Best movie factual errors of 1958
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Factual error: The film was released in 1958 but depicts a 1943 World War II mission in the Pacific by a US submarine capatain played by Clark Gable and his first officer played by Burt Lancaster. In two separate scenes the crew listens to a "Tokyo Rose" broadcast on radio and the background music is "Kiss Me Once, Kiss Me Twice, It's Been a Long Long Time" by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne. The song was not released until September 1945, one month AFTER the end of the war in the Pacific in August 1945. The song was famous for celebrating returning troops and therefore also makes no sense in the context of 1943.
Factual error: The Vikings raided England in the 9th and 10th centuries. The first castles were not built until post 1066. The castle in the film has rounded towers, crenellations and machicolations, which would date it at approximately 1300. That would tend to suggest that these Vikings were 400 or 500 years old, or that they had access to a time machine.
Factual error: As the stagecoach rolls into Prescott, Arizona, the road winds among hundreds of Saguaro cacti. Prescott is far beyond the northern limits of the Saguaro.
Factual error: The Sergeant-Major of the artillery section Corporal Bins and his men are briefly attached to has two of his medal ribbons round the wrong way. He has up the Victory and British War Medal ribbons, when they should be worn BWM and then VM. A mistake an experienced senior NCO would not make.Andrew Upton
Factual error: Steve McQueen remarks that the chunk of meteorite is hot - though this is a common misconception (and probably belongs on several movies' boards), meteorites are almost invariably cold, given that by the time they hit Earth their frigid inner layers are exposed by the friction of air drag. (00:20:40)
Factual error: The film is set during WW2, but when Pitkin drops Judy off at the station, the locomotive bears the lion and wheel emblem of 'British Railways', which was formed in 1948. Likewise the wagons in the railway yard are to a British Railways standard design and are out of period for WW2.
Factual error: This horror-fantasy film (a 1958 knockoff "The Mummy") was inspired by the faceless whole-body plaster casts taken from the volcanic ash of Pompeii, at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius. The running mistake in this movie is the assumption that the faceless bodies of Pompeii were 2000-year-old mummies preserved by volcanic ash and could, thus, be re-animated (by radiation, in this case). The fact is, the victims at Pompeii were originally encased in hot volcanic pumice and ash, and the corpses then disintegrated, leaving hollow "molds" of human bodies underground. It wasn't until the mid-19th Century that archaeologists first discovered the molds, filled them with plaster, then extracted the whole-body plaster casts for display. Since the faceless bodies of Pompeii are nothing but modern plaster casts, there would be nothing to re-animate, by radiation or any other improbable means.Charles Austin Miller
Factual error: The sergeant in the opening credits is not Air Force as the badge is reversed. Air Force are point down and army is point up.