Back to the Future Part III

Other mistake: When Marty returns to 1985 from 1885 the time machine is destroyed by a train. What is strange is that not only does the train not stop (which is mandatory in the event of an accident) but there is also no reaction from people nearby, such as those in the vehicles waiting to cross the track at the level crossing. Later, when Marty returns to the site with Jennifer, there is still no sign of police officers or other officials.

Continuity mistake: At the very end Doc comes back to 1985 in the train. When the train is slowing down they cut to Marty and Jennifer on the ground and the shadow of the train is not moving. But when they go back to the train it is still slowing down. (01:48:55)

Visible crew/equipment: When Marty is with Jennifer in his new truck, as the camera cranes down to where they're talking, you can see a crewmember with a white shirt and some of the camera and crane. (01:46:10)

Revealing mistake: At the end when Needles tries to race Marty, Marty goes backwards and does a reverse 180. When they show the whole truck right when it's turning, you can see the tracks from the previous takes and the dust that helped the truck spin. (01:47:30)

Continuity mistake: Doc comes back from the past. Jennifer walks to stands next to him. In the following shot, she is still approaching Doc to give him the paper from 2015. (01:50:05)

Audio problem: When the very first song ends during the Festival scene, keep an eye on the guitarist to the right. His hand is still moving but no sound is coming out of his guitar.

Leonard Hassen

Revealing mistake: At the very end of this film, Doc appears in his locomotive time machine. In every shot the plate which says 'ELB' changes color. From red to orange. You would say this is a change in light angle, but when the locomotive rises and turns, you can see every angle of this plate and in every angle this plate is red. (01:48:55)

Continuity mistake: When Marty arrives in 1885 and runs into the Indians, he comes to a slow rolling stop. But the digital speedometer on the dashboard shows that he is still traveling about 70 miles per hour. (00:18:55)

Cubs Fan

Revealing mistake: In the overhead shot of the train explosion, you can tell which explosion is 'real' and which one is fake - the second explosion appears out of nowhere from the first one. (01:42:00)

Back to the Future Part III mistake picture

Continuity mistake: While at the dance Marty is showing off at the shooting gallery. After shooting all the targets he twirls the gun and hands it back to the booth operator with the barrel in his left hand. Very the next frame shows the gun in his right hand. (00:54:28)

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)

Continuity mistake: When Marty is inside the cave (where he hides the DeLorean), keep a close eye on the huge landscape and very large mountains behind Marty when he is screaming at the bear. The entire background changes when he runs out of the cave to just a few hundred yards of ground before it drops down, where Marty falls into the fence. What happened to the vast landscape and mountains? (00:20:30)

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)

Continuity mistake: When the Doc of 1955 is about to send Marty back to 1885, he turns the time circuits on. However, if you look at the time circuits after Marty has reversed, you can see that they are turned off. (00:17:15)

Back to the Future Part III mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: In the scene where Marty is chased out of the saloon in 1885 by Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen & his gang, in the shot showing Marty pushing his way between two women, the cameraman can be seen running along with the camera beside him to the left of the screen.

Visible crew/equipment: In the saloon scene where Doc passes out, a production light with barn doors and stand can be seen in the upper left over Marty's shoulder.


Visible crew/equipment: When Doc's about to send Marty back to 1885 from 1955 at the open air cinema, you can see the shadow of the camera sticking out from the shadow of the building - it moves as the camera tracks Doc over to the car.

Revealing mistake: When Marty is in the cave with the bear, there are two non-consecutive shots from behind the bear. You can see scruffy, fake-looking fur on the bear in those two shots - obviously someone in a black fur costume. The rest of the shots use a real bear.

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.

Back to the Future Part III mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Marty is walking into the 1885 Hill Valley, he walks past an A. Jones manure hauler, which is embedded in shadow. In the very next shot, not only is he several more metres down from the hauler, the hauler is in sunlight. (00:27:31)

Doc: Clara was one in a million. One in a billion. One in a googolplex!

More quotes from Back to the Future Part III

Trivia: When filming the scene where Marty is being hanged from the clock tower, Michael J Fox agreed to really hang from the rope. Whilst filming, Fox held the rope away from his throat with his hand. At one time he wasn't holding the rope and was really being strangled. The film crew didn't realise, they just thought it was really good acting, until he passed out.

More trivia for Back to the Future Part III

Question: Is "Googolplex" an actual word?

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: Yes. A "googol" is the number 10 raised to the 100th power, or a 1 followed by 100 zeroes. A "googolplex" is an even larger number - 10 raised to the power of a "googol", or represented as 1 followed by a "googol" zeroes.

More questions & answers from Back to the Future Part III

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.