Best drama 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: It is not possible to be "allergic to all known anaesthetics". Amongst the amide local anesthetics lidocaine, prilocaine, bupivicaine, mepivacaine and dibucaine are naturally occurring substances and if administered without a preservative they cannot trigger an allergic reaction. If Bales is allergic to them, he'd be allergic to the metabolic processes of his own body. They are all powerful local anaesthetics and could easily be used for a radical rhinoplasty such as that required by Bales.
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: The lake that Jack told Rose he went ice fishing on when she was threatening to jump is Lake Wissota, a man-made lake in Wisconsin near Chippewa Falls (where Jack grew up). The lake was only filled with water in 1918 when a power company built a dam on the Chippewa River, six years after the Titanic sank. (00:39:05)
Factual error: Gorillas are strict herbivores. So why does Isabelle eat a rat at the beginning of the film? The serum may have turned her into a crazed killer, as it does with Sebastian, but it hasn't changed the structure of her teeth and palate, biochemistry of her digestive system and so on, all of which would be required. She might kill or torture the rat, but she'd never eat it.
Factual error: A force of Russian Tu-22 Backfire bombers attacks the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) by sneaking in under the ship's radar. This is all well and good except that carriers usually don't use their own radar, they have Airborne Early Warning aircraft (E-2 Hawkeye's) that can see much further and not give away the carrier's position (let alone the F-14s which would be patrolling too) not to mention the fleet of destroyers other ships guarding the carrier. The whole point is, the US Navy practiced and planned for such a "carrier versus Backfire" battle for years. I guess in the interest of furthering the plot Hollywood has to ignore the immense measures the USN takes to protect those multi-billion dollar assets, not to mention the 5000+ sailors that man them.
Factual error: Many of the prisoners are wearing watches, which is incorrect. Upon arrest a prisoner's watch was confiscated. This prevented them using them to bribe or barter with corrupt guards (and as this film acknowledges, there were plenty of those) as well as making coordination of meetings or escape plans difficult.
Factual error: During the 31st year of the Avalon's voyage, the ship passes close to the star Arcturus, which is about 37 light years from Earth. Later in the movie, it was stated that the Avalon was moving at around 50% of the speed of light. The ship would not have reached Arcturus in the time allotted.Blathrop
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: 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: When the returning soldiers are on the train at the end of the film, it's an open plan post-war British Rail Mark I type, which where built from around 1950. Also the blue upholstery on the seats looks to be the corporate blue introduced by British Rail in the 1960s, used by the preserved railway owning the stock, and not what would have featured in Southern Railway carriages of the time. The carriages also have horizontally-sliding windows, which are far more contemporary than wartime trains, which had windows with a much larger vertical opening, held in place by a leather strap.
Factual error: Whenever the fire extinguisher is activated for a jet engine, that engine becomes inoperable. In the movie, the co-pilot first activates the extinguisher for the left engine, and 30 seconds later, for the right engine. At that point, both engines should be shut down. However, the engines are still operating (and revving up) and Whitaker even asks Margaret to apply full power, which is also audible. (00:23:00)NoDouty