Best history movie mistakes of all time

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The Heroes of Telemark picture

Factual error: The daylight air-raid on the Norwegian Heavy Water plant in 1942 was done by Boeing B17G bombers, with the distinctive chin gun turrets. These planes did not come into service until 1944, when they were introduced to counter the head-on attacks by German fighters.

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Elizabeth: The Golden Age picture

Factual error: In the beginning of the film, a variety of different suitors are presented to Elizabeth. Amongst them are Eric XIV of Sweden, reportedly "still madly in love [with her]". Even though he was born the same year as Elizabeth; when this film takes place, in 1585, he had already been dead for 8 years.

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Cheyenne Autumn picture

Factual error: The narrator mentions that the Cheyenne tribe split in half in northern Nebraska. The scenery would suggest otherwise, as there are no mountains that high in Nebraska.

manthabeat Premium member

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The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc picture

Continuity mistake: When Joan first meets with her captains in Orleans, they argue. She walks away and La Hire calls her "a helluva woman". As she walks away, you can see him looking at her. Immediately, she turns back, and he is now looking at the other captains as she walks up to him and belts him. He must have turned his head very quickly, too quickly to be caught on film.

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The Far Horizons picture

Continuity mistake: Sacajawea (Donna Reed) dives into the water to retrieve some important maps, which have fallen in and been taken to the back of the boat. When she dives in, the maps are back to the original area they fell into, when they should have been quite a distance from where they landed in the water.

keiko

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Saving Mr. Banks picture

Factual error: In the scene where the young Helen Goff is traveling by train with her family, it's obvious that an American engine and coaches have been used, instead of a Queensland Rail locomotive of the era. None of the QR locomotives had flared smokestacks like on the one seen in the movie. The coaches are also incorrect - as far as I know, none of the Queensland Rail wood coaches had clerestory roofs with a set of windows in them like seen in the movie. When Helen looks out the back of the train, it's also obvious that the tracks are spaced at 'standard gauge' (4' 8.5"). They should be closer together, as railways in Queensland are built to 3'6" gauge instead. There is also no such company as the 'Queensland Victoria Railway Co', as marked on the coaches, as all railways in Australia are state owned.

Tbdanny

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The Mission picture

Deliberate mistake: During the gunfire of the Portuguese soldiers at the end, seconds before Jeremy Irons is killed, an old Indian woman is shot in her chest, but the actress/extra forgets to react and continues walking.

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Good Night, and Good Luck picture

Factual error: There is a three prong electrical outlet visible in the Wershba's bathroom. These were not used at the time the film takes place, they were introduced decades later.

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The Killing Fields picture

Continuity mistake: When the protagonists are trying to get to the French embassy they pass a VW beetle whose windshield is smashed by a Red Khmer. The camera angle is not very helpful but if you look closely you see that the window is gone already, and the pieces flying over the hood are from the bit of glass that sticks in the frame. (00:56:50)

NancyFelix

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The Alamo picture

Factual error: The song that Davy Crockett plays on the violin is 'The Mockingbird Quick-Step,' written in 1855, several decades after the events of this movie (and later used by the 'Three Stooges' as a theme song.).

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Pathfinder picture

Continuity mistake: The writing on Ghost's sword early in the film has the Turisas rune (representing TH in Thunder) near the hilt, but later not only is a different font used but now the Dagalas rune (representing the D in sword) is at the hilt.

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The Greatest Story Ever Told picture

Continuity mistake: When John baptizes Jesus, Jesus' hair is dripping water onto his shoulders as seen from the front. As seen from the back, there's no dripping at all.

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Spartacus picture

Visible crew/equipment: When the slaves roll the flaming ball down the hill, we see it strike several Roman soldiers. Look closely, they are actually stuntmen dressed in asbestos suits.

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Jesus of Nazareth picture

Continuity mistake: Jesus is shown from behind on the cross with large gashes on the backs of his legs. He was flogged across the shoulders and back only at the pillar.

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The Wind That Shakes the Barley picture

Plot hole: When the Black & Tans are shown driving through the village, a blue house is visible behind them. The house has modern PVC windows.

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Bobby picture

Continuity mistake: When Paul (the hotel manager) finds Timmons in the kitchen when Timmons had been shot and is bleeding, we see Timmons with his hands on his blood that is on his shirt. When Paul comforts him, he puts his bloody hands on Paul's white shirt, but when we see Paul outside the hotel, there is no stain from Timmon's blood.

Jennifer 1

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The White Countess picture

Plot hole: The movie takes place before and around 1938 and, supposedly ends in that year, following the entrance in Shanghai of the Japanese, with the exodus by many Chinese and foreign residents. Ralph Fiennes' character, as an American ex-diplomat and businessman, would have resided, have bank accounts, his car, etcetera, in the foreign concessions. The Japanese did not occupy the concessions until after Pearl Harbor, so there was no need for him to flee the city, as a refugee without a passport and with little or no money, sailing towards Macao in a fragile Chinese junk. He could just have driven or walked a few blocks to any of the "Western" concessions, from where he could have married Natasha Richardson's character, obtained U.S. passports (White Russians had none, as the rest of her family in the movie until assisted by an official in the French Consulate) for her and her daughter, purchased a ticket in a safer vessel, sold his assets (regardless of the damage to his club, he still had a house, furniture, a car, presumably bank accounts, etc.).

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Let Him Have It picture

Factual error: Pierrepoint is depicted as having a London accent. In real life, however, he was from the north of England, and had a Yorkshire accent, which sounds completely different. This is proved in a BBC interview with him, dating from the 1970s.

UKFilmFan

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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee picture

Factual error: The movie depicts Col. Nelson Miles at the signing of the Fort Laramie Treaty which was signed April 29, 1868. Col. Miles is shown wearing a Civil War Medal and an Indian Wars Medal. The first Civil War Campaign Medal was issued in May 1909 and the blue and gray ribbon shown in the film was not in use until August 1913. The first Indian Wars Medal was issued July 1908. The ribbon shown in the film with two dark bands was not in use until 1917. Obviously, Col. Miles could not wear two metals that have not been created yet.

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Fahrenheit 9/11 picture

Factual error: A headline from the Pantagraph (an Illinois newspaper) dated 19 December 2001, is shown in big letters to read, "Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election." In fact, no edition of the Pentagraph has ever featured an article that claimed this. The only time those words appeared in that newspaper was in small print over a letter to the editor dated 5 December 2001.

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