Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

50 mistakes

Continuity mistake: The position of the needle and thread lying on Peter's body differ in the wide shot and following close-up.

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Super Grover

Factual error: At the end of the film, Aubrey sends the de-masted prize Acheron to Valparaiso, Chile, for repairs. Valparaiso is 3,000 miles from the Galapagos Islands, and, in 1805, was a tiny village without appropriate port facilities to dock or repair anything as large as a frigate. Valparaiso did not become a major port until after Chilean Independence from Spain (1810). Guayaquil (in modern Ecuador) would have been a more appropriate choice, being about 750 miles from the Galapagos, and being a major port in 1805. The choice between the two ports was moot, anyway, since both municipalities were Spanish territory in 1805, and thus were allied with the French, and hostile to the British.

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Factual error: After Stephen Maturin comes back with a small portion of findings from the Galapagos Islands, he presents a stick insect to Captain Aubrey, but stick insects (Phasmids) don't exist in the Galapagos Islands.

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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World mistake picture

Revealing mistake: The Acheron fires many devastating blows on the Surprise and the effect is visible in close-ups and a wide shot. However, after Mr. Mowett yells, "Relieving-tackles on the tiller! You men collect the wounded!" there is another wide shot of the Acheron in the foreground and Surprise in the distance. In this shot Surprise has NO damage whatsoever!

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Super Grover
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World mistake picture

Revealing mistake: After a close-up of the drawing of one-armed Lord Nelson, Killick opens the lid of the steaming food for Jack in a close-up, just before Killick says, "Oh, here we go again. Scrape, scrape, screech, screech." Later, after Pullings takes command of Acheron, Jack tunes up his violin and Killick says, "Here we go again," in another close-up of the steaming food for Jack. Every detail of the food shown in both close-ups is exactly the same - obviously shot at the same time.

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Super Grover

Continuity mistake: As Killick trims the wax on the candle, in the close-up his hand is wet. However, in the next wide shot as he says, "He's been at it again..." his hand is dry.

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Super Grover

Factual error: In the brief shot of the Surprise underway after entering the Pacific, seen from dead astern and from above, the ship is leaving a respectable wake but is not heeling with the wind at all and the sails are hanging slack as though completely becalmed.

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Audio problem: After releasing the whaler prisoners aboard Acheron, Mr. Hogg shouts, "Now do your worst!" though his mouth clearly does not say that.

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Super Grover

Audio problem: While doing repairs on Surprise, Jack says, "Repair won't do here. I need those replaced," but his lips don't move when his voice says, "..replaced." Then as he says, "Ask Mr. Lamb what he has in stock," his mouth actually says something else.

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Super Grover
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Stephen removes the bullet, the rope's knot on the pillow, to the right of Stephen's head, appears, disappears and reappears.

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Super Grover

Audio problem: After the Acheron attack on the Surprise, below deck Jack, Stephen and some others discuss the situation. When Mr. Allen says, "Triple-shotted at 200 yards, and our guns had no effect," his mouth is actually saying, "...at 500 yards..."

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Super Grover

Continuity mistake: There are two tight close-ups of the words "hold fast," which are tattooed on Joe Plaice's fingers;When "Engaged enemy frigate at six bells," is said as Joe speaks, and as Stephen performs the brain surgery on Joe. The letters noticeably differ in the two shots, particularly the l, d, f, and t.

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Super Grover

Audio problem: Jack tells Pullings that he will take the next watch. Pullings says, "Aye, sir. Mr. Mowett, Mr. Allen, calmly now. You know his orders," however he does not say the latter half of that sentence, he says something else.

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Super Grover
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World mistake picture

Continuity mistake: While Jack and the rest speak about Lord Nelson, the plate of bread on the table is visible when the wide shots face Stephen. The following two close-ups show the plate of bread on the table, as Stephen looks at the weevils and the bread is positioned very differently in these shots. As Jack slams his hand down on the table, the bread is positioned as in the previous wide shots.

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Super Grover

Continuity mistake: On Galapagos, as Stephen is being carried to the tent, after Jack utters the excuse of needing to stretch his legs, Mowett's position differs greatly in the two consecutive wide shots.

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Super Grover

Factual error: When the ships go around Cape Horn you see it in the distance. But the rock you see is not Cape Horn. Cape Horn is a 400 metre high rock face.

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Jacob La Cour
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World mistake picture

Continuity mistake: While Stephen performs Blakeney's amputation, the string on the hinge of Stephen's eyeglasses changes in consecutive shots.

