The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai (2003)

41 mistakes

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.).

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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.

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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.

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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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Continuity mistake: When he is lying back on the tree and talking to Katsumoto before dying, Nobutada calls him chichiue (father), but the subtitles say brother. [May have been corrected for the DVD.]

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Sereenie

Audio problem: Every time a sword is drawn, be it fast or slow, there is the 'shiiink' sound that is made when a steel sword is drawn from a steel scabbard (a sound that a western sword would make), yet Japanese swords have a wooden scabbard so the draw should be silent.

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Continuity mistake: During the ninja attack, Algren, Taka and her children retreat inside their house. The older boy goes to bring his father's sword to fight a ninja and another ninja is pushing Algren's face towards a sword's edge. When the boy screams and engages in combat, we can see Algren in the back stabbing the ninja in the head with a sword fragment. A couple of short scenes later, we see Algren stabbing the ninja again, only this time he actually holds the fragment, for during the first stabbing it's still lying out of reach.

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Revealing mistake: During the final battle, some samurai horsemen are lighting hay panels to create a smokescreen. At one point a horseman rides past two of them without touching them with the torch at all, and they still catch fire. Moreoever, they start to burn from the bottom, not where the flame could have touched them (which of course it didn't).

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David Mercier

Continuity mistake: During the scene where Nobutada's top knot is cut off, his hair magically changes positions multiple times. When the police officer begins cutting his hair, you see his face close up, and there is no hair on his shoulders- it's all behind his head, presumably still connected to the topknot. You then see Nobutada from a distance. The officer's finishing cutting at his hair, and you can see a lot of it resting on the front of his shoulders. The next shot of Nobutada is a closeup on his face and shoulders again, and his hair's all behind his head- his shoulders are clean. The officer then kicks him down to the ground, and his hair's back in front. The two different angles were shot separately- one while the officer's cutting his hair and one where the officer finishes and kicks him to the ground, thus the inconsistency.

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Chris Moyer Grice

Audio problem: In the scene where Algren is talking to Katsumoto about General Custer, there is a shot from behind Katsumoto's head and it is clear that he is talking and yet his mouth isn't moving.

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David Mercier

Audio problem: When Algren fights the five "ronin," he does not shout out when he kicks at one of his opponents; yet in a flashback a few moments later, it is obvious that a war cry was added in.

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Continuity mistake: The first time Algren is eating with the family, there is a shot with the older of the 2 boys in the corner. He takes a bite of his food with his chopsticks at his mouth, but immediately after, his chopsticks are down in the bowl again, there is no time in between shots for him to put the chopsticks down.

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Continuity mistake: In the fight scene where the ninjas invade the village, right before Algren runs in to help Katsumoto, it shows a shot of Katsumoto and two ninjas. One has a sword, the other has two sais. The two shots are close-ups on each ninja. The shots show each one having a sword. Then in the next shot, when Algren runs in, the ninja has sais again.

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swiftpenguin

Continuity mistake: When Algren is sitting down with the photographer and talking to him, the old man with the pipe's arm changes position in between shots(the old man is standing next to Algren on the right).

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Continuity mistake: When Algren and the samurai leave the village on horseback for the final battle, all the remaining villagers line the road and bow to them. You see Taka getting back up and when the shot changes, she's coming up again.

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Sereenie

Continuity mistake: When Katsumoto's son gets shot and Algren rescues him from the bridge, watch the dribble of blood on his lip; it keeps changing lengths from down to his neck, to not there at all, to on his chin.

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Continuity mistake: During the training scene near the beginning, Algren is showing a soldier how to aim and fire a rifle-musket. The soldier is looking down the barrel and is about to fire, but the musket's hammer is down (uncocked). The shot changes to the coloniel and we hear Algren talk to him. This lasts for a few seconds that are devoid of sound effects (ie. a hammer being pulled back). The shot then changes back with Algren in mid-sentence and we see the hammer is now cocked and a percussion cap has been fitted.

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Wubbman

Factual error: In the scene before the Americans are to be introduced to the emperor, they are told that the "Meiji" emperor is reform minded. However, Meiji is a posthumous era name, in other words, given after the emperor's death, which occurred many years later, whereas he is still very young in the period depicted.

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Suggested correction: They are using modern terms and words so that the film and characters are easier to understand.

Greg Dwyer

Continuity mistake: In the final scene as Algren approaches the village, his horse is on his left. When he sees his girlfriend, the horse is on his right.

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Continuity mistake: In the final scene Algren has his horse on his left. The horse changes to Algren's right when Algren confronts his girlfriend.

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Other mistake: The Gatling guns used in the final battle scene are indiscriminate weapons. We see the warriors hit multiple times with spectacular entry and exit wounds, as well as rounds impacting with the ground leaving dust clouds. But the horses seem to be spared as if by an invisible shield.

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Continuity mistake: The scene with Billy Connolly holding a cigar when Tom Cruise is describing the scalping technique to Timothy Spall, Billy's arm goes from leaning on the chair that T. Spall is sitting in to holding the cigar mid-abdominal comfort zone several times.

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Revealing mistake: During the melee in the final battle, towards the end, Algren looks around, seeing the death around him (much of this is in slow motion). In one of the shots focusing on Algren, behind him, on the left side of the screen, you can see an army soldier using his rifle to fight in close quarters. As he brings his rifle up, it noticeably flexes, indicating that it's a stunt-friendly rubber prop, rather than metal and wood.

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Tailkinker

Continuity mistake: During the climactic horseback charge, Algren is shown holding his sword with the blade pointing upwards. There is, however, one shot, immediately before Colonel Bagley shouts "Aim", where, despite Algren's hand being visibly in the same orientation (so he's not twirling the sword), the blade is pointing downwards. Immediately after Bagley shouts "Aim", another shot of Algren shows the sword back in the upwards position.

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Tailkinker

Continuity mistake: After Algren is defeated during the first battle with the samurai, Katsumoto says something to his second in command who kneels next to him, however in the next shot the same man can be seen kneeling down again.

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