Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down (2001)

51 mistakes

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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Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Mr. Atto offers the General a cigar, the cigars in his cigar holder switch places.

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Factual error: In the movie, the Rangers and Delta operators defending the crash site are engaged by several 'technicals' (pick-up trucks with crew served weapons mounted) including one with a recoilless rifle directed by the Somali 'head honcho'. Also, several technicals seem to (somewhat implausibly) spring from the woodwork as they flee the city on foot... However, during the entire course of the actual battle, there was never a SINGLE mention of the pinned down forces being engaged by such vehicles and the Rambo-style capture of the recoilless rifle was a comical fabrication.

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Deliberate mistake: When the list of the KIA during the raid is showing, the name of Matt Rierson is up there but he died 3 days later from a mortar attack on the base.

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Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Continuity mistake: One scene shows a Blackhawk being called into the fray from circling the city. The first outside shot shows no one inside the bay then the next shot it's full of soldiers and guys sitting with their legs dangling out.

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Continuity mistake: When the soldiers first go into the town in the helicopters, one of the helicopters lands on a roof. The camera cuts away for a split second, but when it comes back to the helicopter that landed on the roof, the blades have stopped moving completely within that one second.

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Other mistake: In one scene a pair of soldiers cut off from the main body of troops are trying to link up with some of their comrades. When the camera zooms in for a close-up of the soldier carrying an M-60 machine gun, the weapon appears to be loaded with a belt of blank rounds.

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Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Continuity mistake: After the failed femoral artery surgery attempt, that soldier slowly dies. When he finally stops breathing the medic jumps in to do CPR. The soldier dies with a blank stare, but during the shots of the medic doing CPR the dead man's eyes are closed.

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Revealing mistake: When the Hummvee's are heading back to base with the casualty, there is one shot of an RPG missing the convoy and hitting a person. It is obvious that this person is substituted for a dummy.

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A Demon
Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When the Ranger driving the 5 ton truck is hit by the unexploded RPG, the closeup of his midsection shows (although VERY briefly!) the black special effects gaffer tape that secures the special effects charge.

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Visible crew/equipment: After the first black Hawk has crashed, a lone US soldier guarding the wreckage comes under attack by Somalis with RPGs. In a side shot of one of the missiles flying past the wreck, you can see a wire in the air along the trajectory.

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Factual error: In one of the early scenes at the army base, the song "Die Born" by Days of the New can be heard playing over the PA system. This song was not released until 2001, eight years after the film takes place.

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Serious B

Revealing mistake: Just after Jamie 'Smitty' Smith has passed away due to being shot in the thigh, the medic starts CPR. The camera cuts from the medic to Smitty and you can see his eyes move.

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Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Revealing mistake: When the two Delta snipers are approaching the second downed Black Hawk, a Somalian man in a white shirt is shown from behind. Clearly visible is a pack on his back. A few seconds later he is shot by one of the snipers in that exact spot. It's a blood pack.

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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

Visible crew/equipment: When McKnight's convoy rolls away from the scene where the Delta guy got his legs blown off, there is an explosion right next to one of the Humvees. You can see a small pile of dirt and the supposed grenade or RPG explodes exactly in the middle of it. Seems like it is an explosive charge that was deployed in the dirt bump for security reasons.

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Continuity mistake: When Chalk 4 are walking up to the crash and about 50 Somalians are walking parallel east of them and they get shot at with a RPG, the wall that gets hit has no mark on it.

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Revealing mistake: At the shooting range just after Blackburn has reported to duty, a Humvee pulls up and the barrel of the .50 on top is wobbling - it's a rubber prop.

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Visible crew/equipment: During the scene after the soldier falls out of the helicopter, an intense gun battle breaks out. As the troops rally to evacuate the injured man, another soldier lays down some suppressing fire. Look in the lower left corner of the screen. Two crew members, one wearing eye protection and one wearing ear protection, are visible.

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Bookman

Visible crew/equipment: Near the beginning as the helicopters fly in formation to invade Mogadishu, you can see the tail control surface of the film helicopter providing the shot for said scene.

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Sono34
Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Sizemore goes to cut off his cast, if you look closely the sleeve is down over the cast just before he pulls out the knife. Then it's rolled up.

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Factual error: In several shots where the helicopters are flying in the minutes after the start of the operation, you see the shadows of the choppers being projected from the sea to the coast. On an October afternoon, the sun would already be over the land to the west, casting shadows out to sea.

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Continuity mistake: When the two Delta Force members are defending the second downed chopper one of them shoots an attacker and he does a unique side flip as he dies. After the story progresses a few minutes we see the same attacker shot and flipping again but from a different camera angle.

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Continuity mistake: In the scene with the aerial view of the Rangers pinned down at night the camera uses night-vision to show its dark. Then the scene changes to General Garrison in the command centre and the live TV screens behind him show reused daytime footage from earlier in the movie.

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Continuity mistake: When the soldiers are trying to clamp Jamie's femoral artery, there is a shot of Jamie's head and a comrade next to him holding it. He has no blood on his head, but all of a sudden it just appears. It wasn't from his leg as his comrades were putting pressure on it at the time, so it wasn't squirting blood.

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Factual error: About 20 to 30 minutes into the movie, they show a command and control helicopter flying over the city tracking the white car with the black x on it. There are numerous overhead shots of that command and control helicopter as it watches the marked car move about the city. The helicopter in those overhead shots is a old Vietnam era Huey providing command and control. I doubt the 160th SOAR ever had a UH-1 in it's inventory.

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Factual error: In the background of the scene involving CPT Steele giving SGT Eversmann charge of the Chalk 4, is a transport plane bearing the tail number of a Moroccan civilian plane (CN-ANG). Morocco was not a combatant in Operation Gothic Serpent.

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Continuity mistake: When the Humvees and the trucks pull up to get the prisoners, there is a shot of a man shooting an M60 on top of a Humvee. In the next shot it reveals all the guns on the Humvees are .50 caliber.

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Continuity mistake: When they call for a stretcher for Blackburn, the stretcher is half folded up. The camera does an instant cut and it is now fully open. They don't unfold that quickly.

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A Demon

Other mistake: During Mike Durant's capture the helicopter circling overhead that broadcasts "Mike Durant we won't leave you behind!" is the voice of Tom Sizemore who plays Col. McKnight - it even says so in close captioning." Col. McKnight was in the streets of Mogadishu engaged in battle at that time.

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Factual error: In the movie the first Black Hawk helicopter (Super 6-1) gets shot down and just so happens to crash in a large four-way intersection. In the actual battle, Super 6-1 crashed in a narrow alleyway.

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Ferreri

Continuity mistake: When Randy Shugart and Gary Gordon arrive to defend the downed chopper, Shugart is shooting his rifle as a right-hander, but in one short sequence as they're pulling Mike Durant to cover he is shooting as a left-hander. The shot has obviously been reversed as the bolt of the M14 and the height adjustment knob on the aim point optic are on the wrong side of the rifle.

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Factual error: After the second Black Hawk helicopter (Super 6-4) gets shot down, all of the crew members aside from the pilot appear to have been killed in the crash. In reality, all of the men survived the crash. They were later killed by the Somali mob, except for pilot Mike Durant who was taken prisoner.

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Ferreri

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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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