Back to the Future

A 17-year-old, Marty Mcfly, lives a lousy life. His dad, George, a nerdy scaredy cat, and his mom, Larraine, is an alcoholic, who met George through pity when her dad hit George with a car. Marty's brother is a fast food cook, and his sister isn't allowed to like boys. He loses at a guitar audition, and the car that he and his girlfriend were supposed to take into the mountains, was smashed up by his dad's bully, Biff. The only thing that he can do for fun is hanging out with the local scientist, Dr. Emmett Brown (Doc).

Doc shows Marty a time machine that he built, using a DeLorean and stolen plutonium from terrorists. The terrorists find the doc and kill him, but Marty escapes into 1955, the year his parents met. The Time Machine runs out of fuel, leaving him stranded. He follows his young dad (who's a bullied high school nerd) to the place where he meets his mom. Marty saves his dad from getting hit and gets hit himself. He wakes up in his young mom's room and realises that she's in love with him. He tracks down the young Doc and asks for his help.

Doc says that only a bolt of lightning can power the machine, and they decide to use the lightning that will strike the town clock tower in 1 week. In the meantime, Marty struggles to get his parents to meet, and fall in love, so that he'll have a future to go back to. He repeatedly saves his mom from Biff, and she grows closer to him. He devises a plan to get his parents together. Marty asks his mom to the dance, where his parents kissed for the first time. He has to harass his mother, and his George will see him in the car and tell him to get away from her, therefore proving to his mom that George is a loyal boyfriend. In the car, Marty sees that his mom drinks and smokes, and warns her about the effects of them. Biff pulls Marty out of the car and attempts to force himself on Marty's mum. When George comes to the car, he finds himself face to face with Biff, the bully who keeps beating him up. George stands up for himself and knocks Biff out.

He and Lorraine go the dance and have their first kiss, while Marty plays some music for them. Marty leaves the dance, and he and Doc harness the lightning into the time machine, and Marty goes back to 1985. He finds out that his dad is now a famous author, and is Biff's employer, no longer a nerd. His mom is sober, his brother is a businessman, and his sister is dating. Doc leaves for the future but comes back to tell Marty and his girlfriend, Jennifer, that they have to solve a problem with their kids. The three leave for the future, to find out what their problem is.

Back to the Future mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When we first see the machine in action, the travel is shown from three different angles. In the second, a line of fire passes directly between Doc's legs, but in the third angle, they pass to the left of both of his legs. (00:21:00)


More mistakes in Back to the Future
More quotes from Back to the Future
Back to the Future trivia picture

Trivia: In the battle of the bands scene, when Marty introduces The Pinheads, Huey Lewis, who provided "The Power of Love" for the film's soundtrack, plays the second judge from the left, and is the one who eventually says, "You're just too darn loud." (00:07:40)

More trivia for Back to the Future

Question: How is Marty able to play a 1980s videotape on a 1950s television set? Is this just another example of Doc's ahead-of-his-time inventiveness?

Answer: The video camera was in the DeLorean. With the right kind of adapter, which was common enough in the 80s that Doc might've had it on the camera or been able to jury-rig something in the 50s, it would have been possible to connect it into the antenna screws in the back of the TV like an old Atari and play it directly from the camera.

Captain Defenestrator

TVs in the 50s had a two prong antennae connection (two screws in the back that you put a prong antennae into) TVs in the mid 80s also had this. The coax connection (the one wire that screws in) was starting to become common, but, the two prong connection would have been more likely on any given TV at the time, so, whatever wire they used to preview recordings probably had that. very convenient that Marty brought those cords with him.

An old Atari 2600 RF Adapter would be how one would link a video camera to an old-fashioned television. A simple-enough part that Doc could probably make one with 1950s technology.

Captain Defenestrator

Answer: Video tape system back then could output an NTSC video signal, just like broadcast at the time, and up to HD in the 2000s. Usually there was a switch on the video device to change the output frequency between channels 3 or 4. Depending on what was an open channel in your area.

Answer: Doc is smart and eccentric enough to probably have such a thing randomly rattling around in the Delorian as old burger wrappers would rattle around inside a normal car. And Marty could also conceivably have such a thing at his or Doc's domicile for his own video gaming convenience.


More questions & answers from Back to the Future

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.