Pearl Harbor

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.

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: 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)

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)

The-Immortal

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.

Factual error: The scene of Doolittle speaking to the men who have volunteered for what would become the Tokyo Raid is filmed in a hanger. Historically this took place in the crowded Air Ops office at Eglin.

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: 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)

The-Immortal

Other mistake: Right after Danny gets shot, Red shoots a Japanese soldier point blank. He has the barrel of his pistol pointed about in line with the soldiers right breast, but the wound is actually lower in the body than where the gun was aimed (bottom of the ribcage).

Steve Kozak

Factual error: In January, 1942, US National insignia deleted the red ball in the center of the star. The Doolittle raiders are depicted with the old insignia, and while this was accurate on the fuselage and wing bottom, official US Navy photographs show that at least some of the B-25's had the newer insignia on the top left wing.

goofyfoot

Factual error: When Rafe comes to England he gets a damaged Spitfire to counter the Luftwaffe. If you ignore the fact that he should at least make some flying hours in a Spit before going into combat, no one had to fly a shot-up Spit during the Battle of Britain, since Spitfire production could quite well keep up with the war losses. It was lack of fighter pilots that almost caused Britain's defeat.

burgardus

Factual error: The scenes of fighter planes chasing each other are fanciful. The planes would never be so low (they look like thay're only ten feet off the ground), much less weaving between hangar buildings and warehouses at 250 mph. That kind of flying is impossible. Other similar shots, showing Japanese fighters flying between the masts of battleships, are equally unrealistic.

Factual error: When Betty is talking to Evelyn about her engagement to Red, she says they are going to wait two years to get married, until she is 19, which means she is currently 17. She must be a very brilliant young woman, because to become a Navy nurse, you must first have a four-year college degree in nursing. (All officers must have a bachelor's degree or higher in an appropriate field.)

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Suggested correction: When Betty is talking to Evelyn she says "...If I didn't fake my age and sneak into nurse school I whouldn't be here now with Red..."

Yes, but 13?

First, she didn't say she faked her age to get into nursing school. She said she lied about her age to enlisted in the Navy. I would consider this a mistake because otherwise she would have had lie about her age and fake a BSN that the Navy didn't bother to verify, or some other improbable situations.

Bishop73

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)

The-Immortal

Factual error: In the scene where Rafe and Danny are kids fooling around in their father's cropduster the plane is a PT-17 Stearman or similar model. This plane was not in regular military usage until after 1934 and did not find its way into civilian hands until after WWII.

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.

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: 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.

tev

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 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.

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

Question: The IMDb lists a cameo by Matt Damon during the attack sequence. Can someone point out exactly where he appears?

Answer: He is in the scene where the smaller air-base is being attacked by the japanese. You have to look really closely but he is the driver of one of the jeeps right before the japanese bomb drops (the one that seems to be a dud and then explodes). Also, Matt seems to be one of the gunners on one of the first ships at Pearl Harbor to return fire (this is not verified but in slo-mo, one of the gunners seems to be him).

More questions & answers from Pearl Harbor

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