Back to the Future Part III

Factual error: Though extremely modest on today's standards, the dress worn by Clara to the hoedown shows far too much cleavage for the time. No schoolteacher would ever wear a dress like that in the 1880s.

Factual error: When Marty goes to meet Mad Dog Tannen for the duel, in the background on the right side is the current flag of California. But that flag did not become the state flag of California until 1911, so would not have been around in 1885.

Factual error: In 1885 when Maggie McFly asks Seamus for a word, they walk into the other room and behind them are a few garments hung on pegs on wire hangers. The wire hanger was invented by Albert J. Parkhouse in 1903, eighteen years later. (00:25:50)

Robert Sullinger

Factual error: At the end of the train scene just before Marty travels to 1985, the train busts through a road block warning that there's only 1/4 mile of track left before the ravine. Keep in mind that the train is travelling at approximately 70-80 mph by this time. At 70 mph (and not even accelerating) it would only take the train 13 seconds to reach the ravine. The actual time in the movie is at least a minute. (01:40:31)

Factual error: In 1885, Hill Valley and its surrounding areas are shown as having a desert climate, when in both 1955 and 1985, the climate is grassland. In reality, Nevada County, California (where Hill Valley is supposed to be located) is and always has been grassland and forests, not arid desert.

Factual error: When the red Presto-log is burning, rivets begin to blow out of the locomotive, supposedly from the pressure. The rivets in the boiler, which would be subjected to pressure, are not visible on the outside of a locomotive. The rivets which are seen to blow out in the movie are in the smokebox, an area which is subjected to heat and smoke, but no steam pressure. (01:40:10)

Factual error: Each time one of the special Presto-logs begins to burn the locomotive suddenly accelerates. In real life the logs would heat the water faster and generate more steam, but there would be an appreciable time-lag between the time the logs begin to burn and the engine accelerates. Also, train engines must accelerate slowly. If too much power is applied the drive wheels merely spin on the rails. (01:35:20)

Factual error: The steam locomotive in the film is of a 4-6-0 wheel arrangement and is lettered as Central Pacific no. 131. The Central Pacific did have 4-6-0 engines in 1885, but according to the company's locomotive roster, the number 131 belonged to an engine of a 4-4-0 wheel arrangement. Also when the locomotive is uncoupled it shows a Janney (fist style coupler) - that style wasn't invented until 1890. The locomotive would have used a pin and link style connection.

Factual error: Sierra #3, the locomotive used in BTTF 3, is a 1891 Rogers, despite this movie being set in 1885. (00:40:45)

Factual error: In the scene where Doc and Clara are playing with a telescope at night, the moon is seen twice. The phase of the moon appears to be a waning gibbous. Though the phase of the moon on the night of September 5th, 1885 at pacific time was waning, it was actually a waning crescent, a much different looking phase of the moon. I looked this up on the United States Naval Observatory website.

Factual error: In shots of the town outside of the saloon in 1885 a modern day California flag can be seen. This flag was not used until 1911.

Factual error: Standard gauge for railroad tracks in 1885 was 4ft 8 1/2 inches. The distance between the center of the wheels on a Delorean was 5ft 3 inches. The car would not fit on to the tracks, and we can see the wheels aren't recessed or otherwise altered.

Factual error: When Marty travels back to 1885 and meets the Native Americans, we see a view from inside the car with the digital speedometer. The car is still going over 70 when the Indians are less than 2 metres away from the front of the car. There is no way the car would be able to stop that quickly from that speed.

Factual error: After Doc and Marty hijack the train, there are shots of them in the cab of the locomotive. Look closely behind them, there is a clip to hold a microphone for a 2-way radio or CB attached to the window post, which shouldn't be there in 1885.

Factual error: When the Indians are running from the cavalry they cross over a set of tire tracks. They are too far from where Marty started so cannot be his, and the lines can't be wagon tracks because the lines are too wide and the width is uniform. (00:19:30)

jimba

Factual error: Though extremely modest on today's standards, the dress worn by Clara to the hoedown shows far too much cleavage for the time. No schoolteacher would ever wear a dress like that in the 1880s.

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: Director Robert Zemeckis asked for Clint Eastwood's permission to use his name for BTTF 3. Clint Eastwood felt so honored that he said yes.

More trivia for Back to the Future Part III

Question: When the 1985 Doc is suddenly transported back to 1885 at the end of BTTF 2 and Marty discovers that he has been murdered, because there is a Doc in 1955 that has already been born after the 1985 Doc has died in the West, why did he go to the trouble of going all the way back to 1885 when Doc was still alive? Is there any actual legitimate time travel reason for this, or did he just do it out of instinct to help his close friend?

chunkz87

Chosen answer: According to the letter, Doc plans to live out his life in 1885. But as it turns out, Doc gets murdered a week after sending the letter. Knowing that Doc's plan to live out his life don't come to fruition, and because he's a good friend, Marty travels to 1885 to save him.

JC Fernandez

Answer: Technically when Doc got transported to 1885, he should not have existed in 1955 because he died. This is the problem I'm having with part 3. The movie should not have happened this way. It should have been where doc did not exist nor the time machine. Part 3 should've never happened.

That's not how most time travel (if any) stories work. Just because someone dies in the past doesn't prevent them from being born since they were already born and alive before going to the past. Think of it this way, if instead of 1885 he travelled to 2085 and died, would that prevent him from being born? The only reason Marty was in danger of disappearing and not existing (i.e. being born) was because his parents were in danger of never getting together.

Bishop73

It was the 1985 Doc that went back to 1885 so he would still be alive in 1955.

The Doc that got sent to 1885 was the Doc from 1985 so therefore it wouldn't have affected 1955 Doc at all.

The one in 1955 hasn't done anything 1985 Doc did.

More questions & answers from Back to the Future Part III

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