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Super Grover

Continuity mistake: After Killick sets down the platter of the 'Galapagos Islands', Jack says, "Gentlemen, I give you our destination." In the following close-up of the platter, the stack of china is to the left of the candelabra, yet, in the next shot, as Killick hands the spoon to Jack, the candelabra is farther back and the stack of china is towards the right.

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Super Grover

Deliberate mistake: While performing brain surgery on Joe Plaice, Stephen, whose sleeves are rolled up to his elbows, reaches for a spoon with his freckled hand. In the following close-up it is blatantly apparent that it is not Paul Bettany's hand lifting the spoon, not to mention the bit of sleeve (not rolled up) that is visible at the bottom of the screen at the wrist. Then in the overhead shot the table with the instruments is visible, which includes the two boxes and silver spoon. In the next close-up the dark brown box's position and the spoon's position differ (before he picks up the spoon).

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Super Grover
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World mistake picture

Continuity mistake: As Stephen holds the diary, in the shot facing him he begins to flip the page with his right hand, yet, in the next close-up of the diary he flips the page with his left hand. The actual pages he flips and the way he holds the diary differs in this and following shots as well.

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Super Grover

Audio problem: The last scene, when the captain and the doctor are playing music, the captain starts out with playing the violin with his fingers. Then the doctor is playing light tones with the bow on his cello. Suddenly, they switch, and the doctor is using his fingers, playing deep tones on the cello, and the captain is now playing with a bow. Finally, the first part of the music piece come back, and you hear both a violin (or some other small string instrument) played with fingers, and another violin played with a bow.

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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World mistake picture

Continuity mistake: As Higgins studies the medical diagrams while sitting next to Stephen, when he turns the page he gasps and covers his mouth. The diagrams on the page in the close-up differ from the ones in the wide shot as Higgins still has his hand over is mouth.

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Super Grover
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the tent before and during the removal of Stephen's bullet, the ropes at the top of the tent behind Jack differ in the close-ups and wide shots.

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Super Grover

Continuity mistake: After Will's death, Joe looks through Will's belongings. As the shot faces Joe he unrolls the parchment and in the next close-up of the parchment, not only do the edges of it differ from the previous and following shots, the way he holds it differs as well.

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Super Grover
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World mistake picture

Continuity mistake: As Higgins removes the piece of cloth from the bullet and compares it to the shirt, the blood on his hands and the way he holds the shirt differs in the close-up and wide shots.

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Super Grover

Revealing mistake: When the Surprise is disguised as a whaler, it burns smoke from the front end of the ship to make it look as though it is making whale oil. When it is chased by the French ship the smoke blows back over the ship. As they are sailing ships the wind is behind them which means the smoke should blow forward.

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John Elwen

Continuity mistake: When Jack and Stephen play their musical instruments, the cloth under Jack's chin changes position in the close-up.

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Super Grover

Factual error: The (authentic) book on Lord Nelson, that Captain Aubrey gives to Midshipman Lord Blakeney, wasn't published until 1806. The film is set in 1805.

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Continuity mistake: After Stephen asks, "What is the weather gauge?" the table in front of Jack is visible in the following shots. As Jack extols the virtues of the Surprise the position of the nautical dividers in the instrument box differ once Jack is done. When Jack points to the shoals in the close-up, the map's position under another pair of nautical dividers, the log, ink well stand, etc., is different than the previous shots of the table.

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Super Grover

Factual error: In the dinner scene, the captain points and asks the doctor which "weevil". Those are actually mealworm larvae (sold as reptile food in most pet stores in the US) and would never have been in a ship's food. Also, they show the doctor catching common green iguanas, which are not native to the Galapagos Islands. Neither is the species of tortoise pictured in the movie.

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Revealing mistake: The characteristics of the scarring on Jack's left earlobe changes in quite a few shots. The scar, in the shape of the letter Y, over Jack's right eye changes its angles and as for the scar at his hairline, the upper and lower line switch off being longer in length throughout the film.

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Super Grover

Factual error: The version of the Lord's Prayer in the burial at sea scene is a more modern version, not from the Book of Common Prayer which would have been used at the time.

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Continuity mistake: The blood on Jack's shirt constantly changes during the final battle with the Acheron.

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Factual error: As the Surprise attempts to weather Cape Horn, the wind backs westerly, so Aubrey gives the order to steer South. As the command is passed to the helmsman, he spins the wheel to the left - which would point the vessel Northerly, since the wheel would be turned in the opposite direction.

