Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: After Evelyn tells Rafe that she is pregnant, she walks away and leaves him standing by the gas pumps. The camera zooms out and a boom mic comes into view in the upper right hand corner. (02:17:25)

Low Cow

Factual error: In the scene where Admiral Kimmel is inspecting the crew of the battleship an aide comes up with a message to send some ships to the Atlantic. Admiral Kimmel starts complaining about the orders. No Admiral would ever do this especially in front of enlisted men. In fact he was placed in charge of the Pacific fleet when his predecessor complained about moving the fleet from San Diego to Pearl Harbor.

Clarence Daugette

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Rafe is fighting for Britain his plane gets hit. As it goes down into the water, it is day. Later when they show him swimming out of the plane and to the surface, it is night. (00:41:30 - 01:10:10)

Pearl Harbor mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When Dorie Miller is in the hall of the ship, he is holding a tea or coffee set, on the left side of the screen you can see the hands of the camera focus puller and the wireless focus controller for a brief moment.

Factual error: In the scene where the nurses walk among the flag-draped coffins after the attack, the nurses are in stylish civilian outfits. Those nurses are all Naval personnel, and once war was declared they were ordered to be in uniform at all times, except when in the privacy of their quarters.

Factual error: When Danny and Evelyn take a joy ride in a P-40, they speak to each other in soft, romantic tones. In reality, they would have had to scream at each other to be heard over the noise of the plane's engine.

Bruce Trestrail

Factual error: For some reason, Danny believes Rafe's story that he's been officially assigned to an RAF Eagle Squadron for "combat training." While almost 7,000 Americans did volunteer to fly for England before Pearl Harbor, these were either as civilians or Americans who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. It was against the law for any citizen to fight for a belligerent power while America was neutral, so Rafe's superiors couldn't have ordered him to fight for Britain, and Danny would have known that.

Factual error: In the first view of Pearl Harbor, just before the nurses are shown in the small transport boat as they arrive at Pearl, you clearly see the Arizona Memorial in the background as the camera pans down from sky to harbour.

Factual error: The nurses are wearing far too much make up when on duty: bright red lipstick, eyeliner, mascara and blusher expertly applied. Military medical nurses are allowed subtle skin tone make up and surgical nurses none at all. It's always been that way, right back to the 1890s when the British Army first hired nurses.

Continuity mistake: When Rafe and Evelyn go to the Queen Mary ship and they are rising on the platform, and kissing, one camera shot shows them rising and when they stop the camera does a close up and you can see they are still at the red painted water line indicator. The next shot shows them above it again.

Factual error: Towards the end of the Special Edition DVD there are shots of various ships being blown up. One of these ships is a 1960's British Leander Class frigate being used as a missile target. It's painted a very light grey and has cross markings all along the ship's side.

Continuity mistake: The hangar used in the "Mitchell" Field scene is the same one used later in the film as Clark Field, with the world "Mitchell" removed, leaving only the word "Field."

Factual error: When they show the whole fleet sailing, there is clearly a nuclear submarine out front. It is easily distinguished by its teardrop shaped hull.

Factual error: The P-40s depicted in the movie were later models that were not around during Pearl Harbor. The ones used in filming were probably either P-40Ks, P-40Ms, or P-40Ns instead of the historically correct P-40Bs or P-40Cs that were around at the time of the attack. This is noticeable because the planes in the movie have three guns mounted on each wing while a correct P-40 would have two mounted on each wing and two on the engine cowling.

Factual error: When Eveleyn and Rafe are going to the Queen Mary, you can see to the left the modern buildings for the actual New York. (00:24:25)

Factual error: The B-25's used for the Doolittle raid were "B" models, yet a number of aircraft were shown equipped with 50 caliber guns in cheek blisters, a modification that did not occur until the "H" model came out later in the war.

goofyfoot

Factual error: In the beginning of the film, there are scenes at "Mitchell Field" on Long Island, New York. The actual spelling is "Mitchel Field." (00:04:50)

Factual error: When the MPs drive on to the golf course to alert the commander of the attack, the Jeep they're driving is a Korean War era M-38. (01:24:00)

Factual error: You can't be dyslexic and become a pilot, no matter how good looking you are or how much you impress the nurse. Apart from the literature which you have to be able to read and understand to pass your ground exams you would be unable to read a map accurately. Rafe is not mildly dyslexic. His dyslexia is so severe that he cannot even read an ordinary eye chart.

Factual error: In the control tower scene after the stunt flying, look closely in the background and you will see the shapes of E-2 Hawkeyes. The E-2 wasn't in service until the early 60's.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt: I like sub commanders. They have no time for bullshit, and neither do I.

More quotes from Pearl Harbor

Trivia: Despite the numerous historical errors and gaffs in the movie, the only historical "fact" the filmmakers managed to do research on (and admit to supposedly) is that they consulted bottle collectors on what types of bottles to use during the battle scenes to administer blood.

More trivia for Pearl Harbor

Question: The IMDb lists a cameo by Matt Damon during the attack sequence. Can someone point out exactly where he appears?

Answer: He is in the scene where the smaller air-base is being attacked by the japanese. You have to look really closely but he is the driver of one of the jeeps right before the japanese bomb drops (the one that seems to be a dud and then explodes). Also, Matt seems to be one of the gunners on one of the first ships at Pearl Harbor to return fire (this is not verified but in slo-mo, one of the gunners seems to be him).

More questions & answers from Pearl Harbor

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