Catch Me If You Can

Factual error: On the plane, while being escorted by FBI agents, Frank Jr sees New York's LaGuardia Airport and says, "There it is, LaGuardia Airport, runway 44." A runway numbered 44 is impossible. No runway can be numbered over 36 because there are 360 degrees in a circle. (01:58:25)

Factual error: In the scene where Handratty hits the button to stop the press, suddenly individual checks come flying up from the press. This could not happen. On such a large press the checks would be printed several up on a large sheet of paper, to be cut down after printing is completed. (01:53:10)

Factual error: In a telephone conversation scene between Frank and Handratty, Frank is using a phone that has a plug type receiver. The phones in that era were all hard wired.

Factual error: In the street scene after Frank buys his airline uniform, he crosses the street in front of two buses. Behind one of the buses you can see a Federal Express truck. The movie is set in 1964; FedEx began operations in 1973; the FedEx logo on the truck was introduced in 1994. (00:35:20)

Factual error: The nurse in the hospital wearing braces has the stick on braces, which were not available at that time. The only type available had wrap around bands. (01:11:30)

Continuity mistake: As the plane lands in New York, there is a brief shot of the landing gear where a modern wide jet engine nacelle is visible. In all other shots the correct long skinny 60's style nacelle is seen. (02:00:45)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Carl comes to the engagement party to arrest Frank, it is so windy that when the window in the bedroom is left open, money is flying all around. However, the shots of the party outside show a calm night with no wind at all. (01:41:20)

Factual error: When Frank's mother takes him to the non-private school and he urges his mother not to smoke, in the background, through the car window, you'll see a light-colored Chevrolet Kingswood Estate Wagon driving by, of a 1970 vintage.

Factual error: In an early scene where Frank Sr. and Jr. go to the Chase Manhattan bank in New York (1962) a Duane Reade Drug Store with new (1998) store signage is seen in the background.

Factual error: In the scene where Frank first meets the candy striper at the nurses' station, you can see a gray Notifier annunciator for the fire alarm system on the wall. These are for a digital system that could not have been around at that time.

Audio problem: When Handratty is in France telling Frank that there are 20 officers outside, you can see when the camera turns to Frank, Handratty's mouth is still moving despite the fact that he is not talking. (01:55:40)

Factual error: The green-capped McCormick spices on the spice rack in the apartment were not available in the early 1960s.

Continuity mistake: When Frank is eating dinner with Amy Adams and her family his napkin is in a different spot in each shot.

Factual error: When Frank is arrested in France, Handratty bends over to look at him through the rear window of the police car. You can clearly see the lines of the window defogger on Handratty's face. Cars did not have electric defoggers like that in the late 1960s. (01:57:35)

Continuity mistake: About 3/4 of the way through the movie, it shows Frank and Handratty on a plane back to the US. Frank has been resting his head on a small pillow against the window and pulls it down. Next shot, he pulls it down from the window again. (01:57:55)

Factual error: When Handratty presses the emergency stop button at the printers, it causes paper to fly all over the place. Pressing the emergency stop would also stop the sheet feeder, and therefore stop the paper feeding through the press. (01:53:10)

Phil Watts

Factual error: On the letter from Frank Jr. to Frank Sr. with the Atlanta return address, the stamp used had not yet been issued by the date of postmark (September 12, 1965). The stamp, the sheet version of the 5-cent "unshaven" George Washington (Scott Catalogue No. 1283), was not issued until February 22, 1966. (01:19:26)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Frank is pulling down the second suitcase of money from the top of the bed canopy while talking frantically to Brenda, the large portion of the suitcase is initially on top when the suitcase is put on the bed. But when the camera returns to another shot of the suitcase as Frank is opening it, the large portion of the suitcase is on the bottom.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Frank Jr. gives car keys in a small gift box to his dad in a restaurant, his dad puts the car keys back into the small gift box and places it on the table in front of Frank. In the next few shots the gift box is sometimes completely closed and sometimes a little bit open (as if the keys got stuck in between). (00:46:05)

Continuity mistake: When Frank Abagnale Sr. unwraps the gift of car keys from Frank Abagnale Jr., he places the yellow ribbon on his right side, on the table. In the next shot, it is lying on the left side. (00:46:05)

Factual error: When Frank goes to pick up his fiance at the Miami airport, he is driving a 1964 Chevelle. Quick shots of the car show that the hubcaps on the Chevelle belong to a 1965 Chevelle SS, which would be incorrect for a 1964 model.

