Independence Day

Factual error: There is a shot of the Imperial Valley at night with the edges of the Los Angeles destroyer spinning over the mountains. The center of the destroyer is hovering over downtown LA. Imperial Valley is over 200 miles away from downtown LA, and the destroyer is no more than 20 miles in diameter. There would be no way the edges of the destroyer would extend far enough to be seen from Imperial Valley as shown unless it was over 100 miles in radius. The ship does not even hover over Steven Hiller's house which is in LA, it can nearly be seen whole from there. The destroyer would be obscured by the mountains and from 200 miles it would appear much smaller.

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Visible crew/equipment: When Dr. Okun leads President Whitmore, General Grey, David and the rest to see, as he put it, "The big tamale," the red actor's mark is visible at the top of the landing as they all walk up the ramp. (Only visible on fullscreen DVD.)

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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)

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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 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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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)

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.

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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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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)

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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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)

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)

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)

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: 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)

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)

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.

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 holiday...today we celebrate our Independence Day!"

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