Factual error: In the scene where the nurses walk among the flag-draped coffins after the attack, the nurses are in stylish civilian outfits. Those nurses are all Naval personnel, and once war was declared they were ordered to be in uniform at all times, except when in the privacy of their quarters.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe and Evelyn go to the Queen Mary ship and they are rising on the platform, and kissing, one camera shot shows them rising and when they stop the camera does a close up and you can see they are still at the red painted water line indicator. The next shot shows them above it again.
Factual error: In the scene where Admiral Kimmel is inspecting the crew of the battleship an aide comes up with a message to send some ships to the Atlantic. Admiral Kimmel starts complaining about the orders. No Admiral would ever do this especially in front of enlisted men. In fact he was placed in charge of the Pacific fleet when his predecessor complained about moving the fleet from San Diego to Pearl Harbor.
Add timeClarence Daugette
Factual error: The P-40s depicted in the movie were later models that were not around during Pearl Harbor. The ones used in filming were probably either P-40Ks, P-40Ms, or P-40Ns instead of the historically correct P-40Bs or P-40Cs that were around at the time of the attack. This is noticeable because the planes in the movie have three guns mounted on each wing while a correct P-40 would have two mounted on each wing and two on the engine crowling.
Factual error: The nurses are wearing far too much make up when on duty: bright red lipstick, eyeliner, mascara and blusher expertly applied. Military medical nurses are allowed subtle skin tone make up and surgical nurses none at all. It's always been that way, right back to the 1890s when the British Army first hired nurses.
Other mistake: In the scene where the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsizes, she clearly rolls to the port side. When the bow comes into the air, one can see a hole on the starboard side; obviously from a torpedo. This cannot be. The starboard side was facing the U.S.S. Maryland and thus protected from arial torpedoes. That hole should not be there.
Continuity mistake: In the scene near the beginning of the movie where Rafe is being reprimanded by Maj. Doolittle for stunt flying, Rafe starts to talk about the various accomplishments that Doolittle has to his credit. The scene shifts to Doolittle and you can see in the background some of the trophies that he won in various air races and endurance tests. One of the trophies has a small model of an F-86 Sabre jet. The scene takes place in early 1941 and the F-86 didn't exist until the 1950's. In fact, jets weren't around until the end of the war and mostly in the hands of the Germans.
Factual error: At the beginning of the film there are some newsreel bits showing the war in Europe giving the background for the historical setting circa 1939-40. In one of these, for about 2-3 seconds you see a M-26 Pershing next to a wall. The M-26 Pershing wasn´t introduced until early 1945 when it entered the war in Europe.
Continuity mistake: During the scene when Rafe and Danny are in the P-40's shooting down a few of the Japanese planes, they fly through some smoke from the burning ships, their prop wash makes the smoke swirl all around. But, a few minutes before that, when two Zero's fly through some smoke, the smoke doesn't move at all, almost as though the planes were never really there...
Factual error: There is no way that anyone in Hawaii could have listened to the radio chatter among Doolittle's raiders. First, because the planes were flying separately on different routes, not as a group, and were observing radio silence, so there was nothing to hear. But mainly, because the radios used for inter-plane communication are low-power short-range units. Long-range communication was carried out by each plane's radio operator, using Morse code. Long-range voice communication by radio was not possible back then.
Continuity mistake: As the Doolittle Raiders are taking off from the aircraft carrier there are several sweeping views of the carrier task force as the planes fly off. The decks of the carriers are obviously modern US carriers with the landing portion of the flight deck angled out about 10° from the catapult direction of the flight deck.
Factual error: We see the Queen Mary, but where is her "war" paint? Queen Mary, along with nearly all liners and civil/commercial vessels, were painted an oceangoing grey for camouflage, but the Queen we see in Pearl Harbor shows in her black and red colors... the Queen is an English vessel and England had been at war two years. She should have been grey by this time.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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: 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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
Add timeJacob La Cour
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: 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.
Revealing mistake: Other users have commented on the placement of the island on the Japanese carriers. If you watch the launch scene very carefully (as one squadron of planes flies over another of the carriers), the carrier is a modern, angled deck carrier, but the planes are all lined up backwards. As the shot moves over the ship, you can plainly see the bow of the carrier (with the protrusions for the catapult water brakes, and Japanese planes lined up on the bow, facing the stern). As the shot progresses down the ship, you will see the angled deck amidships, with the island where it belongs, and the planes taking off over the stern.
