Independence Day

Corrected entry: In the opening scene, the alien craft slowly flies over the Apollo 11 placard on the moon, and there are footprints in the soil. The spacecraft causes vibrations that disturbs the soil around the placard and the footprints. There is no sound in space (or on the moon), and the moon's atmosphere is almost a vacuum, so the soil should not have been disturbed in such an extreme manner. This is deliberately done for the dramatic effect.

Correction: The propulsion field that the ship uses is what's disturbing the soil.

Tailkinker

Corrected entry: When David is outside of the White House and he calls Conny, she walks over to the window with her phone by her right ear, then she swaps it to her left when she's looking out the window, but in a shot of her looking out the window, it is back by her right ear. (00:40:40)

The-Immortal

Correction: No, it is not. After David calls Connie and she switches the phone to her left hand, before she pulls the curtain back, in the next interior shot, facing David and Julius outside, it is Connie's right hand that we see holding the curtain. Then it cuts to a close-up of Connie, who is STILL holding the phone in her left hand, just before her arm drops down as her mouth drops open in shock.

Super Grover

Corrected entry: When the UFOs arrive to Washington DC, we see sunlight on Lincoln's statue in Lincoln Memorial - which is then blocked by the UFO. But Lincoln is so deep inside the memorial that sunlight never hits it.

Jacob La Cour

Correction: This is not true the memorial faces east and the sun does shine on it in the morning.

Bowling255

Corrected entry: In the White House they mention "an AWAC. The aircraft [E-3 Sentry] is known as an AWACS [Airborne Warning and Control System], it is not plural so you don't drop the S. (00:16:45)

Correction: Minor character mistake...even assuming a character KNOWS that "AWAC" is wrong, it's easy to understand due to the circumstances. Not a movie mistake.

Corrected entry: While Steve and David are trying to escape the mother ship, they are approaching the ship's outer doors that are about to close. David keeps saying, "Must go faster, must go faster", then it shows Steve with his arms extended as if he is pushing the controls forward trying to make the craft go faster. The problem with this is that when they first tried to take off from Area 51, the controls were such that pulling back on them made the craft go forward, and pushing them forward made it go in reverse. But Steve was not pulling the controls back toward him when they were escaping.

Correction: He was not pushing the controls forward. He was bracing himself.

Corrected entry: Will Smith's mustache is out of limits for military standards. The standard is that a mustache shall not extend lower than the top of the upper lip or past a vertical line drawn upward from the corner of the mouth. He's good on the first part, but out of regs on the second. (00:21:00)

Correction: Maybe he grew it out during his "leave-time" from being at the base. Doesn't take long for a thin mustache like that to grow(couple days), and I am sure they would not have taken the time to make him shave under the circumstances.

Jazetopher

Corrected entry: More than one character refers to the Roswell crash as occurring in the 1950s, but the actual date was 1947.

Phoenix

Correction: Two characters make this error, and both are excusable human mistakes. Judd Hirsch's character makes the first mention and he is clearly having difficulty remembering exact details. The second time is the Secretary of Defense who is more concerned about the ludicrous nature of the plan being suggested than giving an accurate history.

Corrected entry: When the aliens are coming in to New York, there is a shot of people starting to run in the other direction, from where the ship is coming in. The cop on horseback turns the horse around to flee, and in the next shot from the side of the street, the cop turns his horse around again.

TiggBoy

Correction: Not uncommon in film to show the same scene from 2 different angles.

Damian Torres

Corrected entry: Why do they attack the ships only with F/A-18s? They could fire a lot more warheads from submarines, destroyers and so on. (00:58:55)

Correction: The actor giving the briefing says that the pilots will be the "first wave" in the counter attack, possibly meaning that a number of other waves would be attacking afterwards, which could be coming from Submarines and/or Destroyers. Also, in the fight scenes, the aliens could have destroyed submarines, destroyers, etc.

Mr. Nimziki states after the first attack that our forces are down to 7%.

Corrected entry: Will Smith's girlfriend avoids an explosion by ducking into a janitor's closet inside a tunnel, yet the special effects show the beam knocking over buildings, and there's even a shot of the entire city being levelled. The next day, however, there's all sorts of debris and survivors left behind. (00:47:55 - 01:06:15)

Correction: Obviously some people were lucky or intelligent enough to hide in a similar way, or were already in some protected area (like a basement, for example).

Corrected entry: When the President arrives at Area 51 he orders the guard to open the "clean room" where workers are wearing full body clean suits. Yet a few minutes later when Brent Spiner and his crew arrive (from within the clean room) they are all wearing street clothes and lab coats, not clean suits.

William Miller

Correction: That is because they weren't in the clean room initially. They went into the room from outside the clean room and since the President and others had already 'contaminated' the room there was no sense in him wasting time putting on his clean suit.

Vernon Gilmore

Corrected entry: After Air Force One has just touched down in Area 51 we see a view of Air Force One in a hanger. Later when Will Smith brings the people in the motorhomes Air Force One is missing. Surely a Boeing 747 can't go unnoticed?

Correction: Area 51 probably has more than one hangar.

Phoenix

Corrected entry: Area 51 should be deep underground. The rocks should therefore provide everybody with enough cover for large bombs and even protection from the alien's primary weapon. When Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum go out to save the world in the alien spacecraft, the door to the surface opens. The launch site has its own door to the outside world. Why is it that the base is deep underground but has a big door leading to the surface that has no protection at all?

