If you grew up in the 70s and 80s like I did, you were probably much more aware of the Back to the Future films than Midnight Cowboy, the Oscar winning redemption tale from 1969 that was so controversial it was slapped with a X rating. But I’ll bet you didn’t know about the on-screen connection between them.
In Back to the Future Part II, Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) is following his future son (also played by Fox) around the town square of Hill Valley in 2015. The young McFly is klutzy and easily distracted, and when crossing the street, a futuristic car screeches to a halt when it almost hits him, the driver laying on the horn.
Cue McFly’s angry cry of “I’m walkin’ here, I’m walkin’ here!” It’s an homage to the same line Midnight Cowboy’s Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) yells at a cab while he makes his clumsy way through the streets of New York. It’s long been said (including by Hoffman) the line was ad libbed when the cab drove too fast into the shot, but director John Schlesigner later insisted the line was scripted.