Continuity mistake: During the attack on Pearl Harbor just after the big explosion we see a captain on the bridge of his ship looking at the attack. The Japanese fire upon the bridge killing many. The captain ducks and goes to the corner, and we see him grab hold of the corner and then release his right hand to his side, but in the following shot his hand is still on the corner.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe is drinking with his friends in the club and Danny is there, Red says, "Maybe we should leave you two alone," then Rafe proceeds to say, "No, no, we're celebrating here." Rafe reaches out to stop Red with his right hand on his chest, but in the following shot it is Rafe's left hand on Red's chest. (Slow-mo may be required.)
Continuity mistake: In the club, Danny and Rafe and their friends are having a drink after Rafe came back from the dead, and Rafe punches Danny for going out with Evelyn. In the first shot Red goes up to Danny and he is over Danny's right shoulder, but in the following shot Red is now over Danny's left shoulder.
Continuity mistake: During the attack on the smaller airfield where Rafe and Danny are, the photographer who dove in the back of the car gets shot, falls and drops the camera. When it lands it's filming his face, and there is something on the ground right in front of his face, but in the following shot nothing is there.
Factual error: In the scene where Petty Officer Dorie Miller is boxing, a sailor betting on the fight holds a wad of dollar bills where the top one shows the overprinting HAWAII. The HAWAII overprint notes were not introduced until July of 1942, when the U.S. government replaced all currency on the islands with overprinted notes just in case the islands were invaded by Japan. If they had been overrun by Japan, the notes would then have been declared illegal.
Continuity mistake: As the Japanese attack begins, fighter aircraft strafe pedestrians (and everything else) near the harbour. The reporter with the hand-held movie camera is killed twice. Watch as he is blown into the air and then miraculously restored to health, only to be blown away yet again, this time with the camera in front of his face.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Goose is in the bunker with everyone else, he says "Planes. Should we fire?" When he says this, we see him staring down the site of a 50 cal. In the next shot, we see the gun, but no Goose. And we know it's the same gun, because Red was by it both shots. Yet when we see the gun in the very next shot he is holding it again. He had no time to move away and back to the weapon again.
Visible crew/equipment: During the scene where Danny and Rafe are being chased at low level by several Zero fighters, there is one camera shot where we can see past a P-40's tail at the Japanese attackers. The nearest Zero appears to have a strange object attached to the top of its fuselage, just in front of the tail. Presumably, this object is a remote-controlled camera which was used by the film-makers for the aerial combat scenes.
Factual error: All of Jimmy Doolittle's "raiders" had leather flight jackets prepared especially for their mission to bomb Tokyo. On the back of the jackets was a message written in large Chinese characters that explained who they were so the Chinese (if the crew were lucky enough to reach unoccupied China which was the original plan) would not kill them. I also believe there were large U.S. flags and Chinese flags (the old Republic of China style) painted or sewn on the back of these jackets as well. This important costume detail was omitted in the movie.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe meets Evelyn outside the hospital with a bottle of wine, he accidentally hits his nose with the cork and lays his head on Evelyn's lap. Her right hand is holding some ice, but her left hand is nowhere to be seen, but in the following shot her left hand has appeared on Rafe's chin and cheek.
Continuity mistake: During the attack on Pearl Harbor, Rafe, along with a couple of other pilots jump into a convertible car to drive to another airfield. The actual set they depart from (which is exploding all around them) is the same one they "arrive" at minutes later, but the whole set is intact, instead of an actual different set/location.
Continuity mistake: When Red and his army friend pull up next to the four nurses at the side of the road, Red asks Betty if she wants to come for a ride. Red leans forward and puts his hand on the steering wheel, but in the following shot he is leaning back with his elbow on the top of the door.
Continuity mistake: Just after the Japanese attack and the shot cuts to the airfield where they all are gearing up to fight them in the air, there is a shot of two guys on a roof of a building that are shooting the Japanese planes. They get shot and fall down, but in the following shot you can see they have come back to life.
Factual error: In the scene where the Japanese aircraft are launching for the attack on Pearl, an officer on one of the carriers holds a white flag in his right hand just as the planes are about to take off. Look carefully; the wind is blowing from the stern of the ship towards the bow (as evidenced by the position of the aircraft in the background). The flag should be moving in the opposite direction, as the carrier would be turned into the wind and moving forward at top speed to launch aircraft.
Plot hole: Danny receives the telegram from Rafe, telling him that he is alive, at the same time Rafe meets with Evelyn. The telegram must have been sent from Hawaii. Why didn't he just call on the phone? When Rafe reached the U.S. after leaving England why didn't he send a telegram then. In those days it took some time to travel from the Eastern U.S. all the way to Hawaii and there is no way he beat the telegram if it was sent when he returned to the U.S.
