American History X
American History X mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Danny gets shot at the end of the film, his paper flies out of his hand. But the very next shot of him shows that the paper is still in his hand being held over his head while he falls backwards. In one of the following shots the paper is back on the floor, but it's on the opposite side it should have been when it flew out of his hand. It's all shown in slow motion and it's very obvious.

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Continuity mistake: Toward the beginning, when the principal calls Danny into his office to discuss his Mein Kampf paper, he first glares at the Jewish teacher who exits the principal's office. As the teacher is walking past, the clock on the wall reads 8:10. But when the camera angle changes to show him walk around a corner, the same clock reads 8:20. Apparently it took him 10 minutes to turn the corner.

Continuity mistake: When Danny and Derek are taking down the Nazi-posters in Danny's room, the big poster above the computer is a very large Nazi flag that takes up about one fifth of the entire wall. During one of the shots in which all other smaller posters are being taken down, it is not there, and then it reappears and is the last one they take down.

Continuity mistake: After the shooting, when Derek is being arrested, he is on his knees and the cop behind him helps him to his feet. The cop wraps his right arm across Derek's chest, the camera then cuts to the angle from Danny's view, and it's now the cop's left arm across Derek's chest when he gets to his feet. Then the 3rd shot shows his right arm across Derek's chest again, as he's being hauled away.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Edward Norton is in jail and talking to that guy who does the laundry, Norton throws the towels in the rack. Every time the camera angle switches between Norton and the laundry guy, the towels are neatly folded, then crumpled, then folded again, then crumpled again.

Continuity mistake: During the scene where the skinheads raid the store, one of the store employees is on the floor being attacked by a few skinheads. They pull two liters of soda off the shelf hitting the employee. In the next scene they cut a bag of corn (or seed) that falls all over the employee but the two liters are now back on the shelf.

Continuity mistake: Toward the end of the film, when Danny is approaching his girlfriend at their high school, his backpack is on his back. He then hugs her, and the bag is not there as there are no straps doing down the front of his shoulder. They are then shown walking together into the school and the backpack is on his back again.

Continuity mistake: When Derek exits his house and shoots at the three black guys who are stealing his truck, there are numerous street lights lighting up the street throughout this scene. Then during the slow motion shot where Derek is approaching the guy who he gives the Californian curb kick, the lights are out, and the entire street is dark. All the lights apparently must have simultaneously turned off.

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Continuity mistake: When the three African-American guys throw the white guy into the bathroom to beat him up, watch the guy who locks the bathroom door. In one shot he is several feet behind his two friends, with his back to the camera locking the door and in the next shot he is standing right there with them.

Continuity mistake: At the dinner table scene at the Vinyard home where Derek and Murray get into an argument about civil rights, watch Derek's arms right after Murray says "It's like an expression of rage by people who feel neglected and turned away by the system." He moves his right arm back behind his plate, then in the next shot he has this arm extended forward holding his fork.

Continuity mistake: Just after the black guy shoots Danny at the end of the film, blood spatters all over the wall behind him. In an immediate next shot when Danny is falling backward, the blood spattered is in a noticeably different pattern.

Continuity mistake: In the opening scene where Derek is in his prison cell and the warden is waking the inmates up in the morning, every prison cell door is showed simultaneously opening. Seconds later, in a following shot Derek is shown exiting his cell and his cell door is still opening after every other cell door was shown completely opening.

Continuity mistake: When they are playing the basketball game and Seth bets that he can beat the black gang, he has sweat all over the collar area of his t-shirt. But in the next shot and for the rest of the game, the sweat is gone.

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Continuity mistake: Watch Danny's right arm when he is leaning on the fence and watching the basketball game after getting out of school. In at least one close up shot of him, there is a leather strap or brace on his arm and in other shots there is nothing on his arm.

Continuity mistake: Derek gets out of jail, and after he finishes saying goodbye, as he's walking away, you can see his mother, brother, and sister off to the left of the picture and Derek looks over at them. Then in the next frame, they are not there.

Continuity mistake: In the opening of the movie, when Derek approaches the black guy who he had just pistol whipped, the background is pitch black with one small light flickering in the distance. Later in the movie, during one of Danny's flashbacks, it shows a repeat of that scene, and when Derek is approaching the black guy, the entire street is well lit, and the background is very visible.

Continuity mistake: Watch Cameron's position when he is hit by Derek. He turns around, bumps onto the wall with his face pointed out left. In another shot after Derek's close-up, Cameron's face is suddenly pointed to the right as he slides down the wall to the ground, without the possibility to have changed his face direction.

Continuity mistake: Just after Danny gets shot at the end of the film, the paper falls directly downward out of his hand to the bathroom floor. In the next shot where he is falling backward, the paper is flying at least two and a half feet in the air higher than it was when it initially left his hand. It showed him releasing the paper just after he got shot without giving it any kind of upward direction.

Continuity mistake: In the opening scene of the movie, when Derek grabs the black guy who is laying on the ground, his arm is raised high above his head. In the later scene, a repeat of the altercation, Derek's arm does not even raise past his chest when he grabs the black guy.

Continuity mistake: Just before Derek and Danny take down their Nazi posters, they are gazing at the wall. Danny, in one shot is sitting in his chair looking upward with his hands in his lap. In the next shot of what appears to be uninterrupted time, he is looking downward with his hand raised up to his face.

Continuity mistake: When Danny and Derek are taking down the Nazi-posters in Danny's room, the big poster above the computer is a very large Nazi flag that takes up about one fifth of the entire wall. During one of the shots in which all other smaller posters are being taken down, it is not there, and then it reappears and is the last one they take down.

More mistakes in American History X

Murray: Derek, what are you trying to prove?

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Trivia: The ending was originally different. After the scene where Derek is crying over Danny, it cut to Henry being arrested, then his family in the kitchen mourning him and saying he was a good boy, and then Derek shaving his head again while smiling. When Edward Norton read the script, he said "I thought the movie was supposed to be anti-Nazi." So the ending was soon changed.


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Question: What was the point of the ending? What message was it trying to send? We have a whole movie sending an anti-racist message, but then a black guy kills Danny for blowing smoke in his face. I'm sure this wasn't the movie's intention, but it kinda seems like we're supposed to believe Derek was originally right and shouldn't have changed.


Chosen answer: No, the message is absolutely not that Derek was originally right. The last part just shows there is evil on both sides and not only the neo-nazis need change. Danny changed, but too late to be saved from being murdered for racist reasons. Its a classic Shakespearean tragedy.


Answer: In the original unaired ending of the movie, it shows Derek staring in the mirror at his home. He takes his shirt off exposing his swastika, then you see hair falling into the sink as he shaves his head.

Anywhere to find that alternate ending?


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