January 26, 2009

Egregious Movie Mistakes

I am a big fan of the movies and I have an extensive DVD collection. One of my favourite sites to read is Wall Shadows by my good friend (and fellow Supporting Artiste) Algo. He provides some well reasoned and thought through reviews of his favourite movies. If you can ignore some of the rants he produces from time to time (which may prove to be a little radical for some readers) his site is well worth a look.

On the subject of movies one of the things that really annoys me is those egregious movie errors that seem to make it through onto the final print. Every movie has some errors in it (if you want to see what sort of errors check out the goofs section on the IMDB), but a lot of these errors are fairly minor ("The length of the burnt down cigaretts was different between shots" - well I'm sorry, but that's moviemaking), but I'm talking about the really 'how on earth did they let that through' kind of errors.

To clarify, these are errors in film-making as opposed to errors in film logic (or plot holes). For this reason you won't find things like "How did they manage to mate an Apple computer with an alien spaceship in Independance Day?" or "Why didn't Ann Darrow's neck get broken when she was being flung around by Kong in Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong?"

No these are errors made by the people who were involved in making the movies. Here are 4 examples.

1) Cruel Intentions:
Right at the end as Reese Witherspoon drives away from New York in the sleek little sports car we can clearly see hills and desert reflected in the ide of the car. Not much desert around new York City is there? Obviously a pick-up done in California. Very well framed so you don't see anything other than the car - but the reflection gives it away

2) An Officer and a Gentleman.
Richard gere and the othe raw recruits are lining up in front of Louis Gossett jr just after their induction. he is walking up and down in front of them hurling abuse in their faces - and in the bottom of the screen quite clearly there isa set of dolly tracks for the camera that Louis is walking along

3) Diamonds are Forever.
Bond is being chased around the streets of Las Vegas in his red Mustang. As he gets trapped down a alley his decides the only way to escape is to lift the car onto it's two right wheels and slide out through the narrow walkway at the end. As the car appears out of the other side of the walkway it is on it's two left wheels! (also later int he movie the moon buggy loses a wheel, but is back on again a few moments later)

4) A Fish Called Wanda.
When Wanda comes to visit Archie at his office they sit and talk about the law and she asks him questions. Another client comes to see Archie and he introduces Wanda and the visitor. On the back wall of the office is a large mirror which clearly reflects the camera and certain members of the crew.

Any other egregious movie making errors that come to mind?


  1. You missed the clearly visible camera in the mirror in one of the bond films (I forget which one - they all blend into one some days).

    My personal mocking is reserved for paradoxes, usually caused by time travel, i.e.

    1. If Marty McFly wipes his own existence out by stopping his parents meeting, he would never have existed and therefore couldn't stop them meeting.... but then he would exist and could....

    2. If the Terminator kills Sarah Connor it would never have been sent back since John Connor would never have existed so she would have lived and john connor would have existed etc etc....

    I totally agree that in the case of minor continuity errors people can be really over critical.

    That does not excuse things like dead characters starting to stand up (see Alone In The Dark for a class example) or major errors like the hand change at the start of Prince of Thieves (the hand he is being helped up by changes). These budgets are high enough to employ someone to spot something so dumb - or reshoot it.


    P.S. Thanks for the plug, but the sideswipe at my non-review posts gives a slightly harsh assessment. I can't remember swearing in them or insulting anyone personally.

  2. Good feedback about my 'slightly harsh assessment'.

    Wording changed.

    Thanks or the comment, Algo!