Factual error: Alec Baldwin, as an expert on manatees, says that they are also called dugongs. Manatees are found in Atlantic coastal waters and in the Amazon and tributaries. The dugong is a distinct species found in the coastal waters of the Indian and southwest Pacific oceans.
13th Sep 2005
20th May 2005
15th May 2005
1st Apr 2005
26th Mar 2005
Continuity mistake: Iris, Gilbert and the other English characters lose their luggage when the bad guys have the back of the train uncoupled. When they arrive in London at the end, Iris and Gilbert are wearing new clothes evidently acquired after their escape. However, they carry nothing when they leave the train. What happened to the clothes they had been wearing before?
14th Mar 2005
1st Jan 2005
23rd Jul 2004
Factual error: One of the operetta excerpts shown in the movie is the humorous song "This Helmet I Suppose," during which Princess Ida's three brothers are supposed to remove their armor piece by piece, finding it heavy, hot and awkward. Partly as a result of this, the three are soon afterwards quickly and easily defeated in combat. In the film, however, only Arac, the brother singing the verses (played by Richard Temple (played by Timothy Spall)), removes his armor. The others simply stand still. (This might have made the battle scene end differently if it was shown on screen!)
8th Jul 2004
Factual error: When Gilbert's rehearsal accompanist Mrs. Russell, who is bilingual in Italian and English, becomes exasperated, she says, "Ma non posso lavoro così." ("But I can't work like this.") This should be "Ma non posso lavorare così." ("Lavoro" would be either the first person singular of the present tense indicative ("I work") or the noun "work.") Her accent is spot on, however.
7th Jun 2004
Deliberate mistake: The song "If you give me your attention" (from "Princess Ida") and the Mikado's song (from "The Mikado," of course) are performed with their central verses omitted. This was no doubt to save time and, in the case of the Mikado's song, to avoid inclusion of the line "is blacked like a ni**er" (altered in 1948 to "is painted with vigour").
7th Jun 2004
Factual error: This film deals with the events leading up to and including the creation and original production of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta "The Mikado." The performance of the trio "Three Little Maids From School" includes a bassoon solo (occurring twice after the words "freed from its genius tutelary") that was not actually added until years later. However, performing the piece in a form other than its definitive and improved version would certainly be carrying authenticity too far.
24th May 2004
Factual error: Oswald says that "Vermeer only painted twenty-six paintings and three of those are dubious." There are in fact thirty-five known to be extant (one recently stolen) of which only one is regarded as dubious. In addition, there have been descriptions of six (or possibly eight) others that seem to be missing. (00:35:10)
15th May 2004
11th May 2004
7th May 2004
Deliberate mistake: When Venus de Milo walks toward the back of the fluorescent "ZOO" sign (presumably on the way to her death at the hoofs of the zebras), the "Z" is reversed (that is, it appears unreversed on the back of the sign). This gives the first three letters of the word "ooze," doubtless because that is what Venus will return to. (The word "ooze" is used earlier in the film in just such a context (00:34:35-00:35:50).) A tree blocks the space where the "e" would be (or rather would not). (01:41:55 - 01:44:05)
7th May 2004
Plot hole: At the end of the movie, snails collect on the apparatus on which Oliver and Oswald have set up a time-lapse camera to photograph their decaying bodies, eventually short-circuiting the camera and wrecking their experiment. As they had previously (01:34:18) set up similar apparatuses in the same area (Alba's country estate) photographing other decaying organisms, why didn't the snails collect on them? (Pleasant film, huh?) (01:52:45 - 01:53:50)
5th Apr 2004
Plot hole: Margaret tells her lover Eric that her husband thinks she's "cruising with Mother." Afterwards, when the villains are closing in for the kill, she tells the others, "It's funny: I told my husband when I left him that I wouldn't see him again" - hardly the sort of thing you tell your spouse after telling him a story to cover up your infidelity.
2nd Apr 2004
Plot hole: When Iris Henderson and her two friends arrive at the hotel, Iris orders dinner and asks that it be sent up to "our" room. The waiter arrives when the three are changing. But later, when it's time for bed, Iris says good night to her friends, who leave her alone in the room (as she must be for the sake of subsequent developments).
22nd Mar 2004
12th Jan 2004
Factual error: Alba Bewick tells Oliver that she wanted to have twenty-six children. Her first child, Alpha, did not survive; her second was her daughter Beta. Oliver tells her there aren't twenty-six letters in the Greek alphabet, there are only twenty-three. There are in fact twenty-four. [This is quite possibly the character's mistake rather than the author/director's. There is a scene later in which Oliver and Oswald playfully and deliberately give Beta bits of obviously wrong information (00:39:27). Besides, director Peter Greenaway delights in playing games with his audience - to put it mildly. Also, at one point Oswald mentions that Vermeer painted twenty-six paintings, of which three are dubious (00:35:13-15). This gives us the same totals as Oliver's two alphabets. Was a connection intended (whatever the point might be)? At another point (00:53:12), Oswald catches Oliver in an egregious error, establishing his fallibility.] (00:17:45)
Join the mailing list
Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.