Corrected entry: When Indiana's father uses the plane's gun, he shoots out the tail. This was not actually possible, as the planes had a safety mechanism to stop people doing this
New this week Correction: Actually, most didn't. Rear gunners had to be rather careful not to do exactly what Senior did in the movie.
Corrected entry: You can't swim in petroleum. The human body is much denser (and thus, would sink like a brick) when you would try to swim in it. Not only that, but the fumes above it are toxic, so you would also die of poisoning.
Correction: Yes, the human body is more dense than petroleum, however it doesn't necessarily mean you'll sink like a brick. You also need to take into account a person's body mass, fat distribution, and lung capacity, all of which make it possible to swim for short periods of time in oil. As for the inhalation of the fumes, the toxic effects are not likely to manifest immediately. People have been purposely inhaling gasoline, glue, aerosols and other hydrocarbons for years, and it takes long term exposure to cause death.
Corrected entry: When Indiana Jones is escaping with his father and he sets off a boat as a decoy, there is no large crate on the dock. But a few minutes later, when the Germans show up, as they start going towards the boats, a large crate has suddenly appeared on the dock, from which Indy and his dad emerged on a motorbike.
Correction: The crate is on the dock the whole time. it is just off screen which is why Indy walks off screen while his father complains about not getting in the boat.
Corrected entry: The film is set in 1938, yet the Jones' fly to Europe from America on a commercial airliner and attempt to leave Germany in a Zeppelin. Pan America's first commercial transatlantic airliner didn't take off until May of 1939, and commercial Zeppelin flights were suspended after the Hindenberg's crash in May of 1937.
Correction: Pan-American airlines was offering transatlantic charter service on its M-130 flying boat in 1934. Several other carriers, American and European were offering commercial transatlantic flights by 1938 although most were charters. Indy's patron is shown to be very wealthy and could charter any plane he wished. Also, although transatlantic zeppelin service ended with the Hindenburg crash, lighter-than-air craft were used frequently for passenger transport, especially in Europe. The airship Indy and Henry board is much too small to be a Hindenburg / Graf Zeppelin class ship anyway; it is more likely a helium or helium/hydrogen dirigible for short to medium haul trips.
Corrected entry: Indiana's boat was destroyed by a giant propeller. However, no boat in history has a propeller that is only half submerged in water and the other half in the air.
Correction: Actually, there are a number of legitimate reasons why a ship's propeller may be only partly submerged. Several types of heavy-load ships have their propellers exposed when they carry neither load nor ballast. Almost every type of nuclear submarine has part of its propellers clear of the water when its ballast tanks are blown dry. Since the ship was moored and the propeller turning rather slowly, it was probably supposed to be deballasted for yard repairs and undergoing an engine test.
Corrected entry: When Marcus Brody arrives in Iskenderun, many men are seen wearing fezzes. However, wearing a fez was outlawed in Turkey in 1925.
Correction: The film is set in 1938, during which Iskenderun was part of the Republic of Hatay. Hatay did not join Turkey until the following year. Regardless, the existence of laws doesn't mean that people don't break them.
Corrected entry: When Adolf Hitler autographs Indiana's grail diary, he does so with his right hand; in reality, Hitler was left-handed.
Correction: This is simply untrue. Hitler was NOT left handed. There are too many websites to prove this, but if you Google "Hitler signs" and look for the images, you'll see all the proof you need.
Corrected entry: The boat chase in Venice. Just after Indy says "don't go between them" a jet stream is visible above the two boats. Not very likely in 1938.
Correction: Extremely likely in 1938. Piston engined aircraft leave vapour trails, too. Daytime bomber pilots in World War 2 considered them a curse as they gave the position of their aircraft away.
Corrected entry: When Indy is in the castle and the butler says ". I am Mickey Mouse" - you can see someone walk past the crack on the right hand side of the front door, most likely someone from the crew.
Correction: It could also be a film character who is at the castle - a soldier, an employee, a guest, etc., who just happens to be walking by. Since this person is unseen, they cannot be identified as a crew member.
Corrected entry: In the scene in the castle, the weather outside is changing dramatically. When Indy enters his father's room, it is very dark and pouring rain. When in Elsa's room, the sunrise is shining brightly through the windows. When in the large hall, we can hear thunder again and see reflections of water running down the windows.
