Back to the Future Part III

Corrected entry: This would only be noticeable to the true movie geek, but when Doc and Marty are looking at the map to plan their trip back to 1985, Clara is standing in the background waiting for Doc to pick her up as he promised he would do. Since he doesn't show, she apparently rents a wagon herself and. . . well, the rest is history.


Correction: Clara's presence in the scene is (a) blatantly obvious and (b) the whole point of the scene. Hardly something only for true geeks.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: A device created by Doc makes a hen lay an egg. The egg breaks and falls in a salad dish then the white and yolk of the egg fall in the frying pan. But where are the shells of the eggs?

Correction: You can see the salad bowl has two holes in it, a bigger one at the end where the egg falls in, and a smaller one at the opposite side. The egg falls through the big slot and breaks. The bowl is tipped and the egg slides out the smaller hole. The shell is too big to follow and thus stays in the bottom compartment.

Corrected entry: Regardless of whether or not Doc is surprised to see Marty in 1885 (and there's nothing to indicate that he is), he should not be surprised to see his tombstone in the picture. He learned of his own death in 1955.

Correction: No he didn't. Doc found the tombstone because of Marty's time-travelling, which means the original Doc has no knowledge of it because time-travellers' memories are unaffected by changes in the timeline. This is consistent throughout the franchise.

Corrected entry: When Marty leaves for the future at the beginning of Part II, Biff is in his red tracksuit about to wash their cars and Marty's black truck is in the garage. Then in Parts II and III, Marty and Doc make plenty of changes in the past and Doc staying in 1885 would greatly change things on Marty's return to 1985. But when Marty's returns to 1985 at the end of Part III, Biff is still in his red tracksuit about to wash the cars and the same black truck is still in the garage.

Gavin Jackson

Correction: But bear in mind that Doc left 1985 at the same point as Marty, so any effect he's had on history up to that point will remain, despite eventually going back to 1885. The ravine name changes, but nothing else world-altering happened.

Corrected entry: If the 1955 Doc saw his tomb and sent Marty to 1885 he shouldn't be surprised to see him in 1885, since the Doc that's in 1885 is the same one who sent him there in 55, and hence has already seen his tomb. Some people argue it's not the same Doc, but time travelling doesn't magically create a new human being! The 1955 Doc sends Marty back to 1885, ages 30 years, invents a time machine, travels around, and ends up in 1885. 30 years may dull the memory a bit, but I think you'd remember sending someone into the past to rescue yourself...

Correction: Actually, the Doc that is in 1885 is the Doc from 1985. The letter that Marty receives in 1955 is from the Doc who was from 1985 not 1955. Therefore, when Marty goes back to rescue Doc, he's actually rescueing the Doc from 1985. The 1955 Doc saw his tomb but when Marty goes back, the Doc really isn't suprised to see Marty. All he said was that "he gave him specific instructions not to come for him" and what was it. He also said that "it was good to see him", not "what are you doing here" I think he knew Marty would come for him.

Corrected entry: In the last scene in 1885 where Marty, Doc, and Clara are on the train racing toward the bridge, Marty keeps yelling at Doc on his walkie talkie to tell him the gauge readings. But after Doc sees Clara on the train, he tries to rescue her and Doc is no longer holding his walkie-talkie. Doc is holding on to the train with one hand while reaching for Clara with the other. Doc's walkie-talkie is no longer anywhere in sight. Marty sees all this but he nevertheless keeps yelling into his walkie-talkie right to the end as if that is how Doc could hear him. Marty does this even when he is facing forward all by himself in the DeLorean. Who is Marty talking to on the radio? It can't be Doc.

Correction: Would it not be possible for Doc to have put his radio in his pocket?

Corrected entry: Doc's tombstone was placed by his "beloved Clara". However, that was discovered (and carved) before Marty went back and changed the past by him and Doc rescuing Clara. So how did Doc meet Clara without Marty being there, given that the ravine was already called Clayton ravine, meaning that by definition she must have fallen in? Bit of a paradox, methinks. Even assuming he met her at the station, then after that her carriage fell into the ravine, the timings just don't work at all - she couldn't have fallen for him in minutes, and/or couldn't have had her name on the gravestone given that she fell in the ravine before Doc was shot.

