Down Periscope

Down Periscope (1996)

28 mistakes

Factual error: When the submarine rises in the waters of Norfolk and you see Norfolk in the background, there is one blatant problem. There are NO mountains in Norfolk. Most of Norfolk, Virginia, is below sea level.

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Visible crew/equipment: When Captain Dodge is sitting down to talk to Lake, you see the boom mic follow him down.

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Visible crew/equipment: When Dodge Say's "Good ole Graham" you can see the mic on top of the screen.

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Continuity mistake: During the final chase scene, Captain Dodge says that it's overcast, and they surface. The first shot of the Stingray shows a hazy day. When the Orlando surfaces afterwards, it's clearly that one piece of stock footage of a Los Angeles-class submarine surfacing - not only is it sunny, but the ship shoots up from an emergency fast rise. After that, the shots of the Stingray in pursuit, and that of the torpedoes hitting the target ship, show it to be sunny rather than overcast. [It's not just stock footage of any old submarine surfacing. It is in fact the shot of the submarine in Tom Clancy's The Hunt For Red October surfacing - exactly the same footage. Some kind of in-joke, perhaps?]

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Factual error: In the final chase, Orlando surfaces to chase Stingray. WWII subs are considerably faster on the surface, but modern Los Angeles class subs are designed to spend 99% of the time underwater. Orlando must travel slower on the surface as her aft rudders are out of the water, decreasing her stability. On the surface, the greater the speed, the more difficult she is to steer. Her speed and handling on the surface would be greatly reduced. There's no way she would have surfaced to chase Stingray, as it would actually make it more difficult to catch her.

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Grumpy Scot

Continuity mistake: Capt. Dodge (Kelsey Grammer) is on the deck of the sub and is sending a crewman up a ladder to attach a lamp onto the periscope. To attach it, he uses duct tape. However, when they show him climbing, the duct tape is still in Dodge's hand. Then, a second later, it is magically in the crewman's hand.

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Continuity mistake: As Dodge wishes Pascal luck, he's leaning with both hands spread on the railing around the periscope tower. A second later Dodge is standing at attention, looking straight out over port side.

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Movie Nut

Factual error: On the type of submarine Dodge commands, you must climb up one level to the conning tower to use the periscope. The periscope is not accessible inside the control room.

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Continuity mistake: At 1:20:35, when Dodge gives the order to "ready torpedo tubes one and two", both tubes are already showing "ready to fire" in the panel above Dodge's shoulder.

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Audio problem: When Dodge and Jackson go outside to put the spotlight on the periscope, Jackson climbs up. He sings the Army theme, be all you can be. You hear Dodge say that's the army not the navy, but if you look at him when he says this, he doesn't even open his mouth.

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Visible crew/equipment: When Stapanak is running to the engine room, the camera equipment at the bottom of the screen is visible.

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Factual error: In the opening credits, when you see a submarine (presumably the Orlando) passing underneath a bridge, the sub is going south, away from the base, seeing as the base pictured is the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, CT. The sub is supposedly returning from being under the ice cap, according to Dodge in another scene, therefore, it's going the wrong way.

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Continuity mistake: When Dodge is in his room talking to Lt. Lake, he throws the towel on his bunk which can be seen in the mirror. A few seconds later back on Dodge the towel is now gone from the bunk.

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Continuity mistake: Exterior shots of the Orlando switch back and forth between the older model 688 with the sail planes (fins) on the side of the tower to the new one with the planes on the bow.

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Grumpy Scot

Factual error: Stepanik is introduced in the crew boarding scene as an Engineman First Class, however in the homecoming scene, his uniform insignia is that of a Machinist's Mate First Class.

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New this month Suggested correction: This isn't really a mistake since it can simply be a result of Pascal's well-established incompetence. The guy screws everything else up so why not that?

Visible crew/equipment: When Howard is starting the engine, he's stepping over the dolly track for the camera rig.

