American History X

Corrected entry: During the shower rape scene, after Derek is slammed against the wall and is falling downward, there is a very brief showing of the attacker's genitalia. You will notice that his external reproductive organ is not erect, which would not have been the case given he had just finished forcing penetration on Derek. The best thing for any director to do in this case would be to have left this completely out altogether.

Correction: If he was able to climax, the blood would have left his penis very quickly. Such is the case with almost every male.


Actually, the erection doesn't go away that quickly after ejaculation. This was mere seconds after climax so he should've still been erect.

Corrected entry: A little detail to notice: The swastika on the back of Seth's jacket at the party is facing the wrong way. From 1920, Nazis have always used a right-facing swastika as their official symbol, but the one on Seth's jacket is left-facing. Most likely a character mistake by Seth (who is not pictured as very bright), but worth noticing. (00:57:05)


Correction: (In skinhead culture the left facing swastika actually represents an individual that leads not follows.).

Corrected entry: When Danny is first typing up his paper on his brother Derek, the first shot of the scene opens with a close up of the computer screen where there are two opening lines of his paper beginning with "American History X; by Daniel Vinyard." He is also swinging his necklace from side to side just a few inches away from the computer screen. In the very next shot, the opening of his paper contains four lines, instead of two. It also shows him swinging his necklace at least six inches below where it was in the previous shot. In addition, while they are impossible to read, considering the amount of space the first two lines take up in his text document, they cannot possibly read "American History X; by Daniel Vinyard.

Correction: This scene is not shown in real-time - it's a small montage showing that Danny is having a hard time writing the essay. As such, the number of lines, font size, heading, etc. keeps changing as Danny is rewriting, erasing or starting over altogether, and we are only shown glimpses of how he is working with the essay. To show, in real time, 30 minutes of a school kid struggling with the opening of an essay would not be very interesting for the movie-goers, either.


Corrected entry: Near the end of the film, there is a flashback scene of Derek and the others talking with his father before he was killed. The father answers a question from one camera angle and then is seen giving the exact same answer again but this time from a different camera angle.

Correction: The father first of all doesn't even answer any real questions in this scene. He is the one doing the telling throughout basically the entire scene as he explains to Derek his personal opinion of racial relations. There are two main camera angles of the father in this scene that switch back and forth, but never does the father repeat the same thing twice from one shot to another.

Corrected entry: When Derek and his brother leave the coffee shop near the end of the movie, they are holding the coffee, maple bar, and milk that they bought in there. They then cut to a different camera angle and the merchandise is gone. (01:49:00)

Correction: They are shown leaving the cafe with the merchandise in their hands, but a period of at least a few minutes had passed when they are shown without the merchandise. Derek says to Sweeney before they leave the cafe that he'd be back in a half hour, suggesting that Danny's high school, where they are going, is a fifteen minute walk away. When they are shown without the merchandise, they only walk a few blocks to get to Danny's high school. Throughout the first 10 minutes of their walk, they could have easily finished their drinks and thrown them away, and Danny could have put the white paper bag inside his backpack.

Corrected entry: When Seth is going to the Vinyard home to see Derek, he is heard whistling as he approaches the door. There is then a shot of the inside of the Vinyard home and Seth's whistling can be heard just as loudly as it was in the shot of him walking up to the door, which is not possible.

Correction: Why not possible to hear at the same volume? A window may be open, and even if it wasn't, it's a very cheap apartment, and not likely to have much in the way of insulation being in Southern California.

Corrected entry: During the basketball game, there is a shot where Derek, on offense, is just behind the center line of the court with a man guarding him. In an immediate following shot, he is on the top of the opposing team's three point line and he dribbles in and shoots a lay-up. There is no way he could have gotten there that quickly, especially with someone guarding him.

Correction: The Basketball scene isn't presented in real time. It's more of a thematic cut of the whole game. Showing the entire game would have taken up a good portion of the film.

Nick Bylsma

Corrected entry: When the three black high school students have the white student on the bathroom floor, one of them yells "Telling teacher I'm f - -ing cheating? Is that what's happening? I've never cheated in my life." Seconds later, the same student, in a much deeper tone of voice, says to the white student "What's up man?" as he offered his hand out to help him up. He then says "What you scared for? We ain't going to do nothing" in the same higher toned voice he had before. It had to have been a different person's voice saying "What's up man."

Correction: Many people's voices change in situations of high stress, or anger, such as fights and arguments. After watching this several times, it sounds more like his voice gets a little higher pitched when he yells louder, which is accurate based on real-life scenarios.


Corrected entry: When Danny is typing up his paper on his brother Derek, the camera shows him typing a 'J'. His dialogue in the next shot of his face does not contain a 'J'.

Correction: Maybe the 'J' that he had typed came before the part of his paper from where we heard his dialogue. Something else to consider here is that Danny's narrative dialogue takes place all throughout the movie. (Even before he began working on his paper) His dialogue was not necessarily a word for word reading of his paper.

Corrected entry: Just after Cameron's party in celebration of Derek's return, Derek and Danny run off after Seth almost shoots Derek. When Danny catches up to Derek, he pushes him into the side of a building screaming "What happened to you Der?" Danny is expressing anger, resentment, and extreme confusion at the change in his brother, who he had before known only as the charismatic Neo-Nazi group leader. However, Danny's response in this scene does not make sense. While Danny has seen some subtle changes in his brother at this point in the movie, he has not yet fully seen the full significant change in Derek's beliefs. He was not present during Derek's "I am out." declaration to Cameron. He soon after learns of Derek's change when Derek tells him of his prison story.

