Back to the Future (1985)

 ●  English ● 1 hr 56 mins

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Fast paced and fantastic, this futuristic sci-fi thriller is set in is the year 1985, and follows the adventures of Marty McFly, a mild-mannered high school student, and his mentor, Dr. Emmett L. Brown. When Marty he receives an urgent message from Doc, that he needs help from him for Doc's latest invention, he is intrigued. To his utter fascination and awe, he finds that the invention is a time machine made out of a DeLorean sports car, that can travel through time instantaneously when it reaches a speed velocity of 88 MPH. Then, Doc is inexplicably and shockingly gunned down by Libyan Nationalists, leaving Marty with the frightening task of escaping from the Lybians, and undoing the damage with the help of the time machine. Further complications arise when, Marty accidentally warps himself into 1955. Where he meets both of his parents when they were teenagers, then Marty unintentionally interrupts his parent's first meeting together, he then finds a younger version of Doc and together they try to find a way to get Marty's parents-to-be back together, and to get Marty back to 1985.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Lea Thompson, Michael J Fox

Crew: Robert Zemeckis (Director), Dean Cundey (Director of Photography), Alan Silvestri (Music Director)

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Release Dates: 03 Jul 1985 (India)

Tagline: Marty McFly just broke the time barrier. He's only got one week to get it fixed.

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Did you know? Marty McFly mimics famous rock stars during the later part of his performance at the school dance, when he starts playing heavy metal. His kicking of speakers (The Who), playing the guitar while lying down (Angus Young of AC/DC), hopping across the stage with one leg kicked up (Chuck Berry) and his solo (Jimi Hendrix/Edward Van Halen). Read More
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Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Art Director


Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer


Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
6-Track 70mm, Dolby
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Marty McFly just broke the time barrier. He's only got one week to get it fixed.
17 year old Marty McFly got home early last night. 30 years early.
He was never in time for his classes . . .Then one day he wasn't in his time at all.
He's the only kid ever to get into trouble before he was born.
Audio/Video Mismatch
The sound and volume of Marty's singing never changes, even when he moves way back from the mic.

Audio/Video Mismatch
When Marty is playing "Johnny B. Goode" in the dance, George pushes the guy dancing with Lorraine aside yet has not kissed her. Marty takes his hand from the fretboard, yet the sound of a guitar strumming can be heard even though Marty is the only guitar player on stage.

Audio/Video Mismatch
When Marty hits the final note of Johnny B Goode, you can hear the note being sustained with vibrato, yet Marty isn't applying any.

Audio/Video Mismatch
In the "save the clocktower" scene, the can for donations makes the sound of a few noisy coins inside, but when Marty donates a quarter, it makes the sound of only one coin dropping into an empty can.

Audio/Video Mismatch
When Marty plays "Johnny B. Goode", the double bass sound is the sound of a slapped double bass (the string pulled and knocked on the wood to give it a percussion effect), while the musician plays normally with his fingers. At the end of Marty's solo, the drums can still be heard, but a shot of the drummer shows that he is not playing the drums.

Audio/Video Mismatch
When Marty watches George ride his bicycle past Lou's diner, the bicycle bell is rung several times. There is no bell on George's bicycle (even clearer later when we see the bicycle leaning up against the tree).

Character Error
When Biff returns George's wrecked car. Biff opens the refrigerator, and says "I have your car towed all the way to your house, and all you got for me is lite beer?" There are clearly 3 cans of regular Budweiser on the door to his left.

Character Error
The "Libyan" driver wears a Saudi headdress.

Character Error
Marty tells the band at the dance that the song is in B, but when he plays, it's in B flat.

Character Error
Doc Brown considers traveling to the birth of Christ, which he enters as "DEC 25 0000". There is no year between 1 B.C. and 1 A.D, and it is also believed that Christ was actually born in Spring or Summer of 6 or 4 B.C. (although Robert Zemeckis has claimed that this was meant to be a joke). Furthermore, the DeLorean would still have arrived in California in the "year 0000" with no way to get to the Middle East.

Character Error
When Marty wakes up in his bed in 1985, in the bookcase behind his head there's a yellow magazine named "RQ". This stands for "Reference Quarterly", a trade journal of reference librarians. In the DVD commentary track by producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton, they admit that the set dresser made a mistake in putting it in, as a teenager would have no reason to have a copy of "RQ".

