After he and Bob Zemeckis had decided that Marty and Doc would travel back to the Old West in "Back to the Future Part III," writer/producer Bob Gale found himself with a wealth of images and information to draw upon for his screenplay.
"Growing up in the '50s," he recalls, "you couldn't turn on your television at night without seeing some western. I watched them in the movies and grew up on the genre. Over the years, however, the westerns have evolved with each decade bringing a different type of western. The late '30s and '40s featured the classic epic story. In the '50s, they took on a more psychological aspect, and the westerns of the '60s were stark, realistic affairs."
"The West as portrayed in our film is more of a throwback to the early years of the genre," says Gale. "Those films were pure fun, and certainly larger-than-life in their scope. As the 'Back to the Future' series is also a larger-than-life concept, the two genres naturally complement each other. Obviously, we haven't tried to depict the west as it really was, but as we did in the future, and in 1955, we have portrayed the west, as we'd like to think it was.
In creating the latest addition to a classic genre, Gale was especially delighted with the casting of veteran actors Harry Carey, Jr., Dub Taylor, Pat Buttram and Matt Clark. "These guys have appeared in what seems like, a million westerns," says Gale, "and suddenly, they were sitting back in a saloon, reciting dialogue that I wrote. It was the proverbial dream come true."
Although Gale admits "I'd probably be shot dead in a minute if I were to go back to the Old West," he has been given a special place in western lore. In the Hill Valley town square of 1885, the window of the Hill Valley Telegraph newspaper office sports the name "M.R. Gale, Editor."
Steven Spielberg Presents A Robert Zemeckis Film. "Back to the Future Part III." Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F. Wilson and Lea Thompson. Music by Alan Silvestri. Edited by Arthur Schmidt, Harry Keramidas. Production design by Rick Carter. Director of Photography, Dean Cundey, A.S.C. Executive Producers, Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy. Story by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale. Screenplay by Bob Gale. Produced by Bob Gale and Neil Canton. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. A Universal Picture.
as of April 24, 1990