Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates (2001)

35 corrected entries

(7 votes)

Corrected entry: When the German sniper enters his bunker, he renders an American style salute. He should be rendering a loud and boisterous "Heil Hitler!" and a Nazi salute, complete with feet clapping together sharply.


Correction: The sniper's "American Style" salute is correct, as most armies saluted that way. Also, shouting "Heil Hitler" and giving the "Nazi" salute was not required in the German Army (required by those serving in the SS, however) until after the July 1944 bomb attempt to kill Adolf Hitler.


Corrected entry: In the scene where Danilov is showing Zaitsev the article, he says that it will appear on the front page and be read "by people in the Crimea". Since the Crimea was under German occupation at the time of Stalingrad, Danilov would have known this would be impossible.

Correction: Unless they had an underground distribution network into German-occupied Russian territory. Quite likely, since we're talking about propaganda exhorting Russians to resist the fascists. Who better to exhort than people in occupied areas?

Corrected entry: At the beginning of the film, when they show the map of Europe slowly being taken over by the Nazis, the Soviet Union in the map is actually modern day Russia. Their borders depict Ukraine as a separate country, when it was actually part of the Soviet Union. (00:05:00)

Correction: Its not modern day Russia because the Caucasus region is included. They don't show Ukraine as a separate country but they put a border across the Dnieper, which is right through the middle of the Ukraine. The pink part of the Ukraine is the region of the German reichskommissariat (roughly) they set up after occupation. Although the borders are confusing and inaccurate, it's not the borders of modern day Russia and Ukraine.


Corrected entry: In the scene where Vassili is taking cover behind an old oven, Major König could've easily killed him. König's rifle ammunition would've easily gone straight through the oven and into Vassili's body, which is something a skilled marksman such as König would've know.

Correction: A: Vassily didn't know the specs of König's rifle or bullets. B: As an expert marksman, König would know that you don't shoot through multi-layered objects to reach a target. It disrupts the path of the bullet and likely wouldn't have hit Vassily.

Corrected entry: During the sex scene, watch carefully the "Sleeping" soldier at the top of the screen. You can tell that he is desperately trying not to laugh and smile.

Correction: If two fully clothed people were making an obvious and clumsy attempt at having sex under a blanket amongst a crowd of sleeping people just yards away from me, I'd be laughing, too.

Corrected entry: When Jude Law and Ed Harris are playing cat and mouse in the scene where Harris is in the air duct, and Law is hiding behind the furniture, Harris end up getting hit in the arm by a bullet. This type of wound, created by a 7.62x54R, would have blown the section clean off, where it struck. Later in the movie, we see a slight bandage, but an otherwise functional appendage.


Correction: He was shot in the hand, which is thin enough that the bullet could have gone through and through without yawing and thus preventing severe damage, assuming that they were following the Geneva conventions and using FMJ bullets.

Steve Kozak

Corrected entry: The hierarchy in the Red Army was very strict. It is totally unthinkable that a political commissar and an infantryman (private) should publicly dance and wrestle each other like two adolescents.

Correction: Vassily Zaitsev was, at the time of his duel with the German sniper, not a private, but a Junior Lieutenant. This would put him just one rank below Danilov, who is pictured as a Lieutenant.


Corrected entry: When Vassily is invited to the old lady and the boy's house, the lady hears something, and blows the candle, but it's still light in the room for about a second after the light's out.

Correction: The reason the room remains lit is that it takes that second for the flame to be extinguished. She's blowing into a lamp that's nearly a foot tall - the flame wouldn't be extinguished instantaneously.

Corrected entry: In real life Vassili Zaitsev killed Major Konig by having someone hold a helmet over his head in an open window and Major Konig shot the helmet and the person holding the helmet screamed as if he was hit. Vassili saw the muzzle flash of Konig's rifle and shot him where he was hiding under a piece of sheet metal. (I guess one of the oldest tricks in the book still works)


Correction: In real life, it's highly unlikely this duel ever happened, suggest you read Stalingrad by Anthony Beevor or check this link http://www.russian-mosin-nagant.com/Zaitsev_story.htm.

Corrected entry: In the map sequence showing Germany's takeover of European countries, Norway is not invaded. Norway and Denmark were invaded the 9th of April 1940...

Correction: It does not show the German advancement in true historical order, but more like a red shadow that expands across Europe in a steady pace. And just as the camera starts zooming in on Stalingrad, you can see a small sliver of red starting to spread on the south-eastern coast of Norway.


Corrected entry: Joseph Fiennes' character exposes himself to the Major's fire in the end to help Jude Law locate the Major. The Major shoots Fiennes and leaves his position and gets shot by Jude Law. During the whole film both of the opponents were portrayed as very sensible characters. The Major should have been alerted when he saw the head appearing so rapidly. The Major would have known that Law would never expose himself in such a stupid way and would have been conscious of a trap.

