Factual error: The picture of Eddie and Teddy on the road with dad, supposedly taken in 1906, shows a Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus poster. In 1906, the Ringling Brothers circus and the Barnum & Bailey circus were two separate circuses playing in different parts of the country. They did not combine the two shows until 1919. (00:27:00)
Factual error: Throughout the film, characters are able to break through on radio transmissions and speak to the other person talking, and the other person would hear them. In reality, they would have to wait until the first transmitter un-keyed the radio before any other discernable radio traffic could have be heard. (A good example of this is the scene where Ellis is giving up McClane.) (01:18:40)
Factual error: In a flashback to his youth, one of the bullies is wearing a Bartles and James T-shirt, which is a product that didn't exist in the early 70's.
Factual error: During Gavin Grey's first NFL game in 1957, the helmets depicted for both the Washington Redskins and Pittsburgh Steelers are historically inaccurate. The Redskins did not employ the burgundy helmets with the feather-stripe running along the center until 1958, and the Steelers didn't use black helmets with the Steelmark logo until 1963. In 1957, the Redskins used solid gold helmets while the Steelers used yellow helmets with a black stripe along the center and black numerals on either side.
Factual error: Although the film is set in 1962, it uses the song "You Don't Own Me" which wasn't released until 1963 (and didn't become a big hit until 1964).
Factual error: The F-16 in the movie is wearing a desert camouflage, this is the standard camouflage of the Israel's air force F-16 while the USAF F-16 have two tonalities of grey
Factual error: When Billy The Kid is taking a bath and dictating a letter to Doc, intended for the governor, he says he is in the Mexican village of Juarez. This town was actually named "Paso del Norte" at the time, it wasn't until 10 years after the events depicted in the film that it was renamed "Ciudad Juarez."
Factual error: Buster Franklin's bass player is playing a MusicMan StingRay bass, even though they didn't appear on the market until 1976. The guitar isn't from the fifties either, but I can't make out what it is. (02:12:30 - 02:14:50)
Factual error: At the end, when Cyndi Lauper touches the glowing pyramid, goes into a trance, and starts translating the inscription, Jeff Goldblum pulls her off and she doesn't finish it. One of the bad guys says that what Cyndi already said will be enough to help him decode the rest and that it's just a matter of "cartography" now. He should have said "cryptography" (skill of decoding secret writings) and not "cartography" (which has to do with making maps).
Factual error: When Bruce and Patricia are in a lift after being chased by the cars in the garage, the lift rapidly descends but the two people in the lift are seen struggling on the floor when they should just about be on the ceiling due to the speed of the lift's descent.
Factual error: When Jack is trying to buy the bus tickets, the bus company employee tells him that his credit card was cancelled. Credit card companies do not divulge that type of information, they simply indicate whether the requested charge is accepted or denied.
Factual error: The pizza parlor's big break comes when the Fireside Gourmet features them on his TV show. Leaving aside the unbelievability of a gourmet restaurant critic visiting a pizza parlor, he appears as himself on his TV shows. Food critics always dine anonymously so that the restaurant can't give them any special treatment. (Movies love to mess this up.) In addition, when they watch his review, he's barely spat out the name of the restaurant when the phone already starts ringing. Barely enough time to dial the phone, let alone look the restaurant up in Information as most would have needed to do for this little-known place.
Factual error: Near the end when MacPhearson tries to hide away from Dave Ryder in a large room, two men are running up a stairway one behind the other. MacPhearson shoots the one in front, which unrealistically, causes no reaction in the other man, who is directly running behind him, so MacPhearson can shoot him easily too.