Midway

Factual error: When we see Midway before the Japanese attack the US flags that are flying have 50 stars on them, instead of 48 as there should have been at the time.

Helvellyn
5

Factual error: American carriers did not have angled decks until after W.W.II.

26

Factual error: Several shots identifying the American and Japanese carriers are actually those of late W.W.II and Korean War era Essex-class carriers.

18

Factual error: During the Battle of the Coral Sea, an admiral orders that the TBD's (Torpedo Bomber, Douglas) be launched. The planes launched, however, are TBF's (Torpedo Bomber, Grumman), which look nothing like a TBD.

8

Factual error: There are numerous shots of stock footage showing planes that weren't in service at the time of Midway, notably the Corsair, which didn't see carrier service until 1944, as well as the Helldiver, the Hellcat, etc.

8

Factual error: The plane that Charlton Heston crashes onto the deck, at the end of the film, is a jet, not yet made during the 40's.

5

Factual error: Some of the stock footage used in the battle sequences are actually just out-takes from the movie The Battle of Britain. Long shots showing dogfighting planes from that movie appear several times during Midway's combat scenes. In the torpedo attack on the Yorktown, one of the burning Japanese bombers is actually, on closer inspection, a German Heinkel, another borrowed shot from the B.O.B.

Factual error: One scene shows a American battleship shooting down Japanese planes attacking the Yorktown. At Midway, which was less than 6 months after Pearl Harbor, the Pacific Fleet had no battleships in service. Very quick shot, blink and you miss it.

Factual error: When the final attack by Japanese fighters on the last U.S. carrier is happening, a Japanese National flag is flying on screen.

Revealing mistake: In the final scene where Fonda and Holbrook are looking over the carrier at the crowds on the dock you can see that only the first rows of people are dressed in period clothes, the rest of the crowd are dressed as they would have been in 1976 when the film was made.

More mistakes in Midway

Captain Garth: Can I ask you something personal? Very personal?
Commander Rochefort: Sure.
Captain Garth: You know, it really stinks down here. How often do some of your people take a bath?
Commander Rochefort: Bath? Hell, I don't know. What day is it?

More quotes from Midway

Trivia: The film-makers only had three vintage US aircraft for the production, namely two F4F Wildcat fighters and a PBY Catalina search plane. All of the other aircraft that appear are from either wartime footage or from previous war movies.

More trivia for Midway

Question: How accurately does the movie portray the Battle of Midway?

Answer: This is from Wikipedia: "Later studies by Japanese and American military historians call into question key scenes, like the dive-bombing attack that crippled the first Japanese carrier, the Akagi. In the movie, American pilots report, "They've got bombs all over their flight deck! We caught 'em flat-footed! No fighters and a deck full of bombs!" As Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully write in "Shattered Sword" (2005), aerial photography from the battle showed nearly empty decks. In addition, Japanese carriers loaded armament onto planes below the flight deck, unlike American carriers (as depicted earlier in the film). The fact that a closed hangar full of armaments was hit by bombs made damage to Akagi more devastating than if planes, torpedoes and bombs were on an open deck."

raywest Premium member
More questions & answers from Midway

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.