Independence Day

Corrected entry: When Jeff Goldblum is demonstrating how he puts the virus into the old alien fighter to lower its shield, he puts a soda can on the ship and asks an officer to shoot it. When he does, the bullet is stopped by the ship's shield. Then after the virus is put into the ship's system, the officer is able to shoot the can off of the ship. But when Goldblum picks the can up, there is no bullet hole in it, only a dent. The military must make their soda cans bulletproof.

Correction: No one picks up the soda can after Mitchell shoots it off the spaceship. It's knocked off by the bullet and never seen again. The soda can that Goldblum picks up at his desk is an entirely different one, used to show that he cares about recycling and saving the planet that way.


Corrected entry: After they had brought the First Lady into Area 51, the doctor said to the President something like:"Your wife has internal bleeding, there is nothing we can do for her, she will die soon." The helicopter crash which caused that trauma was at least 12 hours ago, nobody could survive that time course with severe internal bleeding! Why couldn't those guys at Area 51 operate on her, and how the hell did they even know that she has internal bleeding severe enough to die from? (01:32:00)

Correction: No one said she started out with severe internal bleeding, but over the course of 12 hours, it has gotten more severe. In fact, the doctor says, "If we could have gotten to her sooner..."

Corrected entry: After Randy Quaid flew into the Alien ship and it blew up, what happened to all those Alien Fighters which greatly outnumbered the American jets? There seems to be no further thought of the hundreds / thousands of Alien Fighters in any of the different locations where the Alien Ships are being taken down.

Correction: In the movie it was said that the Alien ship that was on earth did not work until the mother ships arrived. It's possible that the destruction of the mother ships rendered them useless again.


Corrected entry: In the mother ship Will and Jeff light up their two last cigars after transmitting the virus. On the ground contact is lost for "20 mins" - yet when they are picked up on the ground the cigars are still at full length and haven't burnt down a bit.

Correction: My father smokes that kind of cigar and I can tell you that they last at least 3 hours.

Corrected entry: Unless everyone uses satellite receivers, the local news feeds would likely still come from terrestrial broadcast towers. The interference on the local TV stations wouldn't be present like it is, especially in the scenes with Russel being on the news.


Correction: Most satellite and cable companies carry local stations as part of their basic programming.

Grumpy Scot

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.


Corrected entry: When Russell Casse says that he was taken by aliens years before, everyone reacts with tired groans. We know there are aliens, so why not believe him? He makes specific claims that can be easily verified simply by looking at what is going on in the world and he provides detailed information that could only be gained through personal experience. 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. (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.

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.


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.


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)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Corrected entry: When the president is in the air force bunker inspecting the spaceship, Dr Oken states that the scientists have been repairing it since the late 60's. The president says they've had it for 40 years and know nothing about it. That would mean that the movie would've been set in 2006 and not '96. (01:08:50)


Correction: No, they've had it since the Roswell crash in the 40s, he says they only figured it out enough to repair it since the 60s.

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.


Corrected entry: In the clip where we see Air Force One about to take off, the UFO is moving. But all the ships were placed in attack position - this one directly above the White House, so it shouldn't move.

Jacob La Cour

Correction: The alien ships repeatedly shown rotating in virtually every shot of them -- even while they're firing. This is just another instance.

JC Fernandez

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: 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: 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.

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

More mistakes in Independence Day

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: 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

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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