Fun Facts

Back to the Future

* Back to the Future was the highest-grossing film in 1985; it won an Academy Award and was also nominated for three others.

* “Michael J. Fox is only ten days younger than Lea Thompson, the actress who plays his mother, and is almost three years older than his on-screen dad, Crispin Glover” (IMDB).

* According to DVD commentary, the device originally considered for use as the time travel machine was a refrigerator, but Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg did not want children to start climbing into refrigerators and getting trapped inside.

* According to DVD commentary, the word “gigawatt” is spelled “jigowatt” in the script.  Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis had been to a science seminar and the speaker had pronounced it “jigowatt,” so Christopher Lloyd also pronounces it this way in the film.

* The opening sequence with the ticking clocks is taken directly from the 1960 film The Time Machine, based on the story by H.G. Wells.  Also, the chime of the clock tower in 1955 is intentionally the same as the chime in The Time Machine (IMDB).

* “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)” (IMDB).

* Christopher Lloyd’s character name, Emmett, comes from the word "time" spelled backwards and pronounced as syllables (em-it) (IMDB).

* “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 (1985), ‘Where we're going, we don't need roads’” (IMDB).

* “In the French version, when Marty wakes up in 1955 in his young mother's bed, she calls him Pierre Cardin instead of Calvin Klein. In the Italian version, she calls him Levi Strauss” (IMDB).

* “The movie that won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1955, the year to which Marty McFly goes back in time, was called Marty; however, according to Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, this is only a coincidence and was not a factor in naming the character” (Wikipedia).


Back to the Future Part II

* There is an urban legend that Part II correctly predicted that the Florida Marlins would win the 1997 World Series; this rumor is false (Snopes).

* Part II is Elijah Wood's first movie. He is one of the two boys trying to play the videogame at Cafe '80s in 2015 (Wikipedia).

* A movie theater advertises Jaws 19, directed by "Max Spielberg". Executive producer Steven Spielberg, who directed Jaws (1975), has a son named Max (IMDB). Lea Thompson, who portrays Marty's mother, had a role in Jaws 3.

* “When Doc sees the future newspaper headline change to tell him that he was "commended" instead of "committed", a headline at the bottom of the page changes from "Nixon seeks fifth term" to "Reagan seeks second term". ('Richard Nixon & 'Ronald Reagan' )” (IMDB).


Back to the Future Part III

* “The second and third Back to the Future movies were shot concurrently over the course of 11 months (with a three week break between Parts II and III)” (IMDB).

* According to DVD commentary, Christopher Lloyd’s first ever on-screen kiss was on the set of Part III. Since he was born in 1938 and the film was made in 1990, Christopher Lloyd was about 52 when he had his first film kiss, after already having been in about 50 acting roles.

* Ronald Reagan, who was the president of the U.S.A. at the time, actually considered accepting a role in Part III as the 1885 mayor of Hill Valley, but he eventually declined (Wikipedia).

* Marty goes by the name “Clint Eastwood” for this film; he was “Calvin Klein” in the second film.  “Clint Eastwood was asked for permission about his name being used for Marty in the film. He consented and was said to be tickled by the homage” (IMDB).

* “In the scene where "Mad Dog" tries to lynch Marty, Michael J. Fox was accidentally hanged, rendering him unconscious for a short time.” (IMDB).

* “To demonstrate Doc's fondness for Jules Verne, his locomotive time machine was designed to resemble the Nautilus from the 1954 Disney film version of 20000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)” (IMDB).




These “Fun Facts” have been selected from the “trivia” sections of the IMDB and Wikipedia sites on the trilogy,
as well as DVD commentary from the boxed set which was released in 2002; see Sources page.