Best movie factual errors of 1988
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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: At the onset of the baseball game, take a look at the Angel's catcher as Mariner Jay Johnstone steps up to bat. You will see he is wearing just a standard baseball hat under his catcher's helmet. MLB rules requires some form of certified (protective inside and out) plastic helmet for catchers, and thus this would not be allowed. (01:07:35)
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 Kevin Costner says that if the pitcher starts him out with a curve-ball he is taking him downtown, he strides to the plate and pounds a homer over the left field wall. However, the shot that shows the ball actually flying over the wall shows the distance at 410 feet. No minor league or even major league ball park is 410 to left field, indicating that the shot was actually taken in right center, no where near where Costner's ball actually went out.
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: 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: 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.
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: The address on Claire's business card reads 514 West 43rd St. When Frank gets there, the street sign is for 3rd St./900 East block. The sign on the building reads "9th Street Temporary Shelter". Along with these discrepancies, taking into consideration that 3rd St. may be the cross street, WEST 43rd would not cross 3rd St. EAST, as they are on opposites sides of Manhattan. Even if the '4' on the sign for 43rd St. were somehow obliterated, 514 still would not be on the 900 East block. (00:53:10 - 00:54:15)ChiChi