Continuity mistake: In the scene where Bunny kills the one legged Vietnamese with the butt of his gun, watch the cigarette in Sgt. O'Neill's mouth. In a shot after the kid is dead, the cigarette in O'Neill's mouth is short. When it shows him again, the cigarette has mysteriously grown. (00:50:00)
Visible crew/equipment: In the sequence where Sgt Elias is charging the VC with his M16 (near when he dies) there is a shot when the camera rolls through the jungle and you can see a cameraman behind a tree.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Tom Berenger is near death and dares Charlie Sheen to shoot him, the first time Sgt. Barnes turns over on his back to face Sheen, his T-shirt is in pretty presentable shape. A few frames later when we see the good Sergeant his T-shirt is ripped and shredded. (01:49:05)
Deliberate mistake: Throughout the entire movie, every time Charlie Sheen is not wearing his helmet, especially when he's out in the field in this tropical climate, his hair is always meticulously combed back, blow-dried and puffy. As a veteran, I know from personal experience that when you take your helmet off, especially in a climate like that, the reality is your hair will be messy, sweaty, pressed flat and most unattractive.
Factual error: Bunny bites an aluminum beer can in half. Beer cans weren't aluminum until the mid 70s. He would have hurt his mouth on that one.
Visible crew/equipment: When Elias is doing his famous run, watch his left hand. You can see he is holding the device used to set of the squibs. You can also make out a wire running up his arm. (01:19:35)
Factual error: Several distinct loon calls are added in the background for about 30 seconds, along with the pipes and other bird calls. Loons are native to Northern America only, and don't exist in Southeast Asia. (00:44:45)
Continuity mistake: Bunny carries a shotgun throughout the entire film. In the final big battle scene, Bunny is seen firing his shotgun at the enemy while Junior cowers in the fox hole. When Junior runs out of the hole and Bunny turns around to yell at him, Bunny is suddenly holding an M-16 rifle. The scene cuts to Junior smacking into a tree and then quickly cuts back to Bunny, who is now holding his shotgun. As Bunny begins to turn toward the enemy, he still has shotgun in hand. When Bunny completes the turn and is shot by the NVA soldier, he is again holding the M-16. (01:42:05)
Factual error: At the end of the film in a scene when Bravo Company is defending after a VC attack the company commander (Dale Dye) is wearing second generation ALICE Y-type pistol belt suspenders, which were not introduced until 1970, while the film is set in 1967.
Continuity mistake: In one scene as they are walking towards a village a shot shows them walking next to a river. Whilst it is meant to be raining and the troops are wearing raincoats have a look at the river. There is no splashing as droplets land, indicating that it wasn't raining at that particular moment. The rain was merely water sprayed in front of the camera.
Continuity mistake: When Barnes overhears the squad talking about fragging him, he stands up, walks toward the post and his scar disappears for a moment. When he asks if anyone knows what death is, the scar returns.
Continuity mistake: Just prior to the last battle "King" is informed that he is going home. He places two bandoliers of M-60 machine gun ammo over his right shoulder as he is saying goodbye to Sheen.In the next shot (as he continues to say good bye)the bandoliers have been changed; they are now cris-crossed to the left and right of his neck.
Revealing mistake: During the fight scene in the village between Elias and Barnes, as they roll around on the ground, Barnes "hits" Elias with a right hook and Elias's head is thrown to the side as if he just caught a serious blow. The problem is Barnes's fist quite obviously clears the front of Elias's face by at least 5-6 inches.
Revealing mistake: At the end of the movie when the camp is being overrun, a U.S. soldier is standing to the left of a bunker, with his back to the camera, when he is shot. As he falls backwards he can be seen reaching up with both hands to throw his helmet up and out to simulate the effect of him being thrown backward by the force of the shot.
Other mistake: After the brief fight between Barnes & Chris, when Barnes has Chris pinned, he cuts him below the left eye with a knife. It is a quick cut with a sharp knife, but instead of a thin bright red line we see instantly a blob of dark blood. This is plain sloppy.
Continuity mistake: When Sandy and Sal are in the tent looking at all the papers in the ammo crate look at the guy smoking a cigar. It goes from 2 inches to a brand new one in at least 10-15 seconds.
Continuity mistake: When Tubby Gardner is killed, they try to bandage him up, but he dies before anything can really be done. The bandage on his chest isn't fixed properly when he dies, when the shot goes and comes back to him lying dead, the bandage is fixed properly around his chest.