Back To The Future Screenwriter Bob Gale Addresses Major Plot Hole In Film

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 23 Apr 2020 10:05
Back To The Future Screenwriter Bob Gale Addresses Major Plot Hole In FilmUniversal Pictures

Back to the Future screenwriter Bob Gale has addressed that major plot hole, which fans are still discussing 35 years later.

While this isn’t a new question thought up by Back to the Future fans, the query came to light once again after Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn tweeted about it, and Star-Lord himself, Chris Pratt, joined in.


It all came about when the trending topic of ‘five perfect movies’ was doing the rounds on Twitter, where users listed five of their favourite films they deem to be perfect.

Back to the FutureUniversal Pictures

Gunn tweeted about what he would describe as a ‘perfect film’, and explained how Back to the Future could be argued as both ‘imperfect’ and ‘perfect’.

The 53-year-old filmmaker said:


What is a “Perfect Film”? For me, a perfect film can be different from a favorite film, or a great film. A perfect film is something that sings from start to finish with no obvious mistakes, whether they be aesthetic or structural. There are no logical lapses.

[…] Back to the Future SEEMINGLY could be imperfect (why don’t Mom and Dad remember Marty?), but I would still argue it’s a perfect film because there are reasons why this could conceivably be the case (time protects itself from unraveling, etc). Or maybe I’m in denial. Who knows.

Back To The Future Screenwriter Addresses Major Plot Hole In Film@JamesGunn/Twitter

We all know and love the iconic 1985 film. However, as Gunn mentioned, we can’t help but ask why Marty McFly’s parents didn’t see the striking resemblance between their own son and their high school friend Calvin Klein.

Despite his queries, Gunn still ranked the film as number one on his list of five perfect films, followed by Chinatown, Rashomon, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Thing.


With Gunn’s tweets reigniting the debate, Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt also chimed in, tweeting: ‘Maybe they do remember him tho, not as Marty, as Calvin. When Marty returns to present day 1985, it could have been years since his parents would have perhaps originally noted the uncanny resemblance between their son and that kid from high school 20 years previous. [sic]’

Back To The Future Screenwriter Addresses Major Plot Hole In Film@prattprattpratt/Twitter

Finally, the film’s screenwriter Bob Gale settled the debate once and for all.


Bear in mind that George and Lorraine only knew Marty/Calvin for six days when they were 17, and they did not even see him every one of those six days. So, many years later, they still might remember that interesting kid who got them together on their first date.

But I would ask anyone to think back on their own high school days and ask themselves how well they remember a kid who might have been at their school for even a semester. Or someone you went out with just one time. If you had no photo reference, after 25 years, you’d probably have just a hazy recollection.

Gale concluded with the idea that while Marty’s parents may have remembered they met someone called Calvin Klein – and thought their teenage son may have some slight resemblance to him – they wouldn’t have seen it as ‘a big deal’, saying: ‘I’d bet most of us could look thru our high school yearbooks and find photos of our teen-aged classmates that bear some resemblance to our children. [sic]’


Well there you have it, film fans. You can sleep easy now.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Film and TV, Back to the Future, Chris Pratt, James Gunn, Twitter


The Hollywood Reporter and 2 others
  1. The Hollywood Reporter

    'Back to the Future' Screenwriter Closes Plot Hole Amid Renewed Debate

  2. James Gunn/Twitter


  3. Chris Pratt/Twitter