Best thriller movie mistakes of 1973

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The Day of the Jackal picture

Character mistake: Towards the end of the film the Jackal, in disguise as the fictional one-legged, grey haired Frenchman Andre Martin, finishes setting up his sniper's nest and removes his beret, revealing that he has only dyed his hair grey where it protruded. He has a circular mop of his normal chestnut brown hair under his hat! This is an incredibly stupid thing to do - it is a perfectly normal thing for a policeman (or any other security operative) to ask that someone showing identity papers remove his hat if he is wearing one. The Jackal is a professional assassin who meticulously prepares for all contingencies - he isn't going to throw away his whole plan for the sake of a bit of extra hair dye. (02:10:05)

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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 one 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.

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

Except for blatant continuity mistakes you just invalidated every single entry on this site.

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.

Utter rubbish. Guests who were completely innocent bystanders could be killed or injured by the actions of other guests, notably in the bar brawl or by the explosion used in the jailbreak. We see one guest smash a barstool against the back of another guest - not a robot - which could easily have broken his spine. There is no question whatever that the owners and managers of the park would be held liable in this and many other cases, just as amusement park owners and managers nowadays are held liable when roller coasters or other rides go awry, injuring or killing guests.

The most plausible explanation would be a waiver that visitors to the park have to sign. The waiver would explain that while the robots cannot harm humans, other humans can, and the park is not held responsible. In the event of death or serious injury, the guest who caused it would face criminal charges and possibly a civil lawsuit. But a waiver would protect the park. Also, the rules of the park may be similar to those in the HBO Westworld series, where the robots cannot cause a "permanent mark", meaning they can injure guests as long as the injury is repairable.

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The Wicker Man picture

Other mistake: During his conversation with the landlord of the pub he ends up staying in, Sergeant Howie makes it clear that he did not intend to stay on Summerisle overnight, that he had been delayed and so needed accommodation. Makes you wonder why he packed his pyjamas. He's wearing them when Britt Ecklund does her famous naked song and dance routine, and they are not new so we know he didn't buy them that day. When he arrived he didn't even think he'd be on Summerisle for more than a few hours - we don't see him with so much as an overnight bag.

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The Exorcist picture

Visible crew/equipment: Near the beginning of the movie, the old priest is in Northern Iraq and you can see the shadow of a microphone on his hat.

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Magnum Force picture

Visible crew/equipment: After Callahan removes the bomb from his mailbox, he looks up at a man on the nearby stairs. As a car drives by on the street, the lights from it cast the shadow of the boom operator onto the wall.

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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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Live and Let Die picture

Visible crew/equipment: When 007 takes the taxi outside the Oh Voodoo Cult Shop, you can see the reflection of the crew on the window of the car.

Dr Wilson

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Enter the Dragon picture

Other mistake: In the intense outdoor battle scene at the end, when Bruce kicks a guy in the face three times in a row, one of the extras in the background cracks up laughing.

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Emperor of the North Pole picture

Factual error: On the night of 19 October 1933 the railroad workers begin betting whether A-One will make it to Portland on the 19. A quick closeup of the money changing hands reveals the $1's to have the Great Seal reverse (introduced in 1935) plus the motto IN GOD WE TRUST (introduced in 1957). Also, the green-seal Federal Reserve Notes and the red-seal United States $2 notes are of the types first introduced in 1934.

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The Daring Dobermans picture

Continuity mistake: Right at the start of the movie, the dogs go though the bank's front door, which can only be opened from the outside, which means someone had to have opened the door for the dogs.

NHogan

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High Plains Drifter picture

Factual error: When Clint Eastwood first goes to the barber shop, the barber very deliberately sharpens his razor the wrong way, flipping the blade with its sharp edge against the strop - this would instantly dull the blade. No real barber would make this mistake, but it's a common movie error.

Charles Austin Miller

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Executive Action picture

Factual error: The kid is wearing a Texas Rangers baseball cap. The Rangers didn't come to Texas until 1972.

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Soylent Green picture

Continuity mistake: Shortly before Sol's death, Thorn rushes into the suicide center and talks to him from the control room above. When Sol pleads Thorn to listen, there's interference on the intercom. Now watch the control panel: The earphone cable on the left side dangles back and forth each time the "speaking permitted" sign flashes on and off, blatantly revealing the cheap trick they used to make the display flashing - they simply toggled the "on" and "off" frames. (01:17:30)

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Don't Look Now picture

Revealing mistake: Right at the end when John is dying look at the texture of his blood. It is way too thin, almost like coloured water.

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Day of the Dolphin picture

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Ka and Bee jump over the "wall" towards the end after attaching the bomb to the boat, they have nothing on their backs; but when they jump into the water, the 'holder' of the bomb is seen on their backs again and the woman takes it off then.

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The Friends of Eddie Coyle picture

Revealing mistake: When The Kid sits next to Dillon at the Bruins game, there are two older women in the background looking directly at the camera and pointing at it, having just noticed that they are being filmed. (01:33:10)

Andromeda

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