Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down (2001)

50 mistakes

Other mistake: The credits (and various websites) lists Canadian-born actor Kim Coates as portraying the character Wex, but he actually plays Master Sergeant Tim "Griz" Martin.

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Griz
Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: Near the end of the movie when the convoy is heading back to the Pakistan Stadium, a Humvee stops briefly to allow a man to walk across the street with a child in his arms. When the shot changes and the Humvee begins driving again, a crew member or cameraman is seen inside the Humvee wearing a white shirt. All of the men who entered the Humvee were wearing fatigues.

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Continuity mistake: In the scene where Star 41 is called to the first crash site, it has mini guns and rockets, but when it gets to the site it has seats for people.

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Factual error: In the first 15 minutes of the movie, a Delta Force operative is seen wearing a pair of Oakley X-Metal Juliets. The events portrayed in the movie took place in 1993. Oakley didn't make the Juliets until 1999.

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Factual error: When Blackburn reports for duty, he is asked his "Serial Number" and reels off some 7 digit number. However the US armed forces all stopped using Service (not serial) Numbers by 1974 at the latest, and started using the 9 digit Social Security Number instead.

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Continuity mistake: Just before Sgt. Eversman rappels down from the helicopter at the beginning of the raid you can see that he is not wearing kneepads. On the way down the rope he is wearing them. Once he is on the ground the kneepads are gone again.

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Revealing mistake: At the end of the movie, where Sgt. Eversman talks to the dead Corporal Jamie Smith about Blackburn, he says he's gonna talk to Smith's parents when he gets home. When Eversman places his hand on the chest of Smith, you can see his eyelids move.

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Factual error: The medic working on Jamie (the ranger with the femoral artery wound) is a delta named Schmid (from BHD the book). But in the movie, the guy's wearing green armor and has hair only on the top of his head - both typical of a ranger and not a delta. [Little known fact (far from OPSEC), but prior to deployment, all the Delta guys got high and tight haircuts. I was in 2-14 Infantry (part of 10th Mountain Division) during that timeframe.]

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Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When the armored convoy jeeps fire at the roofs as they drive down the street, when they show the two kids firing guns then getting shot down, look to the right at the pile of rocks that "explode" and you can see the wire used to knock them out of place.

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Factual error: In the movie, the stranded ground force calls in a gun run by Little Bird helicopters by having a Ranger post an infrared marker inside an enemy position to designate the target. This is the only time the attack helicopters are shown actively supporting the defending troops at the crash site. However, it is COMPLETELY absurd and unrealistic(not to mention suicidal) to mark enemy positions in this manner. What actually happened was that the markers were placed around the perimeter of the defender's position for the pilots, who made anything outside of it fair game. Also, the Little Birds provided CONTINUOUS air support with their miniguns and rockets through to the following morning, which is credited by US forces and Somalis alike as being the main thing preventing the Rangers from being overrun and wiped out.

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Factual error: The first downed Blackhawk exhibits miraculous rotor behavior as it comes to earth. It does a slow roll onto its left side, and the main rotor continues to rotate. The blades are seen straight and undamaged, as if they are passing through the earth beneath the chopper without touching anything, and each emerges full length and straight to go around again and again. This is most obvious in the shot from inside a corner building when looking directly at the top of the chopper's rotor hub.

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johnrosa

Factual error: After the scene with Mike Durant and his captors there is a shot of a helicopter circling the city and broadcasting the message "Mike Durant, we won't leave you behind." This did happen, but in the days after the battle, not that same night when all the other soldiers were stuck in the city too. The commanders don't even know that Durant has been taken prisoner yet, in fact at this stage they probably thought he was dead. (This is deliberately changed for the film, but still a factual error.)

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Continuity mistake: When all units are heading into town, there is a shot from the roadside of the convoy heading in. The camera cuts to the Black Hawks and all the gunners in the Hummvee's have changed position instantly.

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A Demon

Other mistake: During the scene when Pilla is killed there is a sniper on the roof of a building firing an AK-47 at the vehicles. If you look at his hands you'll notice they are caucasian. The other Somalis are black.

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Continuity mistake: The lead in convoy has it's window smashed with the glass and shrapnel going into the drivers face. A few shots later the glass is back in one piece.

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A Demon
Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When the original leader for Chalk Four runs and sits down in front of the TV back at the base to watch the Steve Martin movie, the Jerk, he has a remote control in his right hand. As he has his seizure and falls with the remote control in his hand, subsequent scenes show it is not in his hand, then it is.

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Revealing mistake: During the Humvee convoy's dash to the first crash site, a quick, far-overhead shot shows the column racing down a dusty street, kicking up an obviously CGI trail of dust. The dust billows up from the Hummers, but travels in the opposite direction far faster than the ground below, almost as if a very strong wind is blowing in the opposite direction of the convoy's travel, but everything else in the shot shows the air to be calm.

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johnrosa

Factual error: In the first few scenes of the movie, Muslims are shown praying towards the east, proven by the sunrise they are facing. But the holy city of Mecca would be to the north, northwest of Somalia, not to the east as it is from in North America.

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Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the scene where the 3 Humvee column is making there way back to the base with the injured Blackburn, Dominick Pilla is killed whilst operating the .50 cal. Shortly after, Eric Bana (Hoot) takes over the gun and begins to return fire on Somalis on the rooftops. In the first shots of him shooting, he is wearing gloves. However in the next shot of his hands on the weapon, they are bare with no gloves.

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Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Dan Busch, one of the Delta operators on board Super Six One, is defending himself after the crash he has no goggles over his helmet. Then on longer shots he has goggles over his helmet, then there are a couple more cuts to close shots of him where he again does not have the goggles.

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Quotes

Pilla: Colonel, they're shooting at us! Colonel, they're shooting at us!
McKnight: Well shoot back!

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Trivia

According to veterans of the actual event, when the Rangers got the go-ahead for the mission and were getting their gear ready, "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N Roses was playing on the base's loudspeakers. There were some half-serious comments among the men about the appropriateness of this song. However, the film's producers failed to secure the rights to use "Welcome to the Jungle," so they substituted Faith No More's "Falling to Pieces"--which is perhaps thematically in line with what happened on the raid.

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