Independence Day

Corrected entry: In the shot after the President penetrates the ship's shield, we see about 20 missiles fired at the front ship and all of the missiles make huge fiery holes causing quite a bit of damage. But in the shot where the small alien fighters start to attack the civilians at area 51, the ship (in the background) has no damage to it whatsoever.

Correction: These ships were about 14 miles in diameter (as indicated earlier in the film.) It's quite possible that the scene in question was from a different angle. Not necessarily where the missiles had hit.

3

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).

3

Corrected entry: In the introduction, the satellite collides with the alien mothership and explodes on impact. Satellites don't contain anything explosive and there's no oxygen inside them.

Correction: The craft destroyed at the very beginning was the space station Mir (or some other station - it's awfully large for a satellite.) Its destruction represents one of mankind's greatest achievements in space eradicated by the mere arrival of the aliens. A space station would have a good supply of oxygen and flammable material on board.

3

Corrected entry: In the opening scene from the surface of the moon, dust can clearly be seen swirling around the plaque. Since the moon has absolutely no atmosphere, what is this dust swirling on? (00:01:10)

Correction: It is not swirling. It is being vibrated across the plaque. Some might argue that is impossible as the sound from the ship has no medium to travel to make the vibration. Also, the moon does have an atmosphere (which is almost a vacuum though, I am just picking holes).

3

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
3

Corrected entry: In the cable office where Jeff Goldblum works, there is a wall of TV screens, presumably to show all the channels that the company broadcasts. After the alien ships appear, the president comes on to address the nation, and we see him gradually appear on all of the screens. However, at the center of this wall, he is shown in a large image, with nine or so televisions combining to make one huge jumbo-tron type image. As this appears, you can see the individual channels changing to pieces of his picture one by one. It is unlikely that each channel was only broadcasting a piece of this image, so someone at the office must have changed the sets so they would all display the same image in this manner. As only Jeff Goldblum and Harvey Fierstein have not evacuated the office, who could have made this change?

Correction: It could be automated. A switch that tells the monitors when the same program is being played on all stations, to broadcast as one large image in the office. Where I work, we have screens like that, but in the case of an asychrynous broadcast, it changes to Jumbo-tron automatically.

MoonFaery Premium member
3

Corrected entry: Late in the movie, there's a remark about the Belgian Airforce having been destroyed in the Sinai. The Sinai Desert is next door to Egypt - what was the Belgian Airforce doing there? They're supposed to defend European airspace, not African.

Correction: After the aliens began their destructive campaign, it quickly became clear that military forces would have to be moved away from population centers to protect them. It's not surprising that some European forces evacuated to northern Africa, where there are fewer targets.

Phoenix
3

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
3

Corrected entry: When the Morse code signal is received in the Iraqi Desert, the man standing in the background is playing with his pistol the entire time. First he points it at the man across from him, then he holds down the paper with it, then in the next shot he's playing with it again.

Correction: There's nothing wrong here. The man is holding the pistol, then sets it on the table to weigh down some papers, then the scene changes to another area. Here, there is only one shot, and the man is holding the gun the entire time.

Phoenix
3

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
3

Corrected entry: When the aliens arrive for the first time and move over Washington, the shadow of the spacecraft goes over the Washington monument, but the shadow of the Washington monument is never seen, even though the sunlight is directed at an angle where it would be very large.

Correction: The shadow is running off into the lower right corner.

Phoenix
3

Corrected entry: When the fleet of alien vessels is wiping out the army base, they fire hundreds of shots, yet we never see any of them hit the ground, except to blow up a few planes.

Correction: The aliens have poor aim against moving targets, but are quite skilled against stationary targets such as installations (possibly a result of lack of combat experience due to the length of their voyage). Most of the vessels are aiming at the actual buildings and hangars offscreen in the foreground, with a few aiming at planes on the ground. No alien fire aims for the ground and disappears before it hits it.

Phoenix
3

Corrected entry: When Jeff Goldblum and Judd Hirsch are playing chess, the radio next to them says it's 97 degrees outside. Yet the two men are both dressed as if it were winter time.

Correction: Neither of them is really bundled up for winter. Goldblum is wearing a short-sleeved collared shirt with the top button unbuttoned and khakis, not unusual for someone as straitlaced as his character in summer. Though Hirsch is wearing a sweater over his shirt, it's a low V-neck that still allows for ventilation. Judging from his character's fairly conservative nature, this isn't surprising either.

Phoenix
3

Corrected entry: The whole premise of the ending was based around giving the mothership a virus to take out the shields. However, given that the "electrics" had only very recently come on in the Area 51 spacecraft, there would have been no time for anybody to have reverse engineered the computer system and alien programming language, let alone for David to come in at the last minute, manage to guess off the top of his head what part of the mothership's system controlled all the shields, find a vulnerability in their code that could be exploited to switch them off, and then create the virus to do so.

