With a mind-boggling budget and an experienced team of editors, producers, and writers, you’d figure that the most successful and acclaimed movies don’t have any major mistakes or funny omissions… Well, get ready for more than one surprise with this list, cause Hollywood’s greatest mistakes are all displayed here! If you’re a Leo DiCaprio fan, don’t miss #4 and #2!
#22. Panic Room
Panic Room, directed by David Fincher, was released in 2002. The director had already received rave reviews for his fantastic previous film, Fight Club. A little less known than its predecessor, Panic Room features Kristen Stewart and Jodie Foster.
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They play daughter and mother, and the thriller follows the story of how their home gets attacked by burglars. However, if you study engineering and watch this movie, chances are you’ll notice a funny mistake! When the panic room is filled with propane gas by the thieves, the mother ignites the gas and uses a fireproof blanket for protection. This actually doesn’t make sense: since air is lighter than propane, they would’ve been engulfed by the flames!
#21. The Avengers
The following mistake is a pretty common one in action movies specifically, and I bet it’s made you feel suspicious at least once. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed it, but sometimes when a character survives an epic fight, his clothes are naturally dirty and torn. But suddenly, in the next scene, they become brand new!
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No, our character hasn’t used a washing machine. If this happens, it means that the editors messed up a bit. This error even occurs in movies with a huge budget, like Avengers. Can’t remember when? Next time you watch it, focus on Captain America’s uniform when, after fighting the terrible aliens, he comes to aid Tony. I wish my clothes could stay so impeccable after fighting some aliens!
#20. The Dark Knight Rises
This last type of mistake is funny, but it’s also understandable. Bear in mind that directors sometimes shoot the same scene over and over again, so the chances of missing on certain details aren’t so unlikely after all.
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However, in The Dark Knight Rises, the editors made an almost unforgivable mistake, believe me. There’s a part where a number of the made-up newspaper The Gotham Times is shown to us. The headline reads: “Police Suspect ‘Cat’ Burglar In Jewel Hiest”. Guess they didn’t notice the spelling flaw on that one!
#19. Pulp Fiction
If you ask every Tarantino fan which is his or her favorite release from the legendary director, I bet that the survey’s result would see Pulp Fiction comfortably sitting at the number one spot. This is no surprise when you consider the infinite amount of memorable dialogues and stunning performances featured in this film.
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Nevertheless, even the most beloved classics have their small flaws. Remember when Mia (played by Uma Thurman) is given an adrenaline shot after she overdoses? Well, to execute this with precision, they draw a red spot on her chest with a marker. However, when she sits up, now recovered, the spot is nowhere to be seen!
#18. The Wizard Of Oz
We’ve seen that modern classics from the past two decades have noticeable curious errors. Well, older iconic films aren’t an exception to the rule either! If you don’t believe me, then wait till you see this slip in The Wizard Of Oz, from 1939.
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Yes, the acclaimed and famous musical which would wind up earning six Academy Award nominations had a crucial fault. While one of the plot’s main points follows the fight over Dorthy’s red shoes, there’s a scene where she’s wearing a pair of black shoes instead… guess the producers didn’t notice!
#17. Gone With The Wind
Gone With The Wind, which was directed by Victor Fleming and based on Margaret Mitchell’s novel, is one of those memorable romance films whose appeal crosses entire generations. If you’ve already seen it, then you know that the historical context is a key factor of the story.
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The story takes place during the Civil War period. In case you didn’t know, in those days people used oil and gas lamps for light. However, there’s a scene where a cord seems to be coming out of a lamp! It might look like a small detail, but the fact is that electric lamps didn’t exist around 1879.
#16. Spider-Man 3
The Spider-Man franchise has little or none similarities with Gone With The Wind… except for one small detail. They share the same type of mistake. Indeed, these movies have a flaw that reveals where or when the movie is really being filmed.
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While the omission in Gone With The Wind revealed that it wasn’t filmed during the Civil War era, the oversight in Spider-Man shows that the setting was different from the one that we’re told it is. Though it supposedly takes place in New York, many scenes were shot in Cleveland. Some clever spectators were able to realize this since the Cleveland Terminal Tower appears once.
#15. Mr. And Mrs. Smith
Believe it or not, producers and editors constantly forget about important details regarding the setting of the film. And just like we’ve seen, these details may reveal that the location where the scenes are shot is different from the film’s alleged setting. Mr. And Mrs. Smith, which starred Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, is yet another movie which committed this error.
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Just like Spider-Man 3, Mr. And Mrs. Smith takes place in New York. However, director Doug Liman decided to do the filming in Los Angeles. During most of the scenes, this can’t be discerned by the audience, but there’s one scene where the protagonists are in the middle of a car chase when and an LA street sign appears!
