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'Back to the Future' turns 25 years old

doc-and-marty.jpgTwenty-five years ago this day, a movie that had relatively low expectations from Hollywood hit the big screen and changed the lives of its stars, its director, the band that provided the music and even ... okay, I'm overselling it. Back to the Future turns 25 years old today.

I don't even think I saw it right away, even though the buzz was growing each day. I was in Gainesville, Fla., a then-small college town that had maybe two movie houses near the university. And as a freshman in the summer semester, a movie about time-travel wasn't really on my radar. I remember seeing it anyway on a Saturday night weeks after it opened, and still having to stand in line forever for tickets.

Sadly, I can't seem to find a Back to the Future marathon on TV today. Yet, I imagine most of the '80s Nation owns these flicks on DVD by now. You can listen to our very antiquated Stuck in the '80s podcast on the movie. Or just enjoy a top 10 list just to mark the occasion.


1. Though Michael J. Fox was the actor the producers wanted most, he was unavailable while he was shooting Family Ties. Eric Stoltz therefore was the first Marty McFly.

2. Others considered for the role of Marty: Pop singer Corey Hart, Ralph Macchio and C. Thomas Howell.

3. When producers decided Stoltz wasn't working out, they worked out a production schedule with Family Ties and reshot all the scenes with Fox ... at a cost of $3 million.

4. Of course that's not actually Fox doing the singing in the movie. A singer named Mark Campbell did that.

5. Fox already knew how to skateboard before BTTF, but he still had a stunt double do the tricky scenes. On the other hand, Stoltz couldn't skateboard at all. Good thing he had Tony Hawk as a stunt double.

6. It's really no surprise, but Fox and co-star Lea Thompson,  who plays his mother, were the same age. Crispin Glover, who plays his dad, is 3 years older.

7 .Disney declined to make the film because the plot -- a mother falling in love with her son -- was too much for them. Other studios passed because it wasn't risque enough. Go figure.

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

9. Lloyd originally turned down the role as Doc Brown. He took it only after his wife talked him into it. Several of his lines were improvised as well.

10. Then-President Ronald Reagan was so amused by Doc Brown's disbelief that an actor like him could become president, he had the projectionist stop the movie and replay the scene.

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:01pm]


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