Best movie mistakes of 1960
Factual error: Here's a big historical mistake. The character of German Admiral Lütjens is depicted overall in this film as a wild-eyed Nazi fanatic. In real life, he was distinctly anti-Nazi, vehemently protested the anti-Semitic actions of Hitler's regime, and was himself subject to intense Nazi scrutiny as he was a quarter Jewish and his wife was half Jewish. He was one of many German naval officers who fought only for their country, not Hitler.
Factual error: When Janet Leigh is shown lying dead on the floor of the shower, there is a close-up of her open eye. The pupil is contracted to a pinpoint (obviously due to the bright lighting) where it should have been dilated. After the film was released, Hitchcock heard from several ophthalmologists who pointed this out and suggested he use belladonna eyedrops in the eyes of "dead" people in future films, as the chemical prevents the pupils from contracting.
Continuity mistake: Before Pollyanna arrives on the train, when Jimmy Bean pushes the metal hoop down the road, two girls stop their doll carriages right beside each other and grab their dolls. Next shot, their carriages are about 4 ft. apart wide enough for Jimmy to run between.
Revealing mistake: When the two dinosaurs are fighting besides the cliff, Malone and Jennifer Holmes hide behind a rock overlooking the cliff. One of the dinosaurs sweeps its tail, and knocks the two lovebirds over the cliff, but they fall onto a rock jutting out from the cliff. After we see them fall, there is a wide shot of the dinosaur swinging its tail. He swings it one way, then the other. After he swings it the first way, the tail freezes in mid-air for a split second, then swings the other way. It's obviously the same shot of the first tail swing, but played in reverse with a pause in between.
Continuity mistake: When the Jeep at the head of the army convoy starts off again, after being stopped at the temporary traffic lights set up by the crooks, the external shots show the Jeep passing the traffic lights. But the next shots from inside the Jeep show them passing the traffic lights a second time.
Factual error: The weaponry of the Romans and their use is wrong (as they are in all Hollywood movies playing in the Ancient Mediterranean that I know): Instead of one spear, each legionary would carry two weighted javelins, called Pila (singular: Pilum), which had a long narrow iron head. The purpose of these were to throw them at the enemy before melee; if they did not kill their targets, the pila would get stuck in their shields. The head shaft would bend, making the pila useless for 'return' to their original owners, and with the added weight of the javelin, the enemies' shields were rendered useless as well. Following this, the Romans attacked with short swords (the Gladii; singular Gladius).
Continuity mistake: In the scene when Lulu Bains is prancing around in the dressing room, there is one steady shot of her. In this shot, as she moves around, the right strap on her outfit begins to slip off her shoulder. The shot ends by her side with the strap completely down her mid-bicep; however, in the very next shot, which is from the front, her right strap is back up, and it's her left strap which is halfway down. The print wasn't reversed to this effect, either.
Revealing mistake: Midway through when Ian Carmichael and his girlfriend are dining at a restaurant with Terry Thomas, they are talking and looking at the menu. The table is laid with cutlery and wine glasses - ready to eat. During their conversation there is a shot of Ian Carmichael only talking and smoking but there is no cutlery and the wine glasses have been replaced by a brandy snifter, obviously after the meal. The next shot shows the whole table with the correct pre-meal setting. When they have finished the meal, the table setting is as it was in the earlier shot.
Factual error: In the scene where Elizabeth Taylor is driving from New York City to Boston to start a new life, she drives over the Tappan Zee Bridge, from the Westchester County side toward the Rockland County side (heading east to west, you can tell from the location of the toll booths and from the way the bridge looks.) If she had left NYC by the Lincoln Tunnel, she would have had to cross the bridge going west to east. If she had left NYC via the Bronx, by far the more direct route, she shouldn't have gone over the TZ Bridge at all.
Continuity mistake: When the boy slides down the banister, money falls to the ground and the boy doesn't see it. In the next shot, as the boy is walking away, behind him the money is lying differently than when it landed. Later, when the boy finds the money, it is again in a different position.
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