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Red Dawn

Continuity mistake: The license plate on Daryl's (the mayor's son) shot-up Pontiac is J5-40T3. In the next scene, the Chevy with the bumper sticker has the same license plate.


Factual error: The Russians use a beeping "radio direction finder" to find the partisans by detecting a bug swallowed by the Mayor's son. In closeups the "direction finder" is seen to be an impedance meter (used for measuring AC resistance) - it's labeled "X=(down arrow) x (up arrow)(omega)". X is the standard abbreviation for impedance, omega means "ohms" (the unit of impedance/resistance), so the label says "impedance is lower dial times upper dial, in ohms". There is a piece of spiral twisted wire across the terminals of the impedance meter which would be useless for radio direction finding.

Red Dawn mistake picture

Factual error: When the Russian tank rolls up to the two gas pumps, the crew have a choice of regular gasoline (as indicated on the pump), or Good Gulf (a premium gasoline). And in fact one of the tankers tells the attendant, "Gasoline." The trouble is, all Soviet tanks, from the T-34 up through the T-80, have diesel engines for safety reasons.

Revealing mistake: When Col. Tanner is on top of the Russian tank, he is firing his pistol into it. After a few shots, you can see that the slide on his gun locks back, showing that the gun is empty. Tanner does not reload, but is none the less able to keep shooting afterwards.


Factual error: When the Soviet airborne troops first drop into Calumet in the first few scenes of the movie they are using US Army issue parachutes - MC1-1B.

Visible crew/equipment: When Jeds drives into town to escape the Russians and hits a car, you can see the police and spectators farther down the street, where they had closed off the street for filming.

Red Dawn mistake picture

Factual error: In the opening scene of the movie, the Soviet paratroopers are seen wearing smooth, black, leather parachute helmets. But Soviet Paratroopers have always worn tan, cloth parachute helmets with ridges that resembled tanker helmets.

Other mistake: During the scene at the Arapaho National Forest sign, the soldier translates, "Roosevelt leading imperialist army and cowboys putting down a great peasant uprising... 35,000 dead... etc. etc." Yet the sign only reads, "Founded by Roosevelt under the forest service act of 1908 comprises acres of virgin timberland of..." No info of any battle is displayed.

Kurt Christensen

Revealing mistake: In the beginning of the movie, when the teacher is shot, the impacts on his chest are out of sync with the actual gunfire. First, we see the soldier start shooting, but he fires several shots at point blank range before the bulletholes and blood appear on the teacher. Also, as the angle changes, the teacher falls backwards with more impacts appearing on his chest. The problem is, the soldier has already stopped shooting, and there is no other gunfire to be heard.


Revealing mistake: Early in the film, when the boys shoot the deer - there is no actual shot that comes out of the shotgun. He pulls the gun back, simulating a shot, and the Sound FX is perfectly placed, but there is no shot coming out of that gun.


Continuity mistake: In the scene at the beginning where the black teacher is shot, right after a Russian soldier starts shooting at the students through the windows of the school, when this happens the camera cuts to show all of the students in the room dropping down for protection, then the camera cuts back to the soldier firing again. The camera then once again cuts back to the students but now there is a dead student lying on the windows that had ducked in the prior cut before.

Red Dawn mistake picture

Continuity mistake: After the helicopter attack where Toni and Robert are killed, the Russian helicopters land about forty feet apart, the officers get out and walk to meet each other at the halfway point. For the rest of the scene, they are right next to one of the helicopters.

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According to the Guinness Book of World Records at the time, this film held the record for being the most violent movie ever made, with scenes of violence every five minutes.


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