WarGames

WarGames (1983)

44 mistakes

(4 votes)

Continuity mistake: When David's father is pushing the dog down from the kitchen table, he has a knife in his left hand the whole time. The next shot however shows the knife no longer in his hand and him picking up the knife from the butter tub.

Continuity mistake: Towards the end when the NORAD door is closing, they keep showing it opened further from shot to shot in order to delay how quickly the door actually is closing vs. how slow it really would have had to move in order to allow David and Dr. Falken to actually have still made it in.

jerimiah

Revealing mistake: On the large screen at the end of the film, Joshua and Prof. Falken are 'writing' to each other. Falken types in "Hello Joshua"- he not only says it, but you can hear him typing it as well, however, on the screen, only the word "Hello" appears; the word "Joshua" doesn't.

Factual error: At the end of the movie WOPR tries to crack the launch-code using brute force. So far so good. When WOPR finds out one digit of the 10 digit code, the first digit locks and the search goes on with the remaining 9 digits. Then he finds the second one, it locks too and so on. Problem is, brute force doesn't work that way. It would be too easy (26 letters and 10 numbers = only 36 possibilities for one digit). Brute-Force works only "all or nothing", you can't sneak your way to the whole code one by one.

Goekhan

Factual error: The beginning starts out with two Strategic Air Command officers in a Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Launch Control Facility (LCF) going through the strict procedures for launch of an ICBM. The crypto messages are being received by the LCF, the launch officers pull the launch sequence and confirm the crypto launch command (encoded message) matches that which is contained in the launch sequence - all very secret, and all very realistic. However, the missile they show in the movie powering up for launch is a Titan ICBM, and how you launch a Titan from a Minuteman LCF is beyond me.

Factual error: In the scene in which Prof. Falken shows David and Jennifer a dinosaur movie projected on a screen, Falken is between the projector and the screen, with portions of the image on his face, slightly blurry, just like it would be. But David and Jennifer aren't in the light path, so the only light on them would be reflected from the entire screen, but when they're shown, images from the dinosaur movie are perfectly focused on them, which would be impossible.

Factual error: When Matthew Broderick sets up his computer to look for other computers by getting it to dial a number, check to see if it is a computer, record the number if it is, hang up, and repeat the sequence, the writers forgot one thing. With the type of modem he was using (a so-called "acoustic coupler"), someone would have to physically push the hangup button on the phone before it could dial another number. It could be entirely possible though to dial a number from the computer and send the acoustic coupler the instruction to generate DTMF tones, but this could only be done once; without an actual relay that will cut the line and get a new signal tone again, no looping (war dialing) could be done. The next generation of modems that hooked directly to the phone line could do all of the above, but with what the movie used, it was impossible.

Factual error: In two different scenes, Matthew Broderick lifts the phone receiver off his modem-once during the scene where it's dialing numbers in Sunnyvale, CA, and again when WOPR keeps calling his phone trying to reconnect. In both cases, the activity on the screen should have disappeared, since lifting the phone off the modem cradle disconnects the signal. Yet the computer somehow manages to keep dialing numbers, or display the running game clock on the simulation, without any interruption.

Andrew Bauer

Continuity mistake: In the very beginning, when the Air Force brass land at SAC in the helicopter, they get into a 2 door Jeep Cherokee. After they enter the tunnel and stop to get out, they exit a 2 door Jeep Cherokee Chief - the wide wheel well model, not the standard one they first got into. (00:07:25 - 00:08:25)

serbiesnow

Factual error: While it makes for a great story for the movie, the reality is that all computer systems used by government agencies - especially in the DoD - are required to provide their source code for thorough inspection to ensure there are no back doors, hidden subroutines or other types of software code that are not relevant to the task designed for. Given the critical nature of this system being in control of launching nuclear missiles, the reality is that none of the games that Falken wrote - much less the whole routine to allow it to simulate a game like this - would still be in, for obvious reasons. Of course it could be argued Falken hid this, however given the lack of complexity for a computer of this era, it's highly unlikely.

jerimiah

Continuity mistake: When David and Jennifer leave Falken's house, it is fully dark out. When the helicopter is shown flying around to pick them up, the sky changes from fully dark to some twilight in the sky, depending on the angle shown.

Continuity mistake: In the scene towards the beginning of the movie when McKittrick, the General and others are discussing the problem that numerous missile commanders failed to launch their missiles because they believed the order to launch was not a test. As the camera shot goes back and forth on the actors in the room as they are talking, you'll notice McKittrick's hair goes back and forth from neat and combed to messy and disheveled.

Plot hole: It makes no sense that NORAD would inform the media about the false missile attack since they know at that point it was a simulation and no real danger was at hand.

jbrbbt

Plot hole: Having a launch code that is visible to anyone who passes the control terminal does not make any sense especially given the power behind what that code does (launching of nuclear warheads).

jerimiah

Plot hole: Given the number of possible combinations the launch code could be (over 3600 trillion possibilities) it makes no sense that W.O.P.R cannot process that significantly quicker given how easily it's able to calculate thousands of ICBM impacts, damage inflicted, casualties, etc. for each "War Scenario" at the end as quickly as it does to determine a winner.

jerimiah

Continuity mistake: When everyone is trying to get Joshua/WOPR to stand down from launching its own missiles, McKittrick's assistant Paul is standing with the rest of the group, but then there is a quick shot of Paul looking at the WOPR and then within seconds Paul is overheard saying "must be caught in a loop" as if he's standing beside everyone again.

jbrbbt

Other mistake: When Jennifer meets David in Oregon she says she drove 3 hours to get there. In the next scene they are getting off a bus to catch the ferry. What happened to her car?

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: There are possibilities off-screen as to why. It's possible that the bus used its own private road to get to the ferry which may be closed to the public, or the parking lot may have been too expensive and they parked on a street instead and caught a bus. It's not really known, but those are some possibilities.

Other mistake: When David first logs into the system after finding the right password, it shows a phone # beginning with the prefix 936. The only problem was that earlier when his computer was dialing numbers, he had not gotten to 936 yet. That was the 4th prefix and he only got through the first 3. There is no way he could have dialed that number with his computer program.

WarGames mistake picture

Factual error: As the computer repeatedly tries different bombing strategies, all resulting in "WINNER : NONE", one of the strategies it lists misspells "Israel" as "Isreal" and "Palestinian" as "Palistinian."

Ean Radcliffe

Continuity mistake: The 1 minute 30 second countdown takes almost 2 minutes and 30 seconds, despite it being a continuous shot. And the last 10 seconds takes at least 13 seconds, despite each number being counted down out loud.

Bishop73

David Lightman: [On the computer] Hello, are you still playing the game?
Joshua: Of course. I should reach Defcon 1 and release my missiles in 28 hours. Would you like to see some projected kill ratios?
David Lightman: Sixty-nine percent of the housing destroyed. Seventy-two million people dead. [Types into computer] Is this a game or is it real?
Joshua: What's the difference?

More quotes from WarGames

Trivia: Closely listen to the TV playing in the background, when Mathew Broderick comes home from school, before all his trouble starts with the Feds. The local news is on, and is saying "a fire broke out in a prophylactic recycling factory."

More trivia for WarGames

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