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  • Writer's pictureTony Elvin

Great Scott!! Bringing Wine 'Back to the Future'

Thank you so much to everyone that joined us for 'Back to the Future with Wine' on Sunday afternoon .. we had a timebendingly fantastic time and hope you did too!

Our Wines from the Past ..

As promised, here are the real stars of the show, our five famous wines from yesteryear:

Codorniu 1872 Brut Cava, Penedes, Spain - Majestic £11.99 (£8.99 mixed six price)

Dr Loosen Grey Slate Riesling, Mosel, Germany - Waitrose, 9.99

Matteus Rose, Portugal - Sainsbury's £6.50

Blueprint Beaujolais Villages, France - Waitrose £8.99

Botter Fiasco Chianti, Tuscany, Italy - Fraziers Wine Merchants £16.45

As far as I could tell, you guys were happy to leave Matteus Rosé in 1985, but were happy to bring everything else back!! LOL!!

Marty's 'Night Out In Brum' Scrapbook

Back to the Future Trivia

The Back to the Future script was rejected more than 40 times.

Back to the Future may be considered a contemporary classic today, but the initial response to the script hardly predicted how big of a hit it would become. As screenwriter Bob Gale told CNN in 2010: “The script was rejected over 40 times by every major studio and by some more than once. We'd go back when they changed management. It was always one of two things. It was ‘Well, this is time travel, and those movies don't make any money.’ We got that a lot. We also got, ‘There's a lot of sweetness to this. It's too nice, we want something raunchier like Porky's. Why don't you take it to Disney?"

Disney rejected the script because it sounded like an incest themed movie!

In the iconic opening sequence that shows dozen of clocks ticking and tocking, all running 20 minutes fast as part of a Doc Brown experiment, there’s one clock quickly shown that depicts a man hanging off the minute-hand of a large clock, just as Doc would do later in the movie. It’s actually an homage to the 1923 silent film Safety Last! starring Harold Lloyd.

During production, a Universal executive sent a serious memo to producers saying he thought the film’s name was confusing (how does one go back to the future?) and offered a suggestion of his own: Spaceman From Pluto. Steven Spielberg responded, farcically thanking the executive for his joke and saying the entire crew got a kick out of it.

In early drafts of BTTF (there were many) the time machine was a refrigerator, a gag that George Lucas and Steve Spielberg finally got to use years later — to much mockery — in an Indiana Jones movie that shall go unnamed.

After tinkering with the idea, writer Bob Gale realized he hit gold when he decided a DeLorean should be the time machine, especially given the car’s troubled history and the carmaker’s even more troubled history (John DeLorean, who later wrote Gale and director Bob Zemeckis a thank-you note for using his car, was busted in 1982 in a $24 million cocaine deal). But, once filming began, Universal’s product placement team got an offer from Ford that would have paid $75,000 (about $171,000 today) if the time machine was switched to a Mustang. Gale’s iconic response: “Doc Brown doesn’t drive a [expletive] Mustang!”

As any fan knows, Eric Stoltz (the guy who plunged the adrenaline into Uma Thurman’s heart in Pulp Fiction) was the original Marty McFly but was fired for being too dark and brooding in what was supposed to be a more comedic role. The decision wasted about six weeks in shoots and nearly $4 million. But, watching the clips of Stoltz, a fine actor, it’s clear why the Marty move was made.

In the end, the moviemakers got who they wanted all along: Michael J. Fox, who couldn’t make the film initially because of conflicts with his sitcom Family Ties. But the show had to change its schedule when Meredith Baxter (Elyse from Family Ties) giving birth to twins in real life and Fox jumped. Though he pulled doube-duty for months, fans might have the birth of those twins to thank for Michael J. Fox being in BTTF.

Though editors deny Stoltz appears in any scene, fans are convinced there are at least two shots of Stoltz that still remained in the film. When Marty dives into the DeLorean upon the Libyans arrival at the mall at the beginning of the film, it’s thought to be Stoltz.

