Independence Day

Factual error: The opening scene shows the Apollo 11 landing site. Aside from the previously mentioned plaque incorrectly shown being on the ground, the scene shows a pristine American flag standing upright. The Apollo 11 flag was actually knocked over when the Lunar Module ascent stage launched. Plus the American flags left on the moon are bleached white with no color, due to UV rays and massively direct sunlight - and they are probably disintegrated, due to micro meteors and solar destruction. (00:00:45)

Factual error: In the opening scene, the plaque from the Apollo 11 landing is shown sitting in the lunar soil. The actual plaque is mounted to the landing module, right under the ladder. (00:01:00)

Continuity mistake: At the SETI institute, there is a black guy on the phone in many shots, yet in one particular shot he is on the phone, but two seconds later he has jumped into a seat next to the woman and is typing. That's some pretty fast moving. (00:03:30)


Other mistake: When Connie is waiting for the President the first morning she is reading USA Today. On the back there is a weather map and it is blue and green, the colours for cold in USA Today. It was a hot July day! (00:06:15)

Factual error: David is in New York playing chess and then goes to the station riding his bike through the office. When he goes past the vending machines, the water machine is Arrowhead branded, which is a California / west coast water brand - not on the east coast. (00:07:00)

Continuity mistake: When David and Julius are playing chess at the park in Brooklyn, Julius is smoking a cigar which varies in length between shots, when he holds it and also when it is in the ashtray. (00:08:00)

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Continuity mistake: At the beginning of the film when we see the Casse kids in the caravan, one of them is messing with the TV, in one shot we can see his hand on the bottom knob, in the next shot it's on the top knob. (00:10:00)


Continuity mistake: When the Casse kids are in the motor home and the guy drives up to complain about Russell's cropdusting, Miguel stands at the doorway. In this shot he leaves his hand on the door frame, in the following shot it's by his side, then back on the door frame. (00:10:15)


Continuity mistake: In the motorhome, when Troy bangs on the TV in the close-up his left hand is down as he leans on it, then next shot his left hand is up on the TV with his right, but when it cuts away it's back down again. (00:10:20)

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Continuity mistake: At the beginning of the film, when the President is being briefed by his members of staff, there is a General wearing a blue uniform sitting by the left armrest of the couch, with his back all the way back touching the backrest. In the next shot, still by the left armrest, he is now sitting farther forward at the edge of the couch. (00:12:55)


Continuity mistake: At Compact Cable, when David takes the bowl out of the microwave in the close-up, he only wears the black bracelet. Next shot, when Marty comes into David's office the chunky silver link bracelet just appears out of the blue. (Special Edition) (00:14:10)

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Independence Day mistake picture

Continuity mistake: At the Oval Office, when General Grey says, "They're tracking another one off the California coastline," the grandfather clock is perfectly centered between the two doorways. In the following shots the clock is much farther to the right. (00:14:45)

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Continuity mistake: In the Oval Office, when General Grey says, "They're tracking another one off the California coastline," as Connie rushes in, the lamp on the table beside the couch is gone. Then in the overhead shot of the Oval Office the lamp is back on the table. (00:14:45 - 00:15:50)

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Visible crew/equipment: At the White House, when they all watch the Soviet Special News, in the close-up of the TV's staticky reception of the news feed the reflection of White House staffers is visible. Right between the woman in a white blouse and the man in suit and tie, is the camera and crewmember, wearing a light-colored short sleeve shirt and baseball cap, moving about. (00:15:20)

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Factual error: When the aliens attack Novosibirsk, Russia, a map of "Russia" in Russian letters is displayed on-screen from what is supposed to be a Russian news broadcast. In fact, it's a map of the Soviet Union, St. Petersburg is incorrectly labeled as "Petrograd," Moscow is too far east, and Novosibirsk is very badly misspelled. (00:15:20)

Independence Day mistake picture

Continuity mistake: Close to the beginning of the film, when we see the President in the White House, someone turns on the TV. In this shot, there is a chair beside the TV, but when it cuts to an overhead shot, the chair has moved itself to a few feet away. (00:15:35 - 00:16:30)


Continuity mistake: Aboard the AWAC, after the pilot sees the fireball emerging from the clouds, there is a wideshot of the interior with the cockpit in the background. The pilot is not wearing the dome-shaped helmet, note the distinct outline of his hair, whereas in the close-ups he is wearing it. (00:16:10)

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Continuity mistake: On the AWAC, in the close-up of the pilots' hands at the console, they are wearing gloves that reach up to their wrists. When the fireball shatters the windshield, their gloves are much longer now - closer to their elbows. (00:16:10)

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Factual error: For anyone who is in the Air Force or has taken the time to go inside of an E-3 AWACS at an airshow you will note that the AWACS in the movie looks nothing like that of the real life version. There is no position in the back that they sit across from each other sideways as were the non pilots in the scene that the flame engulfed. The only crew that sits like that is the Navigator and Flight Engineer, but these two actors were clearly too far back for that. (00:17:40)

Continuity mistake: When Connie starts to give her speech at the White House press conference, the shots of her on TV show General Grey standing right next to her, but when they show the conference in the press room, he is a couple of steps behind her. (00:19:40)


President Whitmore: Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. Mankind, that word should have new meaning to all of us. We cannot be consumed by our petty differences anymore. Perhaps it is fate that today is the fourth of July, and we will once again be fighting for our freedom. But not for freedom from tyrrany or oppression or persecution. We're fighting for our right to live, to exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world stood up and declared in one voice that we will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

More quotes from Independence Day

Trivia: When Steven and David are being chased out of the alien mothership, David says "Must go faster, must go faster." This is a line Jeff Goldblum said in the film Jurassic Park (1993), when he was riding in the back of a jeep, getting chased by the T-Rex. That line from Jurassic Park was loved so much by ID4 filmmakers, they looped it into the dialogue. Jeff never actually spoke that line when ID4 was being filmed.

More trivia for Independence Day

Question: It's been shown in the film the the aliens are technologically more advanced than us. Then, how come, with all their technology, they were unable to defend themselves from something as simple as a computer virus?


Answer: Remember that the aliens had to interface with our satellite computer code first...David simply "reverse engineered" the code to create the virus. When it was uploaded, they didn't have enough time to combat it.

Answer: It was also a bit of a tribute to "War of the Worlds", in which the alien invaders with much more advanced technology ultimately succumbed to ordinary terrestrial pathogens in the original novel by H. G. Wells as well as its many screen adaptations.


Chosen answer: Its supposed to be an exercise in demonstrating how the aliens underestimated their opponent, but in reality it's merely a convenient plot device.


Answer: I was wondering the same thing. Since the Harvesters had our satellites meant they could eavesdrop on every single conversation. David and other people in the facility probably put up a firewall on the computers and cameras, so that the aliens couldn't see or hear what they were planning on doing.

Answer: Maybe there were no viruses in the planet where these aliens came from so they didn't have any countermeasures against them.

Answer: They could defend against it, hence why they bring the nuke. The virus drops the shields, and the nuke destroys The Mother Ship. David even says that the shields will be down for a few minutes.

More questions & answers from Independence Day

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