Revealing mistake: Jack Albertson's character is taking pictures of The Cartwrights and ranch hands. The video camera moves across the front of the prop camera as Albertson pushes and holds the button to take a picture. The shutter on the camera never opens and isn't open until he releases the button. In those days the shutter had to stay open an elongated time to enable the light to infiltrate the negative. People had to stay still during this time.terry s
Continuity mistake: Hoss fires a total of 6 shots from his pistol to scare away a bear who is menacing one of the "little green men." He returns his pistol to his gun belt. A few moments later he uses the gun again to destroy the lock on the strongbox. He is never seen re-loading his gun but has fired 7 shots.
Continuity mistake: Little Joe falls in love with Julia Grant, an aspiring actress who, with her son, is staying at the Ponderosa for several days. After she learns she has landed an acting job in San Francisco, she and her son leave the Ponderosa. As they ride off in their horse-drawn wagon, Joe is standing next to Ben and Hoss and he is waving goodbye with his right hand. In the following long shot, Joe has both hands on his hips and is staring at the ground.
Continuity mistake: In the Ponderosa home, Arturo Diaz, a Mexican freedom fighter, is shot by a renegade pistolero. Diaz falls on his back and Ben Cartwright rushes to his side. Diaz says "Adios" and then dies, with his head turned to the left. After a brief close-up of Ben, Diaz's head is now turned to the right.
Other mistake: An Army friend of Ben's uses Ponderosa land to test his hot-air balloon. There are very few clouds in the sky. A balloon in flight is shown but it is obviously stock footage. The sky is filled with clouds and the film contains several black spots and scratches.
Continuity mistake: At the Ponderosa, Jake Parson is telling Ben Cartwright of his suspicion that his daughter eloped with Little Joe. The grandfather clock shows the time as 8:53. Both men turn as they hear the door open. As Little Joe walks in, the time has suddenly jumped to 8:59.
Character mistake: "Bonanza" is set in the 1880s but this episode uses three phrases which, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, did not enter our vocabulary until much later: "Trouble-shooter" dates from 1905, "mother hen" dates from 1934 and "sitting duck" dates from 1942.
Continuity mistake: Red Twilight, believing his brother's death was caused by Hoss Cartwright, gets revenge by shooting Hoss in the back. When he learns Hoss is still alive, he goes to the Ponderosa to finish the job. Red shoots and kills a ranch hand, then enters the home. Little Joe gets into a fight with Red and both men run out into the yard. The ranch hand's body has disappeared.
Continuity mistake: When Adam introduces himself to Ted Hackett, the back-junction on Ted's Y-back braces is bunched up as he and Adam are walking through the doorway, but in the next interior shot of them entering the home, the Y-back is suddenly lying properly. (00:31:35)Super Grover
Factual error: About half-way through the show, Joe Cartwright states 47 people received the Medal of Honor in the Civil War. In reality there were 1522 recipients of the medal in the Civil War. While an honor to receive, it wasn't held to quite the same level as in WWI and beyond.terry s
Continuity mistake: When Lothario Larkin is visiting the girl he left at the altar, (Nancy I think) the scene opens, showing Lethario's carriage horse with a feed bag on. Moments later as the two are sitting together, the side of the horse is behind them and it turns its head into view, but there is no feed bag.lovinfjords
Continuity mistake: Halfway through the show, Ben is talking to the commanding officer and captain of a fort. Ben leaves the room and closes the door but the door swings back to being almost full open. The commander and captain talk about going to the Ponderosa with a warrant to check for deserters. When they walk to the door, it is closed.terry s
Revealing mistake: They are trying to find where Jean Lafitte is hiding. Thinking that he is behind the drapes which cover a window, two bullets are fired into the drapery. The bullets should have shattered the window, but when they look behind them (and he is not there) the window and the frame are untouched.Mozzie-6
Revealing mistake: The Cartwrights' second cousin shows up and sings a lot. His singing breaks glass all over town. 1/4 of the way through the episode, while at the ranch, Ben is about to serve tea or coffee while Huley is singing upstairs. As Ben goes to pour it into a cup, the pottery kettle shatters but no tea or coffee or water comes out of the pot, showing it was empty.terry s
Other mistake: The Lassiter brothers have kidnapped a judge and a posse is searching for them. One of the men says they should quit for the day because "it's almost sundown." Judging by the shadows of the men, their horses and nearby trees, the time appears to be around 1 PM.Steven Lee
Continuity mistake: A flashback episode set in the 1840s opens with Ben Cartwright as a first mate aboard a clipper ship. Rear-screen projection shows an ocean and a grey overcast sky. In a shot of the crew on the rigging and in the crow's nest, the sky is deep blue with a few white clouds.
