Pearl Harbor

Visible crew/equipment: In the scene where Rafe and Evelyn are on the platform against the hull of the Queen Mary, just after it falls into the water and they are trying to balance themselves, if you look closely at the small boat they came in at that moment, for a brief second, you can see the silouette of the head and shoulders of a crewman pop up and duck back down either in or behind the boat.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Rafe gets his medical check, he has problems reading. But in a later scene, he has no problem writing letters to Evelyn, and has no problem reading them.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where President Roosevelt is sitting at the table talking to the joint chiefs etc., the camera pans around the table and as it passes General Marshall, it shows what appears to be a Vietnam service ribbon in the cluster on his chest.

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. (00:15:40)


Other mistake: When the battleship Okalahoma rolls over, it appears to be rolling exactly about a non-moving longitudinal axis, like a broiler chicken on a barbecue spit. In reality, the ship should be sinking down while it rolls over, since after all it is taking on water.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Danny takes Evelyn flying to see the sunset, you can see that several times the sun changes position, i.e. in one scene the sun would be half way set, then in the next scene it would be way above the horizon.

Visible crew/equipment: In the scene where Rafe returns from England, Evie is busy with something. Camera slowly zooms out from Evie and moves right to show Rafe's reflection on the window. Look carefully. You can clearly see the red light of the camera reflecting back, not from the window that reflects Rafe, but the mirror on Evelyn's right. (01:09:15)

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.

Jacob La Cour
Pearl Harbor mistake picture

Continuity mistake: Just after the shot of Evelyn sitting on the rocks, it cuts to Rafe in England. The first shot we see that the pint of lager on the bench is half empty, but it refills itself in the next shot. (00:36:15)


Other mistake: In the scene where the USS Oklahoma is going down sideways, there is water pouring down the deck. This should not happen considering that the ship is sinking the other way and the water wouldn't be bursting out of the cracks in the dock.

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.

Factual error: In the scene showing the bomb on its way down to destroy the USS Arizona, the bomb is a conventional aerial bomb purpose-built for anti-ship use. Historical records state that the Japanese had no armor piercing bombs ready for the attack, so they modified conventional battleship shells with wooden fins instead.

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.

Revealing mistake: During the scene in which the Japanese are planning the attack, one shot has several of the Japanese Officers looking at aerial photographs of the harbor. These pictures appear to be attached to some sort of poster board and on the back of one of them is the "Recycled Paper" emblem (the three arrows bent back on each other). Visible on the DVD.

Continuity mistake: When Rafe is in the plane trying to get Zeros off his tail he says, "Son of a bitch" and he is very sweaty. In the next shot he's not half as sweaty as the shot before.

Revealing mistake: When Evelyn is on the porch of the dispensary, as Danny drives up with the telegram about Rafe, there is a modern three-prong grounded electrical outlet visible on the wall behind her. (00:47:30)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Dorie Miller almost knocked out the other man, the "referee" is first on the left, but as soon as the camera changes angles, he is suddenly on the right (or maybe it's vice-versa).

Factual error: When Rafe first presents himself at the RAF base, there is a scene with two Spits having the same RF-M squadron designators. Since this was the way individual aircraft were identified, such a thing would never come to pass.

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. (00:31:20)


Factual error: Japanese Naval officers say "We have hit battleship row. Now we must hit the smaller airfields." In actuality, the attack was planned to every detail so that all of their targets were hit simultaneously. (01:46:30)

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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