Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Factual error: In the machine gunning of the train carriage scene the weapon would not have been available to the soldiers in 1891. While an order by the British army is said to have been placed in late 1888 for 120 Maxim guns it first saw only limited use during the First Matabele War of 1893. It officially entered British Service only in 1896, seeing action during the First Boer War.

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Other mistake: In the scene when Sherlock Holmes and his crew are running through the forest, the barrel of "Little Hansel" can be seen being raised up to 50°, which would cause a parabolic trajectory, but the shell travels in a horizontal path as it blasts through a tree and past Holmes.

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Factual error: In the scene at the peace-conference, Sherlock says that he had been to one of the professor's lectures in Oslo, although Oslo was called Christiania during Sherlock's entire life period, and wasn't renamed before 1925.

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bloof

Other mistake: When Holmes and his gang are running from the Germans through the forest, one of Moriarity's German lackeys yells that it is time to introduce them to "Little Hansel" (in subtitles). Strangely, what he really yelled was, "zu viele Fuchse fur euch paar Huhner," or "too many foxes for those few chickens." Not sure why they made such a change in dialogue (where the German phrase was ever thought to fit in).

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Continuity mistake: The first time Sherlock shows his camouflage suit, its brown colour changes between the first and second shot. The first one matches exactly that of the room, but the second doesn't. Clearly the first one was achieved with a green-chroma-suit, and the second angle was a coloured fabric.

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Sacha

Factual error: In the scene where Holmes enters the factory in Germany, a map can be seen on a table with small German black-red-gold tricolor flags sticking up from it. However, the flag of the 2nd German Empire at the time of the film's setting (1891) was black, white, and red, and was so from 1871-1918.

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Continuity mistake: The handkerchief on Moriarty's chess table changes positions between shots.

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Sacha

Continuity mistake: Position of hat changes when Watson wakes up at his wedding.

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Sacha

Factual error: In the scene straight after the opening credits we are taken to Baker Street where construction work is being done. This work is identified by a sign with a logo as being for the underground line. The logo type face was developed by a Mr. Edward Johnston for London Underground from 1913 but the distinctive typeface used in the film was not in place until 1919. This is obviously long after the 1891 setting of the film.

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Continuity mistake: When they are running through the woods, the marksmen shoots one of the fleeing gypsies. The scene goes to slow-mo and we see the bullet goes through him and hits the tree behind him. When the scene switches to the women watching him fall, the tree behind him is unmarked.

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Revealing mistake: When the movie starts, there's an aerial view of London's rooftops. The smoke coming out of the very first chimney doesn't move, revealing it's a painting.

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Sacha

Continuity mistake: When Sherlock is fighting the Russian, he falls on a cart filled with seeds, which cover his right eye. When the angle changes, a frame later, the eye is clean.

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Sacha

Continuity mistake: In the ballroom scene of the peace conference, Sherlock is dancing with Madame Simsa in the close-up, when the shot goes to the wide shot of the dancing, the dancing Sherlock and Simsa are nowhere to be seen, instead Simsa can be seen in the lower left hand corner of the scene, talking to Watson.

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Continuity mistake: On the wedding day, the bottle under Holmes' car changes positions between shots.

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Sacha

Continuity mistake: In the sequence where Holmes and Watson escape Meinhardt's arms and munitions factory with the help of the gypsies, Watson is clipped by a bullet in the slo-mo sequence at the bottom of his rib-cage on the right side. Later, in the train, he is seen stitching his wound on the left side.

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Factual error: In the scene where Renè was dying, Dr. Watson examines the dying man and the poisonous arrow that hit him, and concludes that the venom used was curare. Curare is a paralysing poison that causes the body to relax to the degree that respiratory muscles stop contracting and the victim dies of asphyxiation. René on the other hand perished in strong cramps and foaming of his mouth.

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Factual error: When Holmes and Watson climb back into the train carriage, Watson pulls the door shut with ease. As the train is going quite fast (50+ mph) and the door opens against the carriage it would be take a lot more effort to close, as he is pulling it against the wind the train is producing.

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Audio problem: In the beginning when Holmes "shoots" the dog, Gladstone, with a dart and Watson says "What have you done to Gladstone now?", look closely and Watson's mouth doesn't move.

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Continuity mistake: Sherlock looks at the ring of a murdered man, who was killed in a blast along with about a dozen other men in Paris, and the ring was plain. But later, the ring is shown again, and this time it has the letter M on it, a large letter, and it is very ornate - nothing like the other ring.

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kh1616

Factual error: In the opening scene Watson is typing on an Underwood typewriter. Given the last scene of the movie, the first scene took place shortly after Holmes' "death", namely in 1891, or maybe 1892. Underwood started making typewriters in 1895 but those were labeled as "Wagner." The Underwood label was first used in 1900.

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Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: Uh, hmm... Right. Where are the wagons?
Madam Simza Heron: The wagon is too slow. Can't you ride?
Dr. John Watson: It's not that he can't ride... How is it you put it, Holmes?
Sherlock Holmes: They're dangerous at both ends and... Crafty in the middle. Why would I want anything with a mind of its own bobbing about between my legs?

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Trivia

The final chess match between Moriarty and Holmes is based loosely on a famous chess match between chess masters Bent Larsen and Tigran Petrosian. The match involved the sacrifice of a queen and a surprise checkmate, thus mirroring Holmes' apparent sacrifice of himself to stop Moriarty.

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