Character Error
At the diner in 1955, Marty wants something without sugar but asks for a "Pepsi Free." In 1985, Pepsi Free was the name of caffeine-free, not sugar-free, Pepsi. If Marty wanted Pepsi without sugar he should have asked for "Diet Pepsi" or "Diet Pepsi Free." Presumably the filmmakers ignored this in order to get both the "Tab" and "Pepsi Free" gags into the scene.

When Doc is telling Marty how his time machine works, he says, "Never mind that now, never mind that now." When he says this, Marty has the camera down by his side and isn't filming, yet later in the film when Marty shows the film to Doc in 1955, the film starts out with the camera on Doc saying, "never mind that now, never mind that now..."

In the "save the clock tower" sequence, the same man rounds the corner in the background twice in the same direction.

When the DeLorean goes 1 minute into the future, the fire goes between Doc's legs but when the camera switches angles, it no longer does.

During the initial test run at the beginning of the film when the Delorean returns from its one minute trip into the future it is completely caked in ice and extremely cold to the touch. When Marty goes back to 1955 it doesn't happen but when he returns to the future the Delorean is again caked in ice.

When Marty hitches a ride on the back of a truck, as he waves to the girls in the fitness center you can see he has a watch on his left hand. But when he meets Jennifer in school moments later, it has gone.

The wheels on Marty's skateboard when the Doc backs the DeLorean out of the truck change from yellow to pink.

A picture on the table below Biff, and the candy in Biff's hand when he is talking to George about his car in 1985.

Odometer in the DeLorean throughout the movie. During the chase scenes with the Libyans, it is first shown as 33061 (When Marty says "C'mon move! Dammit!"), then it drops to 32994 (when Marty makes a sharp right turn and the speedometer drops significantly), then back up to 33062 (just before jumping to 1955), and finally towards the end of the movie , back down to 33051 (just before going back to 1985).

When Marty is escaping from the Libyans, the time circuit is already on when he moves his hand from the ignition to the gearshift. But when he shifts the second time, the time circuit seems to be off until he bumps its power switch.

When Doc dislodges the cable from the lamppost you can see the minute hand on the clock tower advance, yet one moment later when he looks over his shoulder the minute hand advances again.

At the dance, the picture under the strings at the head of Marty's guitar disappears in long shots.

In 1955, when Biff loses control of his car and crashes sideways into the manure truck, the position of the car in conjunction with the truck changes from one shot to the next. When the car hits the truck, only the back seat area is in a position to be dumped on, but when the camera angle changes, the entire car is now in a position to have manure dumped on it.

In the diner scene in 1955, Marty explains to young George McFly and Goldie Wilson that Goldie will be mayor in the future. Right after Marty says this, Goldie pauses and George looks at Marty. In the very next shot, George is looking at Goldie.

After Marty lands in 1955, when he stops the DeLorean in front of Lyon Estates, his hair is parted to one side in the close up shot, and to a different side in the wider shot.

Errors in Geography
After Marty arrives in downtown Hill Valley in 1955, you can see some road markers on the side of the road behind him. These markers are for US Highway 8 and US Highway 395. While US-395 does pass through the state of California, US-8 does not and never had, even back in 1955. US-8 runs through the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Errors in Geography
After Marty arrives in 1955 early in the morning and leaves the barn, he drives what should be a short distance but when he arrives in front of his neighborhood the sun is quite high in the sky. Although we were never told the distance between the mall {Formerly Peabody farm) and Hill Valley, Marty went to the Twin Pines Mall on his skateboard in a matter of only a few minutes in 1985.

Factual Mistake
The JVC camcorder requires constant pressure to operate the rewind feature, not just a single push and release.

Factual Mistake
When Marty is getting ready to play guitar through the huge amplifier in Doc Brown's house, he switches on the amplifier, turns all of the gains and overdrive up, plugs the cable into the amplifier, then proceeds to plug the other end of the cable into the guitar. The moment the cable touches the guitar's output jack should have been the moment the amp blew up. Most guitarists will plug the cable into the guitar and amp, THEN turn the amp on. Doing so will avoid making all of the noise that results from the cable and guitar jack making contact.

