The Deer Hunter

Factual error: The boys go deer hunting somewhere in the Appalachians, but the geology is all wrong. That scene is in North Cascades National Park in Washington State. In addition, the "deer" they are hunting is a Red Stag. Not typically found in the Appalachians.

Factual error: When Michael Vronsky gets back from his tour he has a full grown beard. The only branch of the service that allows a beard is the Navy, and he was an Army Green Beret. The beard would only have been tolerated if Mike was either not in his Class A uniform or actively performing on a mission, neither of which are the case here. In addition, he's wearing a Black Beret, but his left shoulder patch is the 101st airborne, not Special Forces. Finally, he has six or seven hash marks on his right sleeve. Each hashtag is for 3 years of active duty service.

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Suggested correction: Right sleeve hash marks are for 6 month tours of duty, left are for 3 years' service.

The hash marks on his right sleeve are overseas bars, each bar represents 6 months of service in a combat or hostile fire zone. The hash mark on his left sleeve represents 4 years of enlisted service. Obviously, nobody cared about the uniform in 1976.

Each hash mark on the left sleeve is 3 years' service.

It's 3 years per left bar. The 101st patch should be on the right upper arm (correct placement for former combat unit) where the blue SF patch is and the blue SF patch should have been where the 101st patch was on the left shoulder (correct placement for current unit). This would make sense if the 3 buddies enlisted and went to Vietnam together, likely in the same outfit - the 101st. Steve and Nicki are still in the 101st when they find Mike in the ville, but we can assume that at some point down the line Mike applied for transfer to SF. The film ends in 1975 with Mike showing a bar for 3 years service just before returning to Saigon to retrieve Nicki. So the action can't have taken place any earlier than 1971-72 even allowing for the fact he might have been home for 6-12 months before returning to get Nicki. I never noticed the beret being black in the later scenes but this seems to be an error - once the green beret had been earned I would have thought that trumps all other achievements including Ranger School.

The black beret was worn by US Army rangers who were assigned to a ranger unit, in the 1960's and 70's.

Factual error: Back from Viet Nam, De Niro is wearing a green beret and he has a 101st Airborne Division patch on the left shoulder of his dress greens. It should be a Special Forces patch.

Factual error: When Mike is hunting after his return he switches from left hand shooting to right hand and his rifle also switches the bolt on the right to the bolt on the left.

Factual error: The film is supposedly set in 1968. However, after Nick was released from the hospital in Saigon and entered the Mississippi bar, the music being played on the jukebox is Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Night, released in 1973.

Factual error: When Christopher Walken is in Saigon after leaving the hospital, he is not wearing a name plate on his uniform. Name plates are required, and every other uniformed soldier is wearing one.

Factual error: When Michael Vronsky gets back from his tour he has a full grown beard. The only branch of the service that allows a beard is the Navy, and he was an Army Green Beret. The beard would only have been tolerated if Mike was either not in his Class A uniform or actively performing on a mission, neither of which are the case here. In addition, he's wearing a Black Beret, but his left shoulder patch is the 101st airborne, not Special Forces. Finally, he has six or seven hash marks on his right sleeve. Each hashtag is for 3 years of active duty service.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Right sleeve hash marks are for 6 month tours of duty, left are for 3 years' service.

The hash marks on his right sleeve are overseas bars, each bar represents 6 months of service in a combat or hostile fire zone. The hash mark on his left sleeve represents 4 years of enlisted service. Obviously, nobody cared about the uniform in 1976.

Each hash mark on the left sleeve is 3 years' service.

It's 3 years per left bar. The 101st patch should be on the right upper arm (correct placement for former combat unit) where the blue SF patch is and the blue SF patch should have been where the 101st patch was on the left shoulder (correct placement for current unit). This would make sense if the 3 buddies enlisted and went to Vietnam together, likely in the same outfit - the 101st. Steve and Nicki are still in the 101st when they find Mike in the ville, but we can assume that at some point down the line Mike applied for transfer to SF. The film ends in 1975 with Mike showing a bar for 3 years service just before returning to Saigon to retrieve Nicki. So the action can't have taken place any earlier than 1971-72 even allowing for the fact he might have been home for 6-12 months before returning to get Nicki. I never noticed the beret being black in the later scenes but this seems to be an error - once the green beret had been earned I would have thought that trumps all other achievements including Ranger School.

The black beret was worn by US Army rangers who were assigned to a ranger unit, in the 1960's and 70's.

More mistakes in The Deer Hunter

Michael: You okay?
Linda: Did you ever think life would turn out like this?
Michael: No.

More quotes from The Deer Hunter

Trivia: The scene where Nick spits in Michael's face when they play each other at Russian Roulette towards the end of the movie was improvised by Christopher Walken. Director Michael Cimino convinced Walken to do this, and Robert De Niro was completely surprised by this, as evidenced in his reaction. In fact, De Niro was so furious about the unscripted improvisation that he almost quit the production.

More trivia for The Deer Hunter

Chosen answer: The whole phrase is "di di mao", which basically mean go now, or hurry up.

MasterOfAll

More questions & answers from The Deer Hunter

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