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.
Continuity mistake: In the scene near the beginning of the movie where Rafe is being reprimanded by Maj. Doolittle for stunt flying, Rafe starts to talk about the various accomplishments that Doolittle has to his credit. The scene shifts to Doolittle and you can see in the background some of the trophies that he won in various air races and endurance tests. One of the trophies has a small model of an F-86 Sabre jet. The scene takes place in early 1941 and the F-86 didn't exist until the 1950's. In fact, jets weren't around until the end of the war and mostly in the hands of the Germans.
Continuity mistake: During the scene when Rafe and Danny are in the P-40's shooting down a few of the Japanese planes, they fly through some smoke from the burning ships, their prop wash makes the smoke swirl all around. But, a few minutes before that, when two Zero's fly through some smoke, the smoke doesn't move at all, almost as though the planes were never really there...
Continuity mistake: As the Doolittle Raiders are taking off from the aircraft carrier there are several sweeping views of the carrier task force as the planes fly off. The decks of the carriers are obviously modern US carriers with the landing portion of the flight deck angled out about 10° from the catapult direction of the flight deck.
Continuity mistake: At the very end of the movie when Rafe is flying with little Danny, the faraway shots of the plane show that the pilot is wearing an aviator cap and goggles. The close up shots show Rafe with no hat on and little Danny with the cap and goggles. But from far away, the person with the cap and goggles can't possibly be little Danny.
Continuity mistake: In the scene showing the ship's deck while the ship is sinking and people are falling off of the deck, etc. clearly visible on either side of the deck are huge ship chains. These chains never sag from gravity as the ship is turning on its side. They don't even move.
Continuity mistake: Near the beginning when Rafe is in a train seat looking out the window at his girl, she is standing next to a stainless steel round end observation car with the name "Silver Horizon" in plain view. This car was built for the California Zephyr which didn't begin service until 1948. As Rafe's train begins to move, you can see the car's California Zephyr car number also.
Continuity mistake: When the final planes take off from the aircraft carrier to bomb Tokyo, the captain gives the order for extra speed. But when the second and third planes take off, you can see that the carrier is safely moored with three anchor chains at the front of the ship and not going anywhere.
Continuity mistake: In the scene when Danny and Evelyn are at the restaurant after they hear the news about Rafe's death, as the camera comes in on them from outside her milkshake is full to the point of overflowing but when they switch angles to show them from the inside the milkshake is half gone.
Continuity mistake: Close to the beginning when Rafe is in England and we hear sirens going off signifying they're going to attack, he runs over to his aircraft and shouts at a guy. If you look closely at his aircraft it says on the side RF T, yet in all other shots we see him in the aircraft marked RF M.
Continuity mistake: In the scene after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Danny and Rafe get a message to go to see Colonel Doolittle, and the camera cuts to a taxi. The driver is standing inside the door of the taxi, but in the following shot of Rafe from inside the building, the driver is now standing with his arms crossed at the front of the car.
Continuity mistake: When the black cook is in a boxing ring with the big guy, the cook beats the big guy. Just before the big guy falls you can see a man over his left shoulder saying something like, "That's it, that's it", but in the following shot he is on his right (there's nobody else in the ring so it can't be someone else).
Continuity mistake: When one of the pilots of the "pride of the pacific" crew is painting a woman on the side of his airplane, he is brushing it on with his right hand, but in the following closeup, he is now brushing it on with his left, then back to his right in the wider shot.
Continuity mistake: In the scene in the bar before Rafe and Danny fight, Rafe is accepting a shirt off of some guy's back. The guy hands the shirt to Rafe, in that scene, Rafe's shirt is still buttoned and on him when he accepts the shirt. The camera switches to Danny, and then a couple of seconds later, back to Rafe who is already putting the shirt on. There is no way Rafe could have taken his own shirt off and already be putting the "hula" shirt on in that short of time.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe is going in for medical tests and to thank Evelyn her for not taking his wings away, when Rafe starts acting a little strange Evelyn asks "This isn't your chart?" When it cuts to Rafe he is holding onto the IV just underneath the IV bags, but in the following shot his hand is much further down the pole.
Continuity mistake: In the first overhead view of Dolittle's carrier the front plane has its tail just about at the level of the carrier tower. In a later shot there are 2 planes in front of the tower, and when Dolittle takes off, his plane - as the first - is positioned behind the tower.
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Continuity mistake: The bomb that hits the hospital produces a really big hole in the wall. A car is thrown through the air. But there are some people standing on the stairs two or three meters away and they keep standing there. Some minutes later Rafe and Danny are thrown to the ground by a detonation about ten meters away.
Continuity mistake: This mistake takes place in the scene where Rafe is in the train, trying to get Evelyn's attention. When he first notices her outside the window, the camera pans and zooms on him. For a brief second, you see a young woman wearing a red hat is sitting next to him. After Rafe fails to get Evelyn's attention, he looks at the person sitting next to him. The young woman is now an old man with a gray hat on. You can also spot the same lady in the train station when Rafe is with Danny. She seems to be buying her ticket.
Continuity mistake: Close to the beginning of the film when we first see the president being wheeled into the room with his staff at the table, at the beginning of this scene you can see that the wheelchair has already turned into the room, but in the following shot it's turning into the room again.
