"He's fantastically romantic," says Mary Steenburgen. Adds Robert Zemeckis, "Although we've always known it to be the case, he proves in this movie that he's much more than just a frenetic, hyperactive character. He is, in fact, a brilliant actor, capable of work that is moving and very touching."
The man to whom both the actress and director are referring is none other than Christopher Lloyd, who in his latest performance as Doctor Emmett Brown, joins the ranks of the great romantic leading men of the silver screen.
The actor himself admits that when he first portrayed Doc Brown in the original "Back to the Future," he didn't envision the unique turn his character would take some five years later. "I guess I didn't think about it any more than Doc did at the time," he says. "Up until this point in his life, Doc has been disengaged and removed from that pursuit. talking about the 'Enchantment Under the Sea' dance, Doc In the first film, when he and Marty are in the '50s and are refers to it as 'rhythmic, ceremonial ritual.' He's just too busy to consider romance."
Despite the fact that his romance doesn't occur until he arrives in the Old West in "Part III," Lloyd points to a moment in "Part II" where the audience gets a subtle hint of what might be in the offing. "In 'Part II' Doc casually mentions to Marty that he's going to dismantle the time machine and possibly turn his attention to one of the other great unexplained mysteries of life--women. Even though he only mentions it in passing, I think it's a significant moment for him in that he's finally starting to accept the concept of a relationship.
"More than anything, I think Doc realizes that he has nobody to share his sense of incessant curiosity and the thrill of discovery with. He values his relationship with Marty, but he needs something more. He enjoys being able to show Marty the wonders of the universe, but when Doc goes home, there's nobody there. Of course none of it really makes any sense, until he rescues a woman from the runaway buckboard and finds himself looking into Clara's eyes."
When Doc finally meets the woman of his dreams, Lloyd had to add a previously unexplored dimension to his character. "As he pulls her from the buckboard and into his saddle," says Lloyd, "in one sense, everything comes into focus for the Doc. But at the same time, he loses sight of some very important concerns. In the first two films, it is the Doc who makes the rules and sets the boundaries of the space-time continuum. When he falls in love, he ignores those rules more than Marty ever did."
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 Cundy, 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