New this month Factual error: When Ben, Riley, and Abigail are in Independence Hall in Philadelphia and roll out the Declaration of Independence to inspect with Ben Franklin's special "ocular device" that Ben had just found, Ben pauses to take in the moment. When asked what was the matter, Ben says "It's just that...the last time this was here (in Independence Hall)...It was being signed." However, according to archives.gov, "In 1876 the Declaration traveled to Philadelphia, where it was on exhibit for the Centennial National Exposition from May to October. Philadelphia's Mayor William S. Stokley was entrusted by President Ulysses S. Grant with temporary custody of the Declaration. The Public Ledger for May 8, 1876, noted that it was in Independence Hall "framed and glazed for protection, and... Deposited in a fireproof safe especially designed for both preservation and convenient display." Sorry Ben.
Factual error: As Ben is clinging to the staircase while it is falling apart, there is a close-up of a nail being pulled out of the wood. This nail is round-headed, rather than square as it would have been over 200 years ago. It's also shiny instead of rusty, which indicates that it's galvanized. Galvanization as an industrial, metal-preservation process was not patented until 1837, and was not used in building materials until well into the late-1800s. Since the film states the staircase was made by "the Founding Fathers, " and there was no galvanization of iron nails in any industrialized nation in 1780s-1830's, this is a huge anachronism.
Factual error: The sun's location horizontally changes throughout the year. Because of this, Ben, Abigail, and Riley shouldn't know where the shadow is falling, horizontally.
Continuity mistake: When Ben is first confronted at his father's car by the FBI, you can see Chase and Riley in the background standing there and then turning around and leaving. Then as they arrest Ben against the car, you can see Chase and Riley just turning the corner, noticing Ben being arrested, and leaving.
Continuity mistake: When Ben ducks into the Gift Store, there is a blonde lady in a black dress standing at the counter between Ben and the door. She steps forward out of the picture as Abigail goes by. Then as Ben starts to turn to leave the store you see her arm come back into the picture. But as Ben walks by that part of the store and the clerk says to Ben, "Are you trying to steal that?" the lady has disappeared.
Factual error: When Ben finds Charlotte buried in the ice, he would have encountered solid, thick ice. The small pick-ax he uses seems to easily break through the ice. Also, he seems to be digging through packed snow, rather than thick ice, which is indicative to the Arctic ice shelves.
Continuity mistake: When Ben puts his tool belt on the conveyor belt to go through the X-ray machine, we see the gloves are on the left and pointed down while the red, rubber encased plyer handles are approx. in middle leaning slightly to the right and no space between the plyer handles. As we watch the tool belt go through the X-ray machine, the gloves are on the right side with the plyer handles almost directly above the gloves, both handles visible and the rest of the belt all to the left.
Continuity mistake: In the catacombs under Trinity Church, the lift Ben and Abigail are standing on falls. When it jerks to a stop, Abigail falls and Ben catches her. The lift is stationary at an angle. However, in the next shot, the lift is swinging forwards, allowing Ben to throw Abigail to safety.
Continuity mistake: When we see Ian's men pull up over the grate that they are going to go down through to get to the National Archive, we see the street wet so it had to have rained, been hosed down, etc. But when one of Ian's men drops a large bag down, it whirls up a huge cloud of dust when it lands. This shouldn't have happened because there was nothing over the tunnel but a grate and some water would have gone down the tunnel, wetting the dust.
Continuity mistake: When Abigail runs down the aisle trying to find a hiding place from Shaw and Viktor, she jumps over a small space between some meat display coolers. In that shot the "butcher lady" can be seen behind a large roll of brown paper to the right of the scene. To the left of the space, behind a roll of white paper, is a second butcher. This second butcher is right next to where Abigail lands and is sitting when the first butcher lady says: "If you're not a steak, you don't belong here." But there is no one near Abigail when the camera show her sitting there, talking to the butcher lady.
Continuity mistake: When Ben walks in to the bathroom to remove his overalls, he slams the tool belt up in the corner of the counter next to side panel wall and tile wall. When Ben unzips the overalls, the tool belt is now behind the last sink's faucet with part of the belt and fastener in the middle sink. None of the tool belt is next to the side panel wall. We next see a shot where the tool belt is almost entirely in the last sink, then back to being behind the faucet.
Continuity mistake: When Ian and Ben are sitting on a couple of barrels discussing what the riddle means, there are a couple of balls hanging from chains very close to Ian's head. A scene or two later, there are a couple of oblong, round, flat bottomed things hanging down next to Ian's head that actually brush against the fur on his hood. Next scene, nothing is close to his head and then the balls come back and then nothing again.
Continuity mistake: Near the beginning of the movie when Ben, Ian and Riley are in snow CATS and we see Riley's computer screen, viewed a little from the left, and there is a jiggling hula dancer, supposedly mounted on his keyboard surface. In the background, a window has popped up showing the location and route of the two CATS. Then we hear alarm go off and we see almost the same shot but a little closer in on the computer screen. The hula girl is missing. The difference in angle and "zoom level" could not account for not seeing the hula girl in the second shot.
Continuity mistake: When we first see Dr. Chase's desk there is a Rolodex on the upper left hand side (as she is looking out over her desk). Then when Dr. Chase confirms that the FBI is right, that nobody could steal the Declaration of Independence, we see the Rolodex in the shot between her and Ben. It then disappears until Dr. Chase says, "You're treasure hunters,aren't you?" where it reappears between her and Ben. It not on her desk as Riley says "...owned by Freemasons." but reappears as Dr. Chase says, "Did Bigfoot steal it?"
Continuity mistake: This has to do with Ben getting Abigail's fingerprints off the champagne glass. When he hands her the champagne glass, her fingers are positioned on the lower half of the glass. Later, when Ben "takes" her thumbprint off the glass, he takes it from a much higher part of the glass.