6. Biff’s Question Song
‘Back to the Future’ was undoubtedly Thomas F. Wilson’s finest hour and he was never again to scale the heights that he deserved to following the success of Robert Zemeckis’ film.
Maybe that’s a blessing in disguise though, because if Wilson had gone on to become a huge star I doubt we’d have ever got to hear his stand-up comedy stylings, which he has become renowned for and include this brilliant little ditty from the man himself about his experiences since the movie:
7. The Sequels
‘Parts II’ & ‘III’ may not be as good as the original or as fondly remembered but together they form one of the, if not THE, greatest trilogy in cinema history.
Each film expands the ‘Back to the Future’ universe and continues to evolve our heroes, the sequels aren’t just re-treads of the original hitting all the same notes; they stand up on their own as great pieces of filmmaking.
The plot of ‘Part II’ is in fact so complicated it actually makes your brain hurt if you really stop and think about what exactly is going on. ‘Parts II’ & ‘III’ also expand the mythology of the franchise and delve deeper into the ethical and moral questions raised in the first film as well as encompassing themes of fate and destiny.
8. They had the balls to re-cast Marty McFly
Would ‘Back to the Future’ have been as successful with the originally cast Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly rather than Michael J. Fox?
We will never know for sure but I would venture: no.
That’s not a slight on Stoltz’s acting in any way but it’s impossible to imagine him in the role now. The fact that Zemeckis et al had the balls to re-cast and re-shoot after five weeks of production had begun was a bold move, and it paid off in spades.
Much of ‘Back to the Future’s’ broad appeal lies in Michael J. Fox’s effortless charm and without him this wonderful film may have never reached the universal audience it now has.
9. The fun they have playing with time
The ‘Back to the Future’ universe is such a rich tapestry and there is endless fun to be had with the role reversals, relatives of our heroes and the effect travelling through time has in each time zone.
For instance, Red Thomas is Mayor in 1955 and a drunken tramp in 1985, conversely Goldie Wilson is a bus boy with big dreams in 1955 and Mayor in 1985 (he gets the idea to run for Mayor from Marty in 1955).
The effect of Marty crashing into the pine tree upon arrival in 1955 is also felt back in 1985 – the mall where Doc is shot is originally named the Twin Pines Mall but we later see it named the Lone Pine Mall after Marty destroys the pine tree in 1955.
10. One of the best scripts ever
‘Back to the Future’s’ script is absolutely seamless.
Nothing is wasted, no scene is unnecessary, no dialogue is extraneous, and everything contributes to furthering the brilliant story and expanding the Hill Valley universe.
I honestly believe this film should be core curriculum for budding writers looking to learn how write a succinct yet utterly perfect script.