Factual Mistake
When the Libyans are chasing Marty, the AK-47 the shooter is using jams not once, but twice. One of the most well-known qualities of this weapon is that it almost never jams, even when filled with water or sand.

Factual Mistake
The DeLorean in the film is normally a manual transmission (you see Marty shift when escaping the Libyans), making the doc's remote-control device impossible.

Factual Mistake
In the movie Doc says that the time machine is electrical, yet he uses a nuclear reaction to generate power. There is but one type of nuclear reaction that directly generates electrical energy called beta decay, and it is predominantly used for long-term low power output, unlike the high-yield output required by the time circuits. All other nuclear power sources generate heat that is only later transformed into electricity using heat engines and alternators.

Revealing Mistakes
When Marty is being chased by terrorists, Eric Stoltz is playing Marty. Michael J. Fox was later chosen over him, but they kept the driving scenes at the mall with Stoltz in, since the shots were fairly distant and the driver's face is not particularly visible.

Revealing Mistakes
In 1955, when the DeLorean is approaching the wire to receive the 1.21 Gigawatts from the lightning bolt, the Flux Capacitor starts to work, spreading the tell-tale blue flashes of light around the vehicle, yet the Flux Capacitor has not received any electricity from the lightning yet.

Revealing Mistakes
When doc is using the remote control for the time machine at the start, a close up of the remote control shows that the voltmeter for the battery is reading zero - the unit is off.

Revealing Mistakes
In the bedroom where Marty first wakes up to meet Lorraine, the stormy early morning light from the window can barely light the end of the bed. She turns the light on and thereafter you can see the light from the rainy window throws clear shadows onto the wallpaper at the back of the room, even though the bedroom light is now on.

Revealing Mistakes
When Doc is strapping Einstein in for his first trip 1 minute into the future, the time circuit readouts clearly show x1-05-1xxx 05:35, x1-05-19xx 05:35 and 10-26-1xxx 01:31. Yet the Destination time (topmost readout) should be "10-26-1985 01:21" (as can be seen in a later scene).

Revealing Mistakes
Although he had a remote unit for the DeLorean at first, Doc is actually inside the DeLorean as it backs out of the van. With its gull wing doors, there is no way he could have gotten into the DeLorean inside the van.

Revealing Mistakes
When Marty is looking up the Doc in the Phonebook in the Cafe 50's he finds the Doc's info on the left side of the page, and then Marty later rips out the right page and when he is asking Lou Caruthers where the location is you can see the tear on the left side of the page which means that he tore the wrong page out.

Factual Mistake
Near the end, when Doc makes the jump to the future, he drives up the road from Marty's house, turns around, and accelerates to 88 mph. All this takes exactly 10 seconds from the moment the car starts moving (in the wrong direction) to the moment the flash indicates the temporal jump, which is highly unrealistic even for a race car driven by a professional trying to set a record, let alone a DeLorean driven by a scientist, who wasn't in any hurry. Also, during the jump from 1955 to 1985 it took Marty about two minutes to accelerate to 88 mph (he was already above 60 mph when the clock's handle moved to 10:03), making the 10 second period even less plausible.
Apparently Ronald Reagan was amused by Doc Brown's disbelief that an actor like him could become president, so much so that he had the projectionist stop and replay the scene. He also seemed to enjoy it so much that he even made a direct reference of the film in his 1986 State of the Union address: "As they said in the film Back to the Future Part III (1990), 'Where we're going, we don't need roads.'"

When Lorraine follows Marty back to Doc's house, she and Doc exchange an awkward greeting. This marks the only on-screen dialogue that Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson ever have, though they have appeared together in five movies and one TV movie.

The script was rejected 40 times before it was finally green-lit.

According to Bob Gale, on October 26th, 1985, a group of people showed up at the mall used to film the Twin Pines Mall location to see if Marty would arrive in the DeLorean. He, of course, did not.