Audio problem: Frank's mother spills some wine on the carpet, but the you can hear the sound one or two seconds before she actually did it. (00:12:00)

Dr Wilson

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Frank's mother spills red wine on the carpet the stain shifts altogether once the next shot shows his parents dancing. (00:12:00)

Factual error: When Frank Jr. is watching Mitch Miller with Brenda's family, there is no bouncing ball on the words on the screen like there was on the actual show. (01:31:20)

Factual error: When Carl explains the check system to the other police officers, they show a map of the USA with Kansas City in Nebraska instead of Kansas, and Boston in Maine instead of Massachusetts. The next time the map was shown, the cities are at the good place and the shades of gray are different. (00:43:20)

Dr Wilson

Factual error: 3-28-04 7:11pm CST In the scene when Frank shows up at the Miami International airport in a Checker Cab. The cab is no older than a 1978 model. That was the year that the bumpers changed from chrome to the heavy iron style we see in the shot

Other mistake: In the scene where Frank is watching the Bond film: turn on subtitles. You will notice that when Bond says "Tell me Jill, why does he do it?", the subtitles read "Tell me Joan, why does he do it?". (00:57:05)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Frank's parents have been informed of their son's impersonation of a French teacher, Frank is seen through the window of the office. At this point, when he flashes a cheesy grin, his hair is a mess - presumably to remind us that he is still only a young, cheeky schoolboy. However, upon his parents leaving the office, Frank's hair is perfectly styled again in a neat side parting. (00:21:30)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Frank is pretending to be a Doctor at the bedside of the kid who has just had a bicycle accident a nurse hands him a swab. While he talking to the other Doctors the swab is visible but when the shot changes his arms are suddenly folded and we can no longer see it.


Continuity mistake: When Frank meets with his wife-to-be's mother and father, it's night time. When Frank and the father are talking after dinner, it is light out, but the characters are in the same outfits. (01:22:30 - 01:31:25)

Factual error: Towards the end, when young girls are 'interviewed' for stewardess' positions, one of them sings part of John Denver's 'Leaving on a Jet Plane'. That song was on John Denver's debut LP "Rhymes and Reasons" which was released in 1969, and made popular by Peter, Paul & Mary, but by then Abignale was already in jail in France, having been arrested two years prior, in 1967. (01:47:00)

Continuity mistake: When Frank Jr. and Sr. are going to the Chase Manhattan Bank, the same white truck drives behind them twice.

Dr Wilson

Other mistake: One of the end credits is "saxaphone solo." It should be "saxophone."

Continuity mistake: In the scene after Frank gets his uniform, when he is walking on the sidewalk the overhead shot shows a wet sidewalk, but in the next shot you can see behind Frank that the sidewalk is now dry.

Audio problem: As Frank Jr. is being arrested in France, a choir is singing in the background. As the arrest takes place, the choir stops to follow the action however the song continues. (01:57:05)

Factual error: In the lunch scene in the fancy restaurant with Frank Sr. and Frank Jr., the crystal goblets are of a pattern that wasn't available in the 1960's. The pattern is Mikasa Parklane, which I believe became available in the late 1980's.

