Pearl Harbor

Other mistake: When Danny and Rafe are in the dogfight with the Japanese, they are seen flying over the Waiawa Naval Communications Station and its satellite dishes...

Continuity mistake: In the first scene with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, we see a rather large piece of lint, probably a cigarette ash, on his right shoulder. In the next shot, the ash is gone. Then it returns and disappears again.

Pearl Harbor mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the scene in front of the hotel on the night before Rafe ships out to England, Evelyn puts a scarf around his neck. There is a camera shot from his back: no scarf; then another one from his front, and he's wearing the scarf again. (00:27:10)

Visible crew/equipment: During the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the people are jumping off the ships, you can briefly see a crew member (dressed as a sailor) holding a camera (covered in green plastic) floating next to him in the water.

Factual error: At the RAF airfield, Spitfires are shown lined up right in front of the ground crew's tents. After almost two years at war, and with Luftwaffe attacks still a regular occurrence, it seems highly unlikely that any RAF squadron would be stupid enough to try and sleep on top of their aircraft, which might be bombed or strafed at any time. In reality the only thing that close to the aircraft would have been the dispersal hut where pilots on readiness that day would wait for a scramble order.

Bronzewing

Revealing mistake: When the Japanese planes fly over the hill towards the harbor to bomb it, you can see a cross on the hill. That cross was not there back in 1941 during the raid. It was put there afterwards as a memorial to the point where the enemy planes first came over the hill.

iceverything776

Factual error: The Zeros in the movie are not the right model for the attack on Pearl Harbor. The ones featured in the film are exact replicas of A6M5 Zeros which can be denoted by looking at the engine exhaust ports. The A6M5 did not come out until later in the war. The correct model should be the A6M2.

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.

Pearl Harbor mistake picture

Continuity mistake: During the Battle of Britain sequence, in the scene where Rafe gets shot down he can't open his canopy to bail out so he shoots holes in it with his pistol. In the wide shots of the plane the canopy is whole. (00:43:00)

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.

Factual error: During the first scene of the adult Rafe and Danny at Mitchell Field on Long Island, there are large hills/mountains visible in the background. There are no large hills or mountains located anywhere in Long Island. (Scenes were filmed elsewhere, including Hawaii, which explains the hills/mountains, but this is a mistake nonetheless, since they are supposed to be at Mitchell Field at Long Island, NY.)

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.

Other mistake: Look a bit more closely at the scene in which the USS Oklahoma capsizes, as sailors are falling from the deck, etc. Despite the huge amount of dollars spent the battleship is very out of scale, especially the 14" main battery guns, which look suddenly like props in a high school play. Similar "cheap prop" shots abound in the film.

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.

Visible crew/equipment: When the Captain is seeing the attack he ducks when the plane opens fire. In the next shot, when the two sailors say they just sunk the Arizona, at the top, left side you can see a man holding a camera, then it follows the two sailors.

Factual error: Doolittle's B25s were an early version, while in the scene aboard the carrier, they have side gun mountings and four-point fifties in bulges on both sides of the nose. These were implemented in much later B25G versions.

Visible crew/equipment: When Rafe receives his medal if you look to the left of the screen you can see a camera.

Factual error: One shot of the "Japanese fleet" at sea clearly shows a nuclear-powered super-carrier, surrounded by guided missile-armed cruisers and destroyers. (01:13:15)

Continuity mistake: After Doolittle's bombing raid on Tokyo and the planes are flying towards China, the sun is setting behind the planes. The planes are flying west, so they should be flying towards the setting sun.

Continuity mistake: When Rafe first meets his commander in England, the commander is standing next to a guy looking at a plane. The commander turns around and looks at Rafe, but in the following shot the other guy is now also looking at Rafe. (00:30:25)

The-Immortal

Rafe: Ma'am, I'm never gonna be an English teacher, but I know why I'm here, to be a pilot, and you don't dogfight with manuals, you don't fly with gauges, I mean it's all about feeling and speed and lettin' that plane become like it's a part of your body, and that manual says that a guy who's a slow reader can't be a good pilot... That file says I'm the *best* pilot in this room... Ma'am, please... Don't take my wings.

More quotes from Pearl Harbor

Trivia: When the Japanese are heading towards Pearl Harbor, there is a shot of a pilot waving to kids playing baseball. This is a true story - the pilot was trying to wave them away before the attack started. (01:26:35)

More trivia for Pearl Harbor

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.