Continuity mistake: After Harry Zidler first sees Christian and Satine kissing, when they stop kissing, Satine's lipstick switches from being smeared to perfectly done and bright red when she walks and when Zidler is talking to her about having to end the infatuation.
Revealing mistake: There is a shot where the point of view of the camera is looking down at Christian and Toulouse from the opening in his ceiling. You can see John Leguazmo's legs behind him and that he is kneeling down.
Continuity mistake: The scar on the Duke's bodyguard's face switches from one cheek to the other throughout the movie.
Continuity mistake: When Satine is dancing with Christian in the first Moulin Rouge scene, her pink feather dress's straps are very thin. But when Chocolat sets her down backstage after she has fainted, her straps are much thicker and are more intricate. This is mentioned on the DVD - the later scene was filmed first, and changes had to be made to the dress in order for Nicole Kidman to dance around in it.
Continuity mistake: While Christian and Satine are singing the Come What May finale, you see Christian walking towards the stage to join Satine. Christian passes the conductor, yet when the camera angle changes, the conductor is nowhere to be seen.
Continuity mistake: When Christian and Satine finish singing the Elephant Love Medley, Satine leans in to kiss Christian. When she does this, she tilts her head to the left, but when they go to a wide shot, it shows her tilting to the right.
Continuity mistake: Just before the end, Telouse is dressed as the Sitar and is shot up into the catwalk holding a bottle of wine. He wants to warn Christian about the assassin and starts to walk through the catwalk. There are times when he is holding onto the bottle and there are times when no bottle is present.
Continuity mistake: When Satine goes to see Christian after the Duke almost rapes her, she has either no or very little lipstick on cause her lips are pink. But after about 2 or 3 camera shots, she has her red lipstick on again, which is also unsmeared unlike the rest of her makeup.
Deliberate mistake: During the finale, the backround looks like a sunset and there is a big door in the back. Watch closely and all of a sudden from one camera angle to the next (it's right after the big puff of smoke), the background changes to an elaborate background of layers of hearts, the door is gone, and there are about 60 more extras onstage. During the DVD Baz explains that they filmed the scene with both backgrounds and it just so happened that the beginning was better with one and the end was better with the other, so they put the puff of smoke in there to distract the audience so that they wouldn't see the change.
Visible crew/equipment: During the The Pitch, a crew member is visible after they sing "elephant, Bohemians, Indians, and courtesans...". He can be seen wearing a green/gray baseball cap, pushing the bald man who is hanging on the chandelier.
Continuity mistake: When Satine grabs the Duke's legs in the Red Room, she is on her knees and you can see she is not wearing any shoes for about 1 second in the frame. Then she stands up and is therefore about the same height as the Duke. But before and after this scene she is wearing high heels.
Continuity mistake: When Satine and Christian suddenly appear on stage you see the two golden doors close behind them. In the next shot, however, the doors are open again and do not close until later in that scene.
Continuity mistake: At the end of 'Come What May' during the play, in the shot where Toulouse is hanging from the piece of wood, he is supposed to fall off and grab a rope and swing. In the shot, however, he falls straight down, off the screen, and then he is magically back in the shot and swinging off a rope.
Continuity mistake: When Toulouse enters Christian's room at the beginning of the film the door knob is about shoulder height for him. When Christian yells at Toulouse later to go away as he exits the room the door handle is about hip level.
Continuity mistake: When Toulouse remembers his line during the play, he jumps onto the wood to go down. In the shot, he lands on his side and is holding onto the rope and is fully on the piece of wood. In the next shot, however, he is hanging from the edge off of the wood.
Factual error: After Zidler tells Satine that she is dying, he is seen walking up a stairway past some sewing women. In an overview of the stairs, a stage light to the left has about a dozen or so frosted light bulbs in it. Frosted, tungsten light bulbs were not invented until the mid-to-late 1920s. Any electric light in 1900 would have had clear, carbon-filament bulbs. And no, those are not glass shades over the bulbs.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Satine meets the Duke for the first time in the elephant, Christian is hiding behind the table and Satine is trying to distract the Duke. After she does her 'dance', the Duke asks her if she wants some champagne. When she yells, she reaches out with her left hand. When she is shown again, she is reaching out with her right.
Continuity mistake: In the 'Come What May' sequence in the theater, in some shots, after Nini tells the Duke about Satine and Christian, the other dancers are sitting in chairs and there is a giant pile of chairs that the stage crew is setting up. But when the Duke says he doesn't like the ending, there are no chairs, no dancers, and no stage crew.
Continuity mistake: When Nicole Kidman is singing "Diamonds...etc" on stage, just after she coughs there is a shot of 'the maharaja' turning to look at 'the duke'. Then it cuts to a wide shot of the stage and 'the maharaja' is facing Kidman - check out his turban in the center of the screen at the bottom. It cuts back and forth like this for a few shots.
Continuity mistake: Santine's hair is messed up after she gets done rolling all over the floor; but when she stands up and walks over to Christian, her hair is perfectly fixed.
Continuity mistake: At the beginning of the like a virgin dance number, there are 4 dancers spinning around the duke and Zidler. One of the 4 dancers has thick sideburns in one shot, then they disappear, then reappear, and so on.
Deliberate mistake: When Satine and Christian are singing "The Elephant Love Medley" and Satine dismisses Christian singing "I'll drink all the time" and then heads down to the heart window of the Red Room. If you watch the chains attached to the elephant's head just after Satine passes under them and before Christian leaves they move as if being struck by something. The actors actually were on safety wires and Satine's hit the chains when she went in. They later edited out the wires so now the chains look as if they were hit by an invisible object.
Continuity mistake: From the beginning of the Red Room scene, until the end of "The Pitch," Christian's tie changes in a variety of ways he obviously didn't have time or opportunity to fix, considering all that hiding from the Duke. Christian's tie starts out straight, is removed by Satine during the "big boy" tumble, but later shows up again, perfectly tied during the "Your Song" dance on the roof. It disappears again after the dance on the roof ends, but mysteriously shows back up during different scenes in "The Pitch," untied, and flapping around his neck. No times listed, because its a running occurrence, on the DVD, watch closely from scenes 8-12.
Revealing mistake: Throughout the movie, if you listen closely to Ewan when he whispers, you can hear that his accent switches from English to Scottish.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where the Duke and Zidler are negotiating their contract, the background decorations change a few times. The DVD commentary mentions that the scene was shot in both Madrid and Sydney and to look for hair changes, but the statue behind the Duke's shoulder is noticably different depending on the shot. One good tip is to watch for the different camera angles showing that the cameras were not in the same place.
Continuity mistake: When Satine is with the Duke on the bed, she tells him to get out. The side shot shows her pushing him out, but the behind shot shows her pushing him out again.
Continuity mistake: During the Elephant Love Medly, Satine and Christian are walking back into the Elephant. Before Christian walks into the Elephant, his hair is visibly messed up and hanging into his eyes. When he walks into the Elephant, his hair is combed back and perfect. Another shot later his hair is in his eyes again.