Michael J. Fox had always been the first choice for Marty, but he was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts with his work on Family Ties (1982). As "Family Ties" co-star Meredith Baxter was pregnant at the time, Fox was carrying a lot more of the show than usual. The show's producer Gary David Goldberg simply couldn't afford to let Fox go. Zemeckis and Gale then cast Eric Stoltz as Marty based on his performance in Mask (1985). After four weeks of filming Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale felt that Stoltz wasn't right for the part and Stoltz agreed. By this stage, Baxter was back fully on the show and Goldberg agreed to let Fox go off to make the film. Fox worked out a schedule to fulfill his commitment to both projects. Every day during production, he drove straight to the movie set after taping of the show was finished every day and averaged about five hours of sleep. The bulk of the production was filmed from 6pm to 6am, with the daylight scenes filmed on weekends. Reshooting Stoltz's scenes added $3 million dollars to the budget.

Thomas F. Wilson almost had his collarbone broken in the scene where Marty and Biff are about to fight in the cafeteria, as Eric Stoltz roughed up Tom for real, take after take, despite repeated requests from Tom to tone down the aggression. Tom later said he was about to return the favor during filming of the car park scene outside the dance, but Eric was fired before that confrontation could take place.

Christopher Lloyd always wanted to do one more movie, in which Marty and Doc Brown time-travel back to Ancient Rome.

Crispin Glover has claimed to have only seen the film once, shortly after its release. In contrast, Christopher Lloyd has stated that when he occasionally stumbles across a Back to the Future film while channel surfing, he will often sit and watch it.

Ralph Macchio turned down the role of Marty McFly, thinking the movie was about "A kid, a car, and plutonium pills."

Universal Pictures head Sid Sheinberg did not like the title "Back to the Future", insisting that nobody would see a movie with "future" in the title. In a memo to Robert Zemeckis, he said that the title should be changed to "Spaceman From Pluto", tying in with the Marty-as-alien jokes in the film, and also suggested further changes like replacing the "I'm Darth Vader from planet Vulcan" line with "I am a spaceman from Pluto!" Sheinberg was persuaded to change his mind by a response memo from Steven Spielberg, which thanked him for sending a wonderful "joke memo", and that everyone got a kick out of it. Sheinberg, too proud to admit he was serious, gave in to letting the film retain its title.

Sticker on Doc's rear truck: One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.

While filming the "parking" scene with Marty and young Lorraine in the car, the production crew decided to play a practical joke at Michael J. Fox's expense. The scene called for Fox to drink from a prop liquor bottle filled with water and do a spit take when he sees Lorraine with a cigarette. For a specific take however, the prop liquor bottle was switched for one which contained real alcohol inside. Fox, unaware of this, performed the scene and drank from the bottle, only to discover the switch after-the-fact. The full gag is featured on the "Outtakes" section of the DVD.

Biff's catchphrases "make like a tree and get outta here" and "butthead" were improvised by Thomas F. Wilson.

When this movie was previewed for a test audience, Industrial Light and Magic had not completed the final DeLorean-in-flight shot, and the last several minutes of the movie were previewed in black and white. It didn't matter, as the audience roared in approval of the final scene anyway.

After the film's release, body kits were made for DeLoreans to make them look like the time machine.

When Marty is being judged at the band auditions at the beginning, the judge who stands up to say he is "just too darn loud" is Huey Lewis, whose songs, "The Power of Love" and "Back in Time" are featured on the movie's soundtrack, and also wrote Marty's audition song (which is a re-orchestrated version of "The Power of Love.")

The inspiration for the film largely stems from Bob Gale discovering his father's high school yearbook and wondering whether he would have been friends with his father as a teenager. Gale also said that if he had the chance to go back in time he would really go back and see if they would have been friends.

Writers Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis actually received a fan letter from John DeLorean after the film's release, thanking them for using his car in the movie.

Claudia Wells, who played Jennifer Parker in Back to the Future (1985), gave her role up to Elisabeth Shue for Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990) when her mother was diagnosed with cancer.

Doc Brown refers to "jigawatts" of electricity. This is the now-obscure but once-standard pronunciation of the word "gigawatt", one billion watts. Nowadays it is usually pronounced with a hard "g" as in "gander" and "gold". In neo-Latin languages, still, it's pronounced with a soft "g". So he chose it.

According to an interview he did on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), Crispin Glover lost his voice due to nervousness while filming Back to the Future. For some scenes, he had to silently mouth his lines, with his voice being dubbed in later at a recording studio.

When Robert Zemeckis was trying to sell the idea of this film, one of the companies he approached was Disney, who turned it down because they thought that the story of a mother falling in love with her son (albeit by a twist of time travel) was too risqué for a film under their banner. In fact, Disney was the only company to think the first was risqué. All other companies said that the film was not risqué enough, compared to other teen comedies at the time (e.g. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Revenge of the Nerds (1984), etc).

