Independence Day

Corrected entry: In the scene near the end of the movie when Russell Cates is flying the jet fighter, he says 'Tell my children I love them very much', then proceeds to fly his jet up into the UFO to blow it up. The problem is, in every scene previous to this when the UFO fired its laser beam, it destroyed everything it hit. Why didn't it destroy the jet when it entered the beam?

Correction: The beam hadn't been fired yet. If you watch closely you'll notice that every time a ship fires that particular weapon there's a sort of "two-phase" beam. The first phase sends down an apparently harmless beam of light, while the second phase seems to charge the beam with whatever destructive energy the aliens utilize. Russell flies into the beam during its first phase. By the time the beam is charged, Russell is inside the craft. When the beam blows up his jet, it causes the chain reaction that destroys the ship.

Phixius Premium member

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.


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

Damian Torres

Corrected entry: How come the aliens keep attacking major cities on July 3rd? After the first attacks people flee the major cities and surely the aliens must have realised that reaction would come. So why blow up abandoned cities?

Correction: The aliens don't know if the cities are abandoned or not. They just know that most people live in cities.

Correction: They want to destroy the infrastructure, thus making the cities impossible to live in. This action will eventually kill a lot of people (lack of water and food, spreading of diseases breakdown of healthcare and law enforcement etc).


Corrected entry: In the scene where Jasmine retreats from the attack in the maintenance room, she backs into a concrete wall. However, the whole "wall" shakes as she backs into it. (00:49:45)

Correction: It is quite feasible that the wall "shakes" due to the tunnel being destroyed by the blast, hence the light in the maintenance room blows out a moment later.


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 Premium member

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 Premium member

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 Premium member

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.


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.


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.


Corrected entry: At the end Steven and David are flying out of the mothership and they barely make it out. Hence the spaceships that are following them blow up because they hit the wall. Thats the problem, it's in space. In order to have fire you must have oxygen. In space there is no oxygen. Therefore there could not have been a fire when the ships crashed. (02:20:10)

Correction: The ships themselves have enough oxygen to sustain a fire.


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


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 Jasmine arrives at his destroyed airbase she stands at a fence outside the military area. She is filmed from inside but you can read a sign "Restricted Area" fixed to the fence. So the restricted area must be the whole world for the soldiers inside the airbase. (01:17:50)

Correction: From looking at the state of the sign and the fence to which it was attached, it had clearly been displaced by the alien attack.


Correction: The flight line inside of the base is restricted. At my Base they had B-52 aircraft. A sign on the that fenced area read restricted area. Use of deadly force authorized.


Corrected entry: The scene when the kids are in the trailer watching TV and the ship is approaching, everything in the trailer is shaking intensely. 3 seconds later, they come out to see what's going on and you can see the ropes that are tied to the awning are not moving at all. (00:21:40)

Correction: That is because they are tied down tight with no slack. They are still vibrating slightly.


Corrected entry: When the spaceships are destroyed at the end and everyone is cheering, one of the ships in seen crashed behind the pyramids. If the spaceship had crashed in that spot it would have flattened Cairo. (It's easy to tell this looking at the configuration of the pyramids).

Correction: Who's to say it didn't? Not every spacecraft would have crashed away from a city it was over. Plus the cities would be evacuated and probably destroyed anyway.


Corrected entry: In the scene where the Air Force One being chased by the fireballs - do you notice how comfortable the passengers look in all that heat? That must be some air-condition system.

Correction: Nobody looks comfortable at all- they all think they're about to die. If they aren't fanning themselves with their hands or asking for drinks of water it's probably because they're just a bit terrified.


Corrected entry: Jeff Goldblum tells Harvey Fierstein that there will be six hours until the countdown ends. There is no way that he could have left his office, gone on bicycle to his father's house and driven as slowly as they were from New York to DC with time to spare before the countdown ended. The drive alone is a minimum of 4.5 hours with no congestion, averaging 70mph. They were going considerably more slowly. (00:26:55 - 00:37:00)

Correction: Jeff Goldblum says "approximately 6 hours", which means it can mean up to 6 hours and 30 minutes. But even if it does mean 6 hours exactly, they might make it. When they arrive at the white house there's less than 30 minutes left. That gives them a 330 minute window to make a trip that takes circa 270 minutes. When they're not in the cities they might be going a whole lot faster than 70mph. It's perhaps cutting it a bit close, but it's possible for them to make the drive within that time frame.


Corrected entry: In Jeff Goldblum's New York office, one of the televisions is on some news channel. The anchorman mentions that there are ships over the capitals of England, India, and Germany. You then see a map of where the ships are, and the one over the Indian capital is labeled "Bombay." The capital of India is New Delhi. (00:26:00 - 00:26:50)

Correction: This is a news broadcast/character mistake, which is perfectly realistic, not a film mistake.


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.


Corrected entry: Goldblum makes an assumption when creating his computer virus (in the complex alien language, no less) that the aliens would not have any kind of anti-virus software or other security measures embedded in their obviously highly classified control system software. Ridiculously improbable. He has no fallback plan, either.

Correction: No, this is untrue, the aliens do have "anti-virus" programs. That is why his plan will only work for a matter of minutes, before the aliens stop the virus. Also, the technology of the humans and aliens is vastly different, so there is a chance the aliens computers wouldn't "recognize" the human virus.

Independence Day mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When General Grey tells the President not to engage until they have visual, in the President's close-up the exterior of this F/A-18 Hornet is quite different than what was shown in the earlier shot, as the canopy closed over him. All the rivets around the canopy have disappeared and the 'danger' triangle is much closer to the name Patrick, the seat differs, etc. Plus the fact that the canopy and hull are actually one unit in the second shot. (02:02:15 - 02:03:15)

Super Grover Premium member
More mistakes in Independence Day

Captain Steven Hiller: Y'know, this was supposed to be my weekend off, but got me out here draggin' your heavy ass through the burnin' desert with your dreadlocks stickin' out the back of my parachute. You've gotta come down here with an attitude, actin' all big and bad...and what the hell is that smell?!

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 we celebrate our Independence Day!"

Super Grover Premium member
More trivia for Independence Day

Question: In the special edition there's a lot of mentioning of Randy Quaid's younger son being ill and having to take his medication. It's implied that the mother died of the same illness. What is he ill with?

Answer: The reference to the boy's adrenal cortex, and the few symptoms that appear, sound like Addison's Disease.

More questions & answers from Independence Day

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