Pick of the Week – August 17-23, 2015

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Back to the Future and also the future year that Marty visited in Back to the Future II.  While we are still waiting for our Mr. Fusions, flying cars, and hoverboards (Although Lexus has been working on that last one.), it is a good time to look back at one of the best films to come out of 1980s.

This week’s pick is We Don’t Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy by Caseen Gaines.  As the title suggests, this book covers the making of the three Back to the Future films, but, rather than diving into the minutia of the day-to-day shooting of the movies, Gaines focuses in on several key events, starting with the difficulties in getting a studio to make the film in the first place.

The book is a brief, fewer than 300 pages, and, for anyone unaware of the history of the films, these stories will be quite surprising.  Did you know that Michael J. Fox was not the original star of the film?  Did you know that after six weeks of shooting the first movie, the crew basically had to go back and start over?  Did you know that a horrible accident occurred on the set of the second film?

Gaines was able to interview most of the principals involved with the films, including director/writer Robert Zemeckis, writer Bob Gale, and Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd, and he tries to present all sides of some of the more controversial events, such as the replacement of Crispin Glover in the latter two films.

We Don’t Need Roads is an engaging look at these films that have become cultural touchstones and well worth the read.

- Alan Decker

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