Correction: This is based entirely on an opinion, which are not valid grounds for a mistake. David is portrayed in the film as an off-the-scale genius, who's already deciphered the alien countdown code using nothing more than his own laptop and the interference in the satellite system. Area 51 is populated by the top scientific minds available, all of whom would be focused completely on the systems in question. It is simply your opinion that this would be impossible and that doesn't count.

Tailkinker Premium member
4

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 Premium member
4

Corrected entry: When Russell Casse stands up to talk about his flight experience and says that he was taken by aliens 10 years before, everyone reacts with tired groans. Well we know there are aliens, so why would they not believe him? (01:43:55)

Correction: Russell looks like any number of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens, these people are tired of that. Some may also have seen him drunk on TV and thought he was out of his mind. No mistake.

5

Correction: He makes specific claims that can be easily verified simply by looking at what is going on in the world. Given the desperate situation humanity is in they would definitely want to talk to him to see what they can find out about the attacking aliens. What have they got to lose?

He is just one of thousands, tens of thousands of people that claim to have been abducted and all have different stories, evidence, information and 99% of it is probably useless. So it will be a huge waste of time to start to believe all these people and interrogate them.

lionhead

Corrected entry: There's no way the people at SETI, NASA, or anyone pointing a telescope at the moon wouldn't have spotted the mother ship long before it reached the moon. If asteroids only a few miles wide can be spotted millions of miles away from the Earth then space ship 1/4 the size of the moon are visible long before July 2.

Correction: Asteroids that are approaching or getting close to Earth have been doing that for millions of years and we spotted them over many years and many scans of a lot of space. A single relatively tiny spaceship popping up somewhere is not something we can see immediately unless it gets really close and we pick up a signal or echo.

lionhead
3

Corrected entry: During the first counter-strike following the aliens attack, F-14 Tomcats are shown on the tarmac at MCAS El Toro. The Marine Corps does not and has never operated F-14s, they are Navy aircraft. (00:55:40)

Dom

Correction: The Marine Corps is part of the Department of the Navy. Perhaps they were simply stored there for repairs or moved for the attack.

LorgSkyegon
3

Corrected entry: The humans are shown attacking the alien destroyers with AMRAAM air-to air missiles, which are shown both times to do virtually no damage to it. AMRAAMs are designed for fast moving air-to air targets, like the alien fighters. Yet, the humans do not see a need to fit their fighters with more powerful weapons, such as bunker busters, cluster bombs, nuclear bunker busters or tactical nukes, that would easily cripple or outright destroy the alien saucer. Instead, they resort to firing countless AMRAAMs at a 15-mile wide destroyer, which amount to pinpricks and cause needless deaths.

Dom

Correction: The AMRAAMs do not do "virtually no damage". They do absolutely no damage. The humans don't upgrade their munitions because there's no point to it.

Phixius Premium member
3

Missile hitting the armor leave sparks flying, and glowing hot metal. I'm not sure if you would call that missiles doing absolutely no damage.

Still, that sounds like throwing pebbles at an elephant. They can hurt him but cannot kill him.

Actually the missiles do damage the alien ship. Just not serious damage.

The point is they didn't know how much damage they would do. The first time they tried they hit a shield and no damage was done. They had hoped they would do damage. Next to "bunker busters" and any other type of armor piercing warheads (which I doubt can be fitted onto air-to-air missiles) they had little choice in weapons types. Nukes won't work if you are dogfighting alien fighters close to the target, you'd destroy all your own planes, next to that you'd again destroy whatever city you were flying above just like Houston.

lionhead

Correction: I believe you are making the assumption that after the Aliens attacked the Military bases, as stated in the film before the city attacks (In a report by General Grey), that there are still a large supply of "bunker busters, cluster bombs, nuclear bunker busters or tactical nukes" available for the planes to have them fitted before the final attack.

Next to that, they probably have the AA missiles loaded primarily to fight the fighters coming at them, not to damage the big ship directly. What else they had planned is never stated though. Perhaps they had hoped killing the mother-ship would make the destroyers retreat and they were simply delaying its attack.

lionhead

Corrected entry: When Steve crashes his F18 head first into the canyon wall, the nose itself is intact within the fireball into which the alien fighter flies.

Correction: It broke off instead of shattering. It's plausible. It's not exactly intact either.

lionhead
2
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

Russell Casse: Hello boys! I'm baaack!

More quotes from Independence Day

Trivia: In Area 51 there is a large screen displaying the results of the nuclear strikes against the alien ships. Look under the screen and there is some text in green. Pause it to read the following: "The purpose of these green lines is to lead you to believe that these words mean something", and "And can I see with eye serene the very pulse of the machine Wordsworth".

More trivia for Independence Day

Question: Several times near the end of the movie, there is a biker type man. He is wearing some Harley Davidson clothing and a black leather cap. He is one of the pilots. He stands out if he is just an extra. Is he anyone famous?

Answer: In the book of the same name, this man is called "Pig". He was a test pilot during the Vietnam War. He played a crucial role in training the new pilots.

Answer: He is just an extra, who just happens to be in more shots then the other extras. He is not more famous than the other extras.

lionhead
More questions & answers from Independence Day

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.