Michael J. Fox was allowed by the producer of Family Ties (1982) to film this movie on the condition that he kept his full schedule on the TV show - meaning no write-outs or missing episodes - and filmed most of the movie at night. He was not allowed to go on Back to the Future (1985) promotional tours.

The 1985 version of Doc's home is the garage that Marty and Doc hide the DeLorean in in 1955. In the opening scene an article shows that the mansion burned down years before, either for insurance money or due to an explosive experiment. The presence of the commercial development also implies that Doc sold the land surrounding the house for more money to fund his project. After all, he does state later that it took "many years and his entire family fortune" to build the time machine.

Doc's distinctive hunched-over look developed when the filmmakers realized the extreme difference in height between Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox; Fox is 5' 4½" while Lloyd is 6' 1". To compensate for the height difference, director Robert Zemeckis used specific blocking where the two often stood far apart at different camera depths. For close ups, Lloyd would have to hunch over to appear in frame with Fox. The same approach was used in the two sequels.

When Claudia Wells temporarily dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, Melora Hardin was briefly cast as Jennifer, but had to be replaced when it was discovered she was taller than Michael J. Fox.

Producer Neil Canton offered the role of Doc Brown to Christopher Lloyd after having worked together on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984). Lloyd originally turned it down, but changed his mind after his wife convinced him to take the role. He improvised some of his lines.

When Doc Brown first sends Einstein "one minute" into the future, the time elapsed between when the DeLorean disappears and reappears is actually 1 minute 21 seconds, just as the reappearance occurred at 1:21am, and the flux capacitor required 1.21 gigawatts of electricity.

The main setting, 1955, is the year that Albert Einstein, the dog's namesake, died.

The Screen Actors Guild can't have two people with the same name on their books. So Michael J. Fox inserted the letter J in his name to differentiate himself from an actor called Michael Fox. In Back to the Future (1985), Marty goes back to the year 1955. His dad is a huge fan of the show Science Fiction Theatre, something Marty uses to his advantage. The original Michael Fox starred in the real Science Fiction Theatre in the year 1955.

In the entire Back To The Future trilogy, the "present" date is October 26, 1985 (2015 is the future, 1885 and 1955 are the past). Exactly 25 years later on October 26, 2010 the entire Back To The Future trilogy was released on Blu-ray in a 25th Anniversary Edition.

The parts of the script with references to President Ronald Reagan needed to be reviewed by the White House for approval so as not to offend the President. Producers had some concerns over Reagan's reaction to Doc Brown's famous line mocking the improbability of his being President in 1985, but Reagan was said to get a real kick out of it.

Huey Lewis was asked by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale to write a song for the film. However, the two Bobs were not thrilled with the first song Huey brought back to them. After explaining what they were hoping for, Huey came back with "Power of Love". He was then told they needed one more song. And so, upon viewing a cut of the film, Huey got the inspiration for "Back in Time".

Marty McFly mimics famous rock stars during the later part of his performance at the school dance, when he starts playing heavy metal. His kicking of speakers (The Who), playing the guitar while lying down (Angus Young of AC/DC), hopping across the stage with one leg kicked up (Chuck Berry) and his solo (Jimi Hendrix/Edward Van Halen).

The DeLorean was deliberately selected for its general appearance and gull wing doors, in order to make it plausible that people in 1955 would presume it to be an alien spacecraft.

The "present day" date that the initial time travel occurs on is October 26, 1985. However, the film actually debuted *before* that date (the US premiere was July 5, 1985). This means that, from the film's perspective, audiences who saw the film during its initial release in some markets (US, Australia, West Germany, and Italy) were actually seeing the "future" -- which is ironic considering the film's subject.

During Doc's demo of the time machine, just before he is about to leave for the future, he tells Marty "I'll get to see who wins the next twenty-five World Series." At the time the scene was written and shot, no one was thinking there would be a sequel, let alone one where the hook Back to the Future Part II (1989) would be Marty wanting to get a hold of a "sports almanac" so he could bet on games.

