Hill Valley (Back to the Future)


Hill Valley (Back to the Future)

Hill Valley is a fictional California town that serves as the setting of the "Back to the Future" trilogy and its . In the trilogy, Hill Valley is seen in four different time periods (1885, 1955, 1985 and 2015) as well as in a dystopian alternate 1985. The films contain many sight gags, verbal innuendos and detailed set design elements, from which a detailed and consistent history of the area can be derived.

The name "Hill Valley" is itself a joke, being an oxymoron. However, an early script for "Back to the Future Part II" mentioned that Hill Valley was named after its founder, William "Bill" Hill. The name is also strikingly similar to that of Mill Valley, a real city in California.

Shooting locations

For "Back to the Future", the producers considered filming the town square scenes in the real city of Petaluma, California, but soon realized it would be prohibitively expensive and impractical to alter a real place to suit the different eras.cite video
people = Bob Gale
title = Production Design: Back to the Future Part II
medium = DVD special feature
publisher = MCA Universal
location =
date = 2002
] Instead they filmed it on the Universal Studios backlot, where they had more control.Robert Zemickis and Bob Gale, "Q&A", Back to the Future [DVD] , recorded at the University of Southern California] The main location, known as Courthouse Square, already existed and had been previously used for many films and television shows. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Gallery
work = Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour
publisher = Universal Studios Inc.
date =
url = http://themeparks.universalstudios.com/hollywood/website/st_gallery.html
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2006-12-01
] The Hill Valley courthouse can also be found in the movies "Bruce Almighty", "Gremlins", "Bye Bye Birdie", "Sneakers", "The Offspring"'s music video "Why Don't You Get a Job?" and even in an episode of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer". The clock tower itself, however, was a removable addition to the existing Courthouse building, one of many ways in which the structure has been redressed over the years to suit the needs of a production. Prior to "Back to the Future", the backlot location was called Mockingbird Square, a reference to the 1962 film "To Kill a Mockingbird".

* The "Universal Studios Backlot" location: [http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&z=19&ll=34.141393,-118.349753&spn=0.001614,0.003589&t=k&om=1 google maps] , [http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=ppq4yb543sd6&style=o&lvl=1&scene=6818045 Live Local]

Many of the cars that appear in the 2015 scenes are either modified for the film or concept cars. Examples include Ford Probe, Saab EV-1, Citroën DS 21, Pontiac Banshee Concept, Pontiac Fiero and VW Beetle Bug. Cars reused from other science fiction films include the "Star Car" from "The Last Starfighter" (1984) and a "Spinner" from "Bladerunner" (1982). Griff's car is a modified BMW convertible.cite video
people = Universal
title = Universal Animated Anecdotes: Back to the Future Part II
medium = DVD special feature
publisher = MCA Universal
location =
date = 2002
]

For "Back to the Future Part III", Hill Valley 1885 was filmed in Sonora, California. The producers were able to use the land rent free as long as they left the buildings there. They agreed to leave everything except the Clock Tower. Interestingly, on August 10, 1996, a lightning bolt struck the town and it burned down. An arson fire on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot on November 6, 1990 had previously destroyed much of Courthouse Square, the setting in which all the other time periods were filmed. However, the Courthouse itself survived the devastation. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Universal Studios Hollywood History File: November 6 1990
work = thestudiotour.com
publisher = www.theatrecrafts.com/
date =
url = http://thestudiotour.com/ush/backlot/fire_1990.shtml
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2006-12-01
] Another backlot fire on September 6, 1997 again damaged Courthouse Square. In both cases, the backlot facades were then rebuilt. The Sonora location was not rebuilt. In addition, a February 14, 1999 fire at Whittier High School, California, where some (mostly exterior) scenes were filmed,cite web
last = Gordon
first = Bruce
authorlink = Bruce Gordon
coauthors =
title = Back to the Future - For Real!
work = www.BTTF.com, reprinted from Hill Valley Telegraph #16
publisher = To Be Continued...
date = 1995
url = http://www.bttf.com/forreal.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2006-12-03
] destroyed the old men's gym there. On June 1, 2008, yet another fire destroyed part of the rebuilt Courthouse Square backlot and damaged the clock tower. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Huge fire burns movie sets at Universal Studios
work = www.msnbc.msn.com/
publisher = www.msnbc.msn.com/
date =
url = http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24916515/
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-06-01
] [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Courthouse Square
work = thestudiotour.com
publisher = www.theatrecrafts.com/
date =
url = http://thestudiotour.com/ush/backlot/courthousesquare.shtml
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-01-30
]

