a lifetime. Basically, he did already change the past in the "universe" the movie is set in, so seeing the sign is correct.

Grumpy Scot

Back to the Future mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When we first see the machine in action, the travel is shown from three different angles. In the second, a line of fire passes directly between Doc's legs, but in the third angle, they pass to the left of both of his legs. (00:21:00)

Knever

More mistakes in Back to the Future

Dr. Emmett Brown: Don't worry. As long as you hit that wire with the connecting hook at precisely 88mph the instant the lightning strikes the tower... Everything will be fine.

More quotes from Back to the Future
Back to the Future trivia picture

Trivia: Eric Stoltz was originally cast as Marty. After filming quite a few scenes they realised his acting style was too dramatic for the humor desired, so they cast Michael J Fox (who they couldn't originally get because he was busy with the TV show Family Ties). Filming was on weekends and nights around his TV schedule and using his double at other times.

Stefanie

More trivia for Back to the Future

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