Continuity mistake: Either the first shot has a gratuitous view of the fort or the composite people neglected to add the fort in the second shot. Norrington says, "...this is the day that Capt. Jack Sparrow almost escaped. Take him away." The night shot that follows, shows the bridge archway, and beyond it the pier, Interceptor, the fort and its parapet. After Will breaks Jack out of prison, they approach the same archway and beyond it is the pier and Interceptor, but in this shot we don't see the fort and its parapet, nor the line that Jack slid down the day before. The camera angle is exactly the same.
Continuity mistake: When Jack holds the chain to Elizabeth's neck, and subsequently swings about, there are about ten links between the wrist shackles. When he tosses the links over the rope, before he slides down, there are at least fifteen attached links. Then at the blacksmith shop, when Jack sits at the anvil, there are eight links, and after he breaks it there are three links dangling from the right shackle and seven dangling from the left, totaling ten.
Visible crew/equipment: When the Interceptor is totally blasted by the explosion of the gun powder deck and after Pintel says, "Any of you so much as thinks the word 'parley,' I'll have your guts for garters," just when Elizabeth goes under the rope, one can see a man with headphones on his head and a megaphone in his hand in the lower left corner of the screen - it looks like Gore Verbinski, the director.
Factual error: During Jack's sliding down the rope scene, it is very noticeable that each one of the English soldiers fire their weapons more than once, which is impossible for that time, knowing that repetition weapons weren't invented until the mid 1800's.
Continuity mistake: Aboard the Pearl, in the close-up of Elizabeth hiding the dinner knife in the napkin, the base of the decorative embossed silver knife handle (area of bolster, where the blade meets the handle) is flat all the way around. However, oddly enough, when she stabs Barbossa moments later, in the close-up of the knife protruding from Barbossa's chest there are two wide ridges circling the base - obviously a different knife.
Revealing mistake: When the Black Pearl swings alongside the Interceptor for the battle, Elizabeth shouts, "Fire all!" The next shot is from behind the lit cannon which is aimed at the Pearl and the following shot faces the Interceptor's cannon, as it goes off. In the shot facing the Interceptor, the raw wood scaffolding type beams are perfectly visible at the entire lower part of the screen, where the painted planks (below the gun ports, above the bilges) of the hull should be. (This is ONLY visible on the video version.)
Revealing mistake: After Gillette locks the shackles on Jack's wrists, it is clear in Jack and Elizabeth's close-ups that the wider side of the shackles' distinctively shaped straight bar faces out at his wrists. However, when Jack is in the blacksmith shop, sitting at the anvil trying to break the links, the left shackle is actually around his wrist the opposite way. (This even occurs in other consecutive shots.)
Continuity mistake: When Will delivers the sword to Governor Swann, watch the clock on the wall. While Will is waiting, the time is 09:45am. When Gov. Swann enters the room, the time is 09:40am.
Visible crew/equipment: At the blacksmith shop, Jack and Will start to duel and Jack asks, "But how's your footwork?" In the next close-up shot of their feet, the imprint of a modern, flat bottom trainer/sneaker sole can be seen on the dirt floor at the bottom right of the screen. It is not the imprint of a heel and sole of the time period. As a point of interest, on the video version of this film there are multiple imprints visible.
Visible crew/equipment: When the dock master tells Jack, "Hold up there you. It's a shilling...," seen in the background on the left of the screen is a thatched roof enclosure. An orange aluminum ladder is sitting under the thatch. Many of the crew's orange aluminum ladders of various heights can be seen on DVD 2.
Continuity mistake: When Jack sails toward Port Royal, he passes the skeletal remains of hanged pirates, to whom he pays a respectful bow. First, there are two wideshots of the skeletons, then in the close-up they are actually wearing more clothing, particularly the strapping middle guy, whose head position differs, and his straw hat is larger as well.
Visible crew/equipment: When Jack and Barbossa duel in the cave, Barbossa hits Jack in the face. Barbossa yells, "Aaaah," and Jack takes off running with his arms waving wildly in the air. In this shot, as Jack waves his arms, at the bottom right corner of the screen, the wood scaffolding that was built for the cave set can be seen near the rocks in the water. The cave set scaffolding can be seen being built on Disc 2 of the DVD.
Visible crew/equipment: Jack is in one of the boats with Norrington and his men, at Isla de Muerta. Norrington looks through the telescope, saying that he doesn't care for the situation and in the wide shot, when Jack says, "Not if you're the one doing the ambushing," in the water, to the right of the boat, a crew member's green flipper can be seen coming up out of the water. The divers kept the boats steady while filming.
Continuity mistake: When Barbossa takes the sword out of his own chest, he then stabs Jack with that sword, and he stabs Jack right under the strap and buckle. As Jack walks backwards, into the moonlight, the skeletal Jack appears and now he has the sword over the strap and buckle, in his chest. The length of the sword between the guard and his chest differs greatly, as does the amount of sword that protrudes from his back.
