Best movie factual errors of 1983

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Octopussy picture

Factual error: In the balloon scene, it seems like Q can circle around and land on a spot where he flew past previously. A balloon can only fly in the direction of the wind.

Jacob La Cour

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The Outsiders picture

Factual error: Even though this film is set in 1965, Burlington Northern locomotives can be seen. The railroad was formed in 1970. Also, an EMD GP40-2 can be seen at the beginning of the film, but the first ones were built in 1972.


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WarGames picture

Factual error: At the end of the movie WOPR tries to crack the launch-code using brute force. So far so good. When WOPR finds out one digit of the 10 digit code, the first digit locks and the search goes on with the remaining 9 digits. Then he finds the second one, it locks too and so on. Problem is, brute force doesn't work that way. It would be too easy (26 letters and 10 numbers = only 36 possibilities for one digit). Brute-Force works only "all or nothing", you can't sneak your way to the whole code one by one.


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Jaws 3-D picture

Factual error: When the shark swims towards the glass, it doesn't move its tail. Sharks have to swing their tail in order to swim. There is no way this shark could be moving.

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The Right Stuff picture

Factual error: After Shepard lifts off the pad on his Redstone rocket, most of the stock footage actually shows an Atlas rocket.


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Mr. Mom picture

Factual error: Jack lives in suburban Detroit, yet there are palm trees along the streets.

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Trading Places picture

Factual error: When Beeks is locked in the cage with the gorilla, it reacts in an overtly aggressive and sexual manner. First, gorillas are shy and gentle creatures. The male gorilla would be scared of him, not the other way around. Second, gorillas identify each other by their smell, and the smell of a female in heat is very specific. Beeks would smell like a horsehair rug and the male gorilla wouldn't be the slightest bit interested.

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Never Say Never Again picture Never Say Never Again mistake picture

Factual error: When we first see Fatima Blush, she is waterskiing. She is doing several stunts, which are only possible with one ski, the most notable being skiing backwards with one foot in the air. However, when she releases the tow rope and skis up the ramp into James Bond's arms, she is on two skis. (00:45:55)

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Terms of Endearment picture

Factual error: Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson both live in River Oaks (very ritzy neighborhood in Houston) and are traveling to Brennans restaurant in downtown Houston maybe 5-10 miles away - but they go by way of Galveston which is about 45 miles south of Houston - which needless to say is way way out of the way... (00:50:40)

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National Lampoon's Vacation picture

Factual error: During the St. Louis part, they show the Griswolds crossing the bridge into Missouri and *then* getting lost in what they title "East St. Louis." East St. Louis is actually in Illinois, so they would have encountered it before crossing the bridge. This has apparently been corrected in the video version.

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All the Right Moves picture

Factual error: When Stefen leads the Ampipe team onto the field to play Walnut Heights, they run out onto the Point Stadium field. The locker room they come from is at the Johnstown Vocational and Technical school, which is in Richland Township. The Point Stadium is in downtown Johnstown.

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A Christmas Story picture

Factual error: The movie was set in the mid-to-late 1940s, however, the red wagons shown in the display in Higbee's corner window at the beginning of the film, bear a Radio Flyer script logo which was designed in 1967. (00:03:10)

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Christine picture

Factual error: When Christine is about to crush Moochie you see the car is a few inches wider than the entrance to the loading dock. Even a small box truck that you can rent is 7'3" wide so that opening would have to be wider than that for the truck to back in. A 1958 Plymouth Fury is only 6'6" wide. Christine would have had plenty of room to just drive in and crush Moochie. (01:45:45)


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Suggested correction: Just to the side there is a sign saying fork lift loading area. A fork lift is much narrower than a truck or a car.

Not disagreeing that a forklift couldn't go down there but @ 1:05:28 you see DANGER spray painted on the right in yellow on the bricks. Below that you see a yellow sign with black letters that say FORKLIFT AREA. Does not say "loading area." Also notice the black rubber bumper that goes across the entire length of the loading dock. That is there to cushion the trailer or box truck when it touches the loading dock. Then the yellow black yellow bumper that goes around the inside of the area is there to protect the building when the driver is backing up with either a trailer or a box truck.


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The Man with Two Brains picture

Factual error: Part of the movie takes place in Vienna, Austria. Although the number plates of the cars are like those in Austria at that time, neither the road markings nor the street car which can be seen when both Steve Martin and Kathleen Turner are "climbing" outside their hotel look like those in Vienna.

Christoph Galuschka

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Brainstorm picture

Factual error: When the Brainstorm project is taken over by the sinister military operative Landan Marks, he begins weaponizing the brain-interface technology and testing it on the human guinea pig Gordon Forbes. As Gordon is subjected to increasingly difficult fighter-jet simulations, Landan Marks gleefully exclaims to military observers, "Now watch this! He can take a full 10-G rollout without losing control, just by thinking about it!" In the flight-simulator cockpit, Gordon grimaces, but the Brainstorm device allows him to remain conscious and maintain control despite his physical distress. But the fact is that no flight simulator in the 1980s or even today would be able to simulate extreme G-forces as described in this film. In fact, flight simulators then and now can't approximate even low G-forces. Only a giant centrifuge can produce such forces; but Gordon is not in a centrifuge for this scene. It's simply a flight simulator.

Charles Austin Miller

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Blue Thunder picture

Factual error: Cochrane chases Murphy in a Hughes 500 which has a top speed of 147 mph and easily keeps up with him, demonstrating that Blue Thunder's top speed is less than 150 mph. The F-16s sent after Blue Thunder have a stall speed of 175 mph. They would have to slow down to the point of falling out of the sky to have a shot at Murphy. Its utterly impractical and far more likely that the military would have sent AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters after him.

Grumpy Scot

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Suggested correction: Not necessarily. The F16 (and other fast movers) can and do engage slow moving helos all the time. They just engage them by missile from a long distance, where speeds are irrelevant.


I'm no expert, but I wouldn't think the US Military keeps helicopter crews on Alert Status like they do for fighters. This film was during the Cold War, so maybe, but it wouldn't make sense to keep an attack helicopter crew (and ground crew) on Alert like they would for fighter jets. Even after 9/11, I wouldn't think a (armed) helicopter crew would be beneficial to keep.

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Silkwood picture

Factual error: Karen points out to Thelma that she should have given a nasal swab (to detect internal contamination) after being 'cooked', yet on both occasions when Karen is being scrubbed after being contaminated she has blisters all over her face - something which should be avoided when performing decontamination as this can allow contamination to enter the body.

Andy Benham

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Risky Business picture

Factual error: When asked by the Princeton interviewer what he plans to major in, Joel replies "business." Princeton does not offer an undergraduate degree in business.

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The Thorn Birds picture

Factual error: During the huge thunderstorm which causes the fire you can see that it's actually a bright, sunny day with only a mild overcast. Several times you can see the sky in the shots and though sometimes lightning bolts are visible there are only a few light clouds on an otherwise blue sky.

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Yellowbeard picture

Factual error: The caption says "twenty years later" before the main part of the movie starts. Now judging by the dates we've seen on-screen so far that would be in the reign of William and Mary, not Queen Anne.

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