Best movie factual errors of all time

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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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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.

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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 laptop computer.

Sammo Premium member

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Mission: Impossible picture

Factual error: The vents that Hunt and his sidekick crawl down at CIA Headquarters are standard galvanized iron 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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Factual error: Most ventilation ducts are not large enough for a person to crawl around in, and any duct large enough for an adult to fit in wouldn't be able to support the person's weight. In the rare event that a company could afford a large ventilation system that could support a person's weight, they would likely forgo it anyway, as it would pose a security risk.

Phaneron Premium member

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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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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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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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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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Roxanne picture

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.

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The Mummy Returns picture

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?] (01:34:40)

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Suggested correction: Despite the additional comments this posting is wrong. The terminator line - the distinct boundary between sunlit day and dark night - moves horizontally across the surface of the earth, from east to west. It is perfectly feasible for the land behind Rick (i.e. to the east) to be in bright sunlight while the pyramid - to the west - is still in darkness. What is not feasible is anyone outrunning the terminator line, which moves at around 1500 kmh in the latitudes they are in.

Try it for yourself - get a round object, such as a basketball, a map tack and a flashlight. As you shine the flashlight on the ball you will see the equivalent of the day/night terminator line. Now stick the map tack into the ball and slowly rotate the ball with the light still shining on it. As it moves, the terminator moves and the map tack will become illuminated before the surface of the ball at the base of the tack. The light will move down from the top of the tack. The only way it would work as shown in the movie is if everything is exactly flat - with no differences in altitude above the ground. Obviously that is not the case. (Of course, if you don't want to poke holes in your basketball, you can use any combination of something round and something to stick to it.)

The original post is correct. Because of its sheer height, the top of the pyramid would receive direct sunlight first, just as a mountaintop receives sunlight before it appears on level ground.

Charles Austin Miller

It is perfectly possible for a mountain to be in complete darkness and the low lying land nearby to be brightly sunlit if the mountain is to the west and has not yet been reached by the terminator line. I repeat, the terminator line moves horizontally (in all practical terms) across the surface of the earth and as a result anything west of the line will be in darkness regardless of its height and will stay that way until the line reaches it.

Look, you're talking about mountains miles away beyond the terminator (so far away that they would be beyond the range of sight anyway). We are talking about a pyramid, easily the tallest thing in the immediate vicinity, in the near background, only a mile away at most. Under the physical conditions and locations present in this film, the pyramid should be illuminated top-down. Period.

Charles Austin Miller

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A Beautiful Mind picture

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.

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