BTTF Minute 114 – Beta Marty

BTTF Minute-00114

The credits continue to roll, but Scott and Nick are answering your emails! Topics include time travel complexities, the arc of Marty, editing style, character design, and getting to the bottom of what makes Back to the Future so damn good.


2 thoughts on “BTTF Minute 114 – Beta Marty

  1. (Gah, sorry it took so long to post this. Life happened.)

    I’ve been whimpering and cradling my head during the discussion of Prime and Beta Marties because if I try to think of other timelines that have a Marty or don’t have a Marty, or where is Beta Marty now, I wibble loudly and worry about all the Docs and Marties. 🙁

    When I think about the Lone Pine Mall sequence, I keep thinking of the fact that Zemeckis had to figure out what shots he wanted so that when they were edited together, they would make sense.

    Rape as a plot device has been used for so long that I love BTTF because when the rape happens, Lorraine isn’t an object. Biff is treating her like an object, but you can bet that Lorraine’s going to fight him tooth and nail. If he does manage it, you just know that he’ll be missing a chunk of flesh at the end of it. A lot of movies tend to treat rape as an attack on the male hero — just like you guys mentioned, even the woman is thinking of how this attack on *her* is going to affect *him*. With BTTF, Lorraine is fighting back against an attack on *her*. Biff got the idea to rape her, not to attack or punish another guy (even if he found Marty in the car with her), but because he wanted her, and because Biff is an utter slimeball.

  2. YAY Thank you so much for answering my questions!! It was really fun and illuminating to hear your thoughts!! Pretty much agreed with everything you said (now that you mention it, I think Bob Gale mentioned Marty’s growth in understanding his parents as humans. That was part of the urge to create the movie in the first place; when he found his dad’s old high school yearbook).

    On the topic of Doc meeting/hanging with Beta Marty in the 80s: Can you imagine how much that would suck? If Beta Marty was just slightly different and more douche-y because he grew up in a privileged family? The day Marty wanders into the garage Doc’s like, “You’re not the kid I met in ’55!” And he has to wait until the night at the mall to meet the person he knew. Maybe that’s why he kills Beta Marty. “I CAN’T STAND YOU ANYMORE!”

    I know there’s a theory that going back in time means going to a different dimension. Marty Prime decides to go to 1955, but he doesn’t go to Prime 1955 where George fell out of a tree and was hit by Lorraine’s dad’s car. He goes to an alternative 1955 that doesn’t connect to the Prime ’85 he left. And Marty can never return to a Prime 1985 where his dad is a nerd and his mom is an alcoholic. He’s removed himself from that timeline forever. I guess by this theory, the McFlys find out the next day that Doc was killed at the Twin Pines Mall and their son is missing and that’s just horrible.

    It’s funny you mentioned the music in the Clock Tower sequence adds most of the excitement, while the Twin Pines Mall sequence holds up without music. It’s funny because I think the score is pretty much the same for both sequences. Goes to show the differences in the situation/editing/style of the scenes.

    I really liked what you said about the screenplay being stronger in plot than it is in characters. That makes so much sense, and adds credence to the actors who were so well-cast that they *activated* their roles the way they did. Like how you talk about Michael J. Fox making us believe Marty is cool and Tom F. Wilson making such a likable bad guy. This movie had to be cast juuuust right. It just–you ever get the feeling the stars aligned to make this movie?

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