The Final Countdown

Factual error: Listening to a radio broadcast, live, since no other indication is given, Joe Louis is completing the 12th round of a fight. This is December 6, 1941. Joe's last fight of 1941 occurred in September, his next fight was January 1942. (00:00:10)

13

Factual error: When Captain Yelland is shown the reconnaissance photo taken over Pearl Harbor by his own plane, it is identical to the historic photo from Commander Faraday's files. If you look at the picture, you can see 2 torpedo wakes heading towards the ship in the center of the photo. This is confirmed by the Discovery Channel's "Death of the Arizona" program. The photo was taken just as the attack began, and at this time in the movie, the attack was still a day ahead.

Factual error: Pearl Harbor is said to be 280 miles away from the USS Nimitz. An F8 Crusader on a recon mission to the harbor reports unusual shipping traffic, and that he will make another pass for a close-up series of photos. The CAG then immediately states the F8's ETA (estimated time of arrival) back to Nimitz is 12 minutes. At its maximum speed of 1,225mph, it will need to skip the second pass entirely to have any hope of returning in 12 minutes. (00:23:55 - 00:27:25)

johnrosa

Factual error: Aboard the Navy helicopter Senator Chapman slugs a Navy seaman in the head, knocking the sailor out cold on the first punch. But the sailor was wearing a helmet, hard on the outside and padded on the inside. It's not all that easy for an average person to knock someone out bare-handed; it's probably nearly impossible to do so through a helmet that's designed precisely to protect the head from hard impacts.

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Suggested correction: Actually, the senator strikes the seaman with the flare gun. Still doubtful it could have knocked him unconscious, but it wasn't a barehanded blow.

Factual error: All the aircraft embarked onboard the USS Nimitz are part of Carrier Air Wing Eight, and carry the correct tail code 'AJ' for that wing. CVW-8 was Atlantic assigned, as was the Nimitz herself at that time. A Pacific based CVW uses the 'Nx' codes.

Gary Stedman

Factual error: The Nimitz's position is not indicated, but most probably it is somewhere south or southwest of Pearl Harbour. Similarly, it is not indicated where the Senator's boat is sailing, but it should be somewhere west or southwest of Pearl Harbour. The two Japanese Zeroes encounter the boat and strafe it, but their flight seems to indicate they would be headed toward Pearl Harbour (or at least some populated island surely) which would indicate they were headed north or northeast. If that were the case, they certainly flew in a large circle around the island chain, which seems unrealistic in terms of fuel, distance, and reconnaissance use. Also they would have had to have flown between the Nimitz and the pleasure craft then headed back toward Pearl Harbour, which makes even less sense in the movie.

The Final Countdown mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Lasky heads toward the conning tower, an A-7 Corsair is shown at left (and the helicopter nose has a number "3" on it). As he is led inside the tower, the camera pans up, and now the Corsair is gone, replaced by an E-2 Hawkeye (and the number "3" on the heli is gone, too). (00:06:45)

johnrosa
More mistakes in The Final Countdown

Captain Yelland: If the United States falls under attack our job is to defend her in the past, present and future.
Lasky: And after that?
Captain Yelland: After that, we take our orders from the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces.
Lasky: Franklin Delano Roosevelt?

More quotes from The Final Countdown

Trivia: The USS Nimitz was based in the Atlantic during filming of this movie. When the ship pulls into Pearl Harbor past the USS Arizona Memorial, it is actually the USS Kitty Hawk not the Nimitz.

Grumpy Scot
More trivia for The Final Countdown

Question: After going through the first storm they lose track of the incoming plane they set the barricade up for. The after a minute the plane lands and the pilot is brought in by stretcher. The commander looks at the young inexperienced pilot like something was wrong. Why did the director choose to do that? I think the pilot aged but they took it out of the movie for time or something else. Any ideas?

More questions & answers from The Final Countdown

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