Correction: This is actually very natural. I've been in the middle of terrible storm and suddenly it stopped for a few moments and she sun shone through. Then it started up again.
Corrected entry: When Indy and Henry are going around in the fireplace, the Germans are firing on them. They are firing tracer rounds, as we can see them spark on the fireplace. However, tracer rounds spark orange, not blue, as in the movie.
Correction: Only one in ten bullets loaded into a magazine will be a tracer round, and some marksmen can do with as few as one in twenty. All the other bullets will be regular metal jacket ball and will produce the pyrotechnics you see in the film.
Corrected entry: When driving from Venice to the castle we see a map of the route. In it Austria is marked with its own borders and its name is indicated. But in 1938 (which is after the anschluss), Austria no longer existed. It was part of Germany.
Correction: It is true that Austria was no longer sovereign, but it still existed as a province of Germany until 1945 (it was renamed in 1942, but that's irrelevant for this issue). Marking Austria on the map serves to better inform the viewer where the events are taking place. Given that the weather looks like that of late spring, and Aschluss took place in March-April of that year, all contemporary maps would still include Austria.
Corrected entry: In the scene where Indy and Dr. Shneider are looking for the Roman numerals in the library, look closely at the signs specifying where to go to find a specific category. You may need to use the Zoom button, but they are printed in English. They are in Venice: the signs should be in Italian.
Correction: Many public buildings have English signs in addition to the native language. The only airport I have ever been to that had signs only in its country's native language was in England, every other country having signs in more than one language. I've been to libraries, museums, restaurants and shopping centers in Russia with signs in both Russian and English.
Corrected entry: After the "Protectors of the Grail" set the petrol alight to kill Indy and Elsa, they must have thought that they couldn't survive it. Yet they then run out of the library fast and look around to find them, as though they expected them to escape.
Correction: Perhaps their goal was not to kill them, but to flush them out of the sewers? They apparently knew the Venice system well and knew that escape was possible. It's not unlikely they knew about Jones and judged him likely to survive, at least likely enough to try to cover the exits.
Corrected entry: Why is there a sea of petroleum below Venice - and how can it be below the water line? (The basement is deeper than the distance from the surface of the ground to the surface of the water in the next scene).
Correction: Petroleum has seeped into the sewer/catacomb system and is just floating on the surface of the water. It being below the water line is a simple matter of the basement being sealed off from the surrounding water.
Corrected entry: The Joneses leave Berlin in the Zeppeliner. After supposedly no more than 1-2 hours flight they escape in a biplane and crash after a few minutes. Nevertheless they have reached the Mediterrenean. That would have taken a lot longer.
Correction: We do not know how long the Zeppelin was under way when the Jones's escape with the biplane. It might actually have been four to five hours - there's no real indicator of the passed time.
Corrected entry: There is a problem with the following scene: The Nazi plane crashes into the tunnel, slides past Harrison Ford and Sean Connery and explodes when exiting the tunnel. The problem is that the plane shouldn't explode since its wings (filled with gas) were torn off. It couldn't have been a bomb attached to the plane either, since, as it is seen only seconds afterwards, a bomb would leave a big crater in the street and make it impossible for the car to go on. Yet, Harrison Ford has no problems at all driving through what's left of the plane.
Correction: The engine and hosing that delivers the gas to it is attached to the fuselage.
Corrected entry: After the moterbike chase, Indiana drives past the road sign, which points to Venice and Berlin. He then talks to his dad before looking strait ahead at a sign which is behind him.
Correction: He's not looking at the sign, he's making a decision. The shot of the sign was for the audience's benefit.
Corrected entry: Once Indy has found the grail, he goes back with Elsa to heal his father. But how was it possible for him to get back? Wouldn't he have to face the challenges again, but in reverse order?
Correction: Yes, but he knows what they are now, so he can pretty much just walk (or run) straight through them. The filmmakers just chose not to waste valuable screen-time showing it.
Corrected entry: When the Nazi officer is thrown out of the Zepellin by Indy, you can see the safety mat underneath the luggage.
Correction: What on earth is the point of putting a crash mat under anything? That's a bog standard tarpaulin used to protect the passengers' luggage from the damp ground.