Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow (1996)

28 corrected entries

Corrected entry: When Terry takes out the Navy Seal with a hammer, she throws it and it spins in the air, like a tomahawk. The tomahawk does this because it is carefully balanced, unlike a hammer, which has a heavy weight at one end (the head) the hammer would have flown straight.

Correction: I tried this in the garden yesterday and it is very easy to get a hammer to spin through the air, just as it does in the movie.

Corrected entry: When Slater and Travolta are flying the stealth bomber, the two nuclear weapons are shown in adjacent racks in the bomb bay. On the computer display in the cockpit, the weapons are shown with an empty rack in between them.

Correction: The cockpit graphic shows three positions on the launcher, and this is also shown to be the case in the bomb bay. At any given time, depending on camera orientation, the bombs will both be next to each other, and separated by an empty launch rail.

Corrected entry: In the scene when Travolta ejects from the Stealth, they are flying "at 400 feet and 800 miles an hour. At that speed without a helmet or face protection, Travolta's face would be mush.

Correction: Suspension of belief: Since this scene has to take place to generate the movies plot.


Corrected entry: What the hell are uncoded circuit boards?

Correction: This is not a mistake, but a question. I would imagine they are circuit boards that they use on the missiles in this movie that have yet to be coded.


Corrected entry: When Hale and Terry first meet and they're wrestling over the gun, you can see the orange nubby that indicates it is not a real gun.

Correction: The orange material on the end of the gun is part of the sight (on top of the barrel, not inside). The coloring provides a distinctive contrast with light/grey or sky/blue backgrounds and aids in aiming.

Corrected entry: After Hale arms the nuclear weapon (and only has thirty minutes to dispose of it), he and the park ranger decide to lower the weapons into the mine shaft (and potentially get trapped down there with them because bad guys are coming). Instead of using the elevator, why not just drop the bombs into the shaft? If the armed one doesn't explode, fine. If it does, big deal; it's at the bottom of a half-mile deep mine.

Correction: If they dropped the bomb down the shaft and it detonated the force of the explosion would travel up the shaft and release radiation into the surrounding area. Their intention was to push it deep into a side tunnel to prevent this. If they dropped it and it failed to explode Deakins could retrieve the bomb and continue his plans.


Corrected entry: Near the end of the film, Hale and Teri are on top of the train engaged in a gun fight with one of the bad guys. At one point the bad guy has the good guys right where he wants them, his gun pointed at them and ready to take them out. But instead of simply firing away at them - as he had just done seconds before - he yells at them to "freeze". This then conveniently allows Hale to do the "fall-down-and-grab-the-gun-out-of-Teri's-pants" trick and shoot the bad guy. The decision by the bad guy to suddenly act like a police officer by having them "freeze" makes absolutely no sense. It can't be characterized as a character mistake since he had just been shooting to kill seconds earlier. It was only done to give the good guys an "out" in this situation.

Brittle Fingers

Correction: Definately a character decision; the circumstances have changed from the previous attempt to shoot them. In the event described here the shooter had a clear shot at the subjects and opted not to shoot them in the back (probably wanted to see their faces when he fired; he is quite evil, afterall). In the previous attempt while they were fleeing he did not have a clear shot; he had to keep firing hoping that a round would hit them.


Corrected entry: Why on earth does Teri arrest Hale? In what reality is it illegal to parachute from a crashing aircraft into a National Park? Is the pilot supposed to wait until he has flown out of her jurisdiction before he ejects? She handcuffs him - a man who may be distressed or injured after ejecting from a crashing bomber! What planet is she on?

Correction: She has no idea where the plane came from or who was flying it. She asked him to turn around and he knocked the gun from her hand, ran down a hill, grabbed it and put it to her head before he said a single word to her. In addition, his actions pretty much proved that he wasn't too injured to be handcuffed.

Corrected entry: The military is content to acknowledge a missing B2 because a few people may notice one took off from a base and didn't come back (maybe it was transferred to a different base?). But after the detonation in the mine, they decide to cover it up as an earthquake. Seismologists all over the world can easily tell the difference between a nuclear detonation and an earthquake. In fact, some are dedicated to this task to monitor the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, so the whole world would know that the US violated the treaty and tried to claim it was an earthquake.

Correction: The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, was opened for signature on September 26th 1996. This is a 1996 film but it does not say when the movie takes place. The film could have taken place in early 1996. Also, the treaty has not entered into force as the 44 (annex2) countries have not ratified the treaty yet. Although the US has signed the treaty the US has not ratified the treaty. Therefore, no treaty violation could have taken place.