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Continuity mistake: After fighting aboard Acheron, when Jack sorts through some rubble with his sword and as he is stabbed, the items on the ground differ in consecutive shots.

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Super Grover

Continuity mistake: When Blakeney and Padeen run into Stephen's tent, Blakeney says, "So I've made a few notes, if you want to see them," and he hands Stephen the diary. The way Blakeney holds the diary, as he hands it to Stephen, differs in the shot facing him and the next one facing Stephen, note the clasp on the diary.

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Super Grover

Revealing mistake: During the scenes when Jack and Stephen are playing their instruments, it can be concluded that they are not genuinely playing. This is most noticeable in their last scene, when strumming. You will notice that they will be strumming when no music is audible.

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Continuity mistake: When Lofty asks if the Acheron is like a pirate ship, in the wide shot Davies, who holds a pipe, grabs him up. In the next close-up, the pipe Davies holds is positioned completely differently in his hand.

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Super Grover

Continuity mistake: In the last shot we see the Surprise make a sharp 90 degrees turn to follow l'Acheron to Valparaiso. It seems that the wind changes 90 degrees in the same instant, because it is not necessary to trim the sails, and the pennant keeps flying in the same direction relative to the ship.

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Deliberate mistake: When Jack is peering through the magnifying glass at the chart, we see 'Hidden Reef' and 'Dangerous Shoals', but in the previous shot those two things are shown way to the left of where he is looking.

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Continuity mistake: When Stephen comes on deck during the rounding of Cape Horn, Jack yells to him from the quarterdeck. Jack has his boat cloak on. He does not put on his boat cloak for several shots later, just after he tells Bonden to steer SSW.

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Continuity mistake: The order is given to closereef the topsail. But moments earlier, you see seaman doing just that, working on the last reef.

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Continuity mistake: When Stephen is pressed to examine the two weevils, in the close-ups facing Jack, even after he slams his hand down on the table, the spoon in the gravy boat leans to the side, yet, in the shots facing Stephen the spoon is at the handle.

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Super Grover

Revealing mistake: After the Captain cuts loose the man who fell overboard in the storm, there is a scene where the men sit around the big table and sing a song. During the song, the camera pans in a sweeping shot around the table. Watch closely as it comes around to the near side of the table, and you'll see the camera's view quickly jolt, as if it lightly smacked against something by accident during the filming.

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Continuity mistake: Jack Aubrey's hair changes in consecutive shots throughout the film. For example, when Stephen tells Jack, "Let me take a look at that brow of yours," his hair differs in the following close-up.

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Super Grover

Continuity mistake: When Captain Aubrey's head is bleeding after being hit during the first battle with the Acheron, we see the wound just above his eye. However, when we see him next, the wound is farther down his hairline.

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Revealing mistake: Aubrey is seen playing a violin at the end of the movie. He is using his hands and strumming the violin but there is no sign of the violin strings moving when he is strumming it, indicating the violin sound is just dubbed.

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Casual Person

Continuity mistake: In the close-up of the deceased, Mr. Allen lies right beside Peter and Blakeney's knees are visible above Peter's head, while he mourns over Peter. However, in the wide shot as Blakeney still stares at Peter, Peter and Mr. Allen are now much farther apart as Davies sits between the two. Peter and the hammock's position differ in his next close-up as well.

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Super Grover

Continuity mistake: The blood stains on the front of Jack's shirt change drastically in the close-up, when he is stabbed, as compared to the previous and following shots.

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Super Grover

Continuity mistake: During Blakeney's amputation, the cloth roll in his mouth changes position in consecutive shots.

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Super Grover

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Quotes

Capt. Jack Aubrey: England is under threat of invasion, and though we be on the far side of the world, this ship is our home. This ship *is* England.

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Trivia

When Captain Aubrey makes the toast 'To wives and sweethearts - may they never meet' he is following a custom in the Royal Navy called the toast of the day. There was a special toast for every day of the week. This one in particular was usually for Saturdays. There is a minor mistake, however: tradition dictated that the proposer (in this case, the captain) would say the first part 'to wives and sweethearts', to which the most junior officer present would reply 'may they never meet'. Here is the list that seems to be most commonly followed dates from before Trafalgar, courtesy of the Canadian Navy website: Monday - our ships at sea, Tuesday - our men, Wednesday - ourselves, because no one else is likely to both, Thursday - a bloody war or a sickly season (to ensure quicker promotion), Friday - a willing foe and sea room (The two preceding seem to be of historical interest only), Saturday - wives and sweethearts - may they never meet (reply is made by the youngest officer present) Sunday - absent friends.

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