Apocalypse Now

Continuity mistake: As they sit in the boat at Kurtz's compound discussing what they should do, Captain Willard tells Chef about the air strike and hands the radio to him with the antenna standing straight up. In the next shot as he grabs it the antenna is folded over. (02:35:45)

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Continuity mistake: Captain Willard inquires from two soldiers manning a machine gun, "Who's the commanding officer here?" The two can't kill the "Gooks out there by the wire" so they ask their friend "Roach" for some help. As "Roach" walks over he turns off a tape recorder playing some Jimmy Hendrix riffs. If you look closely at the buttons of the tape recorder it was never on in the first place. (01:45:50)

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Continuity mistake: On the boat as they look for the B-52's, Lance says, "There they are," standing in the center of boat under the flag. In the next shot, Clean is standing in that spot. (00:24:25)

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Continuity mistake: Captain Willard enters the temple after he kills a guard and there's a great shot of him holding the machete as it glistens in the light. He just slit someone's throat not two seconds before and there's not an ounce of blood on the blade and it's not even the same machete he was holding three shots ago when we see his silhouette in the festival lights. The first machete we see has a thinner blade with a hook on the end of it and a different handle. (03:07:05)

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Continuity mistake: During the arrow attack Captain Willard orders Lance to take control of the boat as Chief Phillips is shooting. When we first see him at the helm look at Lance's head, he doesn't have the broken arrow in his hair. In the next shot he does. (02:22:25)

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Continuity mistake: Martin Sheen's fingers are shown many times in close-ups of him reading files such as after the "Satisfaction" surfing scene. They all look the same except for when he picks up Kilgore's death card. The thumbs on this person's hands are much longer than we see throughout the movie and are not Martin Sheen's. (00:28:10 - 01:13:55)

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Continuity mistake: After the woman gives Captain Willard some water she tries to feed him rice from a spoon, which he doesn't eat. In the previous wide shot of the entire area there is no bowl of rice anywhere, there is only the pitcher of water at her feet and the rice bowl just appears. (02:53:55)

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Continuity mistake: Dennis Hopper Says, " these are all his children, man, as far as you can see" and we see a large leaf covering Chef's head and held on with a rubber band. Then when Dennis Hopper says," the man's enlarged my mindÂ…. do you know that if is the middle word in life?" there's a different leaf on his head that has much more green in it. (02:30:30)

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Continuity mistake: As Dennis Hopper gets the captain some water we see a wide shot of five bamboo cages with a guard standing between them. In the next shot as Dennis Hopper turns around from the fountain the guard is facing the opposite way and is now talking to the prisoner in the cage that was on the left (now behind them). (02:42:45)

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Continuity mistake: When Clean fires his machine gun on the Vietnamese sampan Captain Willard ducks for cover then pulls his pistol out of his holster and holds it straight up in the air. In the next shot he takes the gun out of his holster again. (01:36:45)

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Continuity mistake: No one has touched it, but when the General passes the roast beef to Jerry, the pepper shaker, which was just next to the salt shaker in front of him, has been moved to the other side of the table. (00:12:00)

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Continuity mistake: As Harrison Ford hands the Captain a picture of Colonel Kurtz note the salt shaker and spoons to the right of his plate change. The salt shaker disappears and the spoons are suddenly side-by-side when the Captain places the photo on the table. (00:12:30)

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Continuity mistake: After the gentleman in the tan jacket says, "The white left, but the yellow stays". Look closely at the plate that he drops the egg into as the two pieces of bread change into pastry between shots. (02:07:25)

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Continuity mistake: As Lance dances around with the purple smoke canister there's nothing in front of the helm of the boat under the radar dome. Later as the rocket attack that kills Clean starts a helmet appears there. (01:51:30)

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Continuity mistake: As Captain Willard stands in front of him the shrunken head hanging off Lieutenant Colby's rifle is not this same one we saw several seconds ago when the captain first set eyes on him. The second one has thicker darker hair and is attached to the rifle differently. (02:33:00)

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Continuity mistake: When Captain Willard shakes Chef's head off of his lap it falls into the mud face down and in the dark. In the next shot the head is face up and in the light. (02:47:25)

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Continuity mistake: As the little French boy goes to kiss Hubert de Marais the man wearing a tan jacket in the center of the screen goes from looking to his right to looking at his food between shots. (02:03:00)

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Continuity mistake: Chief Phillips gives the helm of the boat over to Chef as Clean continues with his story. Lance takes the plastic covering off of the top water-ski then in the next shot it's covered again then uncovered in the shot after that. (01:12:50)

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Continuity mistake: Before they leave the Do Lung Bridge Captain Willard yells to Chief Phillips, "Just get us up river". When he does this he's sitting down but in the next shot as the boat pulls out he's standing up. (01:48:15)

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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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More mistakes in Apocalypse Now

Chef: Why do all you guys sit on your helmets?
Soldier: So we don't get our balls blown off.

More quotes from Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now trivia picture

Trivia: The man shooting the movie during the attack on the beach who says "Don't look at the camera" is actually director Francis Ford Coppola. (00:25:38)

More trivia for Apocalypse Now

Question: Why was only one officer (Captain Willard) sent to assassinate Colonel Kurtz? Isn't it very unlikely for a captain like Willard to be able to kill a powerful and influential and "insane" colonel like Kurtz?

L0gical

Chosen answer: Kurtz was protected by political connections and his military record from being relieved of command, and the Montagnard people whose village he was in were considered American allies, so they couldn't just send a force in to kill him or relieve him of command, but an individual assassin. (The US Government's "official" policy is that they do not engage in assassination, which is why "this mission does not exist, nor will it ever exist").

Captain Defenestrator

More questions & answers from Apocalypse Now

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