Best movie factual errors of all time

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Mission: Impossible picture

Factual error: The vents that Hunt and his sidekick crawl down at CIA Headquarters are standard galvanized steel box vents; they are very common in the building trade. Try walking or crawling down one - you'll make a noise like the sky is falling down. People will be able to hear you for miles. Every person in that building would know somebody crawling about in the vent system. (This error applies to dozens of films, not only this one).

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Anna picture

Factual error: The movie starts in 1985, jumps '5 years later' and then back to Sasha Luss, then '3 years earlier'. So, in her crusty apartment in an impoverished neighbourhood of 1987 Soviet Russia, Anna is filling a form on her notebook-style laptop, too modern for the era. It looks like a NEC UltraLite (considered the first notebook style laptop) which didn't even come out until 1989, let alone the likelihood of someone in the USSR having one.

Sammo Premium member

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Die Hard 2 picture

Factual error: In circling over Washington Dulles, a plane would fly over several airports that they could land at with perfect communication, including Richmond, Baltimore, Andrews AFB, etc. Also, there is no communication from the airport to the plane but the plane would be in range of no fewer than 15 transmitting stations that could have relayed messages.

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The Great Escape picture

Factual error: Why is Hilts not wearing a uniform? A serving officer captured behind enemy lines in civilian clothing risked being shot as a spy. If a prisoner's uniform was too worn or damaged to wear, it was routine for the German authorities to replace it - a P.O.W. in civilian clothes is an obvious escape risk. He is wearing a pair of tan chinos, a cut off sloppy Joe sweatshirt, both ridiculously anachronistic - Sixties hipster fashions - and nowhere even close to a World War 2 uniform. He is also wearing Army Type III Service boots - something that would never have been issued to a fighter pilot.

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Suggested correction: The character of Hilts was based (in part) on the life of a British OSS agent who managed to pass as pilot by stealing a flight jacket (revealed in the DVD). We can only assume that since the Germans believed the camp was escape-proof, it didn't matter what Hilts was wearing, since he wouldn't be going anywhere.

Cobblers. Hilts is wearing casual clothing typical of the time the film was shot, not when it was set. No prisoner of war would be dressed the way he was. The posting is correct.

I've always assumed that the actor, Steve McQueen, insisted on the outfit so he would look hip per his image. He had a reputation for being a prima donna on set.

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Con Air picture

Factual error: The whole basis of the trial and conviction of Cameron Poe is a crock. The judge can not arbitrarily mete out a sentence that is harsher based on the ability of someone to defend him/herself. In justifying the harsher sentence because of Poe's military skills, the judge effectively says that Poe is more guilty than an average person due to his honorable and decorated service in uniform to his country. In my entire time in law school, I never read one out of the literally hundreds of cases I was assigned in which a judge issued a harsher sentence because of someone's innate or learned abilities to defend themselves. But since this was a movie court room proceeding, the fact that Poe had a witness to the fight (his wife), the fact that he was injured in the fight, and the fact that his uniform was torn and otherwise ruined as a result of the fight are never examined. A D.A. wouldn't have taken this to a grand jury on a bet, because they would have never returned an indictment or "true bill."

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Hollow Man picture

Factual error: Gorillas are almost exclusively herbivores. They have been observed eating small insects and grubs but nothing larger. 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.

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Suggested correction: Gorillas do sometimes eat meat, especially small animals. Also, Isabelle may not be getting fed the right foods resorting to her eating a rat. Humans will resort to drinking their own urine without access to water for a period of time, it's not far fetched that a gorilla will eat something that will be harmful to its body in a similar circumstance.

Gorillas do NOT eat rats. Inventing Deus Ex Machina explanations for a factual error (Isabelle was underfed so she was desperate for food!) does not invalidate the error. The posting needs a little more detail but is absolutely correct.

But she didn't eat it regardless so everyone is making the same mistake (she bit it, perhaps from the rage side effect?).

Nonsense. She picks up the rat, bites it in half, and swallows it. If she spat it out, we'd see it. As we see later in the film, anything ingested by an invisible creature instantly becomes invisible, so why don't we see a bloodied half rat splatter on the cage floor? Because Isabelle chewed it up and swallowed it.

Wild gorillas have been documented (on camera) feeding on freshly-killed monkeys. Like chimpanzees and humans, gorillas are omnivores and are perfectly capable of eating and digesting raw meat.

Charles Austin Miller

I think speculation about her eating it because she's not fed a proper diet isn't valid. But it's plausible the serum made her vicious where she ate the rat. To say her teeth and digestive system are the reason why she wouldn't/couldn't eat the rat isn't valid either. My dog once ate my sock despite not having the teeth or digestive system required to eat socks.

Bishop73

Suggested correction: This entry is wrong. Gorillas can, and do eat meat, so the actions of the gorilla are believable. From feedingnature.com: "Gorillas will sometimes eat meat. They can catch small animals such as mice, rats, or birds and will eat these animals if they lack protein in their diet. The silverback gorilla has been known to eat meat and might even attack and eat other primates." Even if you dispute this fact, most people would believe that a gorilla is certainly capable of eating a rat.

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Red Dragon picture Red Dragon mistake picture

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.

