Independence Day

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

Corrected entry: When Will Smith flies the FA18 and is being chased by the alien space craft, just as the FA18 comes into the shot when he flies over the edge of a canyon there is no shadow on the ground, but then suddenly the shadow appears within the same shot - it doesn't gradually appear like the FA18 does.

Correction: I just watched this frame by frame and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the shadow of the plane. It appears gradually but just very quickly since the plane is flying very fast.

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.


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.


Corrected entry: When Cpt Hiller (Smith) gets in the F18 for the first attack, just under the canopy it reads "CPT Jimmy Wilder" with "Raven" below that. But Smith's character is "Steven Hiller." Connick's character is "Jimmy Wilder." Hiller is flying the wrong plane.

Correction: Watch the scene again. Will Smith gets in the plane with 'Cpt Steven Hiller' below the canopy. Connick gets in the one marked 'Cpt Jimmy Wilder "Raven"'

Corrected entry: When the spaceship is first coming into hover position over D.C., it passes over the Washington Monument. While the shadow hits the ground and monument separately, it incorrectly hits the ground first. Since the light source comes from the left and the spaceship is moving right, it should hit the higher monument first, with the ground shadow trailing. The opposite is true in the movie. (00:22:30)

Correction: If the ship is moving from left to right and the light source is to the left, the shadow would cover the ground first and then move up the monument. If the ship was moving right to left, the monument would be shadowed first. This shot was not filmed with CG, but with a truck and actual sunlight.

Jason Sieberg

Corrected entry: In the scene where Will Smith's character has approached Area 51 with the alien, he identifies himself as an officer of the Marine Corps; yet he is a fighter pilot.

Correction: The Marine Corps has a large air support force, and the pilots are commisioned officers.


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 David is calling Connie at the White House, she sweeps the curtain to the right from the outside and she is standing in front of the window. The shot changes angles and the curtain is now being held without Connie standing there. (00:42:10)

Correction: There's only one time we don't see Connie holding the curtain and that is because we are looking at her point of view.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Jasmine is running in the tunnel with her child, you can clearly see that the child is a dummy (plastic head). (00:49:20)

Correction: There is nothing whatsoever in any of the shots which makes it possible to tell whether the child is a dummy or not.

Corrected entry: If you take a look at some of the individual extras who are supposedly running for their lives (in this and many other disaster movies) you can see that they're just jogging along like they've already done it 20 times that day. (00:50:55)


Correction: This is purely down to interpretation of how they 'should' act. The shots where you can clearly see the extras' faces show them being scared and panicked. As for them running away slowly: some will be slower than others. It stands to reason that not all of them will have superior athletic ability.

Corrected entry: When the White House is obliterated, they made a model of the house to explode. As the beam is on the White House you can already see flames coming out of the left side of the house. They taped it in slow motion, then as the actual plasma/bomb came down through the beam, they sped up the footage. There is no other explanation for this because the "house" is already exploding before it should. (00:47:25)

Correction: Wrong. Watch the SFX features on the DVD, the explosion of the model was filmed at 300 frames per second, and played back at 24 frames per second. No part of this shot is played faster than it was filmed. The White House explodes in accordance with the fictional alien ray gun that is firing at it.

Corrected entry: I am just curious as to how Jasmine has time to look in the mirror, see the alien plasma wall about 400 yards away, curse, get the slow witted child out, pick up her bag, run to the door, kick the door in and call the dog which gets to them safely. This plasma moves at about 180mph as it was comfortably keeping up with Air Force One when it was taking off. (00:48:35)

David Mercier

Correction: Firstly, the fireball was a lot further than 400 yards away from Jasmine. Secondly, that scene was edited to show loads of different things happening at once and most of it was shown in slow motion so there is no way of knowing exactly how long the fireball took to reach her.

Corrected entry: Will Smith's girlfriend finds an abandoned truck - why didn't the gasoline in the tank explode when it came in contact with the fireball? There is no way that fireball missed a truck that size sitting so close to the opening of the tunnel. (00:49:00 - 01:02:50)

Correction: Gasoline only ignites when its concentration with air is in a narrow range (around 2-5%). Gasoline in a fuel tank is in too high of a concentration and cannot ignite.

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: When the stealth bomber launched the nuke to blast the alien ship apart, watch as the stealth steered to the left. Yet the radar from Area 51 shows the stealth steering to the right. (01:28:50)

Correction: Technically the display in question is not radar. There is the observation vehicle present which is on the ground in front of the Stealth. From the perspective of this vehicle, the plane would be turning to the right. The feeds sent back from the vehicle would reflect this perspective.

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.

Independence Day mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When Dr. Okun is about to unlock "the vault", and says, "The freak show," a crewmember wearing a black and white striped shirt is hiding under the vault's floor, right behind Okun. (Only visible on fullscreen DVD.)

Super Grover Premium member
More mistakes in Independence Day

Russell Casse: Hello boys! I'm baaack!

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!"

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