Best movie plot holes of 1973

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The Day of the Jackal picture

Plot hole: An important plot point (in the book and the film) is that Charles Calthrop - thought to be the Jackal, at that stage - played some mysterious part in the 1961 assassination of Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of The Dominican Republic, and rumours of his involvement came to the attention of MI6 and Special Branch, leading to the accidental exposure of the Jackal's false passport. In fact there is no mystery at all about the assassination of Trujillo and there were no shadowy foreigners involved. It was organised by Trujillo's own senior aides, amongst them General Juan Tomás Díaz, Antonio de la Maza, Amado Garcia Guerroro and General Antonio Imbert Barrera. The gunmen was later identified as Luis Aniama Tio. All the conspirators except Tio were arrested, tortured and shot. There was no panicked evacuation of foreigners who were involved with Trujillo's regime and no reason for them to be concerned - the government did not fall and Trujillo's brother Hector took over as President, ruling in a brutal and totalitarian manner for a further eight years. Any rumours of a mysterious Englishman would have been dismissed out of hand and would not have made it onto even the lowest level filing system anywhere in Whitehall.

PEDAUNT
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Westworld picture

Plot hole: There is a barely credible explanation for the fact that a guest cannot be injured or killed by being shot in Westworld, but what about the vicious fistfight we see in the bar? People are injured or killed in bar brawls all the time, and this once was incredibly violent. How do they prevent guests from being injured or killed by the cutting and stabbing weapons we see in Medieval and Roman World? Guests are supposed to fight each other, not just robots - they cannot be 'programmed' to lose! Delos is going be sued into bankruptcy within a week of the first guest arriving. Quite apart from the legal position, think about the bad publicity! Who is going to pay the huge fees demanded by the parks owners when the media is constantly reporting on the guests who wound up dead or with life changing injuries?

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Suggested correction: The explanation given in the TV show would seem to easily apply to the original film as well: guests can be injured, but not to the point that it would leave a lasting mark. The park has access to futuristic medical techniques, so they can heal most non-life-threatening injuries easily. Also the guests almost certainly sign waivers, so in the event of serious injury the park isn't liable.

Jason Hoffman

Suggested correction: It's easy to nitpick the factual details of "Westworld," the screenplay of which was written on-the-fly on a fairly limited budget, even by early 1970s' standards. Author Michael Crichton (who also wrote "The Andromeda Strain," "The Terminal Man," "Congo," "Sphere," "Jurassic Park" and several other technological thrillers) himself acknowledged that Westworld was more a visual story (like a comic book) than a cerebral piece of science fiction, and he learned on this movie that suspension of disbelief outweighed technical or even factual details, if he wanted to expedite the story in an hour-and-a-half. Crichton said he was having more fun and devoting more time to shooting the film than actually writing it, comparing the experience to playing cowboys and indians as a child. So, yes, Westworld is not much more than an adult fantasy with a number of plot holes that we are supposed to gleefully overlook, rather than analyze.

Charles Austin Miller

Suggested correction: Westworld ensure that any interactions with the robots are entirely safe for the patrons of the park. They cannot prevent humans fighting amongst themselves, just as Disneyland can't prevent people fighting there. People are also injured or die all the time in horse-riding accidents, but that won't lead to people suing Westworld. Due to the nature of the park, all the guests likely sign a waiver stating that any injuries are not the fault of the park.

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The Sting picture

Plot hole: A vital plot line, obviously, is that Doyle wants to kill the con men who fleeced his runner of the numbers money. He has Luther killed and turns his best men (and women) onto Johnny Hooker, almost killing him, too. What about the third conman, Kid Erie? He is an essential part of the con, as much a part of it as Luther and Hooker. During the setup - just before they fleece him - the numbers runner watches Kid Erie running away. He looks at him, Hooker and Luther in turn. Even if he couldn't identify him he would still be able to inform Doyle that there were three rather than two con men involved. Even so, Kid Erie comes and goes as he pleases. Doyle doesn't have anyone looking for him; he doesn't even mention him in conversation, and in fact consistently refers to two - not three - con men. He makes it clear that he would have to kill his best friend if he even found out about the con, yet he lets one of the central participants go scot free. It doesn't make any sense at all.

