Broken Arrow

Factual error: The United States Air Force does NOT, ever, allow its pilots to box competitively! Ground staff, yes; pilots, no, never. A pilot can be suspended from flying if he/she receives a blow to the head in day-to-day life; boxing is right out. Almost all air forces (the RAF included) impose this rule.

Factual error: When Christian Slater shoots down the Huey Helicopter, before it hits the ground the sound of the rotors/turbine changes to an Aerospatiale SA341 Gazelle helicopter. Much like the Chinook, the Gazelle has a VERY distinctive rotor/turbine sound.

Factual error: EMP is mentioned as a threat, but only atmospheric blasts generate EMP fields that affect large areas, not subterranean detonations.

Factual error: When Travolta is deep down in the mine shaft, he uses a two-way radio to talk to his guys upstairs. I know from personal experience, and from being in the military that two-way radios, no matter how much power output they put out, cannot talk for more than 100 feet max in an enclosed area such a mine with thick walls, let alone 2,000 ft (the distance the elevator travels in the mine).


Factual error: Despite what movies keep telling us, you cannot manually arm a nuke taken from a missile or bomb. A device called an accelerometer measures the speed of the flying/falling weapon and arms the warhead. It cannot be done on the ground. The warheads are specifically designed to make stealing a warhead and arming it by itself impossible. Deakins is a pilot, not a nuclear technician. He would need to disassemble the nuke and rebuild it completely to make it detonate. These features are designed so that bypassing/disassembling them DISABLES the nuke completely, making it completely unusable for just this reason.

Grumpy Scot

Factual error: When Kelly falls from the train he falls straight down - compared to the bridge pillars. But since he falls out of a moving train, he would have had some forward speed too.

Jacob La Cour

Factual error: Hale uses coaxial cable from the antenna to swing down into the boxcar. A single length of coaxial cable would not hold Hale's weight, much less his own and the dead body he used for a counterweight.

Grumpy Scot

Factual error: During the scene on the train when Hale arrives in the helicopter, Deakin and Kelly shelter themselves from the incoming fire by hiding behind the walls, and manage to avoid taking any hits. This is odd considering they're sheltering not only behind wood walls, but wooden slats. The M16 with its 5.56mm rounds would easily penetrate the wood, let alone pass through the gaps, and injure, if not kill, our lovely villains. Even if they magically escaped unharmed, there would be bullet holes visible inside the train carriage, but these do not exist when the camera pans through it. Indeed, later on the train, Kelly fires a shotgun which happily penetrates the sides of the carriage. There is no reason an M16 would not be able to.

Factual error: Slater's character pulls the pin out of the grenade and throws the spoon. The grenade explodes after 8-10 seconds but in real life that grenade is fused for 3-4 seconds.


Factual error: During the shootout on the roof of the train, the antenna is blown to bits. The antenna should be made from fiberglass, but is made from wood...

Factual error: 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. The whole world would know that the US has set off a nuke and is lying about it, trying to claim it was an earthquake.

Factual error: The helicopter explodes while still in the air when hit by the EMP. It might cause it to shut down (and crash) but not explode in the air.

Jacob La Cour

Factual error: 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.

Factual error: The train is supposed to be heading East. But in several shots, the sun is on the left side of the train (and still high in the sky). The left side of the train would be Northwest (or North) and the sun would not be there.

Jacob La Cour

Other mistake: When Christian Slater shoots 9 or 10 shots out of a 6-shooter, there is no possible way that he could have had time to reload in the time allotted.

More mistakes in Broken Arrow

Deakins: I say goddamn, what a rush!

More quotes from Broken Arrow

Trivia: Travolta was originally offered Hale's part, but he wanted Deakins. The role of Hale and Terry was made younger, and Slater and Mathis were cast.

More trivia for Broken Arrow

Question: Like the Wilhelm scream, is there a name to the scream Howie Long makes he falls? I've heard that in more than few other things.

Answer: To me it sounds a lot like a Tie Fighter flyby, also been used in a few movies for various different things.


Answer: Funnily enough, it is actually often referred to as the "Howie Scream," in reference to this film, which famously used it. It's a stock sound effect that's been in use since at least 1980. It's also referred to as "Screams 3; Man, Gut-Wrenching Scream and Fall into Distance," which was presumably the title of the track in the music library it's from.


More questions & answers from Broken Arrow

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