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WarGames (1983)

38 mistakes

Directed by: John Badham

Starring: Ally Sheedy, Dabney Coleman, John Wood, Matthew Broderick

Genres: Drama, Thriller

Factual error: When they launch the F-16's to intercept the Soviet "Backfire" Bomber, the picture shown is of two F-15's. In addition, no F-16's were stationed in Alaska to handle air defense duties, this was handled exclusively by F-15A/C's.

Continuity mistake: During David Lightman's escape from the infirmary, notice the hands of the guard officer - he's wearing his gloves, and the next instant they have disappeared, and reappear in the next scene.

Revealing mistake: In the scene where David starts the game with Joshua, it asks him what side he wants to be (1 for the U.S. and 2 for USSR). Look carefully at the closeup of the computer screen - his choice, 2, appears long before David actually presses the key.

Audio problem: When Jennifer gives David a ride home near the beginning of the movie, you hear David's dog barking. In the next shot, we see the dog is running down the front path and it barks a couple more times. Look closely at its mouth, it's not barking.

Continuity mistake: McKittrick asks David, whom he was going to Paris with. However, the reservation was made in Jennifer's name, not David's.

Jacob La Cour

Continuity mistake: Towards the end when the NORAD door is closing, they keep showing it opened further from shot to shot in order to delay how quickly the door actually is closing vs. how slow it really would have had to move in order to allow David and Dr. Falken to actually have still made it in.


Factual error: At one point, WOPR shows 22 Soviet subs leaving port. The map shows the Kola Peninsula, in the Arctic, bordering Norway and Finland. But the speaker say's they're departing Petropavlovsk, which is on the Kamchatka Peninsula, 4000 miles to the east, near Japan.


Continuity mistake: When David first talks to Joshua through the computer, Joshua types the word -mistakes- on the screen but two shots later, it is spelled mistak.

William Bergquist

Factual error: During the part where they're in NORAD and watching all of the Soviet "nukes" hit various bases in the US, a base in northern Maine is listed as, "Loring AFB 43 Bomb Wing." This was a real air force base, but it was the 42nd Bomb Wing that flew B-52s out of Loring. The 43rd Bomb Wing did exist, too, but it was based at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in the North Pacific.

Continuity mistake: The 1 minute 30 second countdown takes almost 2 minutes and 30 seconds, despite it being a continuous shot. And the last 10 seconds takes at least 13 seconds, despite each number being counted down out loud.


Continuity mistake: In the very beginning, when the Air Force brass land at SAC in the helicopter, they get into a 2 door Jeep Cherokee. After they enter the tunnel and stop to get out, they exit a 2 door Jeep Cherokee Chief - the wide wheel well model, not the standard one they first got into.


Factual error: In two different scenes, Matthew Broderick lifts the phone receiver off his modem-once during the scene where it's dialing numbers in Sunnyvale, CA, and again when WOPR keeps calling his phone trying to reconnect. In both cases, the activity on the screen should have disappeared, since lifting the phone off the modem cradle disconnects the signal. Yet the computer somehow manages to keep dialing numbers, or display the running game clock on the simulation, without any interruption.

Andrew Bauer

Other mistake: When David first logs into the system after finding the right password, it shows a phone # beginning with the prefix 936. The only problem was that earlier when his computer was dialing numbers, he had not gotten to 936 yet. That was the 4th prefix and he only got through the first 3. There is no way he could have dialed that number with his computer program.

Continuity mistake: When David and Jennifer leave Falken's house, it is fully dark out. When the helicopter is shown flying around to pick them up, the sky changes from fully dark to some twilight in the sky, depending on the angle shown.

Continuity mistake: The tour group comes in and they trick the black lady into pressing the red "launch" button that displays the welcome on the screen. Just before she presses it she has a 35 mm camera hanging around her neck, but in the next shot of the group standing in front of the panel her camera is gone.


Audio problem: When Jennifer gives David a ride home near the beginning of the film, as David gets on her bike, she looks round and tells him to "Hop on" without moving her lips.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Joshua is going through the possible strikes, the US strike was done first followed by USSR's strike. However, when you see the list of strikes and the results, USSR is listed before US.


Visible crew/equipment: When the FBI van pulls up in front of the 7-11 to take Broderick away, lights and other rigging are reflected in the van.

William Bergquist

Continuity mistake: When Matthew Broderick is first at his computer the screen is large and has an external modem on top. Later there is a close up shot of the keyboard and the monitor. At this point the monitor is completely different and much smaller. Then shortly afterwards you can see the larger monitor again with the modem on top (behind Ally Sheedy) while it war dials numbers. Shortly after that, the monitor changes again. You can also see the changes with the color and the "side handles" used for carrying. I counted three different monitors being used.

Factual error: In the first scene with the computer (when Ally Sheedy visits) Matthew Broderick puts the handset on to the modem coupler with the cord toward him, then pushes the button on the modem which is facing him. A shortly while later he is at the computer and he puts the handset backwards with the cord away from him and pushes the button which is still facing towards him. The modem would not have worked properly, since it needs to send and receive through the respective ear and mouth pieces.

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David: What kind of an asshole lives on an island and he doesn't even have a boat?
Jennifer: Maybe we can swim for it. How far do you think it is?
David: No, it's uh, 2 or 3 miles at least, maybe more.
Jennifer: Well, what do you say? Let's go for it.
David: No.
Jennifer: Come on!
David: No! I can't swim
Jennifer: You can't swim?
David: No, I can't. Okay, Wonder Woman? I can't swim.
Jennifer: Well, what kind of an asshole grows up in Seattle and doesn't even know how to swim?



Closely listen to the TV playing in the background, when Mathew Broderick comes home from school, before all his trouble starts with the Feds. The local news is on, and is saying "a fire broke out in a prophylactic recycling factory."


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