Continuity mistake: When Jack jumps down from the mast yard arm on the Jolly Mon to bail water, in the far wide shot, the mast pennant lies still, yet blows wildly in the previous shots and the bottom left of the sail is caught up on line from the rigging, but in the following shots, it's not. Also, in the wide shot he starts to walk to the middle of the boat, and he puts his arms out as he's starting to pass to the right of the mast. In the next close-up of Jack, he's passing the mast on the other side.
Visible crew/equipment: After Will tells Jack that he can get him out of prison, he lifts a wooden bench to use for leverage and says, "And the proper application of strength..." In the next close-up of the bench as it's positioned at the cell bars, a crewmember's fingers are gripping one of the bars at the bottom right corner of the screen. (This is ONLY visible on VHS.)
Visible crew/equipment: Before being marooned on the 'spit of land,' Elizabeth stands on the Pearl's gangplank. In her close-ups, with the island in the distance, the long 'metal pipe' guardrails are visible behind her in three shots where she is still wearing the dress. The pipes are also visible behind Johnny Depp (Jack) in three shots, including when Barbossa says, "That be the same little island we made you governor of..." In all other shots of the gangplank there are NO guardrails surrounding the actual gangplank while it's extended over the water. (This is ONLY visible on VHS, but can also be seen on DVD 2 and DVD 3 - 'The Lost Disc'.)
Visible crew/equipment: Just after Will cuts the lines from the Interceptor to the Dauntless, the Interceptor is shown leaving. The next shot is of the back wood plank between the ships falling away. On the deck of the Interceptor, behind the railing, on the right of the screen, is a crew member ducking down, so as not to be seen by the camera.
Revealing mistake: Pintel and Ragetti fire the chain link cannonball, and it hits the square rigged mast aboard Interceptor. There's a shot of two men falling from the top of the mast, just before Interceptor's mast crashes onto the Pearl. They are NOT part of Jack's crew, who are all accounted for aboard the Pearl later. The only one of Jack's crew to die is the Asian man, when he's stabbed by a pirate and falls overboard. Nor can they be Barbossa's crew, because they haven't boarded yet. Nice dramatic effect though!!
Visible crew/equipment: As Norrington says in the wide shot, "Jack Sparrow, isn't it?" to which Jack replies, "Captain Jack Sparrow, if you please sir," there is a black-haired crew member wearing a white shirt who is crouched down behind Jack. Really! He's also visible when Mullroy says, "These are his sir." (Visible ONLY on the video version.)
Continuity mistake: When Elizabeth walks the Black Pearl's gangplank, we see that it is long and out of swords' reach. When it is Jack's turn to jump, the crew is up on him (with swords) because Jack is at the start of the plank. Barbossa then throws the gun into the water. Then, when Jack takes off after it, his dive is taken from the end of the plank without having moved there.
Factual error: Captain Norrington is "promoted" to Commodore. However, commodore was not a rank in the British navy (it is now, not then), but a posting. A post captain could be appointed commodore (meaning he commanded more than one vessel) for a specific task, but when that task was completed, he became a post captain again. A promotion would have made Norrington an admiral.
Factual error: When Will delivers the new sword to Governor Swann, look behind Governor Swann. There is an oval painting hanging on the wall. It is a Thomas Kinkade portrait, which would never grace the walls of the mansion. Thomas Kinkade is a modern artist.
Visible crew/equipment: On the dock, when Jack grabs the rope, flies up and escapes, the cannon comes crashing down onto the dock. When the wood planks break (pre-cut wood), two Marines fall into the hole. Seen hanging under two of the remaining fixed wood planks are strips of tape that was used to help secure the pre-cut wood together with the fixed wood. Another view of this is also seen on DVD 2.
Visible crew/equipment: When Jack and Will duel, Jack says, "You need to find yourself a girl, mate," and he takes a mallet from above, Will ducks. In the next back shot of Will as he ducks, the back, left flap of his vest goes up. There is a battery power pack secured with black tape to the left side at the back of Orlando Bloom's pants' waistband. There are several shots during this scene when a small bulge under the back of his vest can be seen.
Visible crew/equipment: Will grabs the red hot sword and during the 'white light', Will's sleeve becomes translucent so the cable attached to the hilt is seen inside Will's right sleeve. When Will thrusts his sword at Jack's legs, the cable's seen again and the bulge under the vest is from the battery pack. In the close-up, their arms in the air, Will's left hand is about to grab Jack's wrist and the cable is seen openly at Will's wrist, going from the hilt into his right sleeve. The cable's hidden in Orlando Bloom's shirt and is powered by the battery pack (mentioned in another mistake), to supply the power for the spark effect of the sword. (On disc 2, Marc and Tony, rehearse this particular sword sequence and the two cables leading from the hilt are seen dragging on the floor as they duel. On the video, the cables are visible on Johnny and Orlando.)
Continuity mistake: At the beginning, when young Elizabeth is holding the medallion and spots the Black Pearl, we can see part of the medallion's back. It's an Aztec design, not a skull. At Elizabeth's blood ritual, when the medallion is dropped into the chest and spins over itself, both sides of the medallion are the same Aztec skull.