#14. Cast Away
Is Cast Away the movie with the best Tom Hanks’ performance? That’s a hot take considering his numerous iconic roles, but we all remember that time when he got stuck on an island for years, that’s for sure. This movie is undeniably outstanding, but many people found themselves unnerved by a particular thing in it.
Photo: Courtesy of Bill Muehlenberg.
Remember when those FedEx packages from the plane appear? Well, the stuff from the inside is dry, which doesn’t make much sense considering that the boxes are made up of cardboard. Don’t miss #12 and #5 for more fan-favorite Tom Hanks movies with curious mistakes!
#13. The Sound Of Music
The Sound Of Music is perhaps the most cherished musical of all time. The movie, which tells the story of the von Trapp family’s escape from the Nazis in Austria, is an adaptation of Maria von Trapp’s memoirs, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.
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Like in most historical films, some parts of the plot deviate a bit from the real story. This movie’s inaccuracy is most notable when the family escapes Austria by foot through the Alps. But this can’t be done from Salzburg, where the story is set, because it’s more than 200 miles away from Switzerland. And the family definitely didn’t have any smartphone with Google Maps for guidance!
#12. Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan contains a historical inaccuracy which is actually pretty funny. This movie was directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1998, but it is set during the Battle of Normandy, which corresponds to the Second World War.
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(Spoiler alert!). Before Captain Miller (played by Tom Hanks) dies, we can see him next to a motorcycle. Chances are just a couple of motorcycle lovers noticed this, but the model, a Ural M-63, hadn’t been invented yet! In fact, that vehicle was released about 20 years after the battle.
#11. Pirates Of The Caribbean
Pirates Of The Caribbean is one of those movies that everyone has seen at least once. The first of the franchise’s 5 films was an immediate box office success and it produced one of Johnny Depp’s most iconic characters. It also inspired thousands of pirate costumes for Halloween, that’s for sure!
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If you’re memory’s sharp, then you’ll definitely remember Captain Barbossa’s Granny Smith apples. Here is where the inaccuracy lies: these apples originated around 1868 in Australia, but the movie is set in the first years of the 18th Century… oops!
#10. Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
Yes, Pirates Of The Caribbean might be one of the most successful film series of the last couple of decades, together with Harry Potter, Star Wars, and others. But if renowned cinema franchises are the topic of discussion, we just got to mention one of the OGs: Indiana Jones.
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Though Indiana Jones has its great number of merits, some mistakes can be pointed out easily too. For instance, the franchise’s third movie is set in 1938, right before the start of the Second World War. In one scene, Indy assists in a Nazi book-burning rally to recover his dad’s diary… however, these rallies took place 5 years earlier in real life!
#9. The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker was released in 2008 and directed by Kathryn Bigelow. After the immediate acclaim by the critics, it was no surprise that this war-drama received a whopping 9 nominations for the Academy Awards (it would later win in six of those categories).
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Despite it being an outstanding movie, The Hurt Locker did have a curious error. There’s a moment when a character realizes that someone is filming him, and he reacts by affirming that the other guy is ready to put him on YouTube. The director must have forgotten that the story is set in 2004, while YouTube was invented a year later!
#8. Back To The Future
There’s no sci-fi classic like Back To The Future. However, if we’ve learned something with this list, it’s that even the most iconic and cherished movies of all times have silly errors. Well, this legendary film from 1985 is no exception to this…
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Everyone’s familiar with the image of Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) playing the guitar. I don’t want to disappoint you, but yeah, he was actually fake-playing those notes. Not only that, but the guitar he uses was created in 1958, while the plot is set in 1955.
There was no way one of the most mythical battles in human history wasn’t gonna get a Hollywood adaptation. In case you missed this one, 300 retells the events of the tremendous Battle of Thermopylae, where King Leonida’s small army of 300 Spartans fought against 300 thousand soldiers under the commands of Xerxes I.
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Though it’s obviously impossible to translate every fact or alleged detail of a historical event into a movie, basically because various versions always co-exist, 300 did commit a controversial error. While the movie shows that Xerxes’ army had bombs, the truth is that black powder didn’t exist yet at the time of the Persian Wars!
Another quintessential historical drama film, Gladiator is perhaps more accurate than 300. I mean, at least it doesn’t include bombs when they didn’t exist at the time of the setting. Its precision can be credited to Ridley Scott since the director frequently consulted historians for the scenes.
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Still, this didn’t stop Scott from altering some of the historians’ advice, basically, cause he thought the film would be more entertaining with some small changes. For instance, General Maximus, played by Russel Crowe here, is often called “the Spaniard“. I bet you didn’t know that this term wasn’t invented until the 14th Century… an odd choice considering the