Factual error: When Russell enters his F/A-18 during the final assault, he pushes the keypad "8" button out of curiosity and it inadvertently arms a missile. In reality, the keypad buttons are merely for navigational purposes and map coordinates. They would never be tied to the weapons system. (01:59:15)
Visible crew/equipment: When President Whitmore is on the phone with his wife (their daughter Patricia lies on the bed), telling her he wants her to leave LA and a chopper will take her to Nellis Air Force Base, a Secret Service Agent appears at the doorway and the actor's mark is visible on the floor. (Only visible on fullscreen DVD.)Super Grover
Visible crew/equipment: When David introduces the idea of a virus, the first time Major Mitchell shoots at the Coke can the two actors' marks are visible on the floor in front of Julius and Connie, as well as a brown rug at their feet, that are not in other shots. (Only visible on fullscreen DVD.)Super Grover
Factual error: The firewall that destroys Washington DC is all wrong. When the destroyer blows up the White House, as in NYC and LA, it would have created a ring of fire that would have spread outwards. The White House is in a North Westerly position from the Capital Building, so when the fire wall hit the Capital Building, it would have hit from the side - but, instead, it hits from the back/front. (00:47:30)
Factual error: The missile launched by the B-2 is made-up. The nuclear missiles carried by the B-2 are powered by a small jet engine, not a rocket motor. The last air-launched, rocket-powered, nuclear missile was withdrawn from USAF service in 1990, before B-2s had even been delivered to the Air Force. Plus, these missiles are very accurate and have a range of hundreds of miles. Why get so close? Finally, the B-2 pilots have no flash blindness protection. No blackout panels on the windows, or special goggles that darken when exposed to bright light. The tinted visors on their helmets isn't good enough to block out the flash from a nuclear detonation. (01:36:20)
Factual error: When Air Force One is taking off, the fireball should not be that close. The heat from the fireball would keep the wings from getting any lift as hotter air is thinner. Since the fireball is hot enough to explode steel and concrete it would surely have ignited the 45,000 gallons of fuel in the wings and melted the rubber tires. Had the plane actually been able to get its tires off the ground, the 'rolling' effect of the fireball and the rapidly rising heat being below and behind the plane would have caused it to do a 'negative angle pitch-over' or forward somersault right into the runway.
Continuity mistake: In the Oval Office, when David says, "They're using our own satellites against us," the grandfather clock is about a foot away from the doorway behind him. In the previous wideshot, when Alex appears at the doorway, the grandfather clock is farther to the right, nearer to the other curtained doorway.Super Grover
Factual error: The opening scene shows the Apollo 11 landing site. Aside from the previously mentioned plaque incorrectly shown being on the ground, the scene shows a pristine American flag standing upright. The Apollo 11 flag was actually knocked over when the Lunar Module ascent stage launched. Plus the American flags left on the moon are bleached white with no color, due to UV rays and massively direct sunlight - and they are probably disintegrated, due to micro meteors and solar destruction. (00:00:45)
Continuity mistake: When President Whitmore and the rest get to Area 51, you see David Levinson in the background. Right before they go through the doors, he has a sunglasses clip over his glasses. As they start walking down the ramp, they are still on, but right after the glass doors open, you can see for a second or two the clip is off the glasses. Then when they go for a close up of Levinson, you can see him take the clip off. (01:14:55)TiggBoy
Continuity mistake: After the President fights the Aliens in the fighter plane he lands to see a lot of people cheering and happy. If you look at his hair when he is walking through the long white hallway, it is messed up and not perfect. A second later, when he walks into the "Command Centre", Connie and Jasmine ask to see if their husbands are okay, if you look at the President's hair, it is now slicked back and perfect. (02:13:10)
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!"Super Grover
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