The Last Samurai

Factual error: When we see the United States flag, it is the wrong flag. It has 43 stars, something the flag did not have until 1891.

Revealing mistake: The road leading out of the samurai village has distinct tire tracks from vehicles.

Continuity mistake: When Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays Ujio, is riding his horse and charging the howitzers, he gets shot by the gatling gun and falls down dead. In the next scene he can be seen in the upper left corner still riding, wearing his distinctive gold circle armor. (02:04:40)

Revealing mistake: Before the final battle, just after Katsumoto says that the Imperial army will not surrender, there is a cut, appearing when the Japanese army are ready to attack. You can see, at the right side of the screen, a transparent man walking in front of the troops. Actually you can only see a pair of legs walking without any body. (01:50:15)

Factual error: The Japanese soldiers are using the cap lock musket, which only yields one shot at a time. In several scenes we see the same soldier firing several shots without reloading his gun.

Factual error: The scenes in the samurai village all have long grass in full seed, this can only happen in the summer not in the early spring as shown in the film.

Continuity mistake: When Algren is trying to prove to the Colonel that the soldiers are not ready to fight, by having the man try to shoot him, the first barrel band on the soldier's musket (the one closest to the muzzle) is detached and dangling just behind the front sight. It stays in this position for several shots and then magically resets itself after the weapon is fired.

Revealing mistake: In one of the large battles (the last if I recall correctly), one of the soldiers in the foreground can be seen clutching his chest before an arrow hits him. It's only an instant before the arrow hits, but noticeable.

Continuity mistake: When the samurai are entering the village, the geishas that the photographer was taking a picture of are seen entering a house behind him. Then the shot changes. When it returns to the photographer, you see them entering the same building again over his shoulder.

Continuity mistake: During the rescue scene, the heroes cross a bridge and are followed by the Imperial Army. The first batch of Imperial soldiers rips a hole in the paper door/window/wall. In the next shot the door/window/wall is intact.

Continuity mistake: When Algren is saying good bye to Taka, who is ending her bath, the position of her hair changes between shots.

Continuity mistake: Just before the final battle, a clip of the now well-trained Japanese army standing at "port arms" (holding their rifles in front of them, with their left hand on the upper stock and their right hand behind the trigger guard; the rifle is pointed up and to their left). This is a standard out of any military manual of arms. The scene flashes to several other snapshots of the other parties preparing for the big battle. When the camera shows another snapshot of the Japanese army, the film is in reverse. The soldiers are still at "port arms," but their rifles are pointed up and to their right.

Continuity mistake: When Algren is packing to leave, Colonel Bagley picks up the note that the young boy had written for Algren. In the close up, you can see the paper is light blue at the top and a light pink at the bottom. When Algren takes it from him and smooths it out, it is suddenly all light blue.

David Mercier

Continuity mistake: On his way to rescue Katsumoto, Algren is confronted by four or five armed men. If you look closely, you can see the armed man in the top left corner draws his sword twice.

David Mercier

Visible crew/equipment: When Algren is dressed by Katsumoto's sister in her dead husband's armour, she backs away and kneels down. Next to her knee is a blue dot, which would be her "mark" for where she was supposed to kneel. (01:44:05)

Continuity mistake: Algren's horse has a white spot on his forehead. The spot changes size, shape and place during the film. At the very end of the film, when Algren goes back to the samurai-village, horse hasn't got that spot at all (it's still the same horse, big ears and all that.).

Continuity mistake: When Tom Cruise is entering the village on horse drawn carriage, he looks LEFT but the camera shows the perspective as though he is looking RIGHT. Then Tom turns his head towards the RIGHT and the camera view is pointing towards the left.

The Last Samurai mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Algren teaches a soldier to shoot, the soldier has a chin strap below his lip. Yet, in the next shot there is no strap. (00:19:35)

Continuity mistake: When Algren draws his sword as he assists Katsumoto in his escape, he holds the sheath in his left hand, but in the next shot when he opens the door leading out to the bridge, the sheath is gone.

Continuity mistake: When Algren is handing the 'sword' back to the little kid, his hands change position around the sword everytime the angle switches: first it's between his fingers, then fully grasped, then between his fingers again.

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