Corrected entry: Wilkins and the rest of the Air Force team running this exercise are supposedly at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, as stated by Pritchett when he's talking about the reporters in lawn chairs. There is no way they would have felt the tremors from an underground explosion in Utah.


Correction: Pritchett states that the "jet" took off from there, and that the lawnchair campers are going to know that it did not come back. Then Pritchett hops on a private jet, and flies to meet the Air Force Team at their underground base in Utah. No one in Missouri is ever shown feeling the tremors at all, it's the base in Utah that is shown after the bomb goes off.


Corrected entry: When the bomber is shown being towed out of the hangar it is being directed by a ground crewman with glow-sticks. While under tow the pilot has no control over the steering of the aircraft and the tractor driver can, presumably, see exactly where he is going and needs no guidance. The ground crewman is not only completely superfluous, he's in the way.

Correction: The ground crewman is signaling the pilot as to what is happening so he knows when he has control of the aircraft again. Besides which, at no time is a plane not able to be controlled by a pilot while taxiing. The steering tires are controlled generally by the rudder pedals (except if operated by hand controls like a Russian Yak 18, for example) and can aid the tow motor driver in guiding the plane.

Corrected entry: The shockwave which moves through the ground is going about 10 mph when it reaches the jeep; it should be much faster, possibly around the speed of sound.

David Mercier

Correction: Not so. Earth is a terrific dampener for shockwaves. Films showing shockwaves during nuclear testing show a big difference when detonated underground as opposed to underwater or above ground.

Corrected entry: In the final fight scene in the train, Christian Slater knocks Travolta down and grabs the remote control. Travolta told him beforehand that he can press one button to detonate the bomb and the other button to disarm. You can hear Slater pressing a button two or three times and nothing happens. But when he gets the remote again in the end, he presses it once and it disarms the bomb.


Correction: Travolta lied about the functions of the buttons on the remote. When Slater figured that out, he knew he had to press the other button to disarm the bomb.

Corrected entry: Heroes enter underground river which carries them to safety, 2000ft up hill.

Correction: Some underground streams do in fact go uphill if there is pressure from above or below forcing it up. Geysers and bore holes are extreme examples of this.

Corrected entry: When Hale is looking at the map for train routes, there is only one big red rail line going across the map. Surely there are 100s of rail routes into Salk Lake City and Denver, and yet the only one on this map is the one Deakins is going to use.

David Mercier

Correction: The map he is using shows the routes for one particular rail line, not all of the companies that exist. Furthermore, in mountains it is likely there is going to be only one line through, with spur lines branching off to smaller locations, just due to geography.

Corrected entry: Near the end, John Travolta is shot in the arm, yet he is still feeling up to boxing with Christian Slater.

Correction: He may have felt he shot, but he was running on adrenaline so he might not feel it for a while. Also it just goes to show how tough his character is.

Corrected entry: Kelly (Howie Long) was supposed to die early on in the film, but Woo rewrote it so he was in it till the end.

Correction: Not a mistake. Trivia, maybe, but there's nothing wrong with discrepancies between original script and final movie.


Corrected entry: In the opening boxing scene between Hale and Deakins, they would be wearing mouthguards and helmets.

Correction: They chose not to. An infringement of Air Force regulations, perhaps, but not a movie mistake.

Corrected entry: The EMP that brings down the chopper for some reason has no effect on the circuits of the remaining nuke, nor or Deakins' watch which he continues to use afterwards. It would fry them irrespective of if they were turned off or not; similarly the same effect would prevent their jeep from working afterwards.

David Mercier

Correction: If a electronic device is off, and EMP has no effect. John Travolta is shown turning his watch off just before the nuke explodes. As the effects of radioactive material at close range is worse on electronic than an EMP, the nukes electronics are protected from it plus an EMP. (Same issue in space, electronics must be protected from the electrons that are charged and would have the same effect). The Jeep has no real electronic components that would be fried that would prevent it from running, even though John turns the Jeep off too.

Corrected entry: When they use the helicopter to "give those guys a hair cut" towards the end of the film the rotor blades do some serious damage to one of the guys. However, in reality this would cause serious damage to the blades themselves and would most likely cause them to stall as there would be a sudden force put upon them.

David Mercier

Correction: Similar "errors" have been posted for 'The Last Boy Scout' and 'Vertical Limit'. Helicopter rotor blades are made of a steel/titanium alloy and move at several hundred kilometres an hour. A human body has no chance against them. In fact, accidents on helicopter landing decks are not uncommon and usually result in the victim being decapitated or cut in half, with little or no damage to the helicopter's rotor blades.

