Continuity mistake: During the enactment of the Battle of Zama, Maximus rides his horse around a bend with his sword in his left hand. When we cut to close up, it's back in his right. Looking at the left-handed shot in freeze-frame, you can see the frame has been flipped, left-to-right (check the armor). This was probably for continuity reasons. Similarly, Maximus jumps on the horse and his shoulder protector is clearly on his injured left shoulder. However, a few frames later, the protector is on his right shoulder, then it moves yet again back the correct spot, the left shoulder.
Continuity mistake: When Hagen tests Maximus in the sword fighting, watch closely the scene behind them. At the time when Hagen strikes Maximus for the first time you can see gladiator behind taking a glass. At the time of the second strike you can see only a glass. When Hagen stopped his third strike you can see the same gladiator holding a glass and looking around. This time he is turned toward the camera and you can see a red spot on his chest.
Continuity mistake: Maximus is about to be executed in the forest in Germania. Maximus kneels on the floor. The swordsman steps behind him and lifts the sword above his head to drive it down into the back of the neck of Maximus. When Maximus stands up and head-butts the swordsman the swordsman's arms are now by his side and the sword gone. The next shot shows the arms back in the air, with the sword, and Maximus grabbing the sword.
Continuity mistake: During the scene in which Maximus battles one-on-one with Tigris of Gaul (the gladiator that returned from retirement) in the Coliseum, Maximus is ordered to kill the Tigris. As he refuses and throws the axe down, the left side of Maximus' neck is completely covered with blood. When Commodus enters to speak with Maximus, there is only the slightest trace of blood on his neck, which now also seems to be completely dry.
01:43:35 - 01:44:30
Continuity mistake: In the battle scene between Maximus and Tigris, not only does the visor flip up and down (see above), but when Tigris falls down with his visor up, you can see that his face isn't marked. But when Maximus again unmasks Tigris, it's bloody with a giant scrape across the face.
Continuity mistake: During the battle of Carthage, Maximus rides past another man standing on the ground and throws a spear into his chest. The man clutches the spear with his right hand as he falls backwards, but when it cuts to him hitting the ground both his hands are out to the side and the spear has suddenly disappeared.
Continuity mistake: At the beginning of the film, when the Romans are about to fight the Germanians, a shot of some soldiers standing beside a war machine is shown. In the background, you can see that the fires for the archers are already lit. The next shot then show the same fires being lit and you can tell they are in the same place as the ones previously shown.
Continuity mistake: Before Lucilla gets to Commodus who asks her if she knows if Gracchus has a new lover suspecting her to be his new lover, she walks by two servants. The servant on the left is looking down with his head bowed. When it cuts he is suddenly standing up straight looking after Lucilla as she walks by. (Extended version only).
Continuity mistake: When Commodus goes to see his father thinking his father would pass his powers onto him, if you look closely when he enters, there's a white sheet blowing rather vigorously in front of the camera. When it cuts to a shot of Commodus, the sheet now is hardly blowing at all.
Continuity mistake: At one point during the first Germanian attack you see the Roman soldiers creating a line-up with shields, soon after followed by the Germanians running towards them off-hill (starting their attack). Clearly a few Germanian stopped fighting a little too early and you see them (left-side) turning and looking around.
Continuity mistake: During the final scenes, when Maximus had died and his body is lying on the sand, we can see both the slaves and the Praetorians forming a semicircle around Maximus. When Quintus asks for help to carry Maximus body, during the second it takes long to raise it up (shot change), the slaves have moved and the Praetorians are forming a perfect honor corridor through which Maximus's body is about to go by.
Continuity mistake: When we get to the comedy play fight between Maximus and Commodus, we look at the front of the stage and we see the actor playing Maximus is standing in the middle of the stage and the one playing Commodus on the right side. When we get a view from back of the stage 'Maximus' is standing on the left side of the stage and 'Commodus' in the middle. They have suddenly switched sides.
Continuity mistake: Just before the battle with against the Germanians begins, while the Germanians are taunting the Romans, there are many arrows in the trees and in the ground. Twice we see this. Problem is that the disciplined Romans had not fired a single arrow at that point and no skirmishers, which could have been authorized to shoot before the order to "loose" can be seen in the open area in front of the defensive position.
Continuity mistake: When Lucilla is making tonic for Commodus there is a close-up of her hand mixing the tonic. We can see on the table there is nothing near the glass except for a purple bottle which is probably 5 centimeters from the glass. When it cuts and she puts away the spoon she tips something over on the table right next to the glass. However it can't be the purple bottle because it would have to be closer to the glass in order for Lucilla to hit it.
Continuity mistake: When Maximus has escaped being executed in the forest, he throws a sword into a soldier. Slow it down, the sword is actually already there in one shot, then it appears suddenly. Also the sword penetrates the left side of the body near the heart, yet when we see the soldier falling from the horse it's in the middle, then back to the left side.
Continuity mistake: After Juba has thrown the sword to Maximus, Maximus tries to gather the gladiators by shouting "Single column, single column," then it cuts to him charging on his horse while holding his sword arm out. When it cuts from behind him he is holding his sword arm in front of him instead.
