Amistad

Audio problem: When Baldwin writes to John Quincy Adams begging for help, Adams crumples up the letter and drops it to the floor. As it comes to rest, you can see the word "threatened" written above the words "need you". But in the voice-over reading the letter out loud, the word "threatened" is never spoken.

Twotall

Factual error: The Portuguese slave ship Tecora was one of the most notorious of the illegal slave ships, but no slaves were thrown overboard in mid-ocean as shown in the film - at least on the trip in question. The Portuguese were pros at the slave trade and had plenty of food on board to feed their "cargo" between Sierra Leone and Cuba. The only time a slave would be thrown overboard in mid-ocean was if his/her health posed a serious risk to the crew and "cargo". (Slaves were too valuable to just throw away for the price of their food.) Historically, though, there were instances where whole cargoes of slaves were tossed overboard. The British Royal Navy zealously patrolled the waters off West Africa to try to shut down the slave trade. If a British ship was sighted, the slavers sometimes tossed slaves overboard to destroy the evidence and prevent the seizure of the ship.

More mistakes in Amistad

Calderon: What's most bewildering to Her Majesty... is this arrogant independence of the American courts. After all, if you cannot rule the courts, you cannot rule.
Martin Van Buren: Señor Calderon, as any true American will tell you, it's the independence of our courts that keeps us free.

More quotes from Amistad

Question: In the last scene of the film the ship appeared to me to be sailing in a westerly direction (sun sets in the west). Wouldn't the ship need to go east from USA to sail to Sierra Leone?

Maureen

Chosen answer: It's likely that the scene was set in the morning, meaning they would be going east.

Greg Dwyer

More questions & answers from Amistad

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.