Gladiator

Corrected entry: The tattoo Maximus has, the so-called 'mark of the legion', is wrong. In the time of Marcus Aurelius, the legionnaires were given an identification tag made of bronze or lead. The tattoo was introduced decades later.

Correction: There was also at no point in Roman history a general called Maximus Decimus Meridius, nor was Emperor Commodus killed during a gladiator battle in front of a crowd (in reality he was strangled in his sleep by a man named Narcissus). Rome did not return to a period of republicanism as it does at the end of the film, either, nor was there a senator Gracchus to lead the new Roman regime. The film script purposefully adds or alters certain elements of Roman history whenever it suits the plot, as the tattoo's presence decades before being introduced did.

Corrected entry: In the middle after the gladiator match in the Roman province arena, Maximus and Proximo are talking in Proximo's place. Maximus starts laughing, and Proximo's position in the room changes dramatically between shots. (01:07:15)

The-Immortal

Correction: He stands on the exact same point in front of the table throughout the shots until we see him walk away from the table.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: In the scene near the beginning when we see Maximus and Lucilla talking for the first time, after Lucilla says " Maximus stop" for the second time, in one shot Maximus is not facing Lucilla, yet in the following shot he is fully facing Lucilla. (00:28:15)

The-Immortal

Correction: You are being fooled by the camera angle. If you watch closely you can see Lucilla standing in the same spot on the side of Maximus and he is never facing her between the shots.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: When Commodus walks up the steps in Rome to meet the other men, on the far away shot, there are a lot of steps to go up, yet when we see Commodus pass Lucilla after a few steps, he is suddenly at the top with greetings from the men in white clothing. (00:57:40)

The-Immortal

Correction: Well, we could have watched Commodus climb up a lot of steps, but it would have been a bit boring. This is a standard editing technique to speed things up a bit - by no means a mistake.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: When Proximo is testing each slave, by giving them a wooden sword, they practice with a bigger slave. After each fight, Proximo says either yellow or red. The black guy who fights gets a red mark, so does Maximus, yet in the Roman Province scene in the small arena, someone says put red with yellow, yet when Maximus and the black guy come out, they are both "red". (00:49:20 - 00:52:50)

The-Immortal

Correction: Maximus is never given a red mark - he refuses to fight in the testing, which (although we don't actually see Proximo state a colour) would certainly earn him a yellow mark, allowing him to be paired with the red-marked Juba. The yellow mark on his tunic can be seen very clearly on multiple occasions during the arena fight.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: When Commodus is speaking to Maximus at the end just before the fight you can see Maximus's hand slipping out of the cuffs holding him to the wall. (02:11:05)

gandolfs dad

Correction: After watching the scene it is obvious that his hands would never slip entirely off the cuffs. His wrist is too big to get through.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: At the end of the first battle sequence there is a brief "victory" shot of the Roman army celebrating. Towards the bottom of the screen you can see an obviously dressed Germanian warrior cheering alongside some Roman soldiers. Wonder what he has to be happy about, except for maybe being alive in the middle of that bunch. (00:12:00)

Correction: There are no Germanian warriors anywhere near the cheering Roman crowd.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: Before one of the gladiatorial fights in the Colosseum, there are chariots with men throwing free bread to the crowd. The camera angle changes and they have moved further away from the crowd. (01:37:25)

Correction: What we see are chariots on each side of the Colosseum. On one side the chariots are closer to the crowd than the other chariots.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: In the scene where Maximus is escaping, and he sees his friend Cicero on his horse, Cicero shouts "Maximus." as he tries to warn him. The horse is startled and runs off, but the noose around Cicero's neck pulls him and flings him backwards. As he swings backwards, he hits the tree. In the next shot, Cicero is alive. But someone that had been alive, even with a noose around their neck, would have twitched, or made some indication of trying to pull away from the tree. (02:07:45)

Correction: He broke his neck and was paralyzed.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: When Maximus is being taken to be executed we see the hands of a hung, dead roman soldier. At the last second just before the camera changes you can see the man flick his thumb. (00:38:00)

gandolfs dad

Correction: Those are Maximus' tied hands we are seeing.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: In the first battle against the Germanians, after the Roman army shoots their arrows, if you look hard enough, you'll notice all the soldiers aren't "real" people. Some of them are obviously mannequins and they just stand there.