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Mysterious Island picture

Factual error: It is barely credible that a young Victorian woman like Elena would even think about wearing a goatskin miniskirt - exposing her legs in those days would be akin to walking about topless nowadays. Even if she did those bright yellow cotton knickers - gleefully visible in the scene in the beehive - are in no way from the 1860s. Her pants are a hundred years ahead of their time.

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The Irishman picture

Factual error: While handling the ignition coil cable to the distributor cap, Joe Pesci tells De Niro that the timing chain needs adjustment in his truck. A truck of that year with an inline Chevy motor would not have a timing chain at all, instead this truck would be equipped with a direct drive timing gear. Even if it had a timing chain, it would be behind the water pump and a cover. It would have been a several hour job to replace, not possible to adjust it.

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Daredevil picture Daredevil mistake picture

Factual error: When we see the burning 'DD' in Joe Pantoliano's glasses it is not a reflection. The DD should be backwards in his glasses. (00:26:55)

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Bloodshot picture

Factual error: When Ray leaves his wife Gina and his car is hit by the truck he should still be in England, but when he is being chased through the streets he is in South Africa, the cops in the car are not in English police uniforms or vehicle, police livery is incorrect, and all vehicles have South Africa plates, not English number plates.

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Charlie's Angels picture

Factual error: Near the end of the film Knox is flying a Huey helicopter and the Angels hitch a ride by shooting it with a spear gun and dangling on the line behind it. Suddenly adding about 200kgs to a Huey in flight like that is going to cause all sorts of problems with the trim and airspeed of the aircraft - the pilot would know immediately that something was wrong. (01:23:20)

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Suggested correction: Knox wasn't a trained pilot. Either he had no clue to what was going on, or he thought something may have been wrong, but didn't know what to do about it.

Taking off and landing a helicopter are by far the most intense and difficult part of a pilot's training. Seriously, 99% of learning to fly is learning how to land and take off. If the pilot is skilled enough to take off in a Huey he is easily skilled enough to notice a massive additional drag on his helicopter due to the additional weight of the angels and the air resistance put up by such a bulky protrusion on his aircraft. If he isn't skilled enough to notice that, he isn't skilled enough to take off in the first place.

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show picture

Factual error: The criminologist describes the events of the movie as taking place "on a late November evening". In the very next scene, Brad and Janet are driving in Brad's car, and President Richard Nixon's resignation speech is playing on the radio. Nixon resigned in August of 1974. (00:12:00)

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Suggested correction: It is said by the writer of the movie that Brad taped the Nixon speech so he could listen to it later in his car, the movie does take place in late November.

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The Dirty Dozen picture

Factual error: During the war games they have Jefferson pose as a major in order to facilitate the commandeering of the ambulance and the jeep. Regardless of their personal feelings in the matter the ambulance crew and the driver and troops in the jeep would be perfectly aware that no black man would ever be promoted to a position of authority in an otherwise all white command. We may find it repugnant today but the US Army was rigidly segregated during World War 2 - and it stayed that way until 1948. Jefferson may have been inducted into a special unit like the Dirty Dozen but considering that the future of the entire mission is riding on their success at the games, throwing it all away like that makes no sense at all.

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The Italian Job picture

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.

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Ant-Man picture

Factual error: Twice in the film it is made clear that the Pym particle works by reducing the space between atoms in order to shrink an object, and by increasing it to enlarge them. This means that the object will weigh the same, whether shrunk or enlarged - it cannot be otherwise. A 90kg man the size of an ant would punch a hole through any surface upon which he stood (and couldn't ride ants), Doctor Pym has been walking about with a 60 tonne tank in his pocket, Darren Cross lifts a full grown sheep between finger and thumb, and the supersized Thomas The Tank Engine would be far too light to crush the police car (in fact it would float harmlessly away as it would probably weigh less than the air it displaced).

PEDAUNT

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Journey to the Center of the Earth picture

Factual error: Hannah's full name is Hannah Ásgeirsson. Icelandic surnames are (Father's name) sson for boys and (Mother's name) dottir for girls, so Ásgeirsson would be the surname of the male child of a man named Ásgeir. Her name should be Hannah Sigurbjörnsdóttir.

PEDAUNT

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Flight picture

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

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Mr. and Mrs. Smith picture

Factual error: The movie is supposed to take place in and around New York City, however during the car chase where Angelina and Brad are fighting off the three BMW's, a wide shot clearly shows a street sign announcing Los Angeles.

dettasixx

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Species picture

Factual error: Fitch, who professes qualifications in biology, genetics and biochemistry, says that they made Sil female because she's a natural predator and so she'd be more docile. He should retake his finals. In every single species of predator on earth - every single one - the females are the hunters, aggressors and killers. The males may be socially dominant but they are the 'docile' ones. There are no exceptions - and no human DNA was used to create Sil - they used synthetic DNA based on the instructions transmitted to them.

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Suggested correction: They never said Sil was a natural predator when they created her. She was half human and half alien and it was their belief that human females are more docile (i.e. more motherly, more gentle, more empathetic, and less aggressive than human males). Although the reply to "more docile and controllable" was "you guys don't get out much", meaning that girls aren't that docile and controllable.

Bishop73

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