Continuity mistake: During the attack on Pearl Harbor just after the big explosion we see a captain on the bridge of his ship looking at the attack. The Japanese fire upon the bridge killing many. The captain ducks and goes to the corner, and we see him grab hold of the corner and then release his right hand to his side, but in the following shot his hand is still on the corner.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe is drinking with his friends in the club and Danny is there, Red says, "Maybe we should leave you two alone," then Rafe proceeds to say, "No, no, we're celebrating here." Rafe reaches out to stop Red with his right hand on his chest, but in the following shot it is Rafe's left hand on Red's chest. (Slow-mo may be required.)
Continuity mistake: In the club, Danny and Rafe and their friends are having a drink after Rafe came back from the dead, and Rafe punches Danny for going out with Evelyn. In the first shot Red goes up to Danny and he is over Danny's right shoulder, but in the following shot Red is now over Danny's left shoulder.
Continuity mistake: During the attack on the smaller airfield where Rafe and Danny are, the photographer who dove in the back of the car gets shot, falls and drops the camera. When it lands it's filming his face, and there is something on the ground right in front of his face, but in the following shot nothing is there.
Continuity mistake: As the Japanese attack begins, fighter aircraft strafe pedestrians (and everything else) near the harbour. The reporter with the hand-held movie camera is killed twice. Watch as he is blown into the air and then miraculously restored to health, only to be blown away yet again, this time with the camera in front of his face.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Goose is in the bunker with everyone else, he says "Planes. Should we fire?" When he says this, we see him staring down the site of a 50 cal. In the next shot, we see the gun, but no Goose. And we know it's the same gun, because Red was by it both shots. Yet when we see the gun in the very next shot he is holding it again. He had no time to move away and back to the weapon again.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe meets Evelyn outside the hospital with a bottle of wine, he accidentally hits his nose with the cork and lays his head on Evelyn's lap. Her right hand is holding some ice, but her left hand is nowhere to be seen, but in the following shot her left hand has appeared on Rafe's chin and cheek.
Continuity mistake: During the attack on Pearl Harbor, Rafe, along with a couple of other pilots jump into a convertible car to drive to another airfield. The actual set they depart from (which is exploding all around them) is the same one they "arrive" at minutes later, but the whole set is intact, instead of an actual different set/location.
Continuity mistake: When Red and his army friend pull up next to the four nurses at the side of the road, Red asks Betty if she wants to come for a ride. Red leans forward and puts his hand on the steering wheel, but in the following shot he is leaning back with his elbow on the top of the door.
Continuity mistake: Just after the Japanese attack and the shot cuts to the airfield where they all are gearing up to fight them in the air, there is a shot of two guys on a roof of a building that are shooting the Japanese planes. They get shot and fall down, but in the following shot you can see they have come back to life.
Continuity mistake: In the middle of the film just after the Japanese start attacking Pearl Harbor, Cuba Gooding Jr sees the captain injured. If you watch closely, the captain is pointing at Cuba but doesn't touch his arm, yet in some shots you can see that his hand is touching his arm.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Danny, Rafe and Jimmy Doolittle are on the deck of the Hornet talking about "returning" the friendship medals before the attack on Tokyo, you can see what appears to be a radar dish covered with a grey tarpaulin. The scene cuts back to Doolittle, Danny and Rafe talking some more, and then back to a wide shot of Doolittle walking away. The mysterious tarped object is completely gone now.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe and Evelyn go to the Queen Mary ship and they are rising on the platform, and kissing, one sweeping camera shot shows the handle of the elevator controls going straight up. This would mean that they had stopped, yet they are still moving up. A couple of seconds later, a close up of the handle shows that it is now in the position to move the elevator up.
Continuity mistake: When we see the Navy Department's "vacant sea map", there is a guy holding a cane and explaining what it means. He walks around the globe in the middle of the room holding onto the side of the globe with his left hand, but in the following shot his left hand is on the cane.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Rafe is burning his love letters on the beach after learning Evelyn is pregnant with Danny's child, when Danny and Rafe are talking there is a modern "dune fence" meant to keep people from walking on sensitive dune plants clearly visible in the background.
Continuity mistake: In another scene when Danny and Evelyn are at the Black Cat diner after leaving the cinema she gets up to leave first, but when she gets up there is no hankie on the table. After the camera shows her walking out the door, it cuts back to Danny who picks up the hankie, which was not there a second ago.
Continuity mistake: At the start of the attack, the Japanese fly past a baseball court with some kids playing baseball. In one shot we see perhaps two or three kids in the batting cage. If you look to the far left you can see a woman. In the following shot she is now suddenly where the batter was.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe comes back for the first time after supposedly being dead and you see his reflection in the glass before meeting his lover, as the camera pans across the room you can see a green light moving on the wall as the camera moves. I'm not sure what it is but it could be the light to indicate the camera is on.
Continuity mistake: When Danny & Rafe take off from the sattellite airfield their landing gear is (obviously) down. You see a shot of them from behind like this. Two seconds later they just clear a building, in the heat of a combat takeoff,and both sets of landing gear are fully retracted.
Continuity mistake: When Evelyn and Danny are having a drink in a cafe going over the good times with Rafe, we see the camera pan down from a height, in this shot we see Danny holding onto a cup in his right hand which is sitting on a saucer on the table, but in the following shot he is just putting it down on the table.
Continuity mistake: When Doolittle's raiders are first starting to practice short takeoffs, the flaps of the planes aren't extended in close ups but would have to be for takeoff especially short takeoffs. Planes shown taking off have the flaps extended. In the real takeoff from The Hornet, One pilot retracted his flaps because prop wash from previous planes was lifting his plane. He then forgot about it and took off without flaps extended and was only saved by the heavy wind and forward speed of the carrier. There is actual video of the plane nearly hitting the ocean.
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