Other real-life shooting locations of Hill Valley landmarks include the following:cite web
last = Gordon
first = Bruce
authorlink = Bruce Gordon
coauthors =
title = Back to the Future - For Real!
work = www.BTTF.com, reprinted from Hill Valley Telegraph #16
publisher = To Be Continued...
date = 1995
url = http://www.bttf.com/forreal.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2006-12-03
]
* Doc's house in 1955 is the Gamble House in Pasadena, California.
* Twin Pines Mall is actually the Puente Hills Mall, located in Industry, California.
* Marty's Lyon Estates house in 1985 is actually on Roslyndale Avenue in Panorama City, California.
* Peabody's Twin Pines Ranch is really at Golden Oaks Ranch, which is owned by The Walt Disney Company and used in many Disney productions.
* The houses of George McFly and Lorraine Baines in 1955 are both in South Pasadena, California.
* The train hit the De Lorean and the Futuristic Train was parked in Port Hueneme, California.
* John F. Kennedy Drive is actually Victory Boulevard in Burbank, California.

History

The following information is taken directly from places and events shown or mentioned in the three films:

Early settlement

The town of Hill Valley was first settled in 1850 and was incorporated in 1865 . By the 1880s, it was connected by railroad to San Francisco. Construction of a new county courthouse was well underway in 1885, the year a new clock was dedicated for the building. The Shonash Ravine Bridge was completed in the summer of 1886, around the same time the ravine was renamed the Eastwood Ravine (or Clayton Ravine, depending upon which timeline one focuses upon).

Rise and fall of town square

The area around the courthouse was developed in the following seventy years and by the 1950s had become the downtown of Hill Valley. A grass-covered town square was built in front of the courthouse, while stores, theatres and cafés opened on the surrounding streets. On Saturday, November 12 1955, at 10:04 p.m. PST, lightning struck the courthouse's clock tower, freezing the clock at 10:04. The clock was never repaired and as it became a landmark of Hill Valley over the years, it was preserved in its non-functional state by the Hill Valley Preservation Society. Also when Doc fell off the ledge of the clock tower part of the ledge broke away, this was never repaired either and the damage can easily be seen when Marty returns to 1985 and in 2015 but not in the Alternate 1985.

A few decades later, many of the town square businesses moved or closed down. The new businesses which replaced them included a second-hand shop and an adult book store. The courthouse fell into a state of disrepair, while at night at least one homeless person (called "Red" by Marty) slept on the town square park benches. To accommodate the growing need for parking space, the grassy park outside of the courthouse was converted into a parking lot. "That was always one of the major elements of the story even in its earliest incarnation," screenwriter Bob Gale says in "The Making of Back to the Future", "was to take a place and show what happens to it over a period of thirty years. What happened to everybody's home town is obviously the same thing. They built the mall out in the boonies, and killed all the business downtown, and everything changed."cite video
people = Les Mayfield, Director
title = The Making of Back to the Future
medium = TV special, DVD extra
publisher = MCA Universal
location =
date = 1985
]

By the 21st century, the downtown area had experienced a revival as the courthouse was converted into the Courthouse Mall. Businesses began to move back into and around the town square and the parking lot was converted into a pond. The clock on top of the courthouse was still preserved at 10:04, and the mall's logo is an illustration of a lightning bolt striking the clock tower.

