Corrected entry: At the start of the film Private Joker states that he does not believe in Jesus, The Virgin Mary and God etc. Then later on in the film we see him singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Surely if he did not believe in him, then he would not sing happy birthday to him.
Corrected entry: In the movie Gunny Hartman tells the recruits that Lee Harvey Oswald was such a great shooter because he was trained by the Marines. In 1956 Oswald joined the United States Marine Corps, and was trained as an Aircraft Maintenance Repairman. Despite stories to the contrary, he never learned to fire his rifle as an "expert" and was never trained as a sniper.
Correction: Marines spend three to four weeks of their 12 week boot camp learning to shoot. The other three branches train for one. Marine marksmanship training is also more in-depth than any of the other services. Indeed, a basic tenant of Marine service is "Every Marine is a rifleman." which is repeated constantly during rifle training. There are four possible results qualifying in the Marines. 1. Expert 2. Sharpshooter 3. Marksman and 4. Noqual (or fail). Oswald qualified as a sharpshooter.
Corrected entry: Gunnery Sergeant Hartman enters the room yelling reveille. The first thing recruits always do is "count off." This is the same as in a prison/jail to make sure no one is missing.
Correction: This may be an individual DI's thing, because we never counted off until we ran out the barracks door for formation, which was after we dressed and made our racks.
Corrected entry: In the scene in boot camp where Joker is teaching Pile how to lace has boots, he tells Pile to lace them left over right then right over left. As a former marine i can tell you marines are taught to lace their boots left over right then left over right throughout the entire lacing.
Correction: As another former marine, I can never recall ever getting any explicit instructions on how the laces were supposed to be tied. As long as they were tied, that seemed to be fine enough.
Correction: We were never taught either way in boot.
Corrected entry: R. Lee Ermey was an actual Marine Vietnam veteran, but never a drill instructor. He drew upon the DIs he met during basic training in performing his role.
Correction: This is just flat out false. R. Lee Ermey definitely was a drill instructor. He only served as one tour of duty as one, and never attained the position of senior drill instructor as shown in the film, but he was one.
Corrected entry: In the second scene when Sgt. Hartman is giving his speech and walking around the room, you can see that the beds are made very sloppily. Basic training bunks are made "tight, neat, and wrinkle free." These were not.
Correction: This scene takes place at the very beginning of boot camp. The privates would not be very good at making their beds yet. Beds that are not tight and have wrinkles in them would be very common at this point in boot camp.
Corrected entry: The first time I saw this movie was with my uncle who served in the Marines during the Vietnam War. He told me that the scene midday through basic training where you see the recruits running with their top buttons of their shirts open was incorrect. In the 60's, recruits were required to button their shirts all the way up until they graduated. After graduation, they would be allowed to "lighten up" and unbutton the top shirt button. (00:13:06)
Correction: This isn't true. You kept your top button buttoned until the D.I. told you to unbutton it. I was in the marines in the 60's and in our platoon it was in the 3rd week of boot.
Corrected entry: During the scene when Sgt. Hartman is asking Private Pyle if he knows the difference between his left and his right, keep an eye on the soldier behind Pyle. When Hartman slaps Pyles hat off you can see the recruit behind him trying not to laugh.
Correction: A character trying not to laugh, especially in those circumstances would be a character mistake. Not a mistake, not trivia.
Corrected entry: In the Marine Corps, none of the men would have had any duty (including fire watch) the night of their graduation day. Also, never is any live ammunition allowed into the barracks (they count every cartridge at the firing range).
Correction: I had fire watch on graduation night. Plus, I personally saw one instance where a recruit got hold of live ammunition and brought it back to the squad bay, with the intent to kill himself. While the firing range is very cautious of these things, there is other ammunition to be had elsewhere. In this case, while on a work detail this recruit found a full magazine in an NCO's desk.
Corrected entry: When Private Pyle shoots the drill instructor, he is using a bolt action rifle. He never chambers another round. He then shoots himself with no round in the chamber. (00:45:50)
Corrected entry: Private Pyle would not have stayed with his original unit after failing so many tasks. If a recruit fails miserably at the basic tasks due to being lack of physical strength, they were separated and sent to a Physical Conditioning Platoon. It gives them another chance to physically improve or else be kicked out. No respectable DI would waste his time on someone like Pyle, especially during war time.
Correction: This isn't necessarily true. They would keep him for a while and in the movie he does improve after Joker "takes him under his wing."