In the first scene at the diner, Marty asks for a Pepsi Free. This refers to a brand of Pepsi that was the company's first caffeine free cola. Ironically, in the same scene, Marty asks for a Tab, which was actually a diet cola brand produced by Pepsi's rival Coca-Cola.

It was the top grossing release of 1985.

When Thomas F. Wilson is asked about Back to the Future by enthusiastic fans, he will often hand them a postcard of frequently asked questions as a timesaver.

The back lot used as the town of Hill Valley is also seen in the first episode of Twilight Zone Twilight Zone: Where Is Everybody? (1959).

Another deleted scene shows Marty peeking in on a class in 1955 and seeing his mother cheating on a test.

A persistent myth is that Michael J. Fox had to learn to skateboard for the film. In fact, he was a reasonably skilled skateboarder, having ridden throughout high school. However, Per Welinder acted as a skateboarding double for the complex scenes, Per Welinder also choreographed and coordinated the skateboarding action together with Robert Schmelzer.

From the day the film wrapped to the day it was released was a mere 9 and a half weeks, an unprecedentedly short lead time for a major movie release.

It took three hours in make-up to turn the 23-year-old Lea Thompson into the 47-year-old Lorraine.

A Texaco gas station is shown in both 1955 and 1985. Interestingly, Christopher Lloyd's maternal grandfather was one of the founders of the Texaco oil company.

On November 5, 2010, a large number of fans gathered at the Puente Hills Mall to kick off a week long series of events to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Back To The Future. It was here that the city mayor declared October 26, 2010 officially Back To The Future Day for the city.

Despite Marty and Jennifer crediting Doc as the origin of the repeated line "If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything" (Jennifer claims it is something he always says), Doc never says the line once in any of the Back to the Future movies.

A marketer hoped to get a prominent placement for California Raisins somewhere in the film. He suggested putting a bowl of raisins on a table at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. He had also told the California Raisins board that this would do for raisins what E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) did for Reese's Pieces. Bob Gale informed him that a bowl of raisins would photograph like a bowl of dirt. The only thing that appears in the film is Marty jumping over Red, sleeping on a bench that is advertising California Raisins. Unhappy with their product placement, the California Raisins representatives complained to the producers, and had their $5000 refunded.

The test audience to whom the movie was initially screened was not told that the movie was intended to be a comedy. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale recalled that the atmosphere in the cinema started to get really tense during the scene where Einstein the dog is sent through time, because the audience was expecting that something gruesome had happened to the dog.

Michael J. Fox is only ten days younger than Lea Thompson who plays his mother, and is almost three years older than his on-screen dad, Crispin Glover. This is not very surprising, since most of their scenes take place in 1955. They were cast to match their younger self's ages.

The gas-powered struts that hold the De Lorean's gullwing doors open would fail during the course of filming a take, so crew members had to be on stand-by with hairdryers to warm them up to stop the doors from drooping.

The space alien gag first appeared in the screenplay's third draft, with the primary difference being that it was to be done to Biff.

According to Michael J. Fox on the 2010 DVD/Blu-Ray interviews, the interior of the DeLorean was so tight due to the added props, that every time he had to shift gears, he would repeatedly hit his forearm on the handle that turns on the time circuits and he would also rap his knuckles hard against the time display board. If you pay attention during the car chase with the terrorists, you can hear these hits every time Marty uses the shifter.

According to Bob Gale, when the movie was shown recently on broadcast television, the lines about "Libyan terrorists" were altered for "political correctness". This is similar to the issues Gale and Robert Zemeckis had with a terrorist scene in Used Cars (1980) (See IMDb trivia on that film).

Sid Sheinberg, the head of Universal Pictures, requested many changes to be made throughout the movie. Most of these he got, such as having "Professor Brown" changed to "Doc Brown" and his chimp Shemp changed to a dog named Einstein. Marty's mother's name had previously been Meg and then Eileen, but Sheinberg insisted that she be named Lorraine after his wife Lorraine Gary.

As of 2011, the Hill Valley clock tower set has been through three different fires. The first one happened shortly after the finishing of Back to the Future Part II (1989) where all the original surrounding buildings burned to the ground by lightning. The second fire in 1994 almost destroyed the structure. In 2008, the fire that destroyed the nearby King Kong (1933) ride/set, along with two archive vaults and the New York street, slightly scorched the tower.