American Beauty

American Beauty (1999)

34 mistakes - chronological order

(7 votes)

American Beauty mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the first overhead shot of Lester in bed, just before his shower, his slippers are positioned in a V-shape, but in the next shot, from under the bed, has them parallel to the bed. (00:01:34)

Visible crew/equipment: As Carolyn and Lester pull up to their driveway while talking about the paper Lester has to write, the reflection of the camera and its operator is visible in the passenger door, below Lester. (Most visible when the camera moves closer to the car.) (00:06:55)

manthabeat Premium member

Continuity mistake: When they are eating at the dinner table you can see that there is no rug, but later when Jane was looking out the window after the first time she was being video taped you can see that there is a rug under the table. (00:06:59)

Continuity mistake: In the beginning of the movie, after "mentalboy" has filmed Lester and Janey in the kitchen, Lester looks out the window. The kitchen is lit up, and it is very dark outside. This would naturally produce a reflection in the window, making looking outside impossible. There is no reflection. (00:10:00)

Audio problem: At the end of the scene when Carolyn cannot sell the house, she closes the blinds and then walks across a bare hardwood floor in heels...Do you hear any noise? I don' would have been very echo-y in that room with no furniture or carpeting! (00:13:40)

Continuity mistake: The interior layout of the Burnham's house does not match the exterior of the house. This is illustrated in the scene in which Jane comes inside after Ricky is taping her for the first time. She walks in the front door and goes directly into the dining room to peer out of one of the two side windows. If the interior of the house matched the exterior, she would not have been able to peer through those windows because they would not have existed. Instead, the garage would be there. (While there may be a window on that side of the dining room that does face out near the garage - extended external views of the house from that side are not plentiful in the film - there are still not two windows which face out in that direction. The garage would block one.) (00:20:07)

Continuity mistake: When Lester is in Janey's room and he is looking through her phone numbers, when he gets to Angela's number it starts with 555 but when he dials it on the phone the first two numbers are a similar beep but the 3rd is a different tone. It looks as if he is hitting 553. (00:22:30)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Ricky's dad is driving him to school, if you look closely in the background, they drive by the same houses twice. (00:25:41)

American Beauty mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Ricky comes home and starts to watch TV with his parents, on close up shots of the TV there are pictures and a vase on top of it, but when they show shots of Ricky and his parents, they mysteriously vanish. (00:27:55)

Continuity mistake: During the night out at the estate agent's party, and back at the house that same night when drinking root beer in the kitchen, Kevin Spacey is wearing a t-shirt under his shirt. After hearing his daughter and friend talking about him working out he goes to the garage, finds his weights and takes his shirt off, but there is now nothing underneath. (00:28:45 - 00:38:50)

Continuity mistake: When Lester is jogging towards Ricky and his father, you can see the hose on the ground. It first shows the hose stretched out across the lawn, then it shows the hose sort of coiled. (00:45:20)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Carolyn threatens to divorce Lester the bedclothes on the bed are halfway up, then down, then halfway up again. (00:45:28)

Continuity mistake: When Lester returns from a jog after embarking on a fitness spree, it can be seen that the sweat pattern changes on his shirt in the scenes following the jog. They go from long and thick to long and thin to short and thick etc. (00:47:01)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Col Fitts comes into Ricky's room to retrieve the urine sample the refrigerator is on the left of the door as is the bed. This is also how the room is set up when Jane is being filmed by Ricky in Ricky's room. However when Lester is in Ricky's room to buy marijuana from him for the first time the bed is on the opposite side of the room. The bed is also like this when Col Fitts is hiding in Ricky's room after Ricky delivers more marijuana to Lester later in the movie. (00:47:46)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Lester is telling Carolyn and Janie that he quit his job if you watch Carolyn's drink you see that it changes drastically from shot to shot, between having lots of ice, not that much ice, being quite full, not as full, etc. And she never even takes a sip. (01:05:07)

Continuity mistake: When Lester is driving his Toyota after he quit his job, the plates on the car are different between the first shot (361813) and the second shot when he pulls in to the burger place (315502). (01:05:30)

Revealing mistake: In the scene when Ricky's father rushes to his room and punches him, Ricky is bleeding before he is hit. (01:08:00)

Visible crew/equipment: After he gets beaten up by his father, Ricky looks in the mirror. On the left edge you can see a bit of the camera, then it moves away. (01:10:10)

Continuity mistake: When Lester is talking about the car he's just bought, the beer on the table has its label facing the camera. On the reverse shots, it's still facing the camera. The label doesn't wrap round - later on we see that there's one front label and nothing on the back. (01:11:58)

American Beauty mistake picture

Continuity mistake: After Lester throws the pillow, it bounces off the couch and lands in the chair. In the next shot it's gone, but reappears in the following shot. (01:14:10)

Lester: Here I am, jerking off in the shower. This will be the highlight of my day.

More quotes from American Beauty

Trivia: Jessica Biel was originally cast as Jane Burnham but had to drop out due to conflicts with "7th Heaven" producer Aaron Spelling. The part then went to Thora Birch.

More trivia for American Beauty

Question: Did Ricky have a mental disability? He is pretty strange, and it was mentioned that he was in a mental hospital, I thought maybe he had aspergers or autism.

Answer: There's no mention that he had a mental disorder. He likely suffers from the emotional abuse his father inflicted on him throughout his entire childhood, which included sending Ricky to a military academy and forcibly committing him to a psychiatric facility (for unknown reasons). This probably contributed to Ricky's later eccentric behavior and drug use.

raywest Premium member
More questions & answers from American Beauty

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.