Correction: There are 3 different timelines: 1) Doc never goes in 1885, Clara hires a carriage, she falls into the ravine and it's named after her. 2) Doc goes to 1885, he is sent to the station to pick up Clara and they fall in love (notice that the ravine's name in this timeline is "Shonash Ravine" [Doc: "It must be an old Indian name for it..."], we know the "Clayton" name by Marty when he is already in 1885). 3) Doc does go to 1885 and is asked to pick up Clara, but he forgets about it trying to find a way back to 1985; Clara hires a carriage and is about to fall into the ravine, but she is saved by Doc and Marty, Doc falls in love, etc... Notice the "Eastwood ravine" sign in 1985.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Doc explains to Marty the idea of pushing the DeLorean across the bridge, Marty points out that the bridge is not completed yet (in 1885). Doc says that Marty is just not thinking 4th dimensionally, and once they return to 1985, the bridge is complete, safe and still in use. Unfortunately, the whole idea of returning to the exact same point in space, but a different time, is fundamentally flawed. If the DeLorean was to return to the same point in SPACE, only 100 years later, it would have to account not only for the completion of the bridge, but to all of the other changes to the physical environment. For example, in 100 years, the North American continent would have moved because of continental drift, the Earth would have rotated on its axis, so that point in space would no longer be Hill Vally, CA; the whole planet is revolving around the sun, therefore, the planet Earth wouldn't be in that exact point in SPACE, the sun is revolving around the galaxy, the galaxy moves through the universe, and on and on. Anyway, the DeLorean couldn't have shown up on the completed bridge 100 years later because Earth is moving through space in several different ways.

Correction: This entire arguement assumes that the time machine does not maintain or compensate for momentum. Since every time they travel through time they end up in the same location we can assume Doc designed the machine to compensate for plate tectonics. planetary orbit, and galactic drift.

Corrected entry: When the 1955 Doc sends Marty back to 1885 he points to a cave where to hide the DeLorian left of the track that Marty takes (directly towards that cinema screen). In 1885 then, Marty takes a U-Turn to flee from the Native Americans. Assuming a 180 degree turn, the cave to hide the car must be on the right hand side. However, the cave appears directly in front of him.

Correction: It is very possible (being way back in the 1800's) that it was a cave-filled area at the time and there was a cave where the Doc pointed out in addition to the one Marty hid the Delorean in. It is also possible, since the Doc hadn't been to the old west yet, that his calculations of where the cave actually was were slightly off.

Corrected entry: Marty smashes his head on the fence not long after he arrives in 1885 at 8:00 am. When he wakes up Maggie tells him he's been asleep for nearly 6 hours, so it could only be about 2pm at the latest, yet it is dark outside and they eat dinner soon after that. (00:21:26)

Correction: It is possible that Maggie and her family did not have an accurate timepiece and thus could only guess at how long Marty was out cold. Also, farm families, true then as it often is now, wake at or before dawn, so 8 a.m. wouldn't seem as early in the morning as it would to us, which could also make it difficult for her to judge the time.

Corrected entry: Doc said to Marty, after they rescued Clara 'I wish I had never invented this infernal machine, it causes nothing but disaster' and he never wanted to change the future (the space time continuum) Why then did he make another time machine with the locomotive?

Correction: Because he had to tell Marty he was all right and had to come back for Einstein.

Corrected entry: When the DeLorean suddenly appeared in 1885, the Indians have absolutely no reaction at all. There is no possible way that they wouldn't have been the least bit spooked or confused, and we should have seen some semblance of this in their actions, but they just keep charging on like nothing happened. It'd be like a an alien spaceship appearing out of nowhere in Times Square and people not even batting an eyelash.


Correction: Even putting aside that not reacting the way you expect is not a mistake, they were more focused on being chased by the cavalry, and they may well have assumed the Delorean was another "white man" invention like the locomotive.

Corrected entry: Doc Brown can build a time machine but is unable to figure out how to build a still to extract pure ethanol from Whisky in order to use as fuel for the DeLorean. He stated to Clara that he is a "student of all science" so this should include chemistry. Chemists know how to build a still. Doc, however, tried to fuel the car with strong Whisky without distilling it.


Correction: He would with no problem be able to get that thing to run on ethanol, just a different air fuel ratio bigger injectors so just make bigger holes in the ones you have. Just to run it one time would be no problem.

Correction: He needed a quick solution and thought the whiskey would work. Apparently his expertise does not include the workings of internal combustion engines or he never would have tried it. Pure ethanol would also probably not have worked in the DeLorean.

