Best movie factual errors of 1996

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Independence Day picture

Factual error: During the final battle over Area 51, Russell Casse appears in his F-18 and states he is armed. After he attempts to acquire radar lock on the alien's primary weapon, he states he is locked on and has tone. He then says the tactical brevity code Fox-2, which indicates the launch of an infrared-guided missile. However, the missile he is actually attempting to launch is an AIM-54 Phoenix, which is an active radar guided missile, designated by the launch code Fox-3. The master monitor display also incorrectly shows the missile mounted on the port wingtip launcher of the aircraft where the AIM-9 Sidewinder would normally be mounted, instead of on the port wing's weapon pylon where the missile actually is. Historically, the F-14 Tomcat was the only fighter capable of carrying the AIM-54, as it was such a heavy missile; the AIM-54 was never used on the F/A-18. Instead, they carry the AIM-120 AMRAAMs, not the AIM-54 Phoenix that were shown in the film.

Stonewall
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Twister picture

Factual error: In the begining when Jo's dad is bringing the family downstairs and say's "TV says it's big, might be an F-5" That scene was set in 1969. In reality he would not have known anything about an F-5 or any tornado with an F rating because the Fujita scale was not developed until 1971. (00:02:45)

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Broken Arrow picture

Factual error: The United States Air Force does NOT, ever, allow its pilots to box competitively! Ground staff, yes; pilots, no, never. A pilot can be suspended from flying if he/she receives a blow to the head in day-to-day life; boxing is right out. Almost all air forces (the RAF included) impose this rule.

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Mission: Impossible picture

Factual error: The vents that Hunt and his sidekick crawl down at CIA Headquarters are standard galvanized iron box vents; they are very common in the building trade. Try walking or crawling down one - you'll make a noise like the sky is falling down. People will be able to hear you for miles. Every person in that building would know somebody crawling about in the vent system. (This error applies to dozens of films, not only this one).

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Star Trek: First Contact pictureStar Trek: First Contact mistake picture

Factual error: In the scene where Picard opens a viewing port and shows Lilly that she is in a starship orbiting Earth he shows her New Guinea and Australia. New Zealand is missing. (00:42:45)

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Suggested correction: Actually when you look at Australia and New Zealand from orbit, New Zealand is a lot further away from Australia then shown on a map, also a lot more south of Australia. A map is a 2D image of a sphere, causing proportions to be off (its well known Africa is a lot smaller on maps than it is in real life). Especially the further south or north you go distances are way off. The depiction shown in the movie is actually correct, in that angle New Zealand is just outside of the frame. There are plenty of pictures from orbit to compare.

lionhead
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The Ghost and the Darkness picture

Factual error: The actual Tsavo lions responsible for the killings had no manes - see for yourself; they are on display at the Field Museum in Chicago. [The filmmakers employed artistic license in using maned lions. They were also certain to include -- at the very end of the movie -- footage of the real Tsavo maneaters, as they appear in the Field Museum.]

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Courage Under Fire picture

Factual error: The portrayal of the firing MLRS before Denzel's unit moves off is ludicrously inadequate. The rockets launched from the MLRS resemble a space shuttle lift-off, but in the movie it was more like a sparkler thrown into the air.

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Matilda picture

Factual error: It is stated that Miss Trunchbull competed in the Olympics in shot put, javelin, and hammer throw. According to her jersey those were the 1972 Olympics. The hammer throw wasn't added as an Olympic event for women until 2000.

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Eraser picture

Factual error: The bad guys are able to close in on Vanessa Williams at the end by tracing the signal Arnie sends to her beeper. How could they triangulate her location through a passive, receptive device? Maybe if it was a cell phone, but not a pager. (00:50:10)

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Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco picture

Factual error: When the plane is taking off while the animals are on the runway they duck down hoping it will stop and it becomes airborne shortly before hitting them. In actuality they should have been blown backwards from the jets like ragdolls.

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Down Periscope picture

Factual error: When the submarine rises in the waters of Norfolk and you see Norfolk in the background, there is one blatant problem. There are NO mountains in Norfolk. Most of Norfolk, Virginia, is below sea level.

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Jingle All the Way picture

Factual error: When Howard is running after the bouncy ball he is on the second floor of the Mall of America, however, you see him run through the LEGO store which is located on the lowest floor of the Mall of America, which is impossible if he was on the second floor before.

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Kingpin picture

Factual error: During the movie, which is based in '79, Roy has a Rhino bowling ball. Rhinos weren't made until '85.

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Executive Decision picture

Factual error: The crew sent to board the ill fated jumbo jet is in the "Remora", which is clearly a modified F-117A Stealth Fighter, but retaining the same dimensions. It would be physcially impossible to fit that many people and such a spacious cargo hold into a plane that size with the engines. In fact, with the additional weight, the engines would have to be even bigger for it to operate.

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The English Patient picture

Factual error: After Hardy dies and they're going through his possessions, a football scarf is pulled from his kit bag. The scarf has a Sunderland AFC badge. The film is set in World War II. The badge on the scarf was introduced in the 1970s.

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture

Factual error: During the song "A Guy Like You," one of the gargoyles trips the trapdoor on Quasimodo's miniature hangman's scaffold. Trapdoors weren't used on scaffolds until the 18th century.

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The Rock picture

Factual error: Atropine is on two occasions in the movie stated to offer some kind of protection against corrosive gasses. First, against the nerve agent/gas Goodspeed encounters in the beginning of the movie, which is corrosive enough to eat through a protective suit. Secondly, near the end of the movie against the cloud of VX gas; here Goodspeed injects Atropine into his heart and survives without a scratch even though it is stated that VX will melt your skin. While Atropine is used to counter the effect of nerve agents, Atropine (or any other drug invented by man) wouldn't do anything against a gas that can eat through a protective suit or dissolve skin. In this case the muscle contractions created by the nerve agent would be the least of your worries.

Andreas[DK]
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White Squall picture

Factual error: When the boys have a night on the town with a bunch of eager Dutch girls, the girls somehow forget their native tongue and start to chatter in Danish.

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Lone Star picture

Factual error: We learn that the previous sheriff, Charlie Wade, took revenge on anyone who smuggled illegal immigrants across the border in the late 1950s - we are shown the smuggling, as Eladio Cruz hides a group of Mexican men in a watermelon truck to take them across the border. However, in the 1950s, the border was not fortified the way it is now - the smuggling shown would simply not have been necessary.

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Fargo picture

Factual error: This film takes place in 1987, but when Norm Gunderson is talking to Marge about his paintings, he mentions a 29 cent stamp. 29 cent stamps weren't introduced until 1991.

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