Continuity mistake: In the middle of the film just after the Japanese start attacking Pearl Harbor, Cuba Gooding Jr sees the captain injured. If you watch closely, the captain is pointing at Cuba but doesn't touch his arm, yet in some shots you can see that his hand is touching his arm.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Danny, Rafe and Jimmy Doolittle are on the deck of the Hornet talking about "returning" the friendship medals before the attack on Tokyo, you can see what appears to be a radar dish covered with a grey tarpaulin. The scene cuts back to Doolittle, Danny and Rafe talking some more, and then back to a wide shot of Doolittle walking away. The mysterious tarped object is completely gone now.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe and Evelyn go to the Queen Mary ship and they are rising on the platform, and kissing, one sweeping camera shot shows the handle of the elevator controls going straight up. This would mean that they had stopped, yet they are still moving up. A couple of seconds later, a close up of the handle shows that it is now in the position to move the elevator up.
Continuity mistake: When we see the Navy Department's "vacant sea map", there is a guy holding a cane and explaining what it means. He walks around the globe in the middle of the room holding onto the side of the globe with his left hand, but in the following shot his left hand is on the cane.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Rafe is burning his love letters on the beach after learning Evelyn is pregnant with Danny's child, when Danny and Rafe are talking there is a modern "dune fence" meant to keep people from walking on sensitive dune plants clearly visible in the background.
Continuity mistake: In another scene when Danny and Evelyn are at the Black Cat diner after leaving the cinema she gets up to leave first, but when she gets up there is no hankie on the table. After the camera shows her walking out the door, it cuts back to Danny who picks up the hankie, which was not there a second ago.
Factual error: In the UK scenes on the RAF base there is an air raid. A hand cranked siren is used to sound the alarm, which is correct, but the siren is cranked continuously giving a constant sound. This is the "all clear" not an "air raid" warning. The air raid warning was a variable sound created by cranking hard for 5 turns then slackening off for 5 turns.If you want to hear the correct sounds, try these linksAir Raid Warning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schoolradio/history/worldwar2audioclipslibrary_clip02.shtmlAll clear:http://www.bbc.co.uk/schoolradio/history/worldwar2audioclipslibrary_clip20.shtml.
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.
Add timeterry s
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.
Continuity mistake: At the start of the attack, the Japanese fly past a baseball court with some kids playing baseball. In one shot we see perhaps two or three kids in the batting cage. If you look to the far left you can see a woman. In the following shot she is now suddenly where the batter was.
Plot hole: Near the end of the Tokyo raid, Col. Doolittle orders his radio operator to "break radio silence" so he can address the rest of the planes. For the duration of the raid, though, intelligence officers had been listening to radio transmissions back at Pearl (other users have already commented that this in itself is a historical error). If these transmissions were being heard at Pearl, there was obviously no radio silence to begin with.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe comes back for the first time after supposedly being dead and you see his reflection in the glass before meeting his lover, as the camera pans across the room you can see a green light moving on the wall as the camera moves. I'm not sure what it is but it could be the light to indicate the camera is on.
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 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.
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.
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.
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."
Factual error: When Ben Affleck is about to ditch his B-25 in China, and yells that the #1 engine is out, the port engine is shown spinning to a stop, with the propeller already feathered. A perfectly functioning engine would not have its propeller feathered; the pilot would feather it only after the engine stopped, to reduce drag.
Add timeSteve Beckle
Factual error: For some reason, Danny believes Rafe's story that he's been officially assigned to an RAF Eagle Squadron for "combat training." While almost 7,000 Americans did volunteer to fly for England before Pearl Harbor, these were either as civilians or Americans who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. It was against the law for any citizen to fight for a belligerent power while America was neutral, so Rafe's superiors couldn't have ordered him to fight for Britain, and Danny would have known that.
Continuity mistake: When Doolittle's raiders are first starting to practice short takeoffs, the flaps of the planes aren't extended in close ups but would have to be for takeoff especially short takeoffs. Planes shown taking off have the flaps extended. In the real takeoff from The Hornet, One pilot retracted his flaps because prop wash from previous planes was lifting his plane. He then forgot about it and took off without flaps extended and was only saved by the heavy wind and forward speed of the carrier. There is actual video of the plane nearly hitting the ocean.
Add timeterry s
Factual error: In the RAF squadron scene, the lined up Spitfires are the wrong mark for the period. For early 1941, the correct mark would have been a mark V. The Spitfires are later, as they have six exhaust outlets per side, and several have four-bladed propellers, neither feature being present on mark V Spitfires.
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.