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13th Sep 2005

The Simpsons (1989)

The Bonfire Of The Manatees - S17-E1

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.

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Other mistake: The split second that a running student passes in front of her, Miss Mackay calls her name and restrains her, reacting much faster than humanly possible. (00:02:50)

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Factual error: As director Ronald Neame himself points out in his commentary to the DVD, immediately after Sandy has been heating a piece of bread in the fireplace, she grabs the end of the fork on which it is placed and does not burn herself. (00:19:00)

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Trivia: The film was shot almost entirely at Islington Studios in London. The scenery the train passes is all rear projection.

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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?

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14th Mar 2005

South Park (1997)

Death - S1-E6

Other mistake: Both Kyle's and Stan's mothers are identified in this episode as Carol. They later become Sheila and Sharon.

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1st Jan 2005

Fantasia (1940)

Factual error: The famous battle between Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex (which is incorrectly depicted as having three claws) never took place: Stegosaurus was extinct before Tyrannosaurus evolved. (Stegosaurus lived in the Jurassic, Tyrannosaurus in the Cretaceous.)

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23rd Jul 2004

Topsy-Turvy (1999)

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!)

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8th Jul 2004

Topsy-Turvy (1999)

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.

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7th Jun 2004

Topsy-Turvy (1999)

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").

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7th Jun 2004

Topsy-Turvy (1999)

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.

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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)

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Factual error: In explaining the failure of her first pregnancy, Alba says, "I had an infection: mercury poisoning." Mercury poisoning is not an infection. (00:17:40)

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Revealing mistake: When Oliver, soon joined by Oswald, is supposedly in the cage of the tiger that then wounds them each in the leg (offscreen), it is absurdly obvious that the tiger is in fact in an adjoining cage. (01:24:55 - 01:25:45)

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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)

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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)

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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.

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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).

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Factual error: This is not an error in the film itself, but in some supplementary material on the DVD, in which Margot FitzSimons, the actress who plays Bridie, is identified as the sister of Maureen O'Sullivan. She is in fact the sister of Maureen O'Hara.

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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)

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