Independence Day

Continuity mistake: When Steve is leaving to go to El Toro, Jasmine comes outside to talk to Steve. In the background there is a couple packing up. A lady comes out from the house with a suitcase, goes toward a car and a man goes toward the house, and they pass each other. The next time they show a close up of Jasmine, the couple are passing each other again, for a split second. (00:30:00)


Continuity mistake: In the middle of the film when we see the President inside the command station, just after they hit the alien aircraft with a nuclear weapon, he turns to his side and says, "Call the other planes back," but in the following shot he is completely facing the guy he's talking to. (01:34:30)


Independence Day mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the interior shot, when Jasmine tries to explain why she doesn't want Steven to leave she pulls open the white curtains, to view the alien ship through the window (the window closest to the door), and as Steven walks out the front door she stands by that open window. Then when it cuts to the exterior shot, in an instant that window's brown venetian blinds are now down and the white curtains are drawn closed, as Steven walks down the lawn.

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Independence Day mistake picture

Revealing mistake: In the exterior shot of Air Force One and its accompanying jets in the air, just before the shot of David getting nauseous aboard Air Force One, something suddenly appears along the entire bottom of the screen. Whatever it is, it shouldn't be there. (Visible on fullscreen DVD.)

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Suggested correction: That is another jet guarding Air Force One.

It's not. In the picture you can see it's the entire width if the screen with another object about 1/4 way across. The item is also a lot closer than any other object.

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Continuity mistake: The missile used in the mother ship had a 30 second count down. From time of launch to explosion was one minute thirty-six seconds.

Movie Nut

Factual error: Aliens are using TV satellites for their secret attack signal, making the TV picture quality poor. David shows the president how they do it by bypassing the curvature of the earth. However TV satellites don't work that way. They are "hanging" pretty much above their broadcasting area totally reflecting and spreading the signal back straight downward to earth. Turning the parabolic mirrors of the satellites to a different elevation would result in no TV signal on earth, not just a degraded one.


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Suggested correction: Satellites do both. They both send the signals back down to earth but they also send signals to each other in order for the signal to cross the globe. And in those signals the aliens have hidden their own signal, and that distorts all satellite signals, causing TV's to receive a distorted signal.


Very few satellites directly talk to other satellites. Geosynchronous communication satellites don't. The antennas used for transmitting the TV signal are directional, but while directional antennas send most of their energy in one (or a few) direction, they still leak at least some energy to all directions, so it could still theoretically be used as described. The real mistake though is the aliens have advanced technology, so could easily have deployed a couple satellites of their own to perform this function, so why the need to use ones from Earth? Worst case just send a couple small ships up to act as relays.

It probably saves them time to use the satellites already in orbit. They are on a tight schedule and don't want to waste time and resources deploying their own satellites. Plus it's a small possibility for them that humans can take out their satellites, so hiding it in their own seems perfect.


They could be using the human satellites to disrupt communications or make communicating across the globe difficult to hinder any possible pre-emptive strike by Earth's armies acting in unison while the harvesters position themselves for the first wave of attack.

Independence Day mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the kitchen, when Steven is packing up before leaving for El Toro, the blue dolphin figurine faces the TV and is about six inches away. In the following shots it faces the opposite way and is about three feet away. (00:28:50)

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Continuity mistake: When the White House is being evacuated, in the shot from behind as Connie rushes to the chopper, at her side she carries a briefcase in her left hand, but in the next shot facing her nothing is in her left hand (viewer's right). (00:42:50)

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Continuity mistake: After Major Mitchell is asked get a gun to shoot the Coke can, in shots facing David, the Major's body faces toward the alien attacker, but in shots facing the alien attacker Major Mitchell's body is turned the opposite way.

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Continuity mistake: When the White House is being evacuated, as Connie runs down the stairs in the shot facing her, she is speaking with a woman to her right, but in the next shot from behind the woman has vanished. (00:42:30)

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Continuity mistake: When Steven is about to head back to El Toro, he tells Jasmine that she and Dylan can come stay with him at the base. Then when they kiss, Steve's head leans to his right - in shadow, then left - with lots of sunlight, and back to right - in shadow again, between shots. (00:30:30)

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Continuity mistake: Aboard the AWAC, after the pilot sees the fireball emerging from the clouds, there is a wideshot of the interior with the cockpit in the background. The pilot is not wearing the dome-shaped helmet, note the distinct outline of his hair, whereas in the close-ups he is wearing it. (00:16:10)

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Continuity mistake: In the Oval Office, when General Grey says, "They're tracking another one off the California coastline," as Connie rushes in, the lamp on the table beside the couch is gone. Then in the overhead shot of the Oval Office the lamp is back on the table. (00:14:45 - 00:15:50)

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Continuity mistake: On the AWAC, in the close-up of the pilots' hands at the console, they are wearing gloves that reach up to their wrists. When the fireball shatters the windshield, their gloves are much longer now - closer to their elbows. (00:16:10)

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Audio problem: At the White House, when Connie hangs up on David, as the President stands at the podium behind her, his mouth and the words we hear are not in sync. We are seeing and hearing him live, not on a delayed news feed. (00:28:15)

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Continuity mistake: After David makes a mess in the Area 51 alien attacker's hangar, when he is sitting on the ground facing Julius, the liquor bottle label changes directions in his hand. (01:35:25)

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Continuity mistake: After going to the bathroom, when Steven turns on the TV in the kitchen, in the TV's close-up before the program comes on, the kitchen's reflection is visible. In the reflection something is lying on the stove (beside the fridge) and a chair is in front of the corner door, but when it cuts to Steven opening the fridge door, they're gone.

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Continuity mistake: When the spaceships begin arriving, it is obviously morning in Los Angeles. Will Smith and his girlfriend are still in bed, and later on Will goes out to get the morning paper, etc. Jeff Goldblum has just said that the countdown will be over in roughly 7 hours, so how is it night in LA when the spaceship finally attacks?

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: 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: 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.

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: 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.


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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