Bird on a Wire

Bird on a Wire (1990)

48 mistakes

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New this month 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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New this month 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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New this month 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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New this month 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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New this month 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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New this month Continuity mistake: When the corrupt FBI agent holds Rick at gunpoint, he has his left hand on his shoulder in the two waist shots, but not so in the close-up of Gibson between them. (01:39:10)

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New this month 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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New this month 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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Factual error: Mel and Goldie board a ferry. A visible sign states 'Detroit-Racine Ferry'. Detroit is on the east side of the state of Michigan but Racine, Wisconsin is west of Michigan, across Lake Michigan. The only water route to get from Detroit to Racine would be to circumnavigate the entire state of Michigan.

Continuity mistake: When Mel Gibson is getting the bullet pulled out of his backside, watch his trousers throughout the scene. First they're around his knees, then his ankles, then around his waist.

Factual error: Mel and Goldie ride through Chinatown in Racine WI. Racine does not have a Chinatown and the city is nowhere near as large as they represent it to be.

Continuity mistake: Mel, from the time he gets shot in the butt till when he finally has the bullet extracted from said butt, alternates between walking normally & then limping, has blood on the seat of his jeans & is then bloodless, groaning in pain & then acting as if nothing hurts, then groaning in pain again, etc.

Visible crew/equipment: When Mel and Goldie enter the salon on the motorcycle, you can clearly see the ramp used to help propel the motorcycle forward, just as Mel comes to a stop.

Continuity mistake: When Mel and Goldie go from one hotel wing to another - escaping at very big height on a narrow bridge - Mel is first, Goldie is second. When they arrive, Goldie is first. She didn't have enough space to go ahead.

Continuity mistake: In one scene, Mel Gibson hot wires a motorcycle for a quick getaway, a couple of scenes later, he's seen starting the same motorcycle by turning a key.

Factual error: When Mel's character first calls the Witness Relocation Program after Goldie's character sees him at the gas station he talks to his new case worker and tells him that he does not remember him. The case worker then says "You know all us FBI Guys sound the same". The FBI does not run the Witness Relocation Program. It is run by the U.S. Marshals, a completely different organization.

Robert Sullinger

Revealing mistake: A shot of Mel and Goldie on the motorcycle in Michigan is re-used for a shot when they are supposedly in Wisconsin. They are driving along a curving, downsloping road.

Ral0618
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New this month Continuity mistake: Look at the station of the teller in the Racine bank. In the closest angles the pen by the calculator is at a perpendicular angle and touches the machine, while in the wider angles it is a bigger distance. (00:50:35)

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New this month 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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New this month Factual error: Throughout the whole movie, plenty of cars from the police cars to Marianne's rentals, sport regular Michigan license plates, front and rear. Michigan does not issue front license plates.

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Rick Jarmin: What the hell are you doing here?
Marianne Graves: Me? What the hell are you doing here?
Rick Jarmin: Being shot in the butt.

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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