The Final Countdown

Plot hole: While still unsure where and when they are, the Nimitz has two F-14 Tomcats aloft, investigating a pair of low-altitude radar contacts. They determine the planes are WWII-vintage Japanese Zeros in full military livery. The Tomcats are told to shadow the Zeros without engaging them. Then, the Captain, the XO, the CAG and Lasky all go to a formal dining room and sit down to tea. In this scene, they talk about many other 1941-era things that are happening, but nobody mentions the Zeros. That fact, and that they left their Tomcats where they did, suggests this scene was meant to be in an earlier part of the film (when things seemed odd, but no imminent threat existed) and got moved here, creating a plot hole that the USS Nimitz could slide through sideways. US Navy nuclear carrier command staff wouldn't simply go have tea under the current conditions. (00:40:30)

johnrosa

Plot hole: If the captain's plan was to stop the attack on Pearl Harbour the next day, it makes no sense to attack 335 Japanese Zeroes flying in waves. It would be better to simply sink the six aircraft carriers before the planes took off.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Sinking the carriers would be an act of war since they hadn't done anything other than sail close to Hawaii in international waters. He had to wait for them to actually begin performing a hostile act. Knowing what they will do doesn't change that they hadn't done it yet.

jimba
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?

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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
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Question: Wasn't President Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" speech as heard in the movie given before Congress on January 6, 1941? The movie, or some of it, takes place December 6th/7th 1941.

Answer: FDR's Four Freedoms speech (which was his eighth State of the Union address) was originally given on January 6, 1941, some months before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The filmmakers appear to have deliberately compressed the two historical events to emphasize the dramatic change in the world. FDR gave the speech to gain public support for the U.S. aiding Britain and the other allied forces, even though it was not yet involved in the war.

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