Corrected entry: Moments before Travolta attempts to shoot Slater in the B-2 cockpit, Slater says something along the lines of how he enjoys flying a 2 billion dollar plane 800 miles per hour 100 feet off the ground. The problem with this is, that the aircraft would be traveling faster than the speed of sound at 800mph. We know that objects traveling faster than the speed of sound will create a sonic boom. Stealthy aircraft such as the B-2, travel at high subsonic speeds, so as not to create a sonic boom, which would alert enemy forces on the ground to the presence of an aircraft in the vicinity.

Correction: This is not necessarily a mistake. 800 mph is rather close to the speed of sound, although it may be faster, it could be that it was easier saying this, than saying 750 mph. Another explanation is that the airplane is capable of flying supersonic speeds, and if they are only 100 ft. of the ground, and in peacetime, maybe they didn't have to worry so much about being stealthy, and maybe they actually did fly 800 mph.

Corrected entry: Towards the end of the film, the helicopter on the train explodes when the engine is started. Clearly Deakins wanted to use the chopper to get away after activating the bomb...But how many people was he going to take with him off the train. At least nine people were killed or kicked of the train by Hale and Co. Clearly not all of them would have fitted in the chopper, so some of them would have died in the blast. None of them must have been THAT stupid to not figure this out themselves. So some of them must have volunteered to die. Long definitely said at end of movie, right before he was kicked out by Hale HE did not want to die for anyone in the nuclear blast...

Correction: Travolta never intended to blow up the nuke. In the mine he told Hale that he was going to buy shares of Volvo with the ransom money - money he would not get if the bomb went off. And he told Howie Long on the train "After the money's in place, I'll shut down that puppy." The helicopter was going to be used to leave the USA. After Hale blew up the chopper Travolta went back to the car with the nuke and, realizing there was no escape, said "F*ck em if they can't take a joke," and started the timer.

Corrected entry: In government parlance, a lost or damaged nuke is a "Broken Arrow". A stolen nuke is an "Empty Quiver".

Grumpy Scot

Correction: It is understood at first that the nuke devices are missing, not stolen. Therefore, the title "Broken Arrow".

Corrected entry: During the scene, near the end of the film where Hale is in the helicopter, shooting at Deakin on the train; we see Hale aiming directly at Deakin, inside the train, with Terry hanging on to the outside of the train. The problem is that if you are shooting at a moving target then you MUST lead the target, that is to say, shoot in front of it, to ensure that the rounds you are firing will strike the target. Hale is an experienced military operator and would know to lead his targets. Unfortunately, he was aiming just about the right distance in front of Terry for him to hit her, and the volume of fire he poured at the train would have been more than enough to seriously injure, if not kill the poor girl.

Correction: I'm no gun expert but weren't they both moving at the same speed, just as good as if they were standing still at that distance? So leading would not be necessary.

Nick N.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Hale and Deacon are flying the "B-3," Slater's character says something to the effect of "initiating stealth mode." He then flips a cockpit panel switch and the audience is led to believe that the plane is now invisible. In actuality there is no "stealth mode" switch in a stealth fighter or bomber. Their "stealth" comes from design materials (read: radar absorbing materials),structure design (no 90 degree angles), and from their onboard electronics package which enables them to locate radar sites, their field of view and fly around them.

Correction: It is likely that the plane has an active radar (used in normal flight) that needs to be switched off when entering enemy territory. And I guess that the engines have a setting that reduce their thermal image but makes them less efficient.

Corrected entry: When Slater steals the Humvee with the nuke in it, Howie Long starts shooting at him. He is chastised by Travolta, something like: "Would you please not shoot at the NUCLEAR weapon"? However, we were informed earlier, after the Stealth bomber crashes, not to worry since these weapons can sit in "burning jet fuel for five hours" and be fine. Well, which is it? Are they stable or not?


Correction: Are you telling me that even though you know the bombs are stable, you wouldn't be the slightest bit worried that it might go off for no reason? I know I would be paranoid.

Corrected entry: At the end of the film, there is a gunfight on the top of the train. In this the antenna - which is set up to receive the signal from the remote controller - is damaged. A few scenes later, Slater uses the cable, which goes from the antenna to the bomb, to swing in the train, so there is no connection between the antenna and the bomb. But after the fight between Slater and Travolta, Slater jumps out of the train with the remote controller in his hands and disarms the bomb. So how came the signal to the bomb?

Correction: The remote works without the antenna a short distance from the bomb, and Slater is a maximum of ten meters away when he pushes the button.

Corrected entry: When Slater and the girl is in the canyon fighting the chopper, he borrows the girl's gun, but later, in the mine, he has his own sidearm. Why did he not use this to fight the chopper?

Correction: The gun was taken from the driver of the Hummer earlier on in the film (the one he throws out the door).