Independence Day

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.


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.


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.


Corrected entry: When Jeff Goldblum and his dad arrive at the White House, a right-to-left pan of the front lawn (which begins from inside a police cruiser) plainly shows red holiday ribbon and Christmas wreaths along the grass. Odd to the point of irony, as the movie is supposed to be set in JULY!

Correction: The alleged Christmas wreaths are actually the shrubbery of the White House hedge, and the red ribbon could either be large red flowers or another red decoration - it's too irregular to be ribbon.


Corrected entry: The entire scene where Will Smith and his girlfriend first see the spaceship is pretty ridiculous. First, Will goes out to get the paper, but instead of taking it back in the house, he opens it up and starts reading it - in the yard. Then Jasmine comes out (conveniently neglecting to notice the spaceship that's directly in her line of vision) and offers him a cup of coffee - in the yard. Were they planning to spend the rest of the morning standing in the front yard? (00:25:20)


Correction: Steve and Jasmine just woke up and are suffering from a certain amount of morning grogginess. This explains why they don't notice the saucer in the distant sky - most people don't look up at the sky as a matter of course. Steve is looking through the paper's headlines before he heads back to the house - not an unusual thing to do, before he returns to the house and the paper is completely disassembled. Jasmine would know this morning ritual since they have been together so long and looks out for him by giving him fresh coffee instead of waiting for him to come back inside. Maybe it's not what every American does in the morning, but it's not completely bizarre, either.


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: Why did the aliens take up position over the First Interstate building in downtown L.A.? This is not the centre of L.A., nor is it a pivotal role in the functioning of the city, like the White House. Come to think of it, neither is The Empire State Building in New York City. These don't sound like very practical tactical positions. They must really hate bankers. (00:46:30)

Correction: The aliens did not choose the centre of the town in most cases. They positioned themselves over a landmark that had great significance in the city, like the Empire State Building or the Eiffel Tower. It was a symbolic thing, not related to power or geography.

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: In the one of the final sequences when it is showing the ships being brought down all over the world, it shows one crashing over the pyramids, and one crashing somewhere near Sydney Harbour, as well as the one which is crashing at Area 51 in America. In all of these scenes it is daylight, which is near impossible given that these locations are fairly evenly spread across the world, and it has to be dark somewhere.

Correction: Even though the craft's shields were down, each nation could have taken different times to bring down the spaceships. Besides, if you look at the background carefully, Egypt was somewhere at sunrise, while the ship at Sydney was down somewhere around the setting of the evening.

Corrected entry: A shot near the end of the film shows a burning alien ship over Sydney. Given the speed at which the aliens destroy major world cities, Sydney should have been leveled long ago.

Correction: While Sydney is one of the more famous cities in the world, it doesn't even come close to being one of the most populous. (At the time of filming there were at least five cities in China alone that had more than twice as many people.) And since the aliens' goal was simply to kill human beings, it makes sense that Sydney was not on the top of their list.


Corrected entry: When the alien is brought into the containment lab of Area 51, we see all sorts of high-tech monitors set up and doctors running around checking everything works and everything is prepped and ready for the alien. So why is it, after all this work, they forget to administer some form of anaesthetic to the alien knowing that not only is it merely unconscious from a punch to the head but it has a nasty temperament towards mankind?

Correction: Maybe they gave it the anaesthetic, and it didn't work.

Corrected entry: According to the movie the game of chess ends with White mating Black. Even though only part of the chessboard is visible, there is no way that White can mate Black in one move from that position. No wonder Judd Hirsch looks puzzled.

Correction: You could not possibly know what was on the rest of the board at the time of the move, the White could absolutely have mated Black. There could have been 2 Rooks on either side of the Queen that were not visible in the shot, and that would have prevented the King form moving left or right.

Corrected entry: When Jasmine is in the tunnel during the attack and sees a large fireball coming at her in the rearview mirror, there are people running and lots of destruction but her little boy is sitting in the back seat not even concerned with what's going on.

Correction: The little boy has yet to see the fireball. All he apparently thinks when he sees the people running is just fleeing citizens.

Corrected entry: When Russell is in his trailer listening to the radio (right before the youngest boy barfs), the announcer says (paraphrase) "Reports indicate that Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and New York have been completely destroyed..." Russell starts to say 'Good God.' just at the mentioning of the cities' names. Shouldn't the actor wait until the news comes until he is surprised?

Correction: Mr. Casse actually adjust the volume on the radio after he hears the announcer says "the extent of the devastation" hears the names of the cities, and then says "Good God." After this comes the confirmation that the cities were completely destroyed.

Corrected entry: Tell me this: why can Jeff Goldblum drive straight to the White House without hitting traffic? They drive down a motorway while everyone is trying to get out of the city, yet everybody obeys the law and stays on the proper side of the road. What good citizens. They might die but they still obey the law.

Correction: In the special edition of ID4 it has an added scene that addresses this point. Jeff Goldblum and the father are on the highway when they suddenly encounter a LOT of cars going the wrong way on their side of the freeway; only some rather slick evasive maneuvers by the father get them to the offramp and avoid a major accident.

Corrected entry: How come the aliens keep attacking major cities on July 3rd? After the first attacks people flee the major cities and surely the aliens must have realised that reaction would come. So why blow up abandoned cities?

Correction: They want to destroy the infrastructure, thus making the cities impossible to live in. This action will eventually kill a lot of people (lack of water and food, spreading of diseases breakdown of healthcare and law enforcement etc).


Corrected entry: On their way to their planes, Will Smith refers to his wingman as "soldier." United States Marines NEVER refer to each other as "soldiers." That term is for members of the U.S. Army.

Correction: In the other branches of the military, it's used as an insult. Will Smith was joshing around.

Corrected entry: In the scene where the B-2 Bombers are going to nuke the ships, you can see the Houston citylights below them. Why is there intense citylight in a devastated city?

Correction: It was not devastated, simply abandoned. The alien ships started with Capitals and major cities, then moved down the list to less important cities. The aliens were moving to attack Houston, that is why the population was evacuated, and that is why it was chosen as the place for the nuclear strike. The lights might have been left on deliberately, so that everything looked normal, and the aliens would not realize that they were heading for a trap. The irony of the sequence was, the military ended up destroying Houston, not the aliens.

Corrected entry: The alien ship that was captured in the fifties didn't work until the mothership was present in orbit. So, after Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum destroy the mothership with the A-bomb, wouldn't it cease working again instead of allowing them to fly it back to Earth?

Correction: 1. The ship crashed upon reentry. 2. There were alien ships running from our fighters after the mothership was destroyed that were still fully functional.

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.

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.)

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Russell Casse: Hello boys! I'm baaack!

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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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