Factual error: When Indiana's father uses the plane's gun, he shoots out the tail. This was not actually possible, as the planes had a safety mechanism to stop people doing this. In fact we can see that the Lewis gun he is using is mounted on a Scarff ring, which prevented the trigger of the gun being activated when the barrel was pointed at the aircraft's tail surfaces. (01:17:40)
Other mistake: At the book signing in Berlin, the camera pans from right to left and the guard at the very end of the line of soldiers (to the left) has his left hand raised in military salute to Hitler. All the other soldiers have their right hands extended.
Factual error: During the motor boat chase through the canals of Venice, Dr. Schneider pilots the vessel between two ships, one identified as the John W. Mackay of London. Although the Mackay was commissioned in 1922, it was stationed at Halifax, Nova Scotia for service in the North Atlantic. It was deployed for the first time to the Mediterranean in 1942 - four years after the purported time of the movie.
Revealing mistake: When fire sweeps through the catacombs under the church, you can see that the "rats" are completely fake. At the far left of the screen (widescreen) you can see several fake rats just hanging on the wall and not moving at all. In the "special features" section on the DVD, Steven Spielberg admitted that the rats were fake - he couldn't bring himself to roast live ones so he could not make this scene appear realistic.
Factual error: German Fighters shown in the film are in fact Pilatus P-2 (Swiss-made aircraft built after World War II). The appropriate fighter of the period would be the Messerschmitt 109. (01:17:00)
Continuity mistake: When Old Dr. Jones is holding Young Dr. Jones while he is reaching for the grail, watch Indy's left hand. In the shot from above, it is by his side, in the shot from below, he is holding the rock. It keeps switching from his side to the rock.
Continuity mistake: Indy falls off the side of the tank and gets his shoulder strap caught on the gun - this should not be possible because his shoulder strap is underneath his jacket, as can be seen when he gets back up onto the tank.
Continuity mistake: When the Nazi is strangling Indy with the chain, Indy looks down into the porthole of the tank and yells, "Dad!" Before he throws the gun down into the tank Indy's hat comes loose, but when the next shot is back on Indy, and he yells, "Dad! Dad, get out!" now his hat is back to normal.
Continuity mistake: When we first see the knight guarding the Grail, his cloak is tied off with a braided rope, which hangs down on his right side. It stays this way until he says "You have chosen wisely," where the rope has somehow shifted to his left side. The rope goes back to normal when the knight waves goodbye at the end of the movie. (01:49:10 - 01:54:05)
Continuity mistake: After Sr. says "Let it go" as Indy is trying to get the grail, Indy is swinging and not being supported by the wall. The next camera angle shows him grasping the wall near his head. Switched back to Sr.'s view, he is again not holding the wall.
Factual error: The evil SS officer is addressed as "Herr Oberst" (Colonel) throughout the movie. In the SS, however, this rank was called "Standartenfuehrer". (00:56:40)
Continuity mistake: When the white robed men ambush the Nazis just after they blow up Salah's car, there's a shot over a Nazi's shoulder as he fires at one of the white robed guys running up a hill. The Nazi's machine gun is held straight out and doesn't move but the dust that flies from the squibs suggest that he fired as he moved the gun right to left which he did not do. The odd thing is that AFTER the squibs go off, the Nazi turns his gun to the left. (01:25:55)
Continuity mistake: When Indy takes four horses before battling with the tank, three are black and one is bay (brown with black legs, mane and tail). Sallah is riding a chestnut. When they ride to the Grail Temple, there are two black horses and two chestnuts. Where did the second chestnut come from? (01:28:00 - 01:39:25)
Henry: Come on, Junior.
Indiana: Will you please stop calling me Junior?
Sallah: Please, what does this mean? Always with this Junior?
Henry: That's his name: Henry Jones, Junior.
Indiana: I like Indiana.
Henry: We named the dog Indiana.
Sallah: The dog? You are named after the dog.
Marcus: Can we go home please?
Indiana: I have a lot of fond memories of that dog.
Join the mailing list
Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.