Independence Day
Independence Day mistake picture

Other mistake: When the huge alien ship settles over the White House there is an exterior wideshot of the grounds. At the bottom of this shot it's funny how there are many tourists - adults and children, just milling around in front of the gate and across the street with a van driving along between the two sides, and not one has any sort of reaction to the alien ship. This real shot of the White House (some shots had smaller-scale models) had the CG ship edited in during post production. (Visible on fullscreen DVD.)

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Factual error: In any explosion the shock-wave will travel ahead of any debris thrown by the shock-wave. During the attack scenes there are numerous cases of debris, particularly vehicles, travelling and landing in still air ahead of the arrival of the shock-wave.

Other mistake: When they're shooting the nuclear-bomb at the space craft for the first time (when it fails due to the shield on the alien space craft), you see that the airplane shooting the missile is breaking off to the left just after it's fired the missile. On the radar a few seconds later you see the airplane breaking off to the right. As if the radar displayed a mirrored view.


Independence Day mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: At Area 51's main research facility, Dr. Okun walks up to greet President Whitmore and as his assistant, Dr. Isaacs walks up behind him, the green actor's mark is visible on the floor - he even glances down at it. (Only visible on fullscreen DVD.)

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Independence Day mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: At the containment lab, just before Dr. Okun unlocks "the vault", three actors' marks are visible. One mark is at the top of the ramp and the other two are visible just past the ramp. (Only visible on fullscreen DVD.)

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Independence Day mistake picture

Revealing mistake: When Jeff Goldblum is throwing a tantrum in the hangar housing the captured alien craft, he knocks over several plastic garbage cans, one of which is clearly labelled "Art Dept" - kind of odd for a top secret underground government military research facility. (01:35:15)

Independence Day mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Jasmine grabs Dylan out of the car, his sneakers are white/black with black laces, but when she is kicking the maintenance door, his sneakers are white with white laces, then it switches again in following shots.

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Visible crew/equipment: At the Area 51 lab, when President Whitmore is down on the ground in pain, in the shot from inside the lab facing the lab's outer hall, the alien costume only reaches just above the crewmember's waist - the costume straps attached to his pants are visible, as well as his arm. (Only visible on fullscreen DVD.)

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Factual error: When the alien ship over New York blows up the Empire State Building you see the blastwave spill out in the street in front of the Empire State Building. This is in that part of the city that's built in a grid pattern. In front of the Empire State Building there's just another building, not a street where the blastwave and debris can spill into. All the people who are way down the street, looking at the building being hit by the beam just can't be there. (00:47:00)

Audio problem: When the Knights deploy their missiles with no results, we see in close-ups as they respond that Steven is Knight 1, Jimmy is Knight 7, and another Marine is Knight 3. After Steven says, "Knight 1. Sweet Luck. Echo, Fox 2," we see a close-up of Knight 3 and hear his voice (not Jimmy's) say, "Knight 7, Fox 2", though he is in fact Knight 3, and Jimmy is Knight 7. (01:00:45)

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Continuity mistake: When David is getting drunk and he's talking to Connie, at one point he slams the bottle down on the counter and a little liquor sprays up out the opening. Then they talk for a second, and he picks the bottle back up to pour himself more, but he now needs to unscrew the cap which was just lying next to the bottle. (01:25:45)

Factual error: The US Bank Tower's placement in between Citi Group and Melon Bank is inconsistent from its real life position. Citi Group should be roughly directly parallel, not off-center at an angle.

Factual error: When the aliens attack Novosibirsk, Russia, a map of "Russia" in Russian letters is displayed on-screen from what is supposed to be a Russian news broadcast. In fact, it's a map of the Soviet Union, St. Petersburg is incorrectly labeled as "Petrograd," Moscow is too far east, and Novosibirsk is very badly misspelled. (00:15:20)

Factual error: El Toro base is shown being at the end of a long desert road. El Toro is in the middle of completely developed cities in Orange County. The desert is about 50 miles away over a few mountain ranges. (01:17:50)

Factual error: When the Empire State Building gets blown up, look to the right of the picture. The building next to it is the Citicorp Center. That is not right because Citicorp Center is on Lex between 53rd and 54th, while the ESB is on 34th and 5th. (00:47:00)

Independence Day mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Captain Hiller is dragging the unconscious alien across the desert, the sky alternates between overcast and perfectly sunny depending on if it's a close up or far off view of Hiller. (01:07:30)

Factual error: In the opening scene, the plaque from the Apollo 11 landing is shown sitting in the lunar soil. The actual plaque is mounted to the landing module, right under the ladder. (00:01:00)

Continuity mistake: The scene after Jasmine's club pole dance, she is with her girlfriend in the dressing room. She is warning her girlfriend not to go to the alien rooftop site. Jasmine walks away undressed, but comes out a moment later with her shirt and pants on, and though she put her clothes on over her dance outfit it is still too quick to accomplish in that brief moment. (00:36:25)

Independence Day mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When President Whitmore, General Grey and the rest return to the containment lab to see the live alien, Major Mitchell stands directly in front of the smoke filled lab and the camera equipment/crew are visible in the reflection on the glass. President Whitmore, General Grey and a few others are supposed to be the only ones in front of the three aliens' liquid chambers. (Only visible on fullscreen DVD.)

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Continuity mistake: When Captain Hiller is in his dress uniform in the house and then outside beside the car, before he heads back to El Toro, the epaulette on his shoulder is out above the collar, in the next shot it is under the collar (where it belongs), but in the very next shot, it is out again. (00:29:35)

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: 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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