A Beautiful Mind

Corrected entry: The real John Nash was married multiple times, had a child out of wedlock (in his twenties), and had numerous hetero- and homosexual affairs. All this information has been removed for dramatic purposes.

Correction: This movie was never presented as a documentary, but merely "based on a true story". The ommision of specific details for dramatic purposes is a common technique for fictionalized movies.


Corrected entry: In the scene where Nash and his friends are in the bar discussing how best to approach the blonde and the other girls, Nash suddenly has an idea which later leads to the game theoretic concept of "Nash equilibrium". However, Nash's description of this concept in the bar scene is totally, utterly wrong.

Correction: How do we know that? Until you can actually say HOW this is "totally, utterly wrong" it can't really be seen as a mistake, because for all we know, it is totally, utterly right.

Corrected entry: When John Nash punches Doctor Rosen and flees down the stairs, the man with the hat stopping him is behind, but in the next shot the man is already at the bottom of the stairs. (01:05:30)

Correction: There are two men with hats in that scene. One comes down the stairs behind Dr. Rosen and tries to stop Nash and the other one is always at the bottom of the stairs.

Corrected entry: There are two references to the age of Nash's son which take place in 1994. In both cases he is referred to as a young man in his twenties - once by comparison to the waitress in the tea room and once as "being at Harvard". He also is shown in the last scene as some in their twenties. According to the movie he was born in 1954 or 1955 which would have make him far older than 20 in 1994.

Correction: Nash has two sons with his wife Alicia Nash. In the film we never see when the youngest of these two sons is born, he might have been born in the very late 60's or early 70's, which would make his age correct.

Corrected entry: When Alicia comes to Nash's office, she looks at the Military Policeman and remarks, 'You must be important.' If he wasn't really working for the Pentagon, then the MP would be another imaginary person, so she wouldn't have seen him.

Correction: Nash's office might be guarded even if he wasn't working on the "assignment," since he does do real work for the Dept. of Defense that might require such protection.

Corrected entry: The little girl at the end is reading a book called "Millions of Cats," a book that I own two copies of - one printed in 1928, one in 1996. The film takes place around the 1950s, so it is not incorrect for her to be reading that book, but, she is reading the version printed in 1996, not the one she should be reading, printed in 1928.

Correction: By the end of the film, the action is taking place in the present day, so using the newer version of the book is not out of place.

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Corrected entry: In the scene where John is carried out of Dr. Rosen's office by the orderlies, he is not dragging along the wheelchair, but when he leaps out of it moments earlier, he was chained to it by his ankles. The two orderlies make no attempt to remove his ankle shackles. (01:09:05)

Correction: When the two orderlies first enter the room, one passes in front of Nash's face, goes out of shot down to his feet, and there is a sound of metal, like a key in a lock, and then he comes back into shot, to pick John up by his upper arms or shoulders.

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Corrected entry: Just before John's admitted to the mental hospital, he's giving a lecture. Before he runs into the lecture theater he leaves his briefcase on the floor outside, but when he's giving the lecture, the briefcase is open next to him.

Correction: Nash drops the briefcase to hug Marcy, and talks briefly to Charles, but he has it in his arms again as he leaves Charles to go into the lecture, and the first shot inside the lecture theatre is of the briefcase open next to the podium.

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Corrected entry: Remember the scene near the beginning of the movie where Nash is in his room trying to come up with his original idea and hits his head against the window. When he turns to his imaginary roommate after that, there is blood on his forehead. Then, in some of the next shots, his forehead is clean, and then the blood returns on it.

Correction: There is blood on Nash's forehead throughout this scene. Sometimes it is more or less evident depending on the camera angle, but it can be seen consistently.

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Corrected entry: In the scenes where John Nash is doing his work in the garage, when we get a shot of the outside of the garage sometimes it's a single garage and somtimes a double.

Correction: There are two buildings behind the house - a double garage, right behind the house, and further back in the woods a smaller building where Nash does his work. This is most obvious in the scene where Alicia discovers what he's been doing - she puts the basket of washing down by the first building and then walks a bit further to look inside the second.