Correction: I have looked but I can see no evidence that they have used mannequins, or see any soldiers that look like mannequins in the battle.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: At the very end of the film, Juba is burying Maximus' figurines on the floor of the Colosseum. He digs a deep enough hole to bury the bag but as he's covering it up with dirt, he totally messes up and hardly any of the bag would actually be covered if the shot lasted long enough for us to see his hand move away. (02:21:30)

Correction: It's a part of a ritual where he holds his hand over the buried figures and prays for Maximus and his family.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: There seems to be a mystery surrounding Hagen. Although he dies by being shot and stabbed at Proximo's home, when Maximus dies, we see someone looking suspiciously like him come forward to carry Maximus. Does he have a long-lost twin, or is he immortal? (02:20:55)

Correction: He certainly looks like Hagen, but it isn't him.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: When Maximus is walking to the Colosseum and his friend uses a black-haired woman to pass him the message (his carvings), she grabs his chest plate and almost pulls off the metal horse. A second later the metal is back on his chest guard undamaged. (01:46:30)

Correction: She isn't even near his chest plate.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: In the first fight in Morocco, Maximus pulls those two swords out of the warrior and slices his head off. Watch the section where the camera is behind the warrior as his head is chopped off. If you look carefully you can see that he has a dark stick supporting the head.

Correction: Not even in slow motion can the stick be seen that you mention.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: In the scene in the beginning of the film, Marcus Araelius is in his tent working on a document. The writing utensil he's using looks suspiciously like a number two pencil. This is seen again just after the Battle of Carthage; Commodus repeats the scene, working on some document with, obviously, a number two pencil.

Correction: You really don't think the director is stupid enough to use a number two pencil? Twice? That is an ink pen.

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: In the very first scene, after the battle is done, Maximus shouts 'Roman Victor' If you watch very closely, his lips are not moving to what he says.

Correction: They match perfectly. Also the scene is played in slightly slow motion for dramatic purpose. It would sound silly if the voice would be in slow motion as well, wouldn't it?

Mortug Premium member

Corrected entry: In one of the first scenes of the movie, when Maximus is first taken from his room to be executed, all of the guards grab him and he begins to struggle. If you watch behind him, a guard raises his sword (unsheathed) and apparently strikes him in the back of the head. A strike like that should have killed Maximus, or at least left some sort of gash in the back of his head, yet when we see him later, there is no mark.

Correction: The Praetorian struck Maximus with the hilt, not the blade.

Corrected entry: In the very first scene, when the Roman army is moving towards the Germanians, the way they attack is incorrect. As they first start to attack, they attack in rows, which is what any army should have done. But as soon as the armies clash, the Romans completely scatter. Had these soldiers done this, they would have been completely slaughtered.

Correction: This isn't a film mistake, it is your opinion of how the Romans handled themselves in this particular battle. In fact on the outskirts of their Empire the Roman Army was constantly troubled by undisciplined local conscripts reverting to their usual, chaotic style of skirmish fighting.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Maximus is pounced on by the tiger while fighting Tigris, if you look close enough you notice that the tiger lurches for Maximus's hand. If you look even closer, you can see Maximus holding food in his hand so the tiger would jump on him. (01:42:00)

Correction: This is not true, Maximus may be holding something that looks like food, but there would be no reason to. Using real tigers, and allowing them to pounce on the actor would be extremely dangerous, so they used model tigers. If you have the DVD, look at the 'still picture' gallery, and you can see a few shots of 'Maximus' with model tigers on top of him.

Gladiator mistake picture Video

Visible crew/equipment: In the "Battle of Carthage" in the Colosseum, one of the chariots is turned over. Once the dust settles you can see a gas cylinder in the back of the chariot. (01:22:55)

More mistakes in Gladiator

Commodus: What is your name, gladiator?
[Maximus turns away.]
Commodus: How dare you show your back to me! You will remove your helmet and tell me your name!
[Maximus slowly turns and removes his helmet.]
Maximus: My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.

More quotes from Gladiator

Trivia: The original ending for Gladiator was that Proximo would live and he would bury the figurines in the sand of the Coliseum. However, Oliver Reed's death during filming required the ending to be changed.

More trivia for Gladiator

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.