Signs that say "Welcome to Hill Valley" are seen in 1955, 1985 and 2015. Both 1955 and 2015 signs have symbols representing the Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions clubs. In addition, the 1955 sign has the logos of the YMCA, Jaycees, and Future Farmers of America while the 2015 sign has those of the Neighborhood Crime Watch eye logo and the 4-H Club clover logo. The "Welcome to Hill Valley" sign in 1985 does not contain any signage representing any clubs and mentions the name of the Mayor, Goldie Wilson. In the alternate 1985 Marty is seen walking over the sign, which has been knocked down an 'E' has been spray painted over the 'I' in Hill Valley making the name "Hell Valley." This sign does not display the name of the mayor but instead the words "A Nice Place to Live" as also seen in 1955.

Alternate history

In "Back to the Future Part II", a nightmarish alternate history of Hill Valley is depicted. Due to the influence of the powerful and corrupt Biff Tannen, gambling was legalized in 1979. Tannen's toxic waste reclamation plants were built downtown, polluting the air and leading to pollution alerts to be issued. All of the local businesses in the downtown area closed or relocated and were replaced with strip clubs and brothels. Tannen also bought off the police. Consequently, crime increased and biker gangs settled in the city. Hill Valley's public school burned down and the courthouse was converted into Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise Casino and Hotel. The clock on the courthouse still remains at 10:04.

Location

The films establish Hill Valley as being located in Northern California, 12 miles east of Grass Valley, and with railway links to San Francisco. The main problem with this location is that when Doc and Marty arrive back in Hill Valley at 6:00 AM on November 12, 1955 in "Back to the Future Part II", Doc states that sunrise is 22 minutes away. This is consistent with the actual time of sunrise for Los Angeles, California on that date (6:22 AM PST). Further evidence against Hill Valley being located in Northern California, particularly the Grass Valley area, is provided by the time of sunrise on that date for that locale (6:43 AM PST). U.S. Route 395 passes through Hill Valley with a directional route shield posted near the Town Square, also indicating a nearby U.S. Route 8. Hill Valley's Courthouse Square is located directly below Skyway C12 in the year 2015, which leads to Phoenix, Boston, and London. The town is nestled in rolling foothills, with an apparently temperate, albeit semi-arid climate, and, according to "Back to the Future III", although there is a desert within walking distance of the town, the nearby lake freezes over in the winter.

Recurring places

Many family businesses are passed down from generation to generation in Hill Valley. As a result, the city changes but remains similar from one generation to the next, as businesses are updated but rarely change. These recurring elements were a deliberate choice on the part of the filmmakers. The production designer of "Back to the Future Part II", Rick Carter, is quoted in a DVD extra as saying, "The future is built on the present." Director Robert Zemeckis adds that the continuity between the different eras in Hill Valley's history is an example of the adage, "the more things change, the more they stay the same".cite video
people = Universal
title = Production Notes: Back to the Future Part II
medium = DVD special feature
publisher = MCA Universal
location =
date = 2002
]

The following is a list of such places. When a place is not seen or mentioned in a movie, it is marked "unknown". When a place is not generally changed since previous era, it is marked "The same". Some buildings shown in 1885 scenes are actually located further down the street in an area not shown in the first 2 movies.

Unique places

Despite Hill Valley's notable consistency, many businesses do appear and disappear over the years, as their services begin being needed or become obsolete. The following is a list of businesses that have no known equivalent in other time periods.

1885

*Wells Fargo & Co.
*Marshal's office
*General Mercantile
*Gunsmith
*Bath House
*Dress Maker
*Undertaking
*Cabinet Maker
*Meat Market
*Blacksmith

1955

*Hill Valley Stationers
*Armstrong Realty
*Louis Watch Maker
*Gaynor's Hideaway
*Roy's Records
*Elite Barber
*Blue Bird Motel
*Western Auto
*Hal's Bike Shop

1985

*Dept. of Social Services
*Cupid's Adult Book Store
*Goodwill Industries
*The Third Eye
*Hog Heaven
*Broadway Florist
*Burger King
*Toys "R" Us
*JCPenney (in the mall)
*Robinson's (in the mall)
*Fox Photo (mall parking lot)