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Continuity mistake: When Grammer is welcoming his new crew on board, between the time the first crewman has walked up the gangplank and Grammer is talking to the second and receiving his papers and telling him to get on board, you can see that a third has already boarded and the number of envelopes held by Lt. Pascal (Exec. Officer) has jumped from one to three.

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Continuity mistake: When Grammer is being taken by launch out to see his sub for the first time, you see between shots that he's going two different directions at different times of day. As they cut back and forth, one set of footage is a live shot, the other is against a screen. The end of the scene is a shot taken either in early morning or late afternoon whereas the preceding were more at midday.

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Continuity mistake: When the Admiral asks Dodge how he likes his new boat, the pencil holder on the admiral's desk has three pencils lined up. After Dodge says, "It's a complete piece of..." the pencils have moved.

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Visible crew/equipment: When the Stingray is shown going out of the harbor, the blades of the chopper shooting the aerial shots can be seen in the upper right corner of the screen.

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Movie Nut

Continuity mistake: During the opening sequences when the admirals are debating giving Dodge a command, Admiral Graham says that "three years ago" Dodge brushed up against a Soviet sub off Murmansk and that "as an ensign" Dodge got so drunk he ended up with his tattoo. Yet in two conversations with Lt. Lake Dodge says the tattoo came after the Murmansk incident.

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Factual error: It is said in the film that the Stingray is a Balao class submarine. The Stingray was actually a Salmon class submarine, and likely called a Balao class because the USS Pampanito, which stood in for the Stingray in the film, was a Balao class. Source: http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/2938.html.

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Factual error: The uniform that LT Lake wears in the last scene is wrong. The Service Dress White Uniform for women includes a white shirt and black necktie. There is no way the Navy lets anyone walk around with visible cleavage. This has nothing to do with the myth that it's illegal to portray actual military uniforms, which is entirely untrue.

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Factual error: After the Stingray does the simulated attack in Charleston Harbor she launches a red flare. A green flare is used to indicate a "gotcha" in an exercise and would have been used there. A red flare indicates the submarine is in trouble and will attempt to surface.

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Factual error: When the Orlando finally gets a shooting solution on the Stingray and the admiral calls to gloat, he is quite surprised when Dodge informs him he's already fired his torpedoes. In reality, the sonar officer on the Orlando would have been screaming "Torpedo in the water!" as soon as the first torpedo left the Stingray.

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Revealing mistake: They're supposed to be far out at sea, but in the beginning of the "walk the plank" scene, as the camera looks at Nitro, the shoreline and buildings can be seen.

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

New this month Suggested correction: This isn't a mistake since at no point is it established that they're "far out to sea". All we know is that they're out of a designated containment zone. The largest actual number given in the movie is "12,000 yards", and that's the range between ships and not ship-to-shore. Since there's no way to establish the submarine's distance to shore, having the shore visible in the background is not a mistake. Indeed, the fact that they dumped Pascal on what looks like a small fishing trawler highly suggests they ARE close to shore.

Continuity mistake: As they get underway, the torpedo indicator has 1 and 2 in yellow, 3 and 4 in blue. A minute later, all indicators are out. Then, after the sub is trimmed, all indicators are blue.

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Movie Nut

Continuity mistake: When the stingray is trying to evade the Orlando by going between the rudders of an oil tanker, after Lt. Lake takes the control ("Balls to the walls, boys"), there are two different sets of actors at the rudders and the camera goes back and forth between the two sets of actors.

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Quotes

Pascal: Jesus, Buckman! This stuff has been on the Stingray since Korea! This can expired in 1966!
Buckman: What's the matter, sir? It still tastes like cream corn.
Pascal: Except it's deviled ham.

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Trivia

In the scene when Lauren Holly, gives Kelsey Grammer, a kiss, her hitting her elbow was not in the original script. She really did hit her "funny bone" before walking off camera. The director had decided to keep it in the movie so they had to film an alternate shot of Grammer, laughing when it happened.

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