Correction: Koning often shoots anyone he can (even without a perfect shot) throughout the entire movie. It's clear he's not the type to waste chances, and there's nothing to suggest that he knew Vassili was there. In real life, Danilov was shot (albeit in the shoulder) which allowed Vassili and Kulikov to spot him. Then they raised a helmet for him to "kill" (which he also fell for) and he was shot in turn.

Corrected entry: In reality, the Russians made extensive use of wearing winter camouflage during battles, yet every Russian soldier we see in the movie lacks this outfit.

Correction: Camouflage suits were first used in the counterattack that trapped the Sixth Army. Major Koning died a few weeks before that happened.

Correction: If you look closely you can see the bandage there throughout the entire scene. The lighting just makes it hard to spot sometimes.

Corrected entry: The Russians were extremely notorious for destroying anything of value to the enemy during WW II, and major targets were train engines and railcars that couldn't be "saved." Those railcars in Stalingrad would be scrap by the time the Germans were within striking distance.

Correction: If you're referring to the beginning then they had only just arrived from miles away, so there's no reason for them to have been destroyed. And Stalingrad was being overrun fairly quickly at that point so the Russians might not have had time to destroy any railcars that appear later, especially since they were fighting to the death.

Corrected entry: In the beginning, when you see the people getting on and off the trains, there is a shot of a wagon with two gun turrets. You can clearly see the gun barrel bouncing up and down, revealing that it's made of plastic.

Correction: Putting aside that no one would build a gun turret (real or otherwise) out of plastic, they're on a train. Trains are not known for having a smooth ride.

Corrected entry: How come these supposedly "Russian" characters have British accents? Obviously it's because the actors are British, and for the sake of simplicity and American audiences, the majority of dialogue was written and performed in English. Even Bob Hoskins, a British actor, performs perfectly with a Russian accent; so why couldn't the others do this?


Correction: There have been umpteen incidents of 'wrong' accents in films (often involving Sean Connery), to the point where it cannot really be considered a film error - in many ways, it's better if an actor simply uses their natural accent rather than doing a really appalling version of the 'real' accent. Hoskins was obviously capable of pulling off a Russian accent - maybe the others weren't.


Corrected entry: When Vassili and Ludmilla are searching for Major Konig's dog tags and Ludmilla gets shot in the head, there is no sound of a gun shot. There is only the sound of the bullet piercing her helmet.

Correction: The reason there is no gun shot is because in order to emphasize the sound of the bullet going through her helmet and skull the gun shot was muted. If there was a gun shot (close range) then the sound would be too intense and you wouldn't hear the bullet hit.

Correction: It is unusual, but not impossible.

Corrected entry: In the scene where the Major arrives in Stalingrad, he sees a hospital train full of wounded ready to pull out. The cars all have red crosses on them. But Russian partisans, outraged by German atrocities, found the hospital trains easy pickings. So the Germans did not mark hospital trains with the red cross - they tried to camouflage them.

Correction: If they camouflaged the red cross trains then it might have been attacked by the Russian air force. It was the code of practice that all trains, trucks, and any transport carrying wounded must have a red cross on it.

Corrected entry: Take a look at Danilov's propaganda papers, the ones which fly out of his car as it is wrecked by German shellfire. They say "never shall the enemy put his foot on the soil of Stalingrad", correct? All right, we all know it's just propaganda, but it sure is misleading....at this point in the movie, the Germans were already all over Stalingrad!

Correction: Not a film mistake. The posters are reproductions of a genuine wartime Russian propaganda leaflet. When did wartime propaganda ever resemble the truth? Remember Comical Ali?

Factual error: When Kruschev and Vasy go to the press meeting the Soviet National Anthem is playing in the background. The actual anthem was not written until January of 1944, a year after the Battle of Stalingrad. In addition, the song sung is the 1977 lyrics. The lyrics used in 1944 were slightly different. See http://www.skazka.no/anthems/ for more info.

More mistakes in Enemy at the Gates

Major König: Once again, he knew exactly where to find me. Don't you think that's strange? Apart from me, only you knew.

More quotes from Enemy at the Gates

Trivia: The film is based upon William Craig's book of the same name, yet the entire movie is based upon a sniper duel that covers no more than two pages of the entire book. German army historical records never mention an elite sniper named "Major Koenig" hunting Vassili Zaitsev at Stalingrad.


More trivia for Enemy at the Gates

Question: Did the boy shoot the wolf? Or the horse?

Answer: He tried to shoot the wolf but he missed.


More questions & answers from Enemy at the Gates

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