Best drama movie mistakes of 1981
Factual error: Regardless of how bad an attorney he is, Ned Racine must surely know that his acquittal for murder is a shoe-in. It's very doubtful that the prosecution would have even held out for remand in his case, and in fact they probably would not have even charged him in the first place. The fact that his fingerprints are on Edmund Walker's glasses is irrelevant. He and Racine were seen in public together, notably in the restaurant, and he freely admits to being in Walker's house. He could have handled Walker's glasses on any one of these occasions. The conversation Racine has with Ted about building the firebomb cannot be used in court, as Ted fires Racine as his lawyer at his second meeting; everything from the first is covered by attorney-client privilege. Maddy obviously isn't around to give evidence, and the yearbook entry Racine finds throws suspicion on her (and away from Racine) immediately. There are no witnesses and no forensic evidence, in fact there is nothing to support the prosecution case except a vague suspicion based upon his having had an affair with the widow-to-be. No court in the US would entertain the case for a minute (yes, I am a criminal lawyer).
Factual error: Mel Gibson sits around the campfire at the railway camp with the lads, reading newspaper reports of the April 25, 1915 landing at Gallipoli. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade (including the 10th Light Horse Regiment from Western Australia) landed at Gallipoli on 20 May 1915. This would have given him less than 3 weeks to enlist, train, travel to Egypt by ship and land on the Peninsula. A bit of a stretch. In reality, the 10 Light Horse regiment was raised in October 1914, with the 1st-3rd reinforcements departing Fremantle February 19-22, 1915.
Continuity mistake: In the final scene of the movie, on the highway, Cora (Jessica Lange) is ejected from the car Frank (Jack Nicholson) is driving, hits the ground, dies instantly after the impact, and rolls over to the shoulder of the road. Weeping, Frank kneels by her side and holds her motionless right hand with his right hand, which, of course, has no wedding ring (They had just been married.) The next and last close-up shot shows he's holding her right hand with his LEFT HAND, the wide gold wedding ring appearing now in full sight. (01:59:33)
Continuity mistake: When Cadet Major Morelan is unbuttoning his jacket he unbuttons the top 2 buttons and the bottom 2 buttons. This leaves the middle 3 buttons fastened. He then sits down and is talking to Tom Cruise, Sean Penn and 1 other Cadet. In the next shot when he stands up, the bottom 3 buttons are now unbuttoned and only 2 buttons are fastened. He had sat down with his hands on his knees and that never changed. The button could not/would not unbuttoned itself.luchador
Continuity mistake: About half way through the movie, the three main characters are in a loft. When the Asian girl grabs the postal worker's jacket, a cassette tape falls out of his pocket. As the girl bends down to pick up the tape, the camera shows here reaching with one hand, and then the camera switches to a close-up of her picking up the tape with the opposite hand.
Visible crew/equipment: During the opening sequence Cole does a backflip to get down from a tree and lands behind some tall grass, as he pushes the grass aside and steps through you can see the stuntman who did the backflip trying to hide behind him.
Factual error: After the autopsy of "Sheila," the medical examiner tells the entomology expert that "she has no internal organs whatsoever." Yet, we're looking at "Sheila," and she has not been cut open at all, certainly not in the standard Y-shaped incision used in autopsies. Wouldn't even the worst medical examiner at least look inside before stating that internal parts were missing?
Factual error: In the boat-stealing scene, when the machine gunner fires a burst of blanks out of the M60 at the Cajuns, the weapon functions perfectly. However, the muzzle is bare. When firing with blanks, weapons have to have metal pieces called blank adaptors screwed into the muzzle to keep enough gas inside the weapon to cycle the bolt. Without one, the M60 would fire one round and stop.
Visible crew/equipment: When Michael Caine leaves the Last Chance Saloon at night and is walking along a sidewalk in town, he looks inside one of the store windows to see something moving under an old cloth. As he looks closer to the window, suddenly a hand jumps out from under the cloth and crashes through the store front window from the inside and grabs Michael Caine's throat. What is so laughable is that the crew or extra who is putting his hand through the breakable glass to get at Michael Caine's throat fails to "hide" his entire arm from view and what is supposed to be a severed hand is not only the hand but the entire arm attached.
Factual error: There could never be an aircraft of World War 2 vintage with the call sign "Yankee Zephyr". If it was a US aircraft (it appears to be) it would have the call sign "Yankee Zulu". If it was an RAF aircraft it would be "Yoke Zephyr". This all changed when the phonetic alphabets were standardised by NATO in the Fifties, but the DC3 in this film is supposed to have crashed before the end of World War 2 in 1945.
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