Best crime movie character mistakes of all time

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The Thomas Crown Affair picture

Character mistake: Thomas rips off his one glove as he makes his escape but then grips the bottom edge of the security door to slide under it. Smooth metal door would leave perfect finger and palm prints. I doubt detectives would miss prints on a door that was normally recessed away from the public. His prints may not be on file but would be easy to obtain once he was under suspicion. (00:19:20)

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Training Day picture

Character mistake: At end when Jake has the 1911 single action automatic covering Alonzo, it is not cocked. Since the 1911 is single action, he can't fire it until he cocks it which he does just before he shoots him in the butt. Makes no sense not to have it cocked the whole time he has it trained on Alonzo.

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Batman and Robin picture

Character mistake: Julie Madison, when having dinner with Bruce Wayne, says that he just called her Ivy. He didn't, and never does in that scene.

Athletic Jason

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Patriot Games picture

Character mistake: When Greer and Cantor visit Ryan's home after Miller's escape, they state that he was being moved to HMP Albany on the Isle of Wight (correct, given it was a Cat A dispersal prison at the time and regularly used for IRA prisoners) however Greer later states "it happened in Kent, near the channel", which is incorrect. Lymington (as stated by the guards over the radio in the escape scene) is in southern Hampshire - over 90 miles away from Kent and on the other side of the country.

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Mechanic: Resurrection picture

Character mistake: On the boat when Bishop went to rescue her, Jessica Alba says to the guy beating her up "get the fuck off me Ray." Then a few minutes later she says to the same guy "let me go Frank."

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3:10 to Yuma picture

Character mistake: The oldest boy says "Here comes the calvary" instead of cavalry.

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Lone Wolf McQuade picture

Character mistake: When McQuade goes to visit Senor Falcone at the racetrack, they meet face to face pointing guns at each other. If you look closely, you see McQuade accidentally discharging his revolver (the hammer strikes) as he puts it down by his side.

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Dead Men Don't Die picture

Character mistake: When Chafuka is controlling the zombie Barry with her voodoo doll, he's supposed to be repeating her words so precisely that he even imitates her accent. But when she says "that darn fool paper, it fall on the ground," Barry repeats it as "The darn fool paper fell down to the ground."

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Death on the Nile picture

Character mistake: Dr. Bessner tells Linnet that the Eastern statue she'll see at Abu Simbel is 'the vocal statue', which emits a sound at sunset. The statues the doctor mentions are the Colossi of Memnon, over 500 kms north of Abu Simbel, so the movie here mixes up two very different monuments. (00:49:30)

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The Exorcism of Emily Rose picture

Character mistake: When Ethan Thomas objects to Dr. Adanie's testimony, he does so on the grounds of "silliness." Silliness does not fall under the federal rules of evidence, and any lawyer worth their salt would know this.

Phaneron Premium member

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: During the Manson trial in real life, the prosecutor objected to a completely pointless question the defense asked a witness on the grounds of being ridiculous. The judge agreed and sustained the question. In his book Helter Skelter, Bugliosi even acknowledges there's no such rule, but the judge sided with him. The prosecutor in this film is grasping at straws, since nothing that would fall under the rules of evidence would apply to his objecting to her scientific testimony.


Not true, he can object on the grounds of relevance. The YouTube channel Legal Eagle, which is run by an actual lawyer, even stated so. The same logic applies to the Manson trial. If a lawyer feels that a question is ridiculous, they can object on the grounds of relevance.

Phaneron Premium member

In a case involving demonic possession as a central aspect of the defense, there's no way relevance could be grounds to object to her testimony. Her testimony dealt with possession from a scientific point of view, but he objected because it was for the defense. The judge in the film even allowed her testimony stating that they'd heard a lot of scientific evidence supporting the prosecution's case and it was fair to hear from an 'exorcism expert'.


As for the Manson case, try reading the book written by the prosecutor. It even states in the transcripts that he objected on the grounds of a question being ridiculous (even if, in the end, it would actually be relevance).


Just because a lawyer in real life was able to successfully object on the grounds of ridiculousness doesn't mean it would suddenly become a good practice. That would be like saying basketball players should just wantonly heave half court shots, because sometimes they go in. The premise of your suggested correction was also that the lawyer had no legal grounds to object on, and that is objectively false. As I mentioned, the lawyer behind the LegalEagle YouTube channel even said otherwise.

Phaneron Premium member

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Escape From New York picture

Character mistake: When the revolutionary fighter commandeers Air Force One (we only know this once she's in control), a Secret Service agent is trying to break down the cockpit door by banging it with the butt of his automatic rifle. The way he's hitting the door, he couldn't break through a cereal box - it's much too weak. Presumably, the actor is taking it easy on the door because it's a cheap prop door. (00:11:15)


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I See You picture

Character mistake: Two EMTs took Alec in a stretcher to the ambulance, apparently without first attending to his gunshot wound, inserting an IV, giving him oxygen, or doing anything else that a first responder would do for an injured person. (01:27:48 - 01:30:18)


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The Night Clerk picture

Character mistake: Bart is sitting on a bench outside the hotel. After Detective Espada talks to the Mercer hotel manager/owner, he goes to talk to Bart. Bart has blood on both hands and lower left sleeve. Detective Espada is supposed to be investigating a fresh murder case that puts Bart at the scene, but he does not confiscate Bart's bloody clothes, conduct a gun powder test on Bart's hands to check for residue, or take him to the police station for formal questioning. Espada did not follow police protocol. (00:17:36)


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The Assignment picture

Character mistake: Being a doctor she leaves Frank the meds he needs to retain his feminity yet she doesn't leave what he needs to stop facial hair. Such things exist.


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The Midnight Meat Train picture

Character mistake: When Leon goes to see Susan Hoff with his photography portfolio she tells him he needs improvement. After she leaves, Leon tells Jurgis that he thinks she hated his work and Jurgis tells Leon "when she hates somebody's work she gives them about a minute, you got three." In reality, she actually did give him one minute almost to the second. (00:06:58)

Jack Vaughan

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Better Luck Tomorrow picture

Character mistake: When Ben and Stephanie are studying, she repeats the stages of mitosis (which should be prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase, with minor differences in the way textbooks divide them) out order; anaphase, metaphase, interphase, prophase. She is supposed to be an A student and Ben, who is also smart and reading from the notes and textbook, says she is right. (00:18:55)

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Gully picture

Character mistake: A guidance counselor/principal told Calvin, "You're a very very smart young man. Perhaps even gifted. Last year you scored in the top ten percentile on the PSAT..." Because Calvin deliberately "blew" the SAT, the school official was going to make arrangements for Calvin to retake it. But this would not be necessary. The PSAT score (out of 1520) is considered equal to the SAT score (1600). The school official would be more helpful by getting Calvin admitted to college using the PSAT score. (00:08:35)


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Dolores Claiborne picture

Character mistake: When Sammy, the postman, arrives on the scene, he rushes up and attempts to take Vera's pulse in her neck. Unfortunately, Sammy's fingers are nowhere near the carotid artery, so he couldn't take her pulse.


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Thirteen at Dinner picture

Character mistake: When David Frost interviews the fictional actor Bryan Martin, he adds a last question to the interview saying "before you go" and acts as if the guest is not gonna stay (as it often happens in talk shows, when some guests, especially the more famous ones, leave after their bit is over). However Martin is staying and in fact there is a special mystery guest a bit later that makes sense only if he is in fact staying. (00:02:00)

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