Gladiator
Gladiator mistake picture

Deliberate mistake: In the fight scene with the chariots Maximus takes one of the horses from a chariot and jumps on it. The horse already has a saddle complete with stirrups despite the fact it was pulling a chariot and not carrying a rider. (01:23:30)

Deliberate mistake: The historically inaccurate portrayal of stirrups in the film was actually due to the stuntmen enacting the cavalry charge in the initial battle scene. Apparently the stuntmen refused to ride the horses over the forest terrain at full gallop without stirrups because it was far too dangerous for both horse and rider. (Galloping a horse through forest or any uneven terrain is incredibly dangerous.) Stirrups were granted as a concession to the stuntmen on the grounds of saftey. Since they were included in this scene, the film makers decided to allow them in all other scenes where necessary. (Only seven stuntmen were used in the filming of these scenes - all the other riders are just CGI copies.)

Deliberate mistake: When the chariot crashes through the gate we see an explosion coming from both sides of the gate. However there is no reasonable explanation why there would be an explosion, so this was probably done to make the scene look more dramatic. (01:22:55)

Mortug

Factual error: When a group of soldiers goes to Maximus' villa to burn it and kill his family, his son points them, saying in Italian "Mamma! I soldati!" ("Mom, the soldiers!") and then "PapĂ !" ("Daddy!"). This is because the young actor (Giorgio Cantarini) is Italian and they didn't translate, for some reason. As a result, he's speaking Italian in a movie in English, where people are supposed to speak Latin, in a province where Italian was never ever spoken. (00:43:07)

More mistakes in Gladiator

Maximus: At my signal, unleash hell.

More quotes from Gladiator

Trivia: In the beginning of the movie, where the Roman army is assembled waiting for the enemy to come into the open, the Germans in the woods are chanting menacingly. A portion of the chant they repeat sounds something like "Boom whattey. HEEYUH!" This soundbyte is cut-and-pasted from the movie Zulu, it is the battle cry the Zulu warriors make as they advance on the British outpost. They didn't just have new actors record the chant, they used the exact same soundbyte. You can even hear at intervals of every seven or eight chants they end by crying "ZULU!"

More trivia for Gladiator

Question: Was Commodus and Lucilla half brother and sister? Wondering because of Commodus' attraction for Lucilla. Was incest normal at that time?

Mortug

Chosen answer: No, they are full brother and sister. They both had the same mother and father. Incest was not exactly normal at that time, but it stretches back within the imperial families as far as Caligula and possibly earlier. There is no evidence to suggest that the real Commodus was attracted to his sister, it was probably just included in the film in order to make the character seem more disturbed, and also as another reason why he would be Maximus' enemy (Maximus and Lucilla were, after all, once lovers).

The Doctor

More questions & answers from 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.