Back to the Future is a popular film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Released in the year 1985, the film has become a science fiction cult, and any fan of the genre knows it. It is indeed considered one of the best science fiction films ever, and some scenes have endured in the memory of its fans.
Such as the one in which Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, who is stuck in 1955, has to play at the school prom to solve the time paradox he inadvertently created, and eventually go back to the future. This scene is the result of a collaboration between different artists.
As a matter of fact, it is not Michael J. Fox who sings, but Mark Campbell of the band Jack Mack and the Heart Attack. As for the guitar, the actor actually learnt the piece, thanks to the help of Paul Hanson, who taught him how to play it. Although the hand movements on the instrument were his own, the music was recorded and synchronised, so it is actually another musician, Tim May, who plays. Watch the entire build up to the epic scene below.
Even Marty’s rock-star vibe is carefully rehearsed and choreographed. The merit goes to choreographer Brad Jeffries, who was inspired by the movements of rock legends such as Jimi Hendrix. Regardless of the extent to which the scene was shot with the smallest detail in mind, something was missed. The scene is set in 1955, but the guitar used by Marty is a Gibson ES-345 which would not be produced until 1958.
However, this is only a minor detail and does not undermine the most iconic scene in the entire trilogy. There was undeniably a lot of work behind the whole performance. If we think that Michael J. Fox learnt the song so that Zemeckis could film his fingers and not be restricted in his shots, the actor is nothing but to be admired.
Apparently, the scene was supposed to be cut from the film but the editor suggested to Zemeckis to include it in the first draft. After they watched the whole film, they eventually decided to keep it because it worked extremely well.