Courage Under Fire

Continuity mistake: During the early part of the movie, there are a number of references to the Blackhawk crew, yet the wreckage is that of a Huey.

Continuity mistake: At the award ceremony, the Congressional Medal of Honour is hung around the daughter's neck. In the next shot we see of her looking up at the planes, the medal is gone.

Factual error: The portrayal of the firing MLRS before Denzel's unit moves off is ludicrously inadequate. The rockets launched from the MLRS resemble a space shuttle lift-off, but in the movie it was more like a sparkler thrown into the air.

Factual error: Throughout the film Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Serling uses a Powerbook which did not come out until 1995, whereas the film was set in 1991.

Plot hole: Sgt Monfriez would have never been on a medevac helicopter with an automatic weapon. I served several years in U.S Army Medical units and they are allowed defensive weaponry only, medical units are not ever issued automatic weapons period. The plot says the Monfriez is from another unit and is asked to accompany the medevac but that would never happen; it is against the law of land warfare to put an automatic weapon on any type of ambulance vehicle.

Factual error: All through the movie the commander of the American tank that Ltc. Serling fired on is referred to as "Lt. Boylar" yet in the photo shown of him and Serling he is wearing captain's bars. He is also designated as "Cougar 6." In Army terminology "6" designates a unit commander. Had Boylar been a Lt. his designation would have been either "Cougar 16" or Cougar 26" respectively depending on which platoon he was the leader of.

Continuity mistake: After Meg Ryan's crew destroyed the Iraqi tank by dropping the fuel bladder onto it, the tank is seen in perfect condition as Ryan's helicopter is crashing.

Factual error: In the opening tank battle, we see oil wells burning in the background as the tanks drive across the desert. We later hear that this battle takes place in Basra, which is in Iraq. The Iraqis surely did not burn their own oil wells during the first Gulf War. They did so when they were in Kuwait.

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Suggested correction: The friendly fire accident during the opening tank battle sequence takes place during the battle of "Al Bathra", not Basra. The name is referenced several times throughout the movie. However; the movie does not specify if Al Bathra is in Kuwait or Iraq. If the battle was supposed to take place in Kuwait, then the burning oil wells would certainly have been there. The Iraqi Army burned them as they retreated from coalition forces during the war.

Visible crew/equipment: A film crew member, wearing a blue sweatshirt, is visible in the shot panning to follow the helicopter and there are Iraqi troops in the foreground. It is during the recollection of the accident, when Nat Serling is interviewing the first U.S. Army crew member.


Continuity mistake: At the end of the movie, Serling takes the file and rises it above holding it with the back of his hand turned upwards. When the file comes down to the table, the hand magically has turned and it also holds a different side of the file.

Factual error: Denzel's tank was actually a Centurion, but apparently dressed up to be an M1A1. The ammunition for M1A1s use semi-combustible cases; that is, most of the case is consumed in the explosion of the propellant. There is only a small base cap that is ejected from the gun, not the entire casing as portrayed in the movie. If Denzel's tank was supposed to be an M1 or M1IP, which would have non-combustible cased ammunition, then they wouldn't have fought any T-72s, as no M1s or M1IPs engaged any T-72s.

Continuity mistake: At the beginning of the movie in the tank battle, Nat Serling says to Patella, "Do you or do you not have a fucking target?" Later on when the tape is replayed, we hear, "Do you or do you not have a target?"


Other mistake: When Monfriez's car hits the train, the train has its brakes screeching but a second later the car and the train go whizzing by Denzel Washington who is standing on the side, never seeming to come to a stop.

The President: Few of us are given the opportunity, even fewer the courage to sacrifice ourselves for the lives of our comrades. In daily life, even as in battle each one of us is mysteriously and irrevocably bound to our fellow man. And yet, it is only in death that the power of this bond is finally tested and proven. And who among us really knows how he might respond when the moment comes?

More quotes from Courage Under Fire

Trivia: The Tech-rep for this movie was an Armor Captain from the California National Guard who never made it to Desert Storm. In a bit of irony, one of the officers from the 2nd ACR that was in the largest tank battle in Desert Storm applied for this position, but was told that he didn't know anything about desert warfare.

More trivia for Courage Under Fire

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