Best history movie factual errors of all 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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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.

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Dunkirk picture

Factual error: In the scene towards the start of the film in Weymouth harbour, you can see the huge building which is Weymouth Pavilion, which was built in 1954, after the original 1909 building burnt down.

freedom2006
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First Man picture

Factual error: The interior shots of the Gemini and Apollo Spacecraft show worn and dirty panels, knobs, switches and circuit breakers. The movie most likely used some original cockpit trainers, but in reality the astronauts were flying brand new spacecraft that were spotless.

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Red Tails picture

Factual error: Before receiving the North American P-51D Mustangs, the Red Tail squadron was using the Curtiss P-40E Warhawk. The movie shows the Warhawks being able to keep up with the German Bf 109 G-6s quite easily, fighting on even terms. In reality, the Bf 109 G-6 could easily outperform the Warhawk, being able to easily outrun and out-turn the Warhawk. Still, the Bf 109s are no match for the Warhawks.

André Vinícius
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The Post picture

Factual error: Robert McNamara is wearing a multi colored Polo shirt talking to Mrs. Graham in 1971. The Ralph Lauren Company did not make the shirts until 1972.

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Enemy at the Gates picture

Factual error: When the map of the German advance is shown, Switzerland is shown to be taken over. Switzerland was never invaded by the Germans. (00:05:10)

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Suggested correction: It doesn't show German advances. It shows the German influence over Europe, symbolizing it covers all of Europe and then expanded towards the East. Italy was never conquered by the Germans either yet it was part of the axis and is shown being covered by black. Switzerland, though neutral, was fully surrounded by the Axis and their influence played heavily upon the country. Its a very crude simulation.

lionhead

Suggested correction: It does not show the German advancement in true historical order, but more like a red shadow that expands across Europe in a steady pace. And just as the camera starts zooming in on Stalingrad, you can see a small sliver of red starting to spread on the south-eastern coast of Norway.

dizzyd
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The Longest Day picture

Factual error: The ribbon of Richard Burton's Distinguished Flying Cross is on upside down. The Air Force Cross following it is the right way up. The stripes on both should point the same way, as they do on the uniform of his colleague in the mess. Nobody would be allowed to get away with a mistake like this - another officer or senior NCO would soon point it out. In addition, as a long-service veteran (his colleague says he served in the Battle of Britain) he should be wearing the ribbon of the 1939-1944 Star (as it was then), which was issued to all qualified personnel from 1943.

Necrothesp
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A Bridge Too Far picture

Factual error: Most of the parachutes are PX type. These came out in the 1960s. They only used X type during the war - only a few of those are seen in the film. (00:07:00)

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The Social Network picture

Factual error: When Mark types email addresses in to tell people about facemash, he writes to several people @harvard.edu. At the time the movie takes place, undergraduate email addresses were all of the form username@fas.harvard.edu. Furthermore, the network brought down by facemash would have been referred to as the FAS network. (FAS stands for Faculty of Arts and Sciences; the eponymous network covered all buildings within the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.).

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Midway picture

Factual error: At the end of the movie, a Willys is shown with an inscription on the back: "Left hand drive vehicle." The scene takes place in Midway or Pearl Harbour. This inscription on the vehicle was only for the US forces in England beginning in 1944.

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Midway picture

Factual error: When we see Midway before the Japanese attack the US flags that are flying have 50 stars on them, instead of 48 as there should have been at the time.

Helvellyn
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Glory picture

Factual error: In the assault on Fort Wagner, the regiment attacks the fort from the wrong side. In reality, the troops attacked from the south.

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The Untouchables picture

Factual error: In the warehouse scene with the wooden crates with maple leaves, even though a correction has been submitted saying a maple leaf was valid, the real mistake is the type of maple leaf used. The film shows a modern graphic style of leaf that did not come into use until the 1960s and appeared on the new Canadian flag in 1965. In the time of Capone, the maple leaves used to depict things Canadian looked like actual maple leaves and not like a stylized graphic.

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Anna and the King picture

Factual error: The movie is set in the 1860s. During a performance for English guests, Anna has the King's children perform "Bicycle Built For Two". That song, otherwise known as "Daisy Belle" was written by Harry Dacre in 1892. (00:57:50)

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Sink the Bismarck picture

Factual error: Here's a big historical mistake. The character of German Admiral Lütjens is depicted overall in this film as a wild-eyed Nazi fanatic. In real life, he was distinctly anti-Nazi, vehemently protested the anti-Semitic actions of Hitler's regime, and was himself subject to intense Nazi scrutiny as he was a quarter Jewish and his wife was half Jewish. He was one of many German naval officers who fought only for their country, not Hitler.

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Gallipoli picture

Factual error: Frank, Archie and Snowy are all rural boys from New South Wales, but they all play Australian Rules football expertly. In 1915 Australian Rules was completely unknown outside of Melbourne. In a time before television or film they wouldn't even know what the ball looked like. In fact the game was only established in Sydney, Perth and Adelaide in the 1980s, and is still not terribly popular there. There is no way in the world three people from outside the state would know how to play the game, let alone with such skill.

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Three Kings picture

Factual error: It is said in the film that Ice Cube's character works in an airport in Detroit. When the scene shows Ice Cube at work as a baggage handler, there are mountains in the background. There are no mountains in the Detroit area. (00:14:10)

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Troy picture

Factual error: When the Trojans flee inside the walls at the arrival of the Greeks, you can see some llamas. Llamas were only known in Latin America and not in ancient Troy. (02:20:10)

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Miracle picture

Factual error: There indeed was a moment in the game (vs. USSR) where Jim Craig was shaken up, but contrary to what's shown in the movie, the hit did not happen as the Soviets scored a goal. Furthermore, if a goalie is that flagrantly knocked down and out so that a teammate can get a shot off, it should be a two-minute penalty for "goaltender interference" and the goal disallowed.

Matty Blast
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