Correction: This is a character decision, and not something you can categorically say is a plot hole. Danny can see that Derek has changed, in such things that he questions Danny's skinhead beliefs, refuses to shave his head, does not want Danny attending neo-Nazi parties, and does something during the meeting with Cameron (although Danny does not know what) to seriously tick off the Nazi leaders, enough that his friend wants to shoot him. All in all, this should be more than enough for Danny to be confused and frustrated.


Corrected entry: When Danny gets up in the cafe and the principal says "Hey, you got something for me today?" Danny is not holding anything in his left hand. But in the next shot when they are leaving the shop, Danny has a paper bag and his milk in his left hand.

Correction: After Derek and the principal finish debating at the coffee shop, Danny is at the table. On the table is a few sections of newspaper stacked up, with a white paper bag on top. Two coffee cups and a sugar dispenser are also on the table. Danny grabs the brown tote next to him as he gets ready to leave. The shot changes to Derek, then back to Danny standing up with the brown tote in his right hand, and he fiddles with the straps as he walks past the principal. The white bag and coffee cups are gone from the table. The shot changes again, and the brown tote is now slung over Danny's right shoulder, and he now carries the white bag and the coffee cups in his hands.


Corrected entry: When Danny and Derek go into the coffee shop just before Danny goes to school he has a bag. When he leaves he has the bag when they are arriving at the school Danny is smoking a cigarette and he bag is no where to be found - we don't see the bag again.

Correction: Not true. Danny's backpack is with him from the coffee shop until he leaves Derek outside the school, hugs a girlfriend and heads into the school. Once inside the school, it's apparent time has passed, as the backpack is gone (now in a locker perhaps) and Danny carries only a rolled paper in his hand. There is no suggestion the scenes are uninterrupted time. No error here.


Corrected entry: During the first flashback at the beginning of the movie, when Derek has the run-in with the two black gang members, the last glimpse we get of Derek is a slow motion of him, presumably pistol-whipping the remaining gang member (near the curb). However, when we see the second extended flashback of this incident, there is no pistol whipping. Derek turns after shooting at the getaway car, quickly walks up to the gang member in the gutter and gives him the curb kick.

Correction: There are 3 gang members. The one stealing the car, the one on guard, and the getaway driver. Derek shoots the one on guard, the pistol whips the one jacking the car. The whipping doesn't kill him. Derek shoots at the car, then gives him the California Curb Kick.

Corrected entry: When the big guy is waiting for Edward Norton, he picks up the bowl of all white jelly beans and picks out the black one. Later, when they show him spitting the jelly beans out, they are all sorts of different colours.

Correction: The black jelly bean happens to be on top of some white ones. If you look between them, you'll notice a buried blue one. I'm sure since the black one was so obvious, he tossed it.

Corrected entry: When Derek is shooting at the guys that are breaking into his car he fires 26 rounds out of a gun that would only hold 18 with an extended clip.

Correction: After Derek shoots out the driver's window, you can hear him reload the gun as he runs down his front steps.

Corrected entry: In the basketball game scene, Derek slam dunks the ball at the end of the game. The ball hits the back of the rim real lightly and in the next scene the ball flies over 20 feet in the air and appears to be bounced from the right side of the court.

Correction: If you watch closely, one of Derek's team mates clearly has taken the ball and thrown it down in triumph, causing the ball to bounce so high.

Corrected entry: In the scene when Danny takes his little sister to give a good-night kiss to her mom, the mother lights a cigarette. Danny tells her she should stop smoking and grabs it from her hand, smokes from it, and puts it out on the ashtray. In the next shot, he doesn't blow out any smoke even though he didn't have time to blow it out before.

Correction: He inhaled the smoke, leaving none to be blown out. I have a friend who smokes like this all the time (and wonders why he is always coughing). When inhaled, most, if not all the smoke stays in the lungs.

You have to hold smoke in for a very long time for none to come out. So yes, smoke comes out if you inhale and exhale immediately.

Corrected entry: How is it that the shooter knew Danny would go to the bathroom at that particular time? He was obviously waiting in the stall for him. Pretty sure he wouldn't stay in a stall just hoping Danny would use the bathroom.

Correction: Of course he can expect it, they are in the same school. A simple observation of someone's bathroom routine over 1 or 2 days gives you a pretty good idea when someone will use the restroom, even though its not 100 percent sure. Like after class for example. He can just wait for him then.


Corrected entry: In the bathroom scene toward the beginning of the film, where the white kid is getting whaled on by the three blacks, as the third black kid is leaving he puts his hand up towards Edward Furlongs face, and in the process, hits Furlongs cigarette. The cherry explodes everywhere but in the next shot the cigarette is lit as he helps the kid up. (00:11:00)

Correction: You can knock the cherry off a cigarette without putting it out. In fact, that's pretty much what ashtrays are for...


Corrected entry: After Derek's discussion with his family about how they need to leave Venice Beach, he enters their living room where Seth is on the couch spitting jelly beans in all directions. Derek simply says to Seth, "Come on, let's go" and they proceed out the front door without Derek even responding to Seth's spitting half chewed, saliva-covered jelly beans all over his family's living room floor. Although Seth's character is shown in the movie to be a little less than polite, it is just too unrealistic for Derek, a civilized person, to not even take notice of such behavior.

Correction: Maybe, because of his state of mind at the time, he did not notice behavior that would have normally annoyed him.


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?

More quotes from American History X

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.


More trivia for American History X

Question: We see something going on between the corrupt skinhead and the Hispanic criminal inside the prison, and it makes Vinyard leave that gang. What exactly was the arrangement by the skinheads to 'protect' Vinyard?

Answer: It's quite simple: He was one of them, a fellow skinhead. In prison different groups stick together for mutual protection and comradeship, and as neo-nazis/skinheads would be fairly unpopular with the colored inmates, all the more reason for them to protect each other.


More questions & answers from American History X

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