The Spirit of St. Louis

The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)

7 mistakes - chronological order

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Factual error: The visual of St. John's, Newfoundland shows a modern high-voltage power line across the hillside which probably didn't exist in 1927. Also WW2 American Air Force base Fort Pepperell is visible in the background. It wasn't constructed until 1941. (00:46:45)


Factual error: While flying across the U.S. before the Atlantic attempt Stewart lands and exits the plane. While doing a quick inspection of the airframe he approaches the engine and puts his hand on one of the radial engines cylinders which would have still been several hundred degrees, so should have resulted in a serious burn.

Robert Alan Sronce

Deliberate mistake: The mechanic points out the overhead installation of the indicator compass. He says "Want to see where I put the compass? It's the best place I could find for it." The installation site was planned, not improvised. In order to read the compass in a mirror the compass was specially ordered from the manufacturer with the numbers reversed so it could only be read in a mirror. This mistake was intentional in order to claim a mirror was needed from a bit character.

Audio problem: When Lindbergh calls and waves from the Spirit at the motorcyclist tooling down a dirt road, the motorcycle's tires make a screeching tires-on-asphalt sound as it turns.


Factual error: In the film, Lindbergh is trying to get some sleep the night before the flight. But in fact he was up partying with friends most of the night.


Factual error: Before Lindbergh takes off a woman gives him a small mirror to use to read his compass in his plane. After he takes off the woman is seen on a train going home. In the window behind her you can see the Pulaski Skyway. Lindbergh took off in 1927 but the construction of the Pulaski Skyway didn't start until 1930.

Other mistake: When Lindbergh is forced to parachute out of a stalled plane near the beginning of the movie, the plane goes into a spin. It crosses the screen twice, first below Lindbergh's parachute and then above, indicating that Lindbergh is falling faster than the plane (which is possible, since the plane is spiraling rather than falling straight down). However (as indicated by the loud noise heard off-camera), the plane somehow manages to hit the ground first.

Father Hussman: How come I never see you around church? You don't believe?
Charles Lindbergh: Well, yes, I believe. I believe in an instrument panel, a pressure gauge, a compass, things I can see and touch. I can't touch God.
Father Hussman: You're not supposed to! He touches you.

More quotes from The Spirit of St. Louis

Trivia: Jimmy Stewart was not the first person picked to play Lindbergh. Stewart at the time was in his mis-40's. The first person at the time the same age that Lindbergh was at the time in 1927, But the actor had been fired by the studio a few days before filming began. His name was Clint Eastwood. Stewart had to lose 25 pounds of weight and dye his hair light brown.


More trivia for The Spirit of St. Louis

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