Factual error: In a flashback episode set in the 1840s, Ben Cartwright and his former Captain are operating a ship's chandler business. A competitor accuses them of running a "flea market." That term is a translation of the French "marché aux puces" and did not enter the English language until 1922.
Audio problem: Apparently there was a problem with the sound recording during a scene of Ben Cartwright speaking to his son Adam while standing by the chuck wagon. One of Ben's lines was dubbed in by someone else whose voice was higher-pitched and less gruff than that of actor Lorne Greene.
Continuity mistake: Laura Dayton is at a party at the Ponderosa but leaves and goes outside because she has a headache. Ben Cartwright's brother Will comes out and says he'll take her home via horse and buggy. It is night and the sky is dark, but when they reach Laura's house, it appears to be early evening. The sky is much lighter and the trees are casting long shadows on the ground.
Continuity mistake: Adam and Joe are restraining Hoss while Ben gives him a ladleful of a thick white tonic for "spring fever." Joe has his right arm around Hoss' neck and is holding Hoss' mouth open with his left hand. As Hoss takes the tonic, a glob of it spills onto his left cheek. In the immediate close-up, the glob has vanished.
Other mistake: Adam stops at the Wild Horse Saloon in a nearby town, seeking information about a man who he mistakenly thinks has killed Ben. Outside the saloon is a painted backdrop depicting some two-story buildings. It is the same backdrop seen from the saloon in Virginia City.
Visible crew/equipment: Two horses are tied to the hitching rail in front of the jail. In an interior shot, Lothario Larkin flings the jail door open and runs outside and to the right. The background is obviously a painted backdrop. It shows no horses, only the dusty street and a building on the opposite side. Larkin casts a shadow on the backdrop as he runs out.
Visible crew/equipment: In the foreground, a teakettle on a stove starts whistling. In the background, Jonathan May lights a lantern and walks toward the stove. At the exact moment he lights the lantern, a studio light is turned on and its reflection is visible on the kettle. In addition, the light illuminates a side of the kettle which should be in shadow because of the position of the lantern.
Other mistake: Several people, believing a treasure is hidden inside the Trails End saloon, are tearing the wooden building apart. To stop them, Joe pulls out his gun and fires a shot into the ceiling. Even though he held the gun at a 75-degree angle in front of him, the falling dust and plaster land directly on top of his head.
Continuity mistake: Jamie and a blind man are riding side by side on horseback along a trail. Upon hearing the sound of a bird, the blind man identifies it as a black-tailed magpie. Jamie looks up to see the bird. The next shot, obviously from stock footage, shows a bird sitting on a branch of a tree with no leaves. In the scenes with Jamie and the blind man, every tree is fully grown with leaves and there are no bare branches.
Continuity mistake: During the final minute of this episode, the sound of a roaring wind can be heard. Two close-ups of a statue and a close-up of a boy in the street show swirling dust and leaves. In the long shots, there is no evidence of wind. No dust is blowing and all the trees are completely still.
Continuity mistake: It is obvious that a wind machine was used in the opening scene. Dust, straw and leaves are blowing across the Ponderosa and trees in the foreground are swaying but the trees in the background are motionless. Two minutes later, a shot of a cloud-filled sky and a flash of lightning is shown and rain starts falling. In the next shot, Joe is inside the barn and sunlight is streaming through the windows even though rain is falling. Joe's horse then gets spooked by a lightning bolt and knocks Joe to the ground. The horse tramples him several times but when Joe is finally able to get up, the back of his shirt and pants are completely clean.
