Best war movie mistakes of 1963

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The Great Escape picture

Factual error: Why is Hilts not wearing a uniform? A serving officer captured behind enemy lines in civilian clothing risked being shot as a spy. If a prisoner's uniform was too worn or damaged to wear, it was routine for the German authorities to replace it - a P.O.W. in civilian clothes is an obvious escape risk. He is wearing a pair of tan chinos and a cut off sloppy Joe sweatshirt, both ridiculously anachronistic - Sixties hipster fashions - and nowhere even close to a World War 2 uniform.

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Suggested correction: The character of Hilts was based (in part) on the life of a British OSS agent who managed to pass as pilot by stealing a flight jacket (revealed in the DVD). We can only assume that since the Germans believed the camp was escape-proof, it didn't matter what Hilts was wearing, since he wouldn't be going anywhere.

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Cleopatra picture

Factual error: The Forum shown in that film is smaller than in real life. Also, Cleopatra is shown passing through the Arc of Contantine, a monument that was built centuries after her death.

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PT 109 picture

Other mistake: In the scene in which two Japanese Zero fighters bomb and strafe a PT base, shots of the attacking planes show them carrying no bombs. During the attack, they still drop around 20 bombs anyway, which is considerably more than the actual carrying capacity of the two planes.

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55 Days at Peking picture

Factual error: The weapons for this film, save for the American Krag-Jorgensen rifles, British Lee-Enfield MLE rifles, and German Mauser Gewehr 98 rifles, are completely wrong. The Russians, who had Mosin-Nagants, are portrayed with Mausers. The French are for the most part correctly poratrayed with Lebel Mle. 1886/93 rifles, but a few have Berthier rifles that weren't used until 1907. The Austro-Hungarians are portrayed with a mixture of Mausers and Berthiers when they would have had Mannlicher M88/90's or perhaps Mannlicher M95's. The Japanese are equipped with Mausers and would in reality have had Muratas. The Italians have a mix of Berthiers and Mausers, but would've used Vetterli-Vitali rifles. The Chinese Imperial troops and Boxers both have Gewehr 98 Mausers. Although they did indeed have Mausers, they had the far earlier Gewehr 71's and Gewehr 71/84's.

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