Character mistake: The crew many times refers to the sub as a ship - subs are always called a boat.
Factual error: "Ice Station Zebra" is one of dozens of films which make the mistake of showing people carrying rifles such as M-16s with the magazines inserted. In the scene where Marine Captain Jim Brown arrives at the submarine via helicopter, he comes aboard passing his M-16 through a hatch with the magazine inserted, barrel first - a double safety violation. I first saw the movie in a Marine Corps base theater, and all of us yelled at the screen when we saw that.
Plot hole: Patrick McGoohan shoots the marine captain thinking him to be the traitor, thus, McGoohan believes, stopping the marine killing Ernest Borgnine. But shortly afterwards McGoohan comes out of the hut and addresses Borgnine sarcastically as 'Comrade'. How did he know he was the real traitor? Nothing has yet happened that should cause him to see this truth.
Trivia: Patrick McGoohan committed himself to appearing in "Ice Station Zebra" whilst he was filming his famous TV series "The Prisoner". However, as is well known, "The Prisoner" went massively overbudget and seriously behind schedule. As a result, McGoohan had to leave filming of "The Prisoner" in late 1967 for several weeks, in order to appear in "Ice Station Zebra". This is the reason why several episodes of "The Prisoner" have McGoohan either absent or only in previously filmed flashbacks and inserts...McGoohan could not be filming both "The Prisoner" at Elstree, and "Ice Station Zebra" in Hollywood at the same time.
Trivia: The famed aviator Howard Hughes was supposedly obsessed with this film, and sources claim it was his favorite. In his later years as a recluse, he allegedly would watch this film daily in his private theater.
Trivia: The submarine used in the movie as a (supposed) nuclear submarine was the U.S.S. Ronquil (SS-396), a WWII Balao-class diesel-electric submarine that had received a GUPPY IIA conversion. The number painted on the sail (509) was selected because it was from a block of hull numbers canceled at the end of WWII and never used.
Cmdr. Ferraday: We operate on a first-name basis. My first name is Captain.
David Jones: People with top security clearances are being hung everyday.
David Jones: ...and all of a sudden, you know a whole damn lot about my business.
Cmdr. Ferraday: We don't believe in going on a mission totally blindfolded.
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