Corrected entry: When Pyle is sleeping, his covers are all rumpled and down past his waist. When the guy has the strap in his mouth a few seconds later, he is tucked in snug as a bug. Kinda hard to miss.
Correction: That's because at the same time the gag is placed in Pyle's mouth, two other Marines are shown throwing more covers over him and pulling down on them hard, effectively "tying" Pyle to the bed and preventing him curling up to protect himself.
Corrected entry: In the scene with the sniper, Cowboy radios for tank support. At the end of this he says "Over and out". This is incorrect, as "over" means "message end, reply expected" and "out" means "message end, do not reply". I notice this in many war films or programmes.
Correction: Cowboy makes two statements using the radio, ending both with 'over'. When the person on the other end answers Cowboy's query, Cowboy finishes with 'Roger. Out,' which is perfectly acceptable use of terminology ('roger' is confirming that he understood, 'out' ends the conversation). He never says 'over and out' anywhere in the scene.
Corrected entry: In the scene in when Sgt. Joker, Animal Mother and the other Marines are outside in the ruins at twilight time getting ready for the final assault on the sniper, you can see their breath in the cold night air when the speak. Obviously this scene was filmed in a cooler climate, as this would not happen in Vietnam.
Correction: You don't always have to be in cold air to see someone's breath. If the humidity conditions are right you can see someone's breathe when it is very warm.
Corrected entry: In the scene in boot camp where Joker is teaching Pile to make his bed, he tells Pile to fold his blanket and sheet back with a 4 inch fold. As a former Marine I can tell you this is wrong. Marines are taught to make their beds with a 6 inch fold.
Correction: As another former marine, I can say that the bed folding procedure varies from place to place. In boot camp, I recall one drill instructor in our platoon would always tell us 4 inches, and another would always tell us 6 (this caused quite a bit of confusion, and was probably intentional). I can even recall seeing another platoon's squad bay, where they weren't even required to make a fold, they simply drapped another blanket over the pillow and the regularly exposed portion of the sheets.
Corrected entry: In the scene where Gunnery Sergeant Hartman wakes everyone up with the trashcan, he is followed closely by two other drill instructors. If you pause it just right, you will notice that one of them is a Corporal (E-4, 2 stripes), you have to be at least a Sergeant (E-5, 3 stripes) to be a drill instructor. (00:17:40)
Correction: As a marine of the Vietnam era, E-4 Cpls were drill instructors and still are. During WWII E-2 PFCs' served as drill instructors.
Corrected entry: If Private Cowboy is from Texas, a state west of the Mississippi River, he'd be stationed for basic training in San Diego, not on Parris Island.
Correction: Just because Private Cowboy is from Texas does not mean he was living in Texas when he was inducted.
Also if San Diego or Paris island is crowded they will send them to the other I know people from Minnesota who went to P.I. while my group went to San Diego.
Corrected entry: There's a scene where Sgt. Hartman goes to punch Pvt. Joker in the stomach. If you look carefully, he starts to punch with his left, then we instantly see Joker getting punched by his right. (00:03:55)
Correction: It was not a mistake, Hartman just used his left to go forward while punching Joker with his right hand.
Corrected entry: In the opening squad-bay scene, GySgt Hartman passes Pvt. Joker near one end of the room. The camera then pans around to show the two junior drill instructors at the same end. GySgt Hartman continues to the far end of the squad-bay to harass Pvt. Snowball. This is when Pvt. Joker says, "Is that you John Wayne." GySgt Hartman struts from the far end of the squad-bay to find out who spoke out of turn, but the junior drill instructors were much closer and would have pounced on Pvt. Joker long before GySgt Hartman could have.
Correction: This is their first day under Hartman's command and he needs to establish dominance immediately. The two junior DIs would understand this and let him handle the situation himself. Alternately, they may have worked with him long enough to know that he likes to handle insubordination like Joker's himself and to stay out of his way in this situation.
Corrected entry: When the sniper is first shown drawing a bead on 8-Ball, the camera shows her looking down the barrel of an SKS, a semi-automatic weapon. When Joker surprises her, she spins around and begins shooting at him with an AK-47 or similar fully-automatic rifle.
Correction: The rifle that the sniper used was a Czech-made SA Vz. 58. The original poster may have mistaken this for an SKS rifle due to its charging handle. To clarify, she was using this weapon in both scenes, when she shot Eightball and when she fires at Joker. There is no continuity error.
Correction: I doubt seriously that Drill Instructor Hartman cared whether he believed in it or not, he told them to sing and when the DI tells you to jump, you jump.