Revealing mistake: When Ethan uses the magnetic screwdriver to undo the screws holding the grille to the air-vent in the NOC list room, the spindle that is actually turning the screw is visible after it falls out.
Factual error: The vents that Hunt and his sidekick crawl down at CIA Headquarters are standard galvanized iron box vents; they are very common in the building trade. Try walking or crawling down one - you'll make a noise like the sky is falling down. People will be able to hear you for miles. Every person in that building would know somebody crawling about in the vent system. (This error applies to dozens of films, not only this one).
Trivia: Director Brian De Palma reportedly had creative difficulties with Tom Cruise, who was also a producer and thus had final say in the decisions made during production. While this has been disputed, many have noted the fact that De Palma did very little press for the film (including "politely excusing" himself from scheduled media interviews at the last moment) and never took up an offer to record an audio commentary for the film as evidence.
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