Trivia: Hattie McDaniel's portrayal of Mammy earned her an Academy Award, the first to be given to an African American.
Trivia: Not really a mistake, given the need for drama in a war film, but the mission takes place the evening before D-Day, meaning the Allies had complete air supremacy, and knew the exact time, date and place of the meeting of the German officers, this mission would never have taken place. The brightly lit chateau would have been flattened by a squadron of heavy bombers. Lee Marvin, an experienced combat veteran, pointed this out to the producers and was told to keep his opinions to himself.
Trivia: Actor Richard Davalos kept his bayonet razor sharp and accidentally stabbed Telly Savalas in the arm during the scene where the squad jumps over the wall to ambush the Germans on the road, warranting bandages on Savalas' arm. In the film, Savalas kept his shirt sleeves rolled up, until he was stabbed, and then kept his sleeves rolled down to hide the bandages.
Trivia: Virtually all of the extras who play soldiers in the film were members of Civil War Re-enactor groups who not only freely donated their time but also supplied their own uniforms and equipment. This ensued that the film-makers did not have pay for their own extras and that they could stage the massive battle scenes without blowing the budget.
Trivia: The man shooting the movie during the attack on the beach who says "Don't look at the camera" is actually director Francis Ford Coppola. (00:25:38)
Trivia: Due to the political situation in Iraq, the location for scale shots was moved from Morocco to Mexico, an ideal alternate choice with its broad beach. However, the rushed decision presented some obstacles. Coastal Mexico is an endangered turtle habitat, so to be granted permission to set up the Greek encampment and build boats on the large stretch of beach, the film crew implemented their own turtle incubation nursery, releasing a multitude of turtles while on location in Mexico. They also did not have an accurate idea of the physical conditions of that particular beach - it was unstable and 100 feet of beach washed away overnight, leaving Greek ships teetering precariously on the edge of the bank with the missing sand.
Trivia: Bill Millin, Lord Lovat's piper, earned the nickname 'Mad Piper' due to the fact that he was spared by German snipers on D-Day because they thought him to be crazy playing bagpipes in the middle of a war.
Trivia: Adrian Brody insisted on learning to play the piano himself because he detested the idea of him being in a long shot pretending to play the instrument and then the camera showing someone else's hands on a close up shot actually playing. He said he hated that, not just for him, but on any other film that had such a scene. So he went and took lessons, practicing for hours on end.
Trivia: R. Lee Ermey actually wrote all of Gunny Hartman's dialog himself. Ermey was involved in a serious car accident right before shooting, so Kubrick invited Ermey to come stay at his house in England to recover. While recovering Ermey read the script over and over, and he remarked that the Drill Instructor's dialog that was in the script was obviously the work of a screenwriter with a cliche imagination who obviously had no idea what boot camp was really like. So Kubrick allowed Ermey to re-write all of the dialog himself.
Trivia: In scene 32, Katsumoto and Algren ride through the line of troops and as Algren dismounts, his horse kicks out at the soldier to the right of the camera and hits him in the groin. The soldier bends over with the impact, backs up, then bravely straightens up again as the scene continues. (01:53:55)