Ice Station Zebra

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Factual error: "Ice Station Zebra" is one of dozens of films which make the mistake of showing people carrying rifles such as M-16s with the magazines inserted. In the scene where Marine Captain Jim Brown arrives at the submarine via helicopter, he comes aboard passing his M-16 through a hatch with the magazine inserted, barrel first - a double safety violation. I first saw the movie in a Marine Corps base theater, and all of us yelled at the screen when we saw that.

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Factual error: Mr Jones explains that the Russian spy satellite malfunctioned; that instead of the rocket motor pointing forward to de-orbit the camera, it pointed quit a bit to the side and effected a plane-change, i.e., it steepened the orbit's angle of inclination to Earth's equator, moving the satellite to a polar orbit, an unplanned event which made it possible for the film to come down north of the Arctic Circle. Unfortunately, orbital plane-changes are extremely costly in terms of rocket propellant (it's the reason space shuttle Columbia, on its last flight, was unable to rendezvous with the space station). There's absolutely no way that the satellite had enough propellant aboard to make more than a trivially small change in inclination, and even then it would have had nothing left to de-orbit and come back down.

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Mistakes

"Ice Station Zebra" is one of dozens of films which make the mistake of showing people carrying rifles such as M-16s with the magazines inserted. In the scene where Marine Captain Jim Brown arrives at the submarine via helicopter, he comes aboard passing his M-16 through a hatch with the magazine inserted, barrel first - a double safety violation. I first saw the movie in a Marine Corps base theater, and all of us yelled at the screen when we saw that.

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Trivia

Patrick McGoohan committed himself to appearing in "Ice Station Zebra" whilst he was filming his famous TV series "The Prisoner". However, as is well known, "The Prisoner" went massively overbudget and seriously behind schedule. As a result, McGoohan had to leave filming of "The Prisoner" in late 1967 for several weeks, in order to appear in "Ice Station Zebra". This is the reason why several episodes of "The Prisoner" have McGoohan either absent or only in previously filmed flashbacks and inserts...McGoohan could not be filming both "The Prisoner" at Elstree, and "Ice Station Zebra" in Hollywood at the same time.

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