Pearl Harbor

Continuity mistake: When Danny & Rafe take off from the sattellite airfield their landing gear is (obviously) down. You see a shot of them from behind like this. Two seconds later they just clear a building, in the heat of a combat takeoff,and both sets of landing gear are fully retracted.

Continuity mistake: When Rafe returns and is having a drink with his friends in the beach club, if you watch Rafe's fingers on the glass of whiskey, they change from being held over the top of the glass to being held at the side of the glass between shots. (01:13:55)

The-Immortal

Continuity mistake: When Rafe's Spitfire crashes into the water, the preceding shot shows it to be diving nose first, In the next shot however, it lands virtually flat.

GalahadFairlight

Continuity mistake: After Rafe hits himself with the cork, Evelyn puts snow on it. She then is seen removing it, but when the camera angle changes, the snow is back on his nose.

Continuity mistake: As the bombs land and chaos ensues in Pearl Harbor, in a scene where some classic cars are parked on the beach, you can clearly see the card-board squares that the cars' wheels are parked on (presumably to keep them from digging in to the sand.)

Continuity mistake: When Evelyn and Danny are having a drink in a cafe going over the good times with Rafe, we see the camera pan down from a height, in this shot we see Danny holding onto a cup in his right hand which is sitting on a saucer on the table, but in the following shot he is just putting it down on the table. (00:52:45)

The-Immortal

Other mistake: During take off from the carrier, 600 miles at sea, trees and a shoreline are in the distance.

Continuity mistake: When Rafe's girlfriend is looking for him at the train station there's a train behind her that says "Silver Horizon." But when the camera shows Rafe looking at his girlfriend the words on the train are gone.

Factual error: Early in the film, a close-up of Rafe in his Army Air Corps uniform shows his wings. The wings are not Army Air Corps, but the "shield and stripes" of the US Air Force, which did not exist at that time. Additionally, when a priest is giving last rites to the dying, he says, "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." But before the Second Vatican Council, it was "Holy Ghost."

Character mistake: When threatening Evelyn with jail, the Army Signals officer says "Brig" which would be a Navy jail. In the Army the appropriate threat of incarceration would be the stockade.

Lupe1

Factual error: In the shot where they show the pictures the Japanese spies took, you can see the helicopter pads on the ships. Also, during the attack, helicopter pads are visible on some ships. The helicopter was not used until the Korean War, and they didn't have helicopter pads on ships until more recently.

Factual error: While the hospital did sustain some damage during the actual battle at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese forces did not deliberately target or fire upon it. Hospitals are usually avoided in battles as the people within are not in any condition to fight back and it would just be consuming ammunition that would be needed for attacking more practical targets such as enemy aircraft, assault vehicles, weapon repositories, and such.

jayo

Factual error: The USS Hornet, a Yorktown-class aircraft carrier launched in 1940, is played by a much more modern Kitty Hawk-class carrier. The B-25s also take off from a steel deck instead of a historically accurate wooden deck.

Revealing mistake: When the kids are playing around with the plane and make it move along the grass field, tracks from previous takes are visible in front of the plane. When the angle changes the tracks are gone.

Sacha Premium member

Factual error: As the RAF aircrew are running for their aircraft during the scramble sequence, one of the Spitfires can be seen showing a serial of 'AR4474' briefly. This is incorrect not only for a wartime Spitfire, but is completely out of sequence for any UK military aircraft. All four flying Spitfires used during filming had similar inaccurate serials. (00:38:20)

Gary Stedman

Factual error: During the attack on Pearl Harbor Danny and Rafe take off from an airfield and then fly to defend battleship row. As they fly over the harbor there are several Newport Class LSTs shown at anchor. This type of ship did not exist until 1966.

Steven1952

Other mistake: Both of the main characters (Affleck and Hartnett) were promoted to captain when they reported to Doolittle. Nearly 1 1/2 months later on board the carrier they still both have LT bars.

Steve Kozak

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

Revealing mistake: After Danny's plane crash lands in China, and Rafe runs towards the crash site, he shoots a Japanese soldier. After his next to last shot, the slide locks back on his pistol, indicating it is empty. You can see the slide locked back moments before he takes his last shot, with an empty gun.

Other mistake: When Doolittle's copilot is crossing himself right before take off, his hat has captain's bars on it, but his flight jacket has lieutenant bars on it.

Steve Kozak

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: 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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