Best movie factual errors of all time
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: In the first scene where Dr Strange is preparing for surgery he uses improper surgical gowning technique breaking aseptic protocols. Strange puts on a mask after washing his hands, contaminating his clean hands by bringing them in proximity to the non-sterile environment of his face. Surgical masks must be worn before the full washing of hands. Another error is that he inserted his hands all the way through his gown to don gloves. Hands must never leave the sleeves and gloves must be put on with the sleeves still covering.
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.
Factual error: When Brendan Fraser & his son are running to reach the pyramid before the sun hits it, the sunrise line approaches the pyramid along the ground, but the sun would naturally have hit the pyramid at the top first and worked its way down to the ground. [Some people insist on trying to correct this - think of it this way. If the sun's illuminating the ground from way up in the sky, what's keeping something higher up than the ground in darkness?]
Factual error: In a scene that takes place in 1956 or 1957, Alicia Nash places an orange Tupperware container in the refrigerator. Although Tupperware first became very popular in the mid-50s, the particular model of Tupperware used in the film was not introduced until the late 60s or early 70s.
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.
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: 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.
Factual error: As Ben is clinging to the staircase while it is falling apart, there is a close-up of a nail being pulled out of the wood. This nail is round-headed, rather than square as it would have been over 200 years ago. It's also shiny instead of rusty, which indicates that it's galvanized. Galvanization as an industrial, metal-preservation process was not patented until 1837, and was not used in building materials until well into the late-1800s. Since the film states the staircase was made by "the Founding Fathers, " and there was no galvanization of iron nails in any industrialized nation in 1780s-1830's, this is a huge anachronism.
Factual error: During the revolt, Carlo (Kim Coates) is attacked by several Psychlo gunships on the dome's roof. He then uses a Carl Gustav recoilless rifle to destroy one of them. Strangely, the missile he fires is heat seeking, evidenced by it missing the target and arcing back around to strike the gunship from behind. Carl Gustavs are not designed to fire heat seeking missiles, as they lack the tracking systems necessary to do so, since the weapon is an anti-tank rifle in real life.
Factual error: When Red is sitting under the oak tree in 1967 and pulls the money out of the envelope, the top bill is signed by Nicholas F. Brady, who was Secretary of the Treasury September 1988 - January 1993. It's less about reading the handwriting as noting the different appearance of different signatures from different eras.
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).
Factual error: Trevor - a Professor of Geology - boasts about having an article published in Scientific American, and that is not something any scientist would do. Scientific American is looked upon with slight disdain by the scientific community, considered to be a populist crowd pleaser. It is not even peer reviewed. Considering that he has just turned the geological and archaeological worlds on their heads he would have been better off publishing in Journal of Geological Research or Geology, both prestigious professional journals.
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.
Factual error: When Missy is at her audition, Courtney and Whitney get annoyed and tell her to do a sequence, (front handspring stepout, roundoff back handspring stepout, roundoff back handspring, full twisting layout). However, when Missy starts the sequence, she starts with a cartwheel instead of a front handspring. (Sorry, I'm a gymnast & that one bothered me).
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. I remember riding them for they were still in service in the 1950's.
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