Continuity mistake: During the wedding, when Frank says to Brenda that they have to go, the amount of checks changes during the scene. (01:39:40)

Dr Wilson

Continuity mistake: When Frank's parents are meeting with his principal after he pretends to be a teacher his mother is smoking a cigarette and is exhaling smoke, but when she looks at Frank there is no smoke at all in the air. (00:21:30)

Factual error: When we see Leo's yearbook photo close-up, the image isn't half-toned as it would have been at the time. Instead, it's printed using error diffusion dithering, a computer technique not available at the time. (01:00:25)

Revealing mistake: In the Atlanta party scene, we are supposed to believe it starts with a single long take. However there is a sneaky edit when Frank crosses the threshold of the room. He emerges at a slighty quicker pace and his hair is suddenly messed up. (01:10:35)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Handratty is arresting Frank in France, Frank is about to run out the door with the cheques and Handratty says he will be killed if he runs out. As Frank walks back toward Handratty , Frank's arm position as he's holding the cheques goes from right-over-left to left-over-right as the shot changes, and the cheques are piled in his arms completely differently from one shot to the next. (01:56:02)

Factual error: In the scene where Frank Abagnale is arrested in France, on of the police cars has a license plate that ends with 'PP 41'. Now the last two digits are a code for a particular French district ('departement') and the two letters indicate the age of the car, i.e. the first licence plates ever had the letters AA, then AB, all the way through to ZZ and most recent licence plates have three letters. For this particular 'departement' the highest possible letter sequence would have been HH for 1969 and JB for 1970. So this particular car, or its license plate, is much more recent than 1969 or 1970. (01:57:45)

Factual error: When the family is leaving the home they had just sold, the shingles on the roof are laminate shingles which were not invented until the 1970's. And that particular style was not developed till the 1990's. (00:16:20)

Continuity mistake: There is a scene where Leo is at a hotel and meets Jennifer Garner, the 17 model. Then when he is recruiting flight attendants at a school, you see Jennifer Garner again but this time as one of the school girls.

Continuity mistake: Going to school, Frank takes a cigarette off his mom's hand and throws it over the window. On the first angle he takes his head out of the window, but on the next angle his head is inside, as if just the torso had made the movement.

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Continuity mistake: When the show 'To tell the truth' starts, the host has his hands apart and raised. A frame later they are flat on the counter and his fingers crossed.

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Continuity mistake: When Frank Jr. takes his father to a fancy restaurant, his hair keeps swapping between brushed backwards or with a fringe on the left side.

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Continuity mistake: When Frank's parents are meeting with the principal, you can see Frank through the open blinds. When they leave the office the blinds are closed. (00:21:30 - 00:22:25)


Factual error: In the scene where Frank is tearing up Park Avenue in his "James Bond" sports car, a modern "NYC" lamp post banner is noticeable in the background.


Continuity mistake: When Frank Jr. Is getting fitted for his pilot's uniform (because he lied and said he lost his other one), after the tailor finishes and tells him the cost, there are only two rank bars on his sleeves. Then, when he walks out in the uniform, there are three bars on the sleeves. Considering he says he lost his uniform in his first week as a copilot, he wouldn't have been given an extra bar before leaving. (00:34:35)

Continuity mistake: In the plane, during Carl and Frank's chat on how did Frank pass the law test, the pillow in between swaps positions between angles.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Frank is having lunch with his father and offers him a Cadillac, in some shots Frank's right arm is over the table, but in others he has both arms hanging.

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The real Frank Abagnale Jr. was held in the French prison (Perpignan's House of Arrest) for approximately six months. His term was shortened from twelve months. When released (extradited to Sweden), he was quite ill because he was forced to live in a damp, dark cell, naked and allowed only bread and water to eat. He was next sent to Sweden, where he was tried and convicted. The Swedish prison was quite comfortable. However, upon completion of his prison term in Sweden, he was next to be extradited to Italy. The Swedish government believes in prison reform and was afraid of the treatment he would receive in an Italian prison. As a result, Sweden revoked Frank's passport so it could intentionally have him extradited to the U.S. Once in the US, he was protected and couldn't be tried in all the foreign countries he perpetrated his fraudulent schemes. This can all be confirmed in the book, which is a much more accurate depiction of his life and was written approximately 10 years prior to the release of the movie.