Pearl Harbor

Factual error: The spinning fan on the bomb wasn't the fuse itself - it was meant to arm the fuse, so that the bomb would detonate on impact. It needed to make only several spins to work. The bouncing bomb in the airfield scene should make a big hole, not bounce. It should also suffer some damage, while in the scene even the thin stabilizers are intact.

Pearl Harbor mistake picture

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. (00:54:55)

Factual error: When Rafe's train leaves New York you can see an Amtrak Genesis engine through the window. Amtrak wasn't created until 1971 and the Genesis diesel engines weren't designed until 1992. (00:29:45)


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. (00:39:15)


Continuity mistake: When Rafe is talking to Danny about going to Britain, Danny's position changes from being at the side of the truck to being at the front of the truck. (00:09:00)


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. (02:08:35)


Continuity mistake: In the scene where Evelyn and Rafe are by the ship they show a close up of Evelyn and she is wearing a dark color eyeshadow. Then when Rafe tells her he is going to war she has light eyeshadow on. Then the next close up of her the dark eyeshadow is back.

Factual error: Towards the end of the film, when the United States launches an attack on the Japanese ammunition factories, the planes fly over Japan and show shots of geishas to establish the country. Japanese geisha communities were shut down by the Japanese government at the beginning of World War II.

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). (00:44:25)


Factual error: Just before the attack on Pearl Harbor begins you see a scene of some Japanese planes flying in a place called Kualoa Valley. Two boys watch these planes fly by. Here is the error - in order to get to Pearl Harbour they would have to be flying almost the exact opposite direction, these planes were flying out of the valley...back out to sea.

Factual error: When the Japanese pilots are taking off the carrier deck, there is an overhead view of the launch. The carrier in the scene has a angled deck. The angle deck carriers didn't come along until after the war was over.

Continuity mistake: When Rafe is leaving Evelyn's cubicle near the beginning, he turns around and says, "Miss I really like you," and he is not holding onto the drip pole, but in the following shot he is. (00:15:35)


Factual error: While Rafe is on the beach during the training to take off from an aircraft carrier, and burning some letters, mountains are noticed in the background while he is conversing with Danny. The actual location for this training took place on the historic "Doolittle Ramp" located at Hurlburt Field, Florida, near Eglin Air Force Base. The site is within 100 yards of the beach among numerous trees. There are no mountains (low hills maybe) in Florida .

Continuity mistake: When Rafe hits Danny's dad, his hands on the plank changes between shots, and the plank goes from being held away from the body, to close to the body between shots. (00:03:35)


Factual error: As Danny and Rafe prepare to depart for Florida to train for the Tokyo raid they board a DC-3 to take them to the mainland, with the nearest point 2,400 miles away. It would have been a wet trip: the DC-3 had a range of 1,600 miles. Military transport to the mainland in early 1942 would be by ship, " Clipper" seaplane or a stripped-down bomber.

Pearl Harbor mistake picture

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. (00:33:50)


Factual error: At the launch of the Dolittle raiders, the seas were stormy with waves breaking over the carrier's bow, not completely calm, as shown in the movie.

Factual error: The British squadron Rafe served in had the "RF" radio ID markings. These were assigned to the Polish 303 squadron, so the planes should have additional Polish markings on the engine cowling (apart from standard British ones) plus the squadron logo.

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.


Factual error: In one scene before the battle starts, a crew member is having his P-40 decorated with noseart. However, before late 1942, noseart wasn't allowed by the USAAF, unless you had a commander who really didn't mind. Lieutenant General Walter Short, who was in charge of the P-40's at Pearl Harbor, wasn't one of those commanders.

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

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