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: Captain Willard picks up one of the death cards that Lt. Col. Kilgore threw on a dead body and it's the seven of hearts. This is not one of the cards that Kilgore threw down though. As he was naming each one as he threw it and Captain Willard was walking close behind him.
Continuity mistake: At the beach party LColonel Kilgore stands up and says, "This is the first of the ninth, Air-Cav, son". If you look closely when he stands up the map that they were just looking at is gone. The colonel was holding it, but he doesn't have it nor does Captain Willard.
Audio problem: Approaching Kurtz' compound Lance starts drumming on two tin cans and if you listen closely they get the overdub wrong. At first we hear two distinct pitches, which are the actual sounds, picked up by the microphone but the last time he hits it we hear a third higher pitch which was overdubbed. There are only two cans not three and he doesn't change the way he's holding them therefore you can only have a maximum of two audible pitches.
Visible crew/equipment: After Clean is killed there's a shot of Lance sitting on the back of the boat holding a mirror in his right hand. This is not the actor Sam Bottoms but a longer haired thinner stand-in who's not wearing the black wristwatch that Sam wears in every other scene in the movie.
Continuity mistake: As the camera pans along from the rear of the helicopter to the front Chef says to Miss May, "I've got every one of your pictures". Watch very closely as the camera shoots through the two windows on the helicopter's door. The Styrofoam head with the black wig on it that Chef asks the playmate to put on is not up against the left window as it is several shots later inside the helicopter.
Continuity mistake: Roxanne prepares a pipe for Captain Willard and says, "It was the morphine he took for the wounds he suffered in his heart." The shadow of her left hand falls on her face as she holds the needle over the flame. In the next shot, however, the lighting has changed and the shadow is now nowhere near her face.
Continuity mistake: Colonel Kurtz leaves after he finishes reading the Time articles and there's a close-up of Captain Willard's face and chest. He's soaking wet in the close-up but in the next shot, as he collapses trying to leave the room, his face and chest are dry and there isn't as much dirt on the left side of his chest.
Continuity mistake: The old gentleman sitting across the table from Hubert de Marais says, "Maybe in the future we can make something with the Vietminh" and the gentleman to the left of Roxanne replies, "Don't you understand". If you look closely the cigar that he just put into the ashtray in the previous shot, along with its smoke, has disappeared.
Continuity mistake: At the beginning of the arrow attack Chief Phillips yells, "Chef, open up, fire". Before he says this we see a wide shot of the shoreline with no vertical poles sticking up. In the next close-up shot of Chief Phillips there's a red spear stuck in the mud on the shore.
Continuity mistake: Near the beginning of the movie when we first see Chef's tattoos up close the tip of the serpent's tongue on his left arm is entirely red. Later in the movie before he gets onto the Vietnamese sampan we see it again up close and the tip of the serpent's tongue is green.
00:24:05 - 01:35:55????
Continuity mistake: On the boat Captain Willard reads newspaper clippings about Colonel Kurtz' and thinks to himself, "38 fucking years old " and he is sweating profusely, with sweat dripping off of his face and neck. However, his right hand is perfectly dry when he lifts a flashlight and moments later a cigarette.
01:01:00 - 01:02:50????
Continuity mistake: The gentleman sitting next to Roxanne in the tan jacket gets up and says, "Look, this is the truth, an egg, the white left, but the yellow stays". If you look closely the lazy Susan in the center of the table holding the oil and vinegar has been rotated between shots without being touched by anyone.
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