Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some Details in "Back to the Future"...

Everyone has been celebrating the 25th anniversary since the debut of the movie "Back to the Future" and I'm no different. After all, I love the movie and watched it many times when I was a kid.

I watched it again a couple of nights ago and paid attention to some of the details in the film. You know, stuff I missed the first hundred times I watched it.

The first detail is the comic book the kid shows his dad in 1955, that proves that the DeLorean is a space ship and Marty in the radiation suit is an alien. "Shoot it, shoot it, it's already taken human form." I figured maybe it was a real comic, but it's just a creation. It really does capture the feel of the EC comics of the 50's doesn't it?

The next thing I wondered about was the movies that are featured on the marquee at the movie theater in 1955. The first one is "The Cattle Queen of Montana" starring Barbara Stanwyck and Ronald Regan which was obviously picked just because Regan was in it. "Ronald Reagan? The actor? Then who's Vice-President? Jerry Lewis? I suppose Jane Wyman is the First Lady! And Jack Benny is Secretary of the Treasury."

The movie on the marquee on the night Marty goes back to the future is "The Atomic Kid," a 1954 movie starring Mikey Ronney. The theatrical poster has the tagline "It's a laugh explosion" and a woman telling Mikey to "control your neutrons." That sounds kind of like a lost Doc line.

The next details are in the scene where Marty uses George's love of science fiction to convince him to ask Lorraine out. "I am Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan." George had fallen asleep while reading the fall 1954 issue of Fantastic Story Magazine, this time the robot kind of like Marty in the radiation suit. The difference this time is that it's actually a real magazine!

However, the music Marty tortures his dad with may or may not be real. As the tape Marty puts in says it is definitely Eddie Van Halen on the tape, but I'm not sure whether the clips are from. Some websites say "Eruption"others "Donut City" from the movie "The Wild Life" which stars none other then the original Marty, Eric Stoltz and Lea Thompson. Still other websites claim that the music is just some original riffs Eddie played just for the movie as a favor to record producer Quincy Jones. Since the last claim was said to be from the commentary track with Bob Gale and Neil Canton it just might be the true one.

Finally, when Marty goes back to 1985 and it turns out his whole family is happier and more successful because George learned to stand up for himself when he decked Biff. George gets a copy of his book in the mail.

The joke being that it looks like a retelling of how Darth Vader told him he had to date Lorraine.

But the book is proof that, "if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything."