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Catch Me If You Can

Factual error: On the plane, while being escorted by FBI agents, Frank Jr sees New York's LaGuardia Airport and says, "There it is, LaGuardia Airport, runway 44." A runway numbered 44 is impossible. No runway can be numbered over 36 because there are 360 degrees in a circle.

Factual error: In the scene where Handratty hits the button to stop the press, suddenly individual checks come flying up from the press. This could not happen. On such a large press the checks would be printed several up on a large sheet of paper, to be cut down after printing is completed.

Factual error: In a telephone conversation scene between Frank and Handratty, Frank is using a phone that has a plug type receiver. The phones in that era were all hard wired.

Factual error: In the street scene after Frank buys his airline uniform, he crosses the street in front of two buses. Behind one of the buses you can see a Federal Express truck. The movie is set in 1964; FedEx began operations in 1973; the FedEx logo on the truck was introduced in 1994.

Continuity mistake: As the plane lands in New York, there is a brief shot of the landing gear where a modern wide jet engine nacelle is visible. In all other shots the correct long skinny 60's style nacelle is seen.

Factual error: The nurse in the hospital wearing braces has the stick on braces, which were not available at that time. The only type available had wrap around bands.

Factual error: In an early scene where Frank Sr. and Jr. go to the Chase Manhattan bank in New York (1962) a Duane Reade Drug Store with new (1998) store signage is seen in the background.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Carl comes to the engagement party to arrest Frank, it is so windy that when the window in the bedroom is left open, money is flying all around. However, the shots of the party outside show a calm night with no wind at all.

Factual error: In the scene where Frank first meets the candy striper at the nurses' station, you can see a gray Notifier annunciator for the fire alarm system on the wall. These are for a digital system that could not have been around at that time.

Factual error: When Frank's mother takes him to the non-private school and he urges his mother not to smoke, in the background, through the car window, you'll see a light-colored Chevrolet Kingswood Estate Wagon driving by, of a 1970 vintage.

Audio problem: When Handratty is in France telling Frank that there are 20 officers outside, you can see when the camera turns to Frank, Handratty's mouth is still moving despite the fact that he is not talking.

Factual error: The green-capped McCormick spices on the spice rack in the apartment were not available in the early 1960s.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Frank is eating dinner with Amy Adam and her family his napkin is in a different spot in each shot.

Continuity mistake: About 3/4 of the way through the movie, it shows Frank and Handratty on a plane back to the US. Frank has been resting his head on a small pillow against the window and pulls it down. Next shot, he pulls it down from the window again.

Factual error: When Frank is arrested in France, Handratty bends over to look at him through the rear window of the police car. You can clearly see the lines of the window defogger on Handratty's face. Cars did not have electric defoggers like that in the late 1960s.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Frank is pulling down the second suitcase of money from the top of the bed canopy while talking frantically to Brenda, the large portion of the suitcase is initially on top when the suitcase is put on the bed. But when the camera returns to another shot of the suitcase as Frank is opening it, the large portion of the suitcase is on the bottom.

Factual error: When Handratty presses the emergency stop button at the printers, it causes paper to fly all over the place. Pressing the emergency stop would also stop the sheet feeder, and therefore stop the paper feeding through the press.

Phil Watts

Factual error: On the letter from Frank Jr. to Frank Sr. with the Atlanta return address, the stamp used had not yet been issued by the date of postmark (September 12, 1965). The stamp, the sheet version of the 5-cent "unshaven" George Washington (Scott Catalogue No. 1283), was not issued until February 22, 1966.

Factual error: When the family is leaving the home they had just sold, the shingles on the roof are laminate shingles which were not invented until the 1970's. And that particular style was not developed till the 1990's.

Continuity mistake: In the scene after Frank gets his uniform, when he is walking on the sidewalk the overhead shot shows a wet sidewalk, but in the next shot you can see behind Frank that the sidewalk is now dry.

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Trivia

The real Frank Abagnale Jr. was held in the French prison (Perpignan's House of Arrest) for approximately six months. His term was shortened from twelve months. When released (extradited to Sweden), he was quite ill because he was forced to live in a damp, dark cell, naked and allowed only bread and water to eat. He was next sent to Sweden, where he was tried and convicted. The Swedish prison was quite comfortable. However, upon completion of his prison term in Sweden, he was next to be extradited to Italy. The Swedish government believes in prison reform and was afraid of the treatment he would receive in an Italian prison. As a result, Sweden revoked Frank's passport so it could intentionally have him extradited to the U.S. Once in the US, he was protected and couldn't be tried in all the foreign countries he perpetrated his fraudulent schemes. This can all be confirmed in the book, which is a much more accurate depiction of his life and was written approximately 10 years prior to the release of the movie.

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