Pearl Harbor

Continuity mistake: When Rafe and Danny are taking off, in the view from the Zero the tails on the P-40's are up, next view they are down, and next shot they are up again.

Continuity mistake: Another indication that "Doolittle's Raiders" took off from a modern-day carrier - you can see a steam-powered catapult on the deck.

Factual error: When Danny is paying tribute to Rafe after he is shot down, he pours Jack Daniels into a glass in front of Rafe's picture. The bottle of Jack Daniels is a modern bottle with all the awards on it that were not on it in the 1940s. (00:49:25)

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.

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: When the raiders are just over their targets, the pilots of the flights order bombs away and the bombs immediately drop. The problem with this is it's the bombardiers job to decide when to drop the bombs on the target. If the pilot dropped the bombs, you wouldn't need the bombardier or the bomb sight.

terry s

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: As the Japanese fleet steams toward its launch point, there is a close up of the nose of a B5N1 Kate torpedo bomber with its distinctive two-bladed propeller. Trouble is, the Kates used against Pearl Harbor were B5N2's, with a two row radial and 3-bladed prop.

goofyfoot

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The B5N1 also used a three-bladed prop. The two-bladed prop aircraft in the movie is a Kate replica (a modified AT-6 Texan). All Kates used at Pearl Harbor were B5N2's.

I think the point is that the B5N2 also came with 2 bladed propellers. Whether or not they were used during the attack on pearl harbor is something for a real expert to say.

lionhead

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

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.)

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.

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.

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: Why does Evelyn get a Purple Heart? As far as I understand, the only way to get it, is if you are wounded in combat.

Answer: From Dec 7, 1941 to Sept 22, 1943, the Purple Heart was also awarded for meritorious performance of duty. For wounds, "in combat" is much more restrictive than the actual requirements. Any injury caused directly or indirectly by a hostile foreign agency counts, including friendly fire if it was intended to hit an enemy.

Myridon

More questions & answers from Pearl Harbor

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