Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Bob Gale asks Universal to destroy a censored cut of Back To The Future Part II

Illustration for article titled Bob Gale asks Universal to destroy a censored cut of iBack To The Future Part II/i
Photo: Renard Garr (Getty Images)

If there’s one message that’s most clearly transmitted by the Back To The Future films, it’s that messing with the past can be dangerous. (If there are two messages, the other is that kids should go out of the way to befriend their local deranged weirdos, because it usually works out fine.) Hence, presumably, the ire that broke out when fans of the franchise noticed that a recent Netflix version of the series’ second movie contained a few moments of inexplicable censorship. Specifically, it cut part of the scene from Back To The Future Part II where Marty McFly realizes that his nemesis Biff has swapped the cover off his copy of Grays Sports Almanac onto a soft-core porn magazine, thus foiling his hopes of fixing the timeline. Besides denying audiences the chance for some extremely mild 1950s titillation, it also removes the moment where Michael J. Fox yells “Ooh Lá Lá? Ooh Lá Lá?!” which is one of those random weird line readings that’s been lodged in our head for the last 20 years, and which is obviously extremely important to preserve.

Anyway, screenwriter Bob Gale wasn’t having it; once alerted to the strange alterations, he notified Netflix, who in turn contacted Universal to swap out the version of the film for one more in keeping with the original movie’s spirit. THR talked to Gale about the mix-up, and he revealed that it really wasn’t the streamer’s fault; they had apparently been provided with a copy from Universal that “was a foreign version which neither director Robert Zemeckis nor I even knew existed, for some country that had a problem with the Oh La La magazine cover,” Gale said. He went on to note that he had asked for that cut to be “destroyed”—which, metal—so such a mix-up could never occur again.


And while we’re going to spend the rest of the day trying to figure out which English-language-dominant country would have a problem with light 1950s porn—truly, the most wholesome and American of pornographies—we’re at least happy to know that the timeline has once again been restored to its proper, extremely mildly horny shape.

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