Best history movie mistakes of all time

Please vote as you browse around to help the best rise to the top.

More Elizabeth mistakes
Gettysburg picture

Revealing mistake: In one of Pickett's charge scene the bayonets are obviously rubber.

More Gettysburg mistakes
Cromwell picture

Factual error: In the scene where the king attempts to seize the five members from Parliament, Cromwell makes a dramatic refusal to leave and proposes various "Laws" to prevent his arrest. Cromwell was not one of the five members whom the King tried to arrest and no law can come into force until it had been signed by the reigning Monarch anyway.

More Cromwell mistakes
Apollo 13 picture

Factual error: When Lovell's daughter is complaining that the Beatles have broken up, she slams the album Let It Be into her rack. The scene takes place on the day of the initial explosion aboard Apollo 13, April 13 1970 - immediately prior to the Lovell family attending the screening of a television broadcast from the spacecraft. Let It Be was not released as an album until May 9th, 1970. In April Ringo was still recording drum tracks, not even possible for an advance copy to get out.

More Apollo 13 mistakes
Seabiscuit picture

Factual error: In the shot of the infield at the Saratoga racetrack several Canada geese are shown landing. However, the calls inserted on the soundtrack are the quacks of mallard ducks not the honks of Canada geese.

More Seabiscuit mistakes
Quiz Show picture

Factual error: There is a theater showing 'La Dolce Vita.' That movie came out in 1960, but this film takes place in 1957 or 58 (since there is a reference to new 1958 model car).

More Quiz Show mistakes
The Madness of King George picture

Factual error: In the opening shot of the film, a big oak door opens - carved in it is the date 1862 - 42 years after George III died.

More The Madness of King George mistakes
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon picture

Revealing mistake: Just after Li Mu Bai tells Shu Lien that they are very close to her headquarters and that she should check in, we are treated to two 'time pass' shots of forest. The second of these features some very obvious power or telephone lines in the lower right corner of the screen. (01:22:40)

More Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon mistakes
Gods and Generals picture

Visible crew/equipment: In the scene near the beginning of the film, when the 2 brothers are fixing to leave to join the army. After the mother gives them the flag, the shot changes to the 2 brothers. You can see the boom mic and the camera in the reflection of their shiny brass buckles.

More Gods and Generals mistakes

300 (2006)

300 picture

Continuity mistake: When Leonidas, and presumably all the other Spartans, use their spears to clear their shields of arrows after the arrow shower from Persian archers, the tips of the arrows are still visibly left on all their shields. In the next shot, when the Spartans regroup for the Persian cavalry charge, the arrow tips are gone. (Granted, this is a highly stylized movie based on a comic book, but that does not change the fact that this is a continuity error.)

More 300 mistakes
Chariots of Fire picture

Factual error: Another flag gaffe: The Canadian flag in the 1920s was either the red ensign or the Union Jack. The Maple Leaf only became the national flag in 1965.

More Chariots of Fire mistakes
Start the Revolution Without Me picture

Other mistake: About 3/4 of the way through the film a boat arrives at the left quay of the Seine. Looking west down the river with Notre Dame on the right of the scene you can see a tour bus cross the bridge.

More Start the Revolution Without Me mistakes
King Arthur picture

Factual error: I normally wouldn't bother with this sort of nitpicking, but this film specifically claims to be historically researched - and it's full of historical blunders. For a start, the film is set as the Empire withdraws its last troops from Britain - which was in 407 AD. Now Artorius Castus was a real Roman officer who really did command Sarmatian foederati at Hadrian's Wall, but he died around 200 AD. Cerdic was a real Saxon warlord who did go raiding the Britons with his son Cynric, but he did this in the early 500s. Pelagius really was tried for heresy, but he was acquitted and died of old age; the trial was a decade after this setting, and in the fifth century you couldn't be executed for heresy anyway. Also in the fifth century the Pope had no authority over Imperial troops. I could go on and on but that will do for now.

More King Arthur mistakes

JFK (1991)

JFK picture

Factual error: In the scene where there is a train passing, the cars are marked "Burlington Northern." There was NO Burlington Northern until 1970, 7 years AFTER the shooting.

More JFK mistakes
Cleopatra picture

Factual error: The Forum shown in that film is smaller than in real life. Also, Cleopatra is shown passing through the Arc of Contantine, a monument that was built centuries after her death.

More Cleopatra mistakes
More The King's Speech mistakes

61* (2001)

61* picture

Factual error: The third member of the Yankees with a prominent role in the film is Bob Cerv (roommate of Mickey & Roger). In the film, he is with the team from Opening Day. However, Cerv was actually acquired by the Yankees in May of that year.

More 61* mistakes
The Man in the Iron Mask picture

Continuity mistake: When the Jesuit tries to kill King Louis, Louis grabs a long bladed knife and stabs the Jesuit in the chest, but when the camera pulls back, the knife is gone, and no one has made a move to pull it out of his chest. Only the blade that D'Artanian threw at him is there.

More The Man in the Iron Mask mistakes
Battle of Britain picture

Continuity mistake: It is 1940. Two pilots come out of a house - one of them has just lost his wife and family in the London Blitz, the other is an RAF Squadron Leader. The door they come out of has a modern electric bell push - a post 1965 version, white rectangular box with a round button.

More Battle of Britain mistakes
Henry V picture

Revealing mistake: In the scene after the battle of Agincort, where Henry and his retainers are walking meditatively among the heaps of the fallen, if you look carefully, you will see one of the fallen with his head raised watching the procession. He then realizes that he is on camera and puts his head back down. It's near the edge of the screen so may occasionally be cropped.

More Henry V mistakes

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.