Independence Day

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.

Phixius Premium member

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: 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: 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.


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

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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.


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