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Corrected entry: In the Princeton commons when Nash and Hansen are playing Go, Hansen's "winning" move is actually a suicide, and would allow Nash to take that piece prisoner and the game to continue until both Nash and Hansen pass. (00:10:55)

Correction: This is a suicide move BUT all of Nash's black pieces are surrounded except that spot, making it fair game. By putting the white piece there he captures many of Nash's pieces. I have often wondered why that one move would make everyone watching gasp, knowing that the game was over; and now that I have closly examined it I see that the move by white would have captured over 20 of blacks pieces, a very large gain in the game of go.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Nash is speaking with the man from the Nobel committee and he receives the pens from fellow faculty members, the room in which they are sitting, supposedly a cafe, was actually the common room for Rockefeller, one of Princeton's five residential colleges. The room may have been used in the 1940s and 1950s as a cafe, but by 1994, it served a different purpose.

Correction: This isn't really an error. So what if they used a different location to film the scenes? On that note, when Nash returns to campus, the Math Department office is filmed in East Pyne (a humanities building and the University's original library building) rather than the old Fine Hall (now renamed Jones), or possibly the new Fine Hall (a highrise built in 1970). Additionally Nash's return to the classroom scene is filmed in Jones, which probably would not have been the site of math courses at the time.

Corrected entry: The Nobel prize ceremony is actually placed in the Stockholm city hall, in a gigantic room called "the blue hall" (BlÄ Hallen in swedish). In the movie however, they seem to be in a theatre of some kind. Very very wrong.

Correction: The Ceremony is placed in Stockholm Concert Hall. (Looks like a theater). But the dinner is placed in Stockholm City Hall and that's where they give their speech.

Corrected entry: Nash says that he believes the universe is infinite in size because "all the data indicate it". As far back as Newton (1692) there have been problems with the theory that the universe is infinitely big. In 1929 - well before the time in which the film is set - Edwin Hubble discovered the universe is expanding and effectively put an end to the infinite universe theory. It is inconceivable Nash would not know this. (00:53:25)


Correction: Not necessarily. Nash may well believe that the universe is infinite in size and he may be right. Hubble's Law does state that galaxies move away from each other leading to a picture of an ever expanding universe. The controversy is whether this expansion will continue forever. There are serious proponents of both views, perpetual expansion or eventual contraction. If you believe in perpetual expansion then you enter the realms of a philosophical debate about what "infinite universe" actually means. Since the universe is perpetually expanding we can never have to hand a number that measures the size of the universe. Therefore, it may be appropriate to define an infinitely expanding universe as infinite in size.

Corrected entry: When John Nash meets his roommate for the first time, the roommate mentions that a hangover is "not having enough water in your body to run your Krebs cycles". The scene takes place in 1947, but Sir Hans Krebs did not publish his paper which described the cycle until 1954. (00:05:30)

Correction: Krebs won the NOBEL PRIZE for his discovery in 1953. He first published a paper about the cycle in 1937.

Factual error: In a scene that takes place in 1956 or 1957, Alicia Nash places an orange Tupperware container in the refrigerator. Although Tupperware first became very popular in the mid-50s, the particular model of Tupperware used in the film was not introduced until the late 60s or early 70s.

More mistakes in A Beautiful Mind

Nash: In competitive behavior someone always loses.
Charles: Well, my niece knows that, John, and she's about this high.
Nash: See if I derive an equilibrium where prevalence is a non-singular event where nobody loses, can you imagine the effect that would have on conflict scenarios, arm negotiations...
Charles: When did you last eat?
Nash: ...currency exchange?
Charles: When did you last eat? You know, food.
Nash: You have no respect for cognitive reverie, you know that?
Charles: Yes. But pizza - now, pizza I have enormous respect for. And of course beer.
Nash: I have respect for beer. I HAVE RESPECT FOR BEER!

More quotes from A Beautiful Mind

Trivia: When Saul comes to visit John, John plays a joke on him by pointing to an empty chair and saying, "You've met Harvey." This is a reference to a play by Mary Chase titled "Harvey" in which Harvey is an imaginary rabbit seen by the main character.

More trivia for A Beautiful Mind

Question: If the military code breaking was a delusion, why did Alicia converse with and have the door opened by an MP officer where she even said, "wow you must be really important." Why was the MP there then?

Answer: There was always a basis of reality for his delusion. As I recall it, early on, Nash was actually recruited by the Pentagon to study encrypted telecommunications of foreign enemies. Nash's association with the government appears to have been limited, but it became a springboard for his extreme fantasy of working for the U.S. Department of Defense and with the unreal Agent Parcher.

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More questions & answers from A Beautiful Mind

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