Best movie factual errors of 1977
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Factual error: The whole conspiracy is doomed from the start! They show a Lunar Module on the set representing Mars; the astronauts were supposed to use this to 'land' on the Martian surface. This is insane. The Lunar Excursion Module cannot operate in an atmosphere; it would burn up on entry. It has no heat shield - the engine nozzle and landing legs would have to poke through it if it had. Exterior protrusions like antennae and steering engines would burn off during descent through the Martian atmosphere. While Mars' atmosphere is thin, it is still more than sufficient to burn up a Lander designed this way. All three recent Mars Landers, Spirit, Opportunity, and Phoenix, had heat shields and parachutes to facilitate safe re-entry. This is not a radical redesign of the LEM; it simply cannot be the shape it is if it is to work in an atmosphere. Any schoolkid would know that, and the world's media would not be fooled for a second.
Factual error: After the plane is submerged, Jack Lemmon says, "... this plane is pressurized!" Jet aircraft are pressurized by bleeding air from the compressor sections of the engines into the cabin; in other words, the plane is only pressurized while the engines are running. Also, aircraft are only pressurized to a few psi above the outside air pressure at altitude, and never to more than the air pressure at sea level. The water pressure would be a great deal higher than the air pressure in the cabin, and since aircraft are not water tight, the water would quickly fill the aircraft. (If the aircraft was in 50 feet of water, the water pressure would be 21.7 psi, versus a maximum cabin pressure of 14.7 psi.)
Factual error: The aliens broadcast a series of pulses which are decoded by the scientists to be a longitude and latitude. In degrees:minutes:seconds, the longitude is 104:44:30 and the latitude is 40:36:10. These numbers are what the computer display shows and are what the scientists say (except for one slip-up in the hallway early in the scene where 104:40:30 is said). The scientists grab a globe and declare these coordinates are in Wyoming. Everybody and his brother (and the aliens) then proceed to show up at Devils Tower, Wyoming. However, Devils Tower is at around longitude 104 deg 44 min and latitude *44* deg 36min, not the *40* deg 36 min pulsed out by the aliens. If everyone had gone to 40 deg 36 min, they would have ended up in Colorado, more than a couple hundred miles south of Devils Tower, Wyoming. (00:46:23)
Factual error: When James Bond programs the two submarines to destroy each other we see the paths of the missiles displayed on a globe. They swing across in two arcs, narrowly missing each other. However, we are looking down on the surface of the globe, with no height perception, so the missiles should in fact travel in straight lines directly betweeen the submarines.
Factual error: Just after the start of the Korean War, McArthur places a map of Korea on the hood of a jeep to explain to a subordinate general his plans to invade Inchon. The map shows the boundary of North and South Korea not along the 38th parallel, which was the border at the time (1950), but along today's DMZ - not established until the Korean armistice was signed in 1953.
Factual error: After mounting armor in the bus they are approaching Phoenix on a two lane highway from the northwest. When entering the city they are shown coming around South Mountain on Interstate 10 from Tucson from the south.
Factual error: Donald Pleasence's character makes a left turn at an intersection controlled by a traffic light. The camera pulls back and reveals an Interstate highway shield on the road he turned from. Interstate highways never have at-grade intersections controlled by traffic lights; they are designed to be non-stop routes with access to side roads available only through ramps and grade-separated interchanges.
Factual error: Melanthius claims to be friends with Archimedes, who died in 212BC. Yet the movie must be set after the birth of Mohammed, in 570AD, as it contains references to Islam. Only out by at least 783 years.
Factual error: When Alvy and Annie try to get the escaped lobsters into the pot, the lobsters are red and orange. Live lobsters are dark green and black - they turn red/orange after being boiled.
Factual error: In the beginning of the movie, Goaltender Denis Lemieux is on Jim Carr's show demonstrating the different types of penalties. When he shows us what spearing is, that was actually butt-ending. Spearing is done when you use the other end of your stick; the blade end.
Factual error: After loading the bomb, Dern and Keller hijack the blimp. As Shaw watches the blimp heading for the stadium, he spots a helicopter across the field, moving bundles of pipe. Shaw and Weaver commandeer the chopper to chase down the blimp. A major part of the security plan for the Superbowl, was that the only aircraft "trusted" to be allowed to fly within a 100 miles of the stadium are the Goodyear blimp and the Police helicopter. The other helicopter would not have been allowed to fly that day.supercent
Factual error: As the divers surface, they inform the sheriff that the meteor, despite having landed in a lake the night before, is so hot that it may take weeks to cool off.