Factual error: This movie is set in 1935. Back then, executions were done by hanging. The Louisiana Legislature changed the method from hanging to electrocution in 1940.
Continuity mistake: When Del finally dies his jaw is slack, but when it shows his body on the gurney his teeth are clenched tight.
Visible crew/equipment: Just before John Coffey is about to be executed, he's sitting on his chair in the cell. As he stands up, you see him lift his leg onto a platform. The platform was used to make him look about a foot taller than he actually is. (02:38:00)
Continuity mistake: When they tape Percy's mouth shut before putting him in the restraint room, the handkerchief is partly outside his mouth and gets stuck to the tape, when they let Percy out, the handkerchief has moved. If he's been locked in there with the straight jacket on, there is no way he could have moved it.
Suggested correction: He could have and likely did move the handkerchief with his mouth.
Continuity mistake: When William "Wild Bill" Wharton spits the Moon pie into Brutus "Brutal" Howell's face you can see that the Moon pie lands on his shirt, tie, lapels of his coat and on the right shoulder of his coat. In the next shot when Brutal and Paul throw Wharton into the padded room, you can see that the right shoulder of Brutal's coat is completely clean, but the Moon pie is still on his shirt, tie and lapels. (01:20:58)
Factual error: The cell keys carried by the guards do not date to 1935.
Factual error: When Paul returns home, his wife asks him what the doctor said. He replies "...gobbledygook mostly." The trouble is, the word "gobbledygook" wasn't coined until 1944. This scene takes place in 1935.
Continuity mistake: When John first steps into the bedroom at Hal's house, Melinda's nightdress is up by her thigh. Yet in the next shot, it is down over her knees.
Continuity mistake: Roll on 1 means to crank up the generator all the way. On top of the machine are light bulbs that all light up when the generator is turned up. However, when they are executing Del they have a sideshot of Brutus and you can see the lightbulbs all lit up, but Percy hasn't said Roll on 1 yet. (01:37:00)
Character mistake: You'd think prison guards on Death Row would have known a little more about safe restraints, the way they bind and gag Percy could eventually kill him. They stuff a handkerchief all the way into his mouth, then tape his mouth closed. The gag reflex could suck the handkerchief into his windpipe and suffocate him in about three or four minutes. Even if he might be able to find away around the danger of suffocation the fact remains that no trained, experienced prison guard is ever going to restrain someone in that way.
Suggested correction: Not everyone even has a gag reflex, and it is easy, though not comfortable to push the handkerchief forward into the mouth with the tongue. You can see Percy breathing through his nose, so he's not running out of air. The other guards had no intention of leaving him in the cell for a long time, only long enough to teach him a lesson.
It doesn't matter what he "might" be able to do, or even if he could push the handkerchief forward. That's not the mistake. A trained, experienced prison guard would not restrain someone like that. Never.
Again, what might or might not have happened is irrelevant. No skilled, trained, experienced prison guard would apply a gag in this way.
Audio problem: When John Coffey is found, a Sheriff holds a double barrelled shotgun to his throat, and a clicking sound is heard when it's done. It's presumed it's him cocking back the hammers on the shotgun, but if you look closely, it's a hammerless shotgun.
Continuity mistake: The guards take John to see the Fred Astaire movie and John sits well to the right of centre in the theatre. We see John mesmerized by the movie, Paul sitting a row behind in the centre of the seat theatre and the light from the projector spreads wide directly behind and over top of Paul's head. Yet, when we see John again a moment later, when he's says "They's just like angels", the projector light is directly behind John, deliberately giving the illusion of a halo. This would not occur as shown unless John had moved over to the centre of the theatre.
Other mistake: The death warrant for "Arlen Bitterbuck" is dated 1935 but the subtitle in German says 1985. (00:25:15)
Visible crew/equipment: When the guards are ready to give Wild Bill the medicated soda, set lights are visible on Harry's glasses.
Continuity mistake: When Paul and Brutal give Wild Bill the laced cola, Brutal pours cola from his bottle till it's just below the label. After Paul gives Wild Bill the cup and when he comes back, the amount of cola changes. It's now above the label on the bottle.
Visible crew/equipment: When Harry, Paul, Brutal, and Coffey arrived at Hal's house, the camera moves along the right side of the truck. When it does, several people are reflected in the back window of the truck. They can be seen again when Paul tells Harry to keep John on the truck.
Continuity mistake: When John Coffey grabs Percy by the throat, Percy pulls out his night stick and drops it on the floor. A long leather strap can be seen attached to the handle. But after John lets him go, the long leather strap can be seen dangling on Percy's right side, when it should be still lying on the floor with the night stick outside of Coffey's cell.
Continuity mistake: The two dead girls' hair is covered in blood, but in a few shots their hair is clean.
Suggested correction: Too vague. The girls are represented by dummies and the scene is consistent.
Suggested correction: How can you tell his jaw is slack when he had a hood over it the entire time?
I have the movie and during Del's execution, the hood is partially burned off. After he finally dies, his jaw is completely slack.
I also have the movie and can confirm that not only is Del's jaw slack but, when the hood is burned off it looks like most of his face has been burned off leaving nothing but a skull. Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh3u3Kqdynw.
Suggested correction: Rigor mortis can occur as quickly as 2 hours after death. One of the first muscles of the body to stiffen is the jaw. It also depends on the age of the deceased and calcium amount.
Suggested correction: The guards would have done what they could to make his remains less grotesque. Closing his jaw is probably one of their regular duties.
Once the body dies, muscles can not constrict, and they relax. A guard could never close the jaw or mouth after death anymore than he could close a dead man's eyes shortly after death. That's a movie myth.