Continuity mistake: When the team are about to jump from the cable car into the river, the view from ground level shows a bare road with no snow on it on the right and a line of trees on the left with German trucks parked next to them, but the view from the cable car shows a snow-covered road and no trucks beside the trees.
Character mistake: In the courtyard of the castle there is an anti-aircraft gun. You could probably not find a worse place for a gun like that even if you tried (except maybe if you put it inside, in a windowless room). In the position it is placed it can only fire at targets directly ABOVE the castle. What you want to do is fire at targets BEFORE they reach the castle. It would be better if they placed it on the roof, or even near the village below.
Revealing mistake: After the accident with the German car crashing into the pile of snow in which the Germans were killed, Schaffer first hangs an MP40 on his shoulder and then somehow pulls up a body with only one hand. And with the changing of the grip, (from chest to legs) the 'body' stands on his own feet to give Schaffer the time and opportunity to do it properly.
Other mistake: In the scene where Burton and Eastwood are in the radio room, two grenades are thrown, which blow the main radio room door off the hinges and Burton and Eastwood run behind the small door and hide in that room. The German soldiers then run up and one of them throws another grenade supposedly into the radio room. However, the actor in his attempt to throw the grenade into the room instead throws the grenade into the door and it bounces back into the hallway in which he is standing and lands in front of him, yet no one reacts to this and seconds later we see an explosion as if the grenade had actually gone into the room, but it is really on the floor in front of the door and would have certainly blown the German soldiers to bits.
Continuity mistake: When the team is about to jump from the cable car into the river, seen from the cable car, they wait until they get close to the shore. But when they jump, seen from below, the cable car is moving across the river from the far side, and they land in the middle.
Add timeJacob La Cour
Revealing mistake: As the spy troupe prepares to leave by airplane, a Kübelwagen with soldiers comes up, which Burton shoots with his MP40. As the car bursts into flames, the driver and passengers are revealed as dummies, since no one could or would sit around quietly while they were on fire.
Factual error: In the flashback scene where the commandos are being briefed on their mission, they are told that General Carmody was on his way to a meeting with Russian officers on Crete. Hardly the best place for a meeting between the Allies since Crete was then under German occupation.
Revealing mistake: After Smith and Schaffer are captured and while they are being transported by car, Schaffer pushes one of the guards out of the car and a struggle begins which causes the car to crash. After the crash, the body of the guard that was pushed out of the car magically appears about 50 feet behind the accident (just before the crash there was no body).
Continuity mistake: The car that Schaffer and Smith are riding in with the Germans is launched in the air by hitting a pile of snow and then comes to a sudden stop by hitting a pile of gravel where the Germans are killed. What happened to the pile of snow when Schaffer and Smith push the car backwards?
Continuity mistake: When Smith and Schaffer intrude on Carnaby's interrogation, the Gestapo officer and Mary are having drinks in the café, where he makes a statement that might reveal a fault in her identity (a location in Dusseldorf). Her hand is fixed on her chin, but the next cut shows her hand fully on her cheek.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where the Germans are beating down the door to the hallway leading to the cable car, when the door is about to give way, in the clip from inside the door, it is moving a lot under each blow, but when seen from the outside it doesn't move at all.
Add timeJacob La Cour
Continuity mistake: In the scene where the group parachutes in, the sky is cloudy and we can see snowfall, but watch carefully, as the men make their way to the equipment containers and then to find Sgt Harod we constantly see shots switching between cloudy and snowfall, then to no snowfall and sometimes sunlight, then back to cloudy and snowfall again. This switch back and forth is even more evident on the closeups of Richard Burton.
Visible crew/equipment: In the scene where the Germans are pursuing Richard Burton's escaping party as they make their way towards the aircraft waiting for them, you will see the first of two pursuing German Kubelwagons being hit with machine gun fire and flipping. When this happens, you will see a cable used to flip the vehicle on the bottom left side of the screen being quickly retracted as it becomes detached from the Kubelwagon's axle.