Continuity mistake: When Hagen is shot in his leg with an arrow he is holding the arrow in his leg. Maximus notices the chariot charging for Hagen and he shouts "Hagen". It cuts to Maximus running against Hagen, but now we can see that there is no arrow in Hagen's foot. When it cuts to Maximus reaching Hagen and pushing him away from the chariot the arrow is back in his leg.
Continuity mistake: At the end of the battle with Tigris of Gaul, Maximus kills the tiger that leaps on top of him and throws it off to the side. In the next shot the tiger is back on top of him and he has to fight with it laying on his stomach. Later the tiger is once again off to the side.
Continuity mistake: When Maximus says "On my signal, unleash hell" he takes off with his horse. Then he rides through a stand with soldiers and the soldiers gets up on their feet. Then it cuts to a close-up of Maximus riding and as the camera zooms out the soldiers gets on their feet again.
Continuity mistake: After Hagen has faked choking Juba start laughing. Then it cuts to Maximus slowly starting to laugh. In the next shot we can see both Hagen and Maximus laughing, but Juba is dead serious now. Then in the following shot behind Juba we can see him laughing again.
Continuity mistake: When Maximus is on a horse pursuing the chariot with the female gladiator throwing a spear at him and misses, we can see there is an extra spear standing on the chariot. Then Maximus throws his spear and when it cuts to the spear hitting the female gladiator the spear in the chariot is suddenly gone.
Continuity mistake: At the very start of the film when we see Maximus for the first time, he is talking to his friend Quintus. Two boys run past, yet when it cuts to another shot they have vanished. We should have been able to see them at least running off in the background somewhere.
Continuity mistake: After the Gladiators are victorious at the Battle of Carthage, Maximus reveals his identity to Commodus. The time seems to change from sunset to high noon a number of times. The crowd shots are at noon, the close ups are clearly made with the sun on one side of their faces.
Continuity mistake: In the middle of the film, just after the last gladiator match in the Roman province arena, Maximus goes to see Proximo. In one particular shot we see Proximo walk away and Maximus turn his whole body to face him, yet in the following shot, it is just his head that is turned.
Continuity mistake: When the gladiators have won inside the coliseum for their first battle, Commodus goes to see Maximus in the arena. In the previous shot, Maximus gets off of a white horse, yet in the following shot, the white horse is at the bottom of the screen with Maximus and the other gladiators some distance away.
Continuity mistake: When Maximus chops the head off the German at the beginning of the movie, his sword is supposed to be stuck to the tree. However after he has chopped the head off you can for a second see the sword in his hand before we get to the shot where the sword is stuck to the tree.
Continuity mistake: In the final battle, there are about 20 or something Praetorians on the platform when it moves up. But when you see the platform coming up to the arena, there are suddenly enough to form the "tortoise" position; and then they have multiplied in order to arrange the circle around Commodus and Maximus (about 45 Praetorians).
Continuity mistake: At the end of the first battle inside the Colosseum, Commodus goes out to see Maximus, yet when he first enters the arena's floor, the distance from him to Maximus changes three times during shots. For example, when he first goes through the gate, it cuts to Maximus, then back to Commodus and he is just coming out the gate again, yet in the previous shot he came out the gate.
Continuity mistake: The first time Maximus is about to fight as a gladiator we see him grabbing some dirt in his right hand and pouring it into his left hand. When it cuts we can see both his hands covered in dirt before he start rubbing his hands, as if he already has rubbed his hands in a previous scene.
Continuity mistake: When Maximus has killed the Praetorian and got wounded himself, we see him getting down on his knees and leading his right arm to the wound on his left arm. At this time we can see the sleeve on his right arm is by his elbow. When it cuts to a close-up of his hand we can see the sleeve is down by his wrist.
Continuity mistake: During Maximus's death scene at the end you can clearly see the entrance that Commodus and Maximus entered the arena through in the floor of the arena. After Juba is done burying the figures of Maximus's dead son and wife, you can not see the entrance anymore when he is walking away.
02:21:00 - 02:22:55
Continuity mistake: When Proximo is about to be killed and says "shadows and dust", the background scenery changes. It is obviously an alternate take from when he says the same thing before Maximus fights Tigris, used because of the death of Oliver Reed, but that doesn't make it any less a mistake.
Continuity mistake: After Maximus comes out of the tunnel after leaving the gladiator quarters, he sees his friend Cicero. Maximus makes a bird noise to get his attention, Cicero sees him and in an attempt to warn him he yells "Maximus." He startles his horse which runs away but a noose is around his neck so he is pulled off the horse and left hanging there. As soon as the horse leaves him and he starts swinging his hands you can see they are not tied. Then when Maximus runs up to him and holds his feet up to try and save him his hands are tied up.
Continuity mistake: In the Gladiatorial fight scene in Morocco, Maximus throws one sword with his right hand into the stand, still holding a sword in his left hand. The next instant long shot of him shows the remaining sword in his right hand as he taunts the crowd with "Are you not entertained?"
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