Continuity mistake: Ben Cartwright and a man named Gunny are driving a team of six horses and a wagon in a race with two other men with a six-horse team and wagon. The winner will get a contract to transport mail. During a part of the race which goes through a dense forest of 40-foot-tall pine trees, a close-up of Ben and Gunny shows only blue sky and no trees.
Visible crew/equipment: Sam enters the livery stable to confront two men who attacked his son. The next scene, filmed from inside the stable, shows Hoss opening the livery stable door and entering. Two crew members, one wearing a blue T-shirt and white shorts, are visible in the distance. They are standing by what appears to be the framework of a building under construction.
Revealing mistake: The courthouse sits above a mine shaft. Blasting in the mine causes a portion of the courthouse to collapse. Fallen bricks, lumber and other debris trap Ben and four others in the vault room beneath the main floor. The shaking of the vault room was obviously simulated by the cameraman shaking the camera back and forth. The table, chair, books, file box and other objects in the room do not move.
Continuity mistake: The schoolhouse has two windows, one on either side of the door. From inside, the view out the windows is of a grove of pine trees. This is obviously a painted backdrop. When the students exit the schoolroom, the nearest tree is a large white-limbed tree with no leaves.
Revealing mistake: Joe and Eddie are in a corral in a big valley, taking turns trying to tame a horse known as Hammerhead. In the long shots, obviously using stunt doubles atop the horse, Hammerhead is bucking and running. The close-ups of Joe and Eddie show them only from the waist up and they are not moving forward. They are simply bouncing up and down. In addition, the close-ups show only blue sky and not the surrounding hills.
Other mistake: A crowd of men is awaiting the arrival of saloon singer Dolly Bantree. When the stage pulls up, she exits carrying a small bag. Hoss offers to carry her luggage and then is dismayed when the stage pulls away and he sees 20 more bags stacked in the street. The 20 bags were not atop the stage, nor would there have been room for them inside the stage.
Continuity mistake: Near the start, the sarge orders the men to prepare to mount up, the soldiers walk over to the horses, and are ordered to mount. The soldier right behind the main characters starts to mount but has trouble and falls back down. Then they go to a wide angle shot and everyone is mounted.terry s
Other mistake: A gang kidnaps Ben Cartwright and holds him for ransom. He is chained to a post in an abandoned mine. When the men walk around inside the mine, the sound of their footsteps make it obvious that the floor of the mine is actually plywood covered with a layer of dirt. Additionally, when Ben finishes eating stew that was brought to him and sets the container down, it makes a loud "clunk."
Other mistake: Ben and Little Joe do not see the horse belonging to Ben's brother Will, who is staying with the Cartwrights. Joe says, "I'll see if he's in his bedroom." Joe is out of the scene for only five seconds, then returns and says, "He's not there." Five seconds is not nearly enough time to go upstairs, check a bedroom and come back downstairs.
Other mistake: In early evening, Hoss and Adam discover the body of a man who had been shot with an arrow and killed. Even though it is still very bright sunlight, Adam lights a match and holds it close to the man's face so he can see who it is, then lights another match so he can read a letter that was in the man's coat pocket.
Plot hole: Laurie Ferguson is outside the Ponderosa ranch with Joe Cartwright. In an attempt to frame him for sexually assaulting her, she begins screaming. She emits six loud piercing screams before the scene shifts to Ben, Hoss and her father and brother inside the home. It is not until her seventh scream that the four men look up and start to run outside.
Factual error: "Bonanza" is set in the 1860s and the Pony Express mail service operated from 1860 to 1861. In this episode, Curtis Wade and his partner set up a Pony Express office in Virginia City and begin hiring riders. Wade tells them that the job will not be easy, adding, "I won't be giving you sweet cakes and cotton candy." Cotton candy, originally called "Fairy Floss," was invented in 1897 by William Morrison and John Wharton.
Revealing mistake: Near the end of the episode, Tracy Ledbetter is carrying a double barreled shotgun, trying to get her dogs back. There is the sound effect of a shotgun blast, then video of another blast with Hoss running inside the barn. She gets inside the barn and another shot goes off inside without her reloading. How did the third shot come from the gun? It only holds two shells.terry s
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