Best crime movie factual errors of all time
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Factual error: In the scene when Will is opening the drawer of films from the Leeds home, there is clearly a copy of Mrs. Doubtfire in the left column of tapes. How can that be? Red Dragon is clearly set "several years" after 1980, as the caption says, but before the 1991 Silence of the Lambs, but "Mrs. Doubtfire" came out in 1993.
Factual error: Towards the end of the movie when Andy is escaping, he breaks open a sewage pipe and is covered with its contents. It is physically impossible for the sewage to shoot out of the break like it did. In order for that to happen there has to be pressure. But there is none there, because the end he crawls through is empty and the end is in the open air. (01:52:20)
Factual error: While Bridger is watching the film of the Mafia boss following Beckerman he signals for the film to be stopped so he can look at the close up shot of the man. He is watching a 16mm film shown through a bog standard projector - stop a film like that for more than two seconds without closing down the projector shutter (this doesn't happen - if it did the screen would darken instantly) and it will melt and catch fire. This doesn't happen.
Factual error: Tom Hanks is driving his car over a bridge in downtown Chicago in 1931. In the background is the elevated train structure. An aluminum bodied train passes on the trestel in the background. This aluminum bodied train is of 1980's contruction. In the 1930's the train cars were of wood construction and painted brown. They were still in service in the 1950's.
Factual error: After the intruders flood the panic room with propane, Jody Foster's character gets a lighter and ignites the propane causing it to burn along the ceiling. This would be impossible as propane is heavier than air and would sink to the floor rather than rise up to the ceiling. Lighting a flame in that room should have caused anyone in the room and on the floor to be engulfed in flames almost instantly.
Factual error: Basic physics - Hancock throws Michel from a dead stop to above cloud level in about eleven seconds. The clouds are bog standard cumulus which form at around 7,000 metres in temperate zones. This means that Michel accelerates to about 700 metres per second instantly, from a dead stop. Obviously he cannot accelerate during his ascent, so his starting speed has to be at least that. (In fact he would have to start his ascent much, much faster than 700 metres per second as he would be constantly decelerating due to gravity and air resistance, but it will do as a start point.) Michel accelerates from 0 to 2,520 kilometres per hour - twice the speed of sound - in zero seconds. He would be accelerating at around 5000 Gs, turning him into a very long streak of fine, pink mist.
Factual error: Ashley Judd is convicted of murdering her husband for the insurance money and that would make it a first degree murder charge (first degree meaning she planned the murder). Because of that there is no way she would have been eligible for parole after just 6 or 7 years.
Factual error: Considering the brightness of the fusion process, Dr. Octavius has to wear special goggles to be able to see it. Yet no one else in the room is wearing such goggles or seem hurt by watching the whole process, just as at the end of the movie. When welding something, no one can look at the arc that's created, as it would hurt his eyes and burn his retina; presumably, the fusion process would be brighter and more powerful than that, and so should have some kind of damaging effect on everyone's eyesight (except Spider Man's, maybe).Sereenie
Factual error: The opening shot (of the New York Stock Exchange's trading floor) has the subtitle "1985," which might lead one to expect that at least the action in the first few scenes takes place in the year 1985. However, when Charlie Sheen is talking to his Nimrod broker buddy the Nimrod jokes that the day the Challenger exploded, Gekko was on the phone "selling NASA stock short." The Challenger exploded in January, 1986, not 1985. [An explanation for this: Wall Street, as conceived and filmed, was supposed to be set in 1987. However, near the end of 1986, The Ivan Boesky insider-trading scandal hit, many rules were changed, and acknowledging those events would have undone much of the plotting of the movie. So the movie was shifted back in time to 1985 (before the scandals, and also before the Challenger disaster), thus creating this major goof].