Best drama movie factual errors of 1951
Factual error: In the very beginning of the movie broadcasters around the world are commenting on the mysterious spaceship. To lend a bit of calm and normalcy one broadcaster notes that despite what is happening many people are enjoying the fine spring weather in the Capital, to this end picnics and the wonderful cherry blossoms are plainly depicted. Shortly afterward when Klatu leaves the hospital, he is seen examining the cleaner's tag on the suit he "borrowed". This is where he adopted the name Carpenter. Clearly printed at the top of this tag is the date 7/18 1951, not spring by at least a few months.
Factual error: John Wayne's squadron lands on Guadacanal as part of the "Cactus Air Force" in August 1942. However, they are flying F6F-3 Hellcats, which were not available, even to the Navy, until the middle of 1943. To top it off, they are painted in a late-war camouflage scheme with late-war markings.
Factual error: During the last scene, after the German gunboat sinks and the two main characters are thrown into the lake, both Bogart and Hepburn are swimming toward the shore of the lake. Even though there is nothing which could reflect the sound of the two swimming and splashing water, one can hear the echo of water splashing. Apparently, the last scene was filmed in a pool on a sound stage.
Factual error: Several union soldiers wading across the waist-deep river (and later climbing out of the river) are carrying the U.S. Springfield Rifle, Model 1903, which is a bolt-action, magazine-fed rifle (Note especially the soldier who climbs out of the river holding his rifle above his head.) instead of the historical accurate muzzle loading rifle. The Model 1903 was adopted by the US Army in 1903 and used in World Wars I and II, but not the American Civil War. For a picture of the Model 1903 Springfield Rifle, see: http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/Museums/Showcase/Myer/Myer-4h.htm.
Factual error: The Thunderfish is closing on the Japanese I-boat, at under 6000 yards, Duke orders flank speed. The hydrophone operator on the I-boat would have to be deaf not to pick up the noise of Thunderfish's propellers at flank speed. For those pundits who claim that their sonar might be down, hydrophones are a passive listening system.
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