Character mistake: Mainly in Old West films, actors who are portraying barbers very frequently sharpen their straight-razors the wrong way, flipping the blade with its sharp edge against the strop. This would instantly dull and damage the razor's edge. No real barber would make such a clumsy mistake, but it's a common movie error.
Common movie and TV mistakes - page 5
This is a list of mistakes, things done wrong, etc. that happen so frequently onscreen we barely notice any more. 'Movie logic', stupid behaviours, and everything related.
Factual error: When someone has a limb or other body part sliced off or the person is bisected, and there is a dramatic delay in the body part falling off as if to cast doubt on whether or not they were actually sliced. Notable examples include "Equilibrium," "Skinned Deep," "Resident Evil," "Ghost Ship," and "Final Destination 2."
Factual error: Wild animals are depicted to be much more violent and vicious than in reality. Truth be told, most wild animals will avoid and run from humans. Even wolf packs, snakes, and jungle cats will avoid humans out of fear.
Character mistake: "Romantic" gestures which would actually get you arrested for stalking. Tracking down where someone lives and trying to sneak into their back yard with a bunch of flowers would get the cops called on you, not invited in for coffee.
Revealing mistake: Actors supposedly playing instruments in a scene but their hand movements don't match the music.
Plot hole: An easily-explainable misunderstanding where one person storms off without even giving the other person the opportunity to clarify what's happened. "A pair of woman's underwear in your apartment?! You're cheating on me, we're done forever, don't ever call me!" But his sister came over to do some laundry that day, if she'd only bothered talking about it for a second.
Factual error: After waking up from a coma or being knocked out for several days, people in films often get up and proceed to wander around or have a conversation before moving on. But the body continues to function during this comatose state. When someone gets up after sleeping for 3 days straight, they would immediately need to head to the bathroom to relieve themselves. That, or they would smell very horribly to others around them and need to be cleaned up if they were not already taken care of when asleep by the other people.
Factual error: Regular, unmodified weapons firing blank rounds. Real weapons use large and obvious attachments to block most of the propellant gases from going out of the barrel, which cycles the weapon. Hollywood weapons have blockages or mechanisms hidden in the barrel to do the same thing (or they have other effects like CGI or a gas flame), but those would make them unable to fire actual bullets. Also, real blanks are dangerous when fired close to people because they can still fire out debris. Die Hard 2 is a good example, with the bad guys swapping back and forth between blank and live ammunition in the same weapons.
Factual error: Trains that do not stop, but crash through objects on railroad tracks. Train engineers will hit the brakes of the train when they see anything or anyone on the tracks, and if they come in contact with said objects, will stop to investigate what they hit, and cooperate with local and Federal authorities. Two examples are "Back To the Future, Part III" and "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry."
Other mistake: Characters that are on the run from the law or otherwise go into hiding, and they cut their hair themselves and it looks like it was done by a professional stylist. Examples include "The Fugitive," "Gone Girl," and even "The Outsiders" showed two youngsters cutting each others' hair with a knife but having a decent end result.
Deliberate mistake: Characters who are being pursued on foot frequently hide in plain sight of their pursuers. You see characters (typically the "good guys") duck around the corner of a building, or a tree, or some other obstacle, where they freeze and glance over their shoulders to watch their oblivious pursuers (typically the "bad guys") wander past just a few feet in the background. Nevermind the fact that the good guy's body is only partially concealed by said obstacle, or not concealed at all. This is an old film-making trick intended to heighten audience tension, even though it is totally illogical.
Factual error: When the police are on the phone with a suspect who is using a landline and they try to keep them on the line long enough to trace the number and location. If the film takes place after the advent of Caller ID, then this information would be available instantly.
Character mistake: Chess boards being set up wrongly, or pieces being in places that make no sense and they would never have got there in the course of a normal game.
Continuity mistake: Countdown timers that bear no relation to reality.
Factual error: In movie plots that take place hundreds or even thousands of years ago, the characters have perfectly white, straight teeth. It is a known fact that Queen Elizabeth I was virtually toothless by age 40. Good dental hygiene didn't really exist until after WWII. Some movies get it right, but only for the bad guys.
Deliberate mistake: Modern cars crashing without airbags going off. Probably a deliberate mistake for safety (trained stunt drivers can create the scene safely with the airbags removed) and visibility (deflated airbags would obscure the actors and getting past them would slow down the action).
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