Alternate 1985

*Biffco Realty
*Biffco Nuclear Power Plant

2015

*Blast From the Past
*Simulex
*True Blues
*Eclipse - Contemporary & Traditional Lighting Store
*Flying High - A Kite Store
*Hill Valley Surrogate Parenting Center
*Bottoms Up: A Plastic Surgery Franchise
*The Bot Shoppe
*Mr. Perfect All Natural Steroids
*Luxor Taxi Cab Co.
*Hill Valley Transit
*Hill Valley Gifts
*Hyatas Japanese Market
*USA Today Hill Valley Edition
*Wilson Hover Conversions
*Domino's Hardware

Twin Pines Mall

Twin Pines Mall is a fictional shopping center located in the also fictional city of Hill Valley, where the movie "Back to the Future" takes place. In the movie, the mall parking lot is where Doctor Emmett Brown first experiments his time machine, making his dog Einstein the first time traveler in the world. The site where the mall was filmed for the movie is actually Puente Hills Mall, located in City of Industry, California. The J. C. Penney location seen in the movie has been shut down, and is now occupied by a fitness center.

In the fiction, when Marty McFly comes back from 1955 to 1985, the mall happens to be the Lone Pine Mall. This is due to the fact that when Marty arrives in 1955, he is actually at the Twin Pines Ranch, which belongs to the Old Man Peabody. Trying to avoid being gunshot by Peabody, Marty races off the property and accidentally hits one of the two Peabody's prized pines, leading the place to be called "Lone Pine", since there had been only one pine tree left.

ee also

*Back to the Future
*Back to the Future trilogy

References

External links

* [http://www.bigwaste.com/bttf The Back to the Future Tour]
* [http://www.movielocationsguide.com/Back_to_the_Future/filming_locations Movie Locations Guide.com: Back to the Future filming locations]
* [http://perso.orange.fr/viney.nancy/hoverbttf/index.html Back to Hill Valley - Back to the Future]
* [http://henryherman.com/bttf/ We Love Hill Valley, Hill Valley's Online Newsletter]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Back to the Future Part II — Theatrical release poster Directed by Robert Zemeckis Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • Back to the Future II — Título Regreso al futuro II (España) Volver al futuro parte II (Hispanoamérica) Ficha técnica Dirección Robert Zemeckis Guion Robert Zeme …   Wikipedia Español

  • Back to the Future in popular culture — The Back to the Future trilogy is a comedic science fiction film trilogy written by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis, directed by Zemeckis, and distributed by Universal Pictures. The plot follows the adventures of high school student Marty McFly… …   Wikipedia

  • Back to the Future III — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Back to the Future III Título España Regreso al futuro III Hispanoamérica Volver al futuro parte III Ficha técnica Dirección Robert Zemeckis Diseño de producción …   Wikipedia Español

  • Back to the Future (serie animada) — Back to the Future: The Animated Series Título Regreso al Futuro Volver al Futuro Género Animación Creado por Bob Gale Robert Zemeckis Reparto Christopher Lloyd (Live action) Dan Castellaneta Mary Steenburgen …   Wikipedia Español

  • Back to the Future: The Game — Back to the future : The Game (Retour vers le futur : Le Jeu) est une série de jeux vidéo épisodiques publiée par Telltale Games et basée sur la trilogie Retour vers le futur mettant en vedette Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Back to the Future: The Game. Episode 1: It’s About Time — Постер первого эпизода. Разработчик …   Википедия

  • Back to the Future (jeu vidéo) — Back to the Future Éditeur LJN Electric Dreams Software Développeur Software Images (Mark Eyles, Martin Walker, Herv Jones, Mike Saxby) Date de sortie 1985 (sur micro ordinateurs), 1989 (NES) Genre Aventure …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Back to the Future Part III — Éditeur Image Works Développeur Probe Software …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Back to the Future: The Pinball — est un flipper conçu par Data East et sorti en 1990. Il est basé sur le film de Robert Zemeckis Retour vers le futur. v · Retour vers le futur Films …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.