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Suggested correction: This isn't a plot hole or even a mistake. The only information Doyle, or anyone in his organisation, has about the con men comes from the runner himself; who it is said was found in a bar drowning his sorrows later that day. He explained what happened to some of Doyle's men and was killed shortly afterwards. It could simply be that he was too drunk to remember the third man involved, or to realise that the third man was part of the con. This is at best a character being given inaccurate information. As the submitter says, Doyle consistently refers to two con men, not three. So as far as he knows he's looking for 2 con men. The only 'mistake' here is Kid Erie advising Hooker to go on the run, without seemingly considering that he's just as at much at risk.

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Charley Varrick picture

Plot hole: Swapping his dental X-ray records with his deceased partner won't convince anyone that Varrick is dead - then (as now) the patient's name appears on the X-ray.

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The Daring Dobermans picture

Plot hole: In this time period, banks had alarms, why didn't they push it? The dogs wouldn't have seen it.

Nhogan
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Theatre of Blood picture

Plot hole: Edward Lionheart severs the head of theater critic Horace Sprout while Sprout and his wife are asleep. (Lionheart gave them both a knockout injection). Sprout's wife (and his maid)discover the severed head in the morning, and both scream and faint. But in the next scene, critic Perry Devlin retrieves his morning newspaper and then reaches for his bottle of milk, only to find Sprout's head perched on the milk bottle. How did the head get from Sprout's house to Devlin's place?

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Live and Let Die picture

Plot hole: James Bond shouldn't have gotten away at the end of the airport scene where he steals an airplane and pretends to be a flying instructor. He had no wings with which to fly away and he ended back up right outside the airport, so the henchmen, who seemed to still be chasing him one shot before he parked, should have been right on him waiting when he got out of the plane.

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Robin Hood picture

Plot hole: After Little John bores a hole in the bottom of the treasure box, several gold coins fall through the hole. The four rhinos holding the box should have noticed it becoming lighter.

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The Wicker Man picture

Plot hole: Could Howie have not telephoned for more officers? When Howie first walks into Summerisle you can see poles that are used to carry telephone lines. Later on you see outside The Post Office (May Morrison's shop) a box that is used an exchange box for telephone lines in the town. The story gives us the belief that there were no telephones on Summerisle, which is why Howie was unable to send for help. But there is clear evidence of a telephone network on the island. Even if the islanders somehow manage to prevent him making a call, what about the radio on the plane?

Shadow 81
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Magnum Force picture

Plot hole: Why would a timer be used on a booby trap in the mail box, only that it serves later on to kill Briggs?

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Suggested correction: As a back up detonator.

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The Thief Who Came to Dinner picture

Plot hole: Webster meets Laura at a party and she takes him to her house - it's not really her house - and says he has to break in to show off his talents, but when Webster does break in, he walks into a pitch-black house and he walks straight to the light switch and turns on the lights, so Laura can come in to a lighted house. Problem is: Webster has never been to this house before, it's pitch-black inside (it's so dark we can't see Webster at all), and the light switch is not where most switches are - on the wall next to the door - it's on a pillar, which is really far away from the front door; there's no way he'd be able to go straight to it.

kh1616
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Shaft in Africa picture

New this month Plot hole: The Emir wants to test Shaft's ability to resist the desert, since he'll have to cross it in his trip, and so sets him up for a test; a room filled with sand, burning hot from dozens of lamps on the ceiling, that heat it all up to 110F. And they want him to walk for 8 hours in that room. But Shaft finds another solution; he digs a hole in the sand and lies in it. Which impresses the Emir greatly, so he shuts off the lamps and tells him he passed the test. How in the world digging a shallow bed and lying down in burning hot sand, with his head sticking out fully exposed, is any indication of being able to cross the desert, let alone survive it for 8 hours? He would have gotten a terrible sunburn with his head exposed as his body cooks in a sauna, and he is not an inch closer to getting to the other side of the imaginary desert.

Sammo Premium member
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