Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now mistake picture

Revealing mistake: In the major helicopter scene when Ride of the Valkyries is played, the actual tape isn't going over the playing heads. (00:37:29)

Video

Continuity mistake: In the playboy bunny scene, the helicopter's main rotor keeps on starting and stopping. (01:06:39)

Audio problem: As Playmate of the Year Carrie Foster is brought out to the audience carried by two Green Berets watch the band behind her closely. The bass player stops playing as he scratches his head but the bass on the soundtrack keeps going. (01:07:55)

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Continuity mistake: After the helicopter attack when the chopper drops the patrol boat into the water, you can see the canopy and the radar type antenna break and collapse. When you see it again it's in perfect condition. (00:46:55)

Continuity mistake: As they pull up next to the Vietnamese sampan Clean runs to the port side of the boat in order to catch the tow rope. Chef is standing behind Captain Willard in middle of the boat and doesn't move and all. In the next shot Clean and Chef are both standing on the edge of the port side of the boat. (01:34:50)

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Continuity mistake: After Lieutenant Col. Kilgore introduces Lance to his surfing buddies they all walk away and Captain Willard takes a drag from his cigarette holding it with his right hand. A band-aid appears on his right thumb between shots for the first time in this scene. (00:30:45)

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Continuity mistake: As they watch Lieutenant Col. Kilgore's helicopter battle from their boat the captain says "It was the air-cav. 1st of the 9th" and Clean appears in the middle of the boat under the flag between shots. (00:24:40)

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Apocalypse Now mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: As the boat crew steps ashore to find Kilgore, the obvious shadows of two crew and their equipment are seen moving across the backs of the soldiers and then the raised netting slightly further away. (00:27:20)

johnrosa
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: In this scene, the boat crew immediately encounter a camera crew filming the soldiers. This is their shadows.

While they do encounter a documentary film crew, this does not happen until a few seconds after the mistake occurs. The shadows of the film crew are shown when they are walking onto shore, whilst the documentary film crew are shown more onto the main land. Plus, it seems a little weird Francis Ford Coppola would decide to randomly include shadows of a documentary film crew when the cameo doesn't happen until a few seconds later. Clearly this is the shadow of the camera and cameraman cast on them, and is a valid mistake.

Casual Person

Continuity mistake: As Chef grabs the black wig it's clear to see that the window on the helicopter door has a strain crack going down the middle of it. It's there for two shots then when Clean hammers on the helicopter door the first time it's not broken. After he climbs up onto the helicopter and bangs on the front windshield he comes back to the side window a second time and it's cracked again. (01:29:55)

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Continuity mistake: On the beach at Vin Din Dop Captain Willard steals the surfboard from Lt. Col. Kilgore's men and the tail rotor on the lieutenant's helicopter that just flew in has been removed. (00:51:25)

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Continuity mistake: Right after the helicopter pilot says, "my tail rotors out, I've got control" they blow up the entire Vin Din Dop bridge ending with the side closest to the beach. In the next shot they blow up the same side of the bridge again closest to the beach. (00:44:45)

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Continuity mistake: After the soldiers crash the stage Miss May Goes from having no one around her to having a bunch of soldiers surrounding her between shots. (01:09:45)

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Continuity mistake: Captain Willard and Lance run away from Lieutenant Col. Kilgore and the captain says, "get the f&% outta here". As this happens a helicopter is flying towards the colonel and two soldiers are helping an injured soldier. The camera cuts away for three seconds then back to a wide shot of the colonel again and the helicopter and the injured soldier have disappeared. (00:51:00)

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Visible crew/equipment: At dinner as Harrison Ford says, "Now he's crossed into Cambodia¬Ö" you can see the cameraman's reflection moving in the background to the left of his head. (00:15:20)

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Continuity mistake: Inside the helicopter Chef poses Miss May with the black wig and says, "that's it, voila". The white bird sitting on his shoulder disappears between shots. (01:30:25)

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Continuity mistake: Before he talks to the sergeant about fuel for the boat Captain Willard looks out at the stage were the USO show is going to be held and it's not raining as it was in the previous shot of him walking on the dock. (01:00:50)

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Continuity mistake: The three adjoining huts on the beach with the communist flags in front of them explode twice at different times in the scene. Then they appear again undamaged in another overhead shot of the beach as a helicopter pilot says, "We're taking fire from the holes". (00:40:10)

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Continuity mistake: Back on the boat after the tiger attack, Chef freaks out and yells, "Yes I've had it" and the surfboard behind Chief Phillips' head moves about a foot to the left between shots as he says, "Tiger?" (00:59:40)

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Factual error: Unfortunately, the most striking scene in this - or any other - film is complete nonsense. During the helicopter attack they play "Ride of the Valkyries" on an ordinary tape deck through two smallish stereo speakers in order to scare the enemy prior to the attack. Okay, let's be clear - helicopters are LOUD. Very, very loud. The "enemy" would hear a flight of six helicopters approaching from thirty kilometers away. You simply could not play music loud enough to overcome the engine noise of 6 choppers, not without an enormous speaker rig and the power to run it. They are using bog standard home stereo speakers, not the huge bullhorn speakers used later in the war to intimidate the enemy. The music would be barely loud enough to be heard inside the helicopter, let alone outside it. This does not refer to the music playing on the film's soundtrack; Kilgore makes it clear he is playing music from the helicopter and he intends it to be heard by people on the ground.

Continuity mistake: When the captain realizes that Chef's head is in his lap he moves around violently trying to get it away from him. We can see that both his legs are tied up with wire but in the next close-up of Chef's head on the ground the captain's foot is freely moving around. (02:47:20)

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