Bird on a Wire

Bird on a Wire (1990)

48 mistakes

(1 vote)

Continuity mistake: When the police rush into the bank in Wisconsin, right past the 2 protagonists pretending to be on the phone, Goldie Hawn has her left arm down straight, but is up in the next shot. Similarly, the 2 onlookers are closer than they were in the wider shot. (00:51:25)

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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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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: 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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Bird on a Wire mistake picture

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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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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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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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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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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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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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: 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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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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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: 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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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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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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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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Continuity mistake: During the mistaken cash withdrawal at the teller, the lady descending the stairs in the background is at a different height in the different shots. (00:50:40)

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Continuity mistake: When Diggs gets locked In the lion's cage, the light and shadow areas in the cage keep changing at every shot. (01:36:30)

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Rick Jarmin: What does it matter to you - you're happily married?
Marianne Graves: I'm not.
Rick: Not happy?
Marianne: Not married.

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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