Independence Day

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: In the final fight scene, Bill Pullman's fighter is given the code name "Eagle 5". This is a nod to another Bill Pullman movie, "Spaceballs", where he captained a Winnebago named Eagle 5.

Correction: In the final battle, the President is Eagle 1, not Eagle 5.


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: 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: 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: I hate to say it, but Area 51 is not located in the Utah desert as shown in several desert scenes. Area 51 is in Nevada surrounded by mountains.

Correction: The movie labels Area 51 as being in Nevada, when Air Force One is flying there.


Corrected entry: When Will Smith pulls the ring out of his locker, he drops it and it falls to the right of him. When Harry Connick Jr. picks up the ring, he picks it up to the left of Will. (00:35:15)


Correction: It could have bounced.


Corrected entry: The three helicopters hover by the alien space ship. The ship then shoots a beam to destroy all 3 of the helicopters. But the two smaller helicopters start to explode from the inside before they are hit with the ray.

Correction: All three of the helicopters show internal explosions before the energy ray hits them. However, it cannot be said with certainty that this is not how the ray is supposed to function. Perhaps the preliminary light from the ship indicates the release of radiation that can detonate the fuel and ammunition in the helicopters after a few seconds' exposure and the ray burst is an explosive charge to detonate whatever remains. The city-destroying weapon works in a fashion similar to this: the initial beam does very little damage, then the burst acts as a nucleus of destruction.


Corrected entry: When Jeff Goldblum is in the Oval Office waiting to talk to the president he stands up and closes his laptop and sets it on the desk with the opening side facing the front of the desk. When he tells the president "And the clock is ticking," he turns the already opened laptop around towards the front of the desk.

Correction: Goldblum sets up the laptop facing the desk chair, but he picks it up and closes it when he realizes that the President doesn't want to listen to what he has to say. When he starts explaining the satellite interference, he sets the laptop down on his side of the desk, away from the chair. Thus, to show the timer to the President, he opens the laptop in front of him and turns it toward the President, who is now standing at the desk in front of the chair.


Corrected entry: When Jeff Goldblum is explaining "line of sight" to the President, he hands the same piece of paper to him three times.

Correction: No, he doesn't. Goldblum hands Pullman the paper exactly once, and even then it's offscreen and could merely be an illustrative gesture.


Corrected entry: When Will Smith was flying over the remains of El Toro, there is nothing but rubble. It's flattened with only a few palm trees remaining. But when Jasmine comes to the gate, you can see planes (in good condition) behind her.

Correction: Those planes are definitely not in good condition. There are a few largely intact parts, notably two plane tails and most of a cockpit that happen to be lying relatively close together, but they are rubble like everything else.

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

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: When Steven and David are being chased out of the alien mothership, David says "Must go faster, must go faster." This is a line Jeff Goldblum said in the film Jurassic Park (1993), when he was riding in the back of a jeep, getting chased by the T-Rex. That line from Jurassic Park was loved so much by ID4 filmmakers, they looped it into the dialogue. Jeff never actually spoke that line when ID4 was being filmed.

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

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.