Because of the dual shooting schedules, Fox, who was 22 at the time, had a ridiculous working schedule for the three-and-a-half months of shooting in which BTTF and Family Ties overlapped. He described it in his 2003 memoir, Lucky Man:

“A teamster driver would pick me up at 9:30 a.m. and take me to Paramount, where I would spend the day rehearsing that week’s show, culminating in a run-through at approximately 5:00 p.m. each afternoon. Then at 6, another teamster driver would pick me up and shuttle me to Universal Studios or whatever far-flung location we were based that evening, where I would work on [Back to the Future] until just before sunrise. At that point, I’d climb into the back of a production van with a pillow and a blanket, and yet another driver would take me home again—sometimes literally carrying me into my apartment and dropping me into my bed. I’d catch two or three hours sleep before teamster driver number one would reappear at my apartment, let himself in with a key I’d provided, brew a pot of coffee, turn on the shower, and then rouse me to start the whole process all over again.”

This fact is insulting to even the most moderate Back to the Future fans, but we had to include it for those who correctly don’t spend their time looking for hidden messages in films. At the start of the movie, when Doc shows Marty the DeLorean for the first time (“the way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style“), the whole scene takes places at Twin Pines Mall. At the end, when Doc is saved because of his bulletproof vest, it’s called Lone Pine Mall, in reference to the pine tree Marty took out while speeding away from Ol’ Man Peabody’s farm when he first arrives in 1955.

Ronald Reagan loved the film, especially when 1955 Doc was in disbelief that Reagan was the president in Marty’s 1985. “The actor? Who’s the vice president? Jerry Lewis? I suppose Jane Wyman’s [Reagans’ first wife] is first lady!” He evidently laughed so hard that the projectionist had to rewind the film because Reagan wanted to see it again. Later, in his 1986 State of the Union, Reagan quoted the final line from the first film — “roads, where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

It always seemed strange that when Marty dressed in his “Darth Vadar” costume to scare George into going along with the plan, the cassette he used was labeled “Edward Van Helen” as opposed to the band’s actual name, Van Halen. Turns out the band denied the filmmakers’ request to use their music, but Eddie Van Halen agreed to perform a few licks on his own, something that went unknown until he admitted it years later.

Crispin Glover did not appear in the sequels, except in archival footage of him at the Enchantment Under The Dance. He was only a minor character in II, with a body-double appearing upside-down as a grandfather at a shot at the McFly house in Hilldale because he “threw his back out.” Then was found out to be murdered — you can do the armchair psychology there. Glover’s absence was over money and because, well, he’s Crispin Glover.

As Cassen Gaines describes in his book, We Don’t Need Roads: The Making of the Back To The Future Trilogy — a must-read for die-hard fans — when Glover’s “double” first met Michael J. Fox, the actor said, “oh, Crispin ain’t gonna like this.” Still, even though it was completely legal to change roles, Glover filed suit. It was settled out of court for a whopping $500,000, as, according to Bob Gale, the insurance company decided it was cheaper to pay off Glover rather than risk any wackiness in open court.

Crispin was so nervous on set, sometimes no sound came out of his mouth when he spoke. They had to dub the voice in afterwards for some scenes.

Huey Lewis initially declined an offer to have a cameo as the judge who calls out Marty’s band, The Pinheads, for being “too darn loud.” But after some negotiating (he’d be in disguise, he couldn’t be used in promotional materials, he would go uncredited) he agreed and a great scene — another of rejection that was at the heart of the entire movie — was made even better.

Power of Love, the Huey Lewis and The News song played throughout the movie, went to No. 1 and was nominated for an Oscar where it lost to Say You Say Me by Lionel Richie.

From the time Marty meets up with Doc before the lightning strike (9:56 p.m.) to the time the lightning hits (10:04 p.m.), the real movie time was nine-and-a-half minutes which, if you’ve ever watched moves in which a bomb is set to go off in five minutes and then blows up 16 actual minutes later.

In France Marty McFly (known as Calvin Klein) is called Pierre Cardin and in Spain as Levi Straus.

DeLorean body kits were sold to make people's cars look like time machines. DeLoreans are still built today in Texas using old stock and reproductions. They now feature a flux capacitor!

Thanks again for joining Marty, Doc and the Wine Events Crew, check out our website to see all of our upcoming, movies, tastings and dinners. We'll be back at The Crescent for two more crackers before the festive season, links below:


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