Correction: It's not simply a door into the outside, it's a launch tunnel at least one hundred yards long. There are heavy blast doors on the inside that are opened so that craft can exit, and it can be assumed that there are also similar doors on the other end of the tunnel. All this is a far cry from a simple surface door with no protection.

Phoenix

Correction: The Command Center is deep underground. Portions of the base are on the surface.

Corrected entry: That alien suit is rather odd: it needs to be cut open with a razor sharp knife, then the alien is covered in a fleshy mass, however the suit is so weak an alien gets knocked out when it gets punched.

Correction: There doesn't appear to be any sort of movie mistake here, just an opinion.

Tailkinker

Corrected entry: When the president talks to his wife who's in LA, he says he has a helicopter waiting to take her to Dulles airport, which is in Virginia. Then the General maybe 30 mins in the air after the attack says the helicopter never made it to Dulles. That's 2,444 miles - an average helicopter (which she gets in) can only go 250 miles before refuelling, they would have to refuel almost 10 times.

MikeN13

Correction: He says "Nellis", not Dulles. Nellis Air Force base is about 250 miles from LA.

Corrected entry: As LA is destroyed, you see Jasmine sitting in her car. As she turns around in her seat to see the fire ball coming at her, you see the entrance to the tunnel is an arch. As she runs through the tunnel, the ground is level. But the morning after, she has to climb up to get back out of the tunnel entrance, which is now a complete circle. It looks as if she's coming out of a large drain pipe. (00:48:55 - 00:52:30)

Correction: The tunnel Jasmine and all the others are in has a four car lane width. The hole she and Dylan walk through is hardly wider than the width of a single car. Just look at its Octagonal nut-like edge that is seen in the wideshot, when Jasmine emerges - that hole is not supposed to be the tunnel's exit or entrance! Actually, it IS a large concrete drainage pipe from the tunnel's storm water run-off control system, which was dislodged during the massive devastation.

Super Grover

Corrected entry: Early in the film, after the arrival of the alien spacecraft, President Whitmore indicates that, "We may need to upgrade to Defcon 3" in light of the worsening situation. The Defcon scale is lowered in response to a more threatening situation, and would therefore require a "downgrade to Defcon 3."

Correction: This is a matter of semantics. While it is true that the numerical sequence does count down, the President is referring that we need to "upgrade" our defense status. In other words, go to a high state of readiness. In any case, it's a character decision.

wizard_of_gore

Corrected entry: When David and Steven break the Earth's atmosphere, there is no sign of the mother ship despite heading straight towards it in the next shot. (01:57:30)

Correction: After the shot when you see all the stars and no mothership, and you get an outside shot of the little ship, you can see they turn to the left.

Dragon

Corrected entry: In the scene where Jimmy and Steve are being chased by 2 alien spacecraft, Jimmy says he is going to "try something", after which he makes a drastic high speed left turn away from Steve's plane. The G forces are so great, Jimmy can't breathe so he takes off his oxygen mask. Steve immediately yells, "Put your mask back on!", but how would he have known he removed his mask if he had already banked away from him and he couldn't actually see him?

Correction: Because the heavy "gasping for air" type breaths Jimmy was taking sounds very different if he does not have his mask on as opposed to still wearing it, as it is not muffled like breathing or speaking with it on tends to be.

Jazetopher

Corrected entry: In the scene where David shows everyone how he can penetrate the fortress, he specifically says the only way to disable the shields in all the ships is to detonate a bomb in the mothership (he says it quickly towards the end of his little speech so pay attention) - But the shields go down way before they detonate the bomb, the shields go down as soon as they upload the virus.

Al

Correction: David clearly says during his demonstration and I quote: "If we plant a virus into that mother ship it's gonna filter down into all the corresponding ships below." Then a few sentences later he says: "We then upload the virus, set off some kind of explosion which'll disable it."(It being the mother ship, not the shield.) So the primary purpose of the bomb was to destroy the mother ship (it couldn't be attacked by fighters since it wasn't in our atmosphere). The shields on the other ships would already be down when this happened.

Andreas[DK]

Factual error: There is a shot of the Imperial Valley at night with the edges of the Los Angeles destroyer spinning over the mountains. The center of the destroyer is hovering over downtown LA. Imperial Valley is over 200 miles away from downtown LA, and the destroyer is no more than 20 miles in diameter. There would be no way the edges of the destroyer would extend far enough to be seen from Imperial Valley as shown unless it was over 100 miles in radius. The ship does not even hover over Steven Hiller's house which is in LA, it can nearly be seen whole from there. The destroyer would be obscured by the mountains and from 200 miles it would appear much smaller.

More mistakes in Independence Day

President Thomas Whitmore: I don't understand, where does all this come from? How do you get funding for something like this?
Julius Levinson: You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat do you?

More quotes from Independence Day

Trivia: According to the Director's commentary, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation did not want the film to be released under the title "Independence Day" to avoid legal complications (specifics weren't disclosed as to what the problems might be, but it's also why the abbreviation "ID4" was used). Roland Emmerich (director/writer) and Dean Devlin (writer) needed to justify the title, so they added the rousing bit right at the end of President Whitmore's speech at the hangar when he ends with, "The 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday...today we celebrate our Independence Day!"

Super Grover

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?

Socks1000

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.

zendaddy621

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.

GalahadFairlight

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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