Michael J. Fox had a wonderful career packed with hits in both TV and film, but his most famous role has got to be that of Marty McFly in the Back to the Future film trilogy. He looks back on the movies, acknowledging his amazing performance, but it turns out the movies didn’t come without serious risks.
A video was released by WatchMojo (via CheatSheet) which talks about some of the actor injuries you can see occur in movies. In it, they talk about a scene in Back to the Future Part III in which Fox’s Marty McFly travels back in time to 1885 to save Doc Brown from certain death. But as soon as he arrives, he encounters Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen, aka Biff from the earlier films, played by Tom Wilson.
During shooting, Fox volunteered to do one of the close-up scenes of his near hanging while the stunt performers did the wide shots. During one of these close-up takes, Fox was accidentally hanged long enough for him to lose consciousness. Fortunately, he was not seriously hurt by the stunt gone wrong, but you can still see the actor’s very real struggle in the scene when watching the movie.
This wasn’t the first close call on the set of a BTTF film. According to Cracked, a stunt performer was set to do in the scene where Griff was chasing Marty with his crew in the hoverboard sequence. When they go for Marty over the water, and he jumps in the water, the group was set to crash through the windows of the clock tower. Several issues were noted while testing the stunt, and the original stunt performer backed out.
Stunt professional Cheryl Wheeler took on the stunt, even though there were questions as to the safety. When it was recorded, last-minute adjustments caused it to go wrong, which you can see play out in the Rather. Instead of Wheeler going through the window, she instead hits the pillar to the side of the window. This miscalculation also caused her to fall outside instead of inside, where the safety pads were located. Wheeler suffered numerous injuries, but she resumed completing stunts in Hollywood after the accident.
You can also see this scene below. It’s too bad that both these stunts went wrong, but it’s good to know that each of the actors came out of the film safely. I