Best movie factual errors of 2004
Please vote as you browse around to help the best rise to the top.
Factual error: As Ben is clinging to the staircase while it is falling apart, there is a close-up of a nail being pulled out of the wood. This nail is round-headed, rather than square as it would have been over 200 years ago. It's also shiny instead of rusty, which indicates that it's galvanized. Galvanization as an industrial, metal-preservation process was not patented until 1837, and was not used in building materials until well into the late-1800s. Since the film states the staircase was made by "the Founding Fathers, " and there was no galvanization of iron nails in any industrialized nation in 1780s-1830's, this is a huge anachronism.Kristal
Factual error: Considering the brightness of the fusion process, Dr. Octavius has to wear special goggles to be able to see it. Yet no one else in the room is wearing such goggles or seem hurt by watching the whole process, just as at the end of the movie. When welding something, no one can look at the arc that's created, as it would hurt his eyes and burn his retina; presumably, the fusion process would be brighter and more powerful than that, and so should have some kind of damaging effect on everyone's eyesight (except Spider Man's, maybe).Sereenie
Factual error: The scene where Nightfox steals the Faberge Egg is all wrong. A laser security system must have a photoelectric receptor at the other side to detect if somebody pass between the two devices. As shown in the film, the laser beams points everywhere, so the system can't work and somebody could cross a beam without starting the alarm. Even if it was some weird system based on measuring distance it wouldn't work - if the laser hits the floor at an angle it won't bounce back to the source, it will reflect towards the ceiling.Dr Wilson
Factual error: Raoul is the Vicomte de Chagny and he gets called that throughout the movie, even during the auction (which shows he didn't change titles when his parents or his brother died, for example). Yet Christine's tombstone calls her a countess when it should have read viscountess - or, even better, vicomtesse.Sereenie
Factual error: The aircraft flying to rescue the British Royal Family are described as belonging to "an RAF search and rescue squadron." However the middle aircraft has white and green striped camouflage painted on it, which is a pattern only used by aircraft in 845 Naval Air Squadron (a Royal Navy unit).
Factual error: Near the beginning of the film there is a map of Europe with the countries coloured in using their respective flags. Great Britain is coloured with the Union Jack (Union Flag) pattern but so is Southern Ireland (Eire). Southern Ireland is not part Great Britain, only the British Isles - they are a separate country and the Union jack is not their country's flag. Only the north or the Irish landmass (Northern Ireland) and Britain should show the Union Jack. If they are using an "old map" it would have to be very old, before the 1920's.
Factual error: I normally wouldn't bother with this sort of nitpicking, but this film specifically claims to be historically researched - and it's full of historical blunders. For a start, the film is set as the Empire withdraws its last troops from Britain - which was in 407 AD. Now Artorius Castus was a real Roman officer who really did command Sarmatian foederati at Hadrian's Wall, but he died around 200 AD. Cerdic was a real Saxon warlord who did go raiding the Britons with his son Cynric, but he did this in the early 500s. Pelagius really was tried for heresy, but he was acquitted and died of old age; the trial was a decade after this setting, and in the fifth century you couldn't be executed for heresy anyway. Also in the fifth century the Pope had no authority over Imperial troops. I could go on and on but that will do for now.
Factual error: After the scene where they fall over the waterfall, and go through what they have left of the equipment. Bill, the Latino doctor, holds up the CD-reader from a desktop computer and says that the hard drive is broken, which would be OK if he actually had the hard drive present. (00:34:35)
Factual error: Townes taxis the C119 far too close to the buildings next to the oil platform. The nose of the plane is almost touching the wall. The only anchoring point on a C119 for a taxiing tractor is on the nose wheel, and he hasn't left enough space for the tractor to link up and turn the aircraft without the wing (and engine) hitting the building. There are no anchoring points on a C119 that allow it to be towed backwards, even if they could steer it that way.
Factual error: There indeed was a moment in the game (vs. USSR) where Jim Craig was shaken up, but contrary to what's shown in the movie, the hit did not happen as the Soviets scored a goal. Furthermore, if a goalie is that flagrantly knocked down and out so that a teammate can get a shot off, it should be a two-minute penalty for "goaltender interference" and the goal disallowed.Matty Blast
Factual error: Flynn says that the chamber in the Mayan temple is "an exact replica of their great temple of Teotihuacan." But Teotihuacan was not a Mayan city, but rather the hub of a separate civilization (themselves called the Teotihuacan). It was in central Mexico, hundreds of miles from the Mayan area in the Yucatan Peninsula.DavidK93