BocaDavie Premium member

Corrected entry: Freeze frame is recommended when trying to catch this one. When Clara rides out of the stable her hat falls off, however in the next shot of her turning the corner you can see the silhouette of the brim, indicating that it has returned to her head.

Correction: Freeze frame isn't recommended - it is required. This posting is invalid, per the rules of this site.

Corrected entry: Right toward the end of the movie, a split second before the Train crashes into the Delorean, underneath the Car you can see that a fireball bursts, causing the effect.

Correction: This is already listed as a mistake.

Corrected entry: When the DeLorean is destroyed by the train at the end, why does the train smash through it, instead of just pushing it back down the tracks? Even if Marty had put on a parking brake (which we don't see him doing) it doesn't seem like it would be strong enough to withstand the force of the train. Even cars that are sitting perpendicularly on railroad tracks get pushed along by fast-moving trains, so why not a car that's specially designed to move on the tracks?


Correction: There's no telling what structural changes Doc had to make to turn the car into a time machine. Doc even says in Part II that Biff's car would "tear through [the DeLorean] like tinfoil." If a Ford would do that, I think the train's damage was about right.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: After the DeLorean is destroyed by the train, Marty goes to get his truck, picks up Jennifer, almost races with Needles, and then finally returns to the scene of the accident. Isn't it odd that a car was hit by a train, yet there are no emergency vehicles anywhere around, or that the train didn't stop afterward?


Correction: There are two reasons why there are no emergency vehicles - one, the train driver wouldn't have noticed the car (trains are usually too fast to notice), or the train driver assumed that Marty (as he escaped) would report the accident. As for the train stopping, it was probably going too fast to stop quickly (more than likely it would have stopped much further down the track if it did).

Andy Benham Premium member

Corrected entry: When the locomotive crashes from the bridge, there is a huge explosion (may have been added digitally in a later version). However, there are no explosives in a steam-engine, only water and wood.

Correction: High pressure within the boiler causes the large explosion of the locomotive, like Doc previously said about the whole boiler going to explode after hitting 2000 degrees.

Corrected entry: Why didn't Doc Brown think of getting the gasoline he needed from the DeLorean he had hidden in the mine?

Correction: He said in the letter that he sent to Marty that he took it out. He could have used it for experiments or just thrown it out.

Corrected entry: The main plot device is the lack of petrol. The Doc has an ice generating machine and lamp oil. The ice-generating machine is steam driven and works at ambient temperature. Therefore it is fair to assume that it uses pressure transformation to achieve freezing. It should be fairly simple to rebuild the compression equipment from the icebox into a small scale cracking unit. The required technology is similar. Cracking is the process of breaking down heavy oils like lamp to light ones like petrol. At this point in the film they have several days which should be plenty of time to do this. This would be a much safer course of action.

Correction: It take a considerable amount of pressure and heat to perform cracking, over 9000kpa and 2000 degrees Centigrade, and even after that the product has to be filtered to remove any remaining inpurities. Also they had no technology to test the "petrol" to see if it was the right compound to be used as fuel for a car.

Back to the Future Part III mistake picture

Continuity mistake: Watch the scene with the Indians (just as Marty sticks the DeLorean into reverse) and see the differences of how close and far the Indians are from the DeLorean. (00:18:59)

More mistakes in Back to the Future Part III

Doc: Marty, the idea that I could fall in love at first sight! It's romantic nonsense. There's no scientific rationale for it.
Marty: Come on, Doc. It's not science. You meet the right girl it just hits you. It's like lightning.
Doc: Marty, please don't say that.

More quotes from Back to the Future Part III

Trivia: The band playing at the Hill Valley festival is rock band ZZ Top (two guys with long white beards playing guitar, and a drummer), who wrote songs for the film.

More trivia for Back to the Future Part III

Question: At the end of the movie, Jennifer asks Doc about the note she got from the future that became erased when Marty did not participate in the race with Needles. Doc's answer to her question is that her future had not been written yet, and he goes on to say that no-one's future has been, but if that is so, then how come in the previous movies he could travel into the future with Marty to see Marty's future?

Answer: What they saw was one possible future, not a definitively laid down one - one of the key plot devices in the series is that making changes in the past will affect the future. As such, what Doc's saying is that, while they've seen one possible future, actions that they take in the present can change it for the better (or worse).

Tailkinker Premium member
More questions & answers from Back to the Future Part III

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