The Sum of All Fears

Continuity mistake: In the aircraft scenes after the blast in Baltimore, watch the clocks closely. The times go forward, backward, and everything in between.

Continuity mistake: When Ryan is called from bedside to his first big meeting, he is wearing a severely rumpled blue oxford. When he leaves the meeting (with the borrowed tie and jacket) his blue oxford is pressed and starched.

Continuity mistake: In the scene on the NAOC (National Airborne Operations Center) E-4B where the plane begins to shake, everything on the conference table, including books, maps, charts, etc., is moving, with the exception of a clear cup of what is supposed to be soda. Not only does the cup not move, but the liquid in the cup (which is most definitely not liquid but plastic) does not move either. It's glued to the table.

Continuity mistake: The nuclear blast blows in the windows at the hospital where Cathy works and all the medical staff is showered with the broken bits. At the end of the movie Cathy doesn't have a mark on her. Even if it is safety glass, the small pieces would still leave nicks, scrapes and small cuts on exposed skin.

Continuity mistake: Shortly before the nuclear bomb secreted in the bowels of Ravens stadium explodes, an aerial shot of Ravens stadium & the surrounding area is shown. The football game is in progress, but the aerial shot shows the stadium to be completely empty.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Clark and Ryan come ashore by Zodiac, they are soaked just before they beach the boat, but as they drag it up the beach their clothing (especially Ryan's woolen hat) is bone dry.

Continuity mistake: When Ryan's helicopter crashes to the ground and rolls over, the pilots are thrown partly from the cockpit of the helicopter. When it finally comes to rest, there is a pilot hanging out of the cockpit window. Approximately three minutes later, when Ryan struggles out of the helicopter door, the cockpit window is now empty. (01:07:10 - 01:10:40)

Continuity mistake: The President is told the missile launch sequence will take 30 minutes. When he gives the order to begin the sequence, you see B-2 bombers launching from bases in Italy. A short time later a Russian staff member reports the B-2's somewhere over Poland, however the missile launch sequence still hasn't completed. B-2's are not fast enough to go from Italy to Poland in under 30 minutes.

Continuity mistake: When Clark pulls the radiation indicator off the dead scientist, the readout is 7.0. The very next shot is a screen shot of the readout now displaying 6.9. Unlikely the plutonium was decaying that fast, or the bomb would not have been as potent...

Continuity mistake: At the end of the film, the American and Russian Presidents are making a speech at the White House. The medium shot shows the audience seated directly in front of the podium. When you see the wide shot later, there is an aisle that goes straight up the middle to the podium, where nobody is seated. Strangely, it looks like the entire presentation in front of the White House is digitally added (like Forrest Gump). Couldn't they easily match the medium shot if they are creating it later?

Factual error: A force of Russian Tu-22 Backfire bombers attacks the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) by sneaking in under the ship's radar. This is all well and good except that carriers usually don't use their own radar, they have Airborne Early Warning aircraft (E-2 Hawkeye's) that can see much further and not give away the carrier's position (let alone the F-14s which would be patrolling too) not to mention the fleet of destroyers other ships guarding the carrier. The whole point is, the US Navy practiced and planned for such a "carrier versus Backfire" battle for years. I guess in the interest of furthering the plot Hollywood has to ignore the immense measures the USN takes to protect those multi-billion dollar assets, not to mention the 5000+ sailors that man them.

More mistakes in The Sum of All Fears

Jack Ryan: General, the President is basing his decisions on some really bad information right now. And if you shut me out, your family, and my family, and twenty-five million other families will be dead in thirty minutes.

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Trivia: The SuperBowl game was filmed in Montreal, Quebec in Canada and the two teams are the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts of The Canadian Football League. They just put them in different uniforms to film them.

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Question: Now i don't know much about missiles and such, but in the scene where the Israeli fighter jet is carrying the nuclear warhead, and is then shot down, well wouldn't the bomb blast that destroyed the plane also detonate the nuke attached as well? correct if i am wrong.

Answer: Nope. A nuclear detonation requires a highly specific sequence of events to occur within the bomb - an explosion nearby wouldn't come close to producing those conditions. The construction of a nuclear bomb requires components to be placed in a highly specific configuration - damage to the bomb would disrupt that configuration and make it effectively impossible for the bomb to go off.

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