Memphis Belle

Memphis Belle (1990)

Factual error: They hold a huge dance in the hangar at night, and Dennis leaves to walk to the Memphis Belle through the hangar doors, which are wide open. The whole flight line, tarmac and hangar are bathed with light - on a US Air Force base in East Anglia during the height of the German bombing offensive. Haven't they heard of the blackout? Why not just paint a big fluorescent sign on the runway saying 'Please Drop Bombs Here'?

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Factual error: The Memphis Belle's 25th and final combat mission did not result in her returning to base badly crippled as shown in the film. The propaganda and morale boosting value of her completing her combat life was so important to the U.S. Army Air Force that her final assignment was an uneventful "milk run".

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Continuity mistake: After the Memphis Belle drops its bombs and scores a direct hit on its target you see the Memphis Belle lift up and turn right with the bomb bay doors closed. The next scene the bombadier says "okay, bomb bay doors, closing" and you see the doors close again.

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More mistakes in Memphis Belle


Trivia: Very few flyable examples of the B-17 existed at the time of the shooting of the movie. One airplane "stood in" for several by having its decals changed. The B-17G featured in the film has since undergone a meticulous restoration and now lives in Renton, Washington, USA. Though it is fully flyable, certain certification issues with the Federal Aviation Administration have kept it grounded.

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Trivia: The crewmembers of the Memphis Belle are not based on actual crewmembers. They are fictitious characters.

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megamii

Question: At the briefing it's pointed out that there's a hospital, school, etc. around the factory they're bombing, and Dennis is very adamant about getting the bombs "right in the pickle barrel" so a lot of innocent people don't get hurt. But the planes are spread out over a large area in the sky, and are also moving when the bombs are dropped, so wouldn't the bombs land over a large area and not just in the limited vicinity of the factory?

Krista

Chosen answer: It would seem that every plane's Norden bombsight would drop from different angles, etc., each designated for a common target. So, 2 planes could be higher, lower, ahead or behind the target and each hit the target, if the bombadiers had an accurate fix on the target.

Question: What was the ball of fire as the planes are landing to the right of the screen?

Chosen answer: That would be a flare being fired from the aircraft. Yellow ones meant the aircraft had sustained serious damage, although that was often self-evident, and a red one meant that there was a seriously injured crewman on board - prompting first aid teams to be ready to meet the aircraft once it had landed. Their was also an unofficial green flare that meant someone had completed their tour of duty.

Farmersboy

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