Bird on a Wire

Bird on a Wire (1990)

48 mistakes - chronological order

(2 votes)

Revealing mistake: At the kid's birthday party, Sorenson approaches a window and peeks inside to see Diggs meeting with the Colombians. We are supposed to see a POV shot complete with reflection in the window glass, but it is an obvious superimposed image; the camera moves following Bill Duke's movements but David Carradine's head remains unchanged, hovering unmovable with the whole background. (00:05:30)

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Continuity mistake: Ol' Marvin is approaching "Billy Ray" that is working under a car. In the shot when he is leaning against the car, the shadows have significantly changed, since now there's no light spot between his legs and the metal tripod positioned by the missing right wheel. (00:07:20)

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Bird on a Wire mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Marvin falls back after the legs prank, he knocks down several bottles of motor oil, but two piles of boxes stay up. In the close-up that follows Mel Gibson's yuckety laughter, there's just one pile behind Marvin, and he suddenly has also a red rag on his shoulder (the same rag Gibson picks up later since it falls off the pants of the fake legs when 'Billy Ray' picks them back up). (00:07:40)

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Continuity mistake: At the gas station, Marianne tells 'Billy Ray'; "You laugh like him." At the very beginning of the sentence you can spot walking left to right a guy in leather jacket, curly hair, with a blue umbrella. Thirty seconds of dialogue pass, the card checkout at the pump is complete, and in the wider shot the same guy is passing again just where we left him. (00:10:50)

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Other mistake: The list of the previous jobs and aliases of Rick displayed on the computer bears an inconsistency, as "Gordon Connover" from Atlantic City is an identity listed as being over in December 15 1979, but "Harding Bennett" begins on October 16th of the same year in Cleveland. (00:12:50)

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Other mistake: The official FBI database lists Diggs by his full name, "Diggins, Alan", followed by the Diggs alias, but Sorenson for the Feds is simply "Sorenson, E.", no first name given. He can't have been convincted and served time without even a full name. (00:14:30)

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Continuity mistake: Rick pushes Sorenson in the car pit; Sorenson in the first shot falls leaves the shotgun on the ground above, but he has it in the following part. To fall that way, he also fell with the left side of the body first, while the reverse shot shows the opposite. (00:20:05)

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Plot hole: The morning after being shot in the butt at the gas station, Mel Gibson calls witness protection, and tries alias after alias, but finds out they are unknown to the Feds because the evil dude deleted his whole file. Problem is, the agent who has been looking up the name she supposedly did not find, has the computer screen on an empty "Witness Number; K239" page. Which is the right one! How is it possible? The aliases she looked up do not exist, but somehow they returned the appropriate record number. (00:29:10)

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Continuity mistake: When Rick and Marianne pop out of the window of the dining room of the Four Seasons, a branch of the decorative plant is so close to the window that Mel Gibson's arm touches it and moves it. In the next shot (where Gibson still is dismounting from the window), the plant has been moved aside. (00:32:20)

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Factual error: Walking out of the clothing shop through the mall supposedly in Detroit, Rick and Marianne walk by mall corridors and stairs bearing all over flags of the Canadian provinces (the movie has been shot predominantly in Vancouver). (00:35:40)

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Revealing mistake: Rick and Muffy get jumped by the police as they return to her car, but during the arrest Rick frees himself from the cops. Notice when he kicks the cop in uniform; he falls down on a table in the close-up, even breaking it, but you see the same action repeated in the background when Gibson pushes down the cop, and it's different, with no table broken and the sitting woman already standing. (00:37:15)

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Continuity mistake: When Mel Gibson is shown biting Goldie Hawn's leg he is obviously in a position with his belly down. And yet, when the car steers to the right in response to this peculiar stimulus, we see the body of the person in the car with their feet pointed up. Similar mistakes happen throughout the whole sequence. (00:38:05)

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Continuity mistake: In the car chase against the Detroit police, when Mel Gibson says "Jeeeesus!" during a hard turn as he drives having swapped with Goldie Hawn at the wheel, her legs are coming at him from the side rather than the back, and behind them there's no trace of the car he just passed by. (00:39:00)

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Revealing mistake: Rick has taken over the wheel from Muffy: in one of the POV shots of the high speed car run down the streets of Detroit, a perfectly good view of Vancouver's Harbour Centre building appears at the end of the road. (00:39:05)

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Continuity mistake: The cop giving chase to Rick and Muffy can't stand being stuck at the railway crossing and takes off. On the sidewalk, a little family (dad mom and baby in a stroller) has suddenly appeared. (00:40:20)

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Audio problem: When the cop comes out of the windshield of the SUV the train smashed into, he utters a "Goddamn" dubbed in, his lips not even moving. (00:40:30)

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Continuity mistake: The two protagonists escaped the police in Detroit; during the phone call of the bad guys to Joe, the villain with the sunglasses first activates his zippo and is about to light a cigarette, then he repeats the action from the beginning, then he does light the cigarette up and puts the lighter away, then brings a hand up to the cigarette, then the hand is actually on a descending path (looks like the continuation of the previous angle, putting away the lighter). In other words, there's choppy continuity between close-ups and wider shots. (00:41:15)

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Continuity mistake: Rick takes the 100$ bill from Muffy's purse and walks up to the homeless man; an elderly couple is walking in the same direction and is past the barrel, but in the close-up that follows, they are a couple meters behind and pass the barrel only after a second. (00:46:15)

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Rick Jarmin: I haven't had a girlfriend for 5 years.
Marianne Graves: Really?
Rick: Yeah - Mr. Wiggly's been on bread and water for 5 years.

More quotes from Bird on a Wire

Trivia: When the agent pulls from the computer record Richard's file, an alias listed is "David Putnam - Columbia Pictures", employed from 06/04/1973 to 02/01/1975. That's an obvious reference to producer David Puttnam (two Ts), who had a brief stint as head of Columbia Pictures in 1986-87, not making many friends in the then Coca-Cola owned production company. (00:12:50)

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