Continuity mistake: After looking at the Castle, Smith sends Shaffer back to the others to tell them to stay behind the tree line and he goes to the radio to contact London. When he turns to go to the radio his MP40 has the butt extended, but when he gets to the radio it's folded back again.
Plot hole: When Smith and Schaffer are entering the castle via a rope Mary has lowered for them, Smith stops halfway up to look through a large window. Clearly visible through this window are the faces of at least two soldiers with others in the background. It is inconceivable that not one of them would notice: A) the rope suddenly dangling outside; B) Smith's solid frame as he stares in at them; C) Schaffer scrambling up the rope after Smith; or D) the rope bouncing around while Schaffer drags it in along with the attached backpack.
Continuity mistake: During this sequence at the radio transmitter in Admiral Rolland's headquarters, whilst the Admiral is attempting to regain contact with Smith, Colonel Turner is seen in the background, smoking. At the beginning of the sequence, one shot shows him holding a cigarette between the fingers of his right hand. After a cut back to the Admiral, the next shot shows Turner holding the cigarette in the fingers of his left hand.
Plot hole: In one scene, the heroes of the film (i.e. Burton, Eastwood and others) locked themselves up in the cable car control room within the castle. The pursuing Germans wasted valuable time trying to break down the heavy wooden door of the control room with axes. Why didn't the Germans use grenades or other explosives? They could have instantly blown open even the sturdiest wooden door.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where they all jump from the sky tram into the water after escaping from the castle, we see the blonde woman (Mary) swim to shore. As she gets out, her hair is absolutely soaked and matted to her head. When the angle of the camera changes, we see her only this time, he hair is almost perfect and only slightly damp and is actually blowing in the soft breeze.
Continuity mistake: As the stolen bus ploughs through the German airfield Smith yells to Schaffer, "Take out the control tower," so Schaffer and Mary point their guns high and start firing. There is a long shot of bullets strafing the control tower, glass shattering and the traffic controller falling backwards as he is hit. It is followed by a quick close-up of him in perfect health, shouting into his radio, then being mowed down by the stream of bullets.
Continuity mistake: When Schaffer climbs the rope into the castle, he reaches the top of the rope, grabs the window sill and starts to pull himself in. It then cuts to inside the room where Schaffer can be seen outside holding on to the top of the rope and then grabs the window sill to pull himself in, again.
Continuity mistake: When Major Smith and the others have completed their parachute jump, they find Sgt. Harod dead in the snow. Major Smith says at first Harod broke his neck on landing, but later said to his trusted comrades Harod was murdered after landing. Since he was murdered by a member of the landing party there would be tell-tale footprints of the murderer in the virgin snow around Harod's body, but there are no footprints around him at all.
Continuity mistake: When Burton and Eastwood jump from the cable car into the river, Burton jumps before Eastwood. However, the next shot downward has the Eastwood stuntman landing in the river first with the Burton stuntman still above him. We know it's Burton because of the bandaged hand.
Continuity mistake: When Smith fires at the last German Kübelwagen chasing his team on the Oberhausen airfield runway, the scene alternates between two perspectives of Smith firing from the bus's engine cover: One from the front, the other from his backside. In each of these alternating shots, Smith holds the front part of his MP40 in a different grip.
Plot hole: How could Colonel Turner both be in London during the mission and in the pick-up plane? A Juncker can fly approx 220 km/h. It is approx. 1200 km from London to Southern Bavaria. That means that Colonel Turner would have had to leave London 5½ hours before the pick-up. The team does definitely not spend 5½ hours from the last time we see Colonel Turner in London until the pick-up.
Add timeJacob La Cour
Character mistake: Shortly after Schaffer has murdered the pilot of the helicopter in the radio room, Smith joins him and suggests they go and see how Cartwright-Jones is getting on. At this point his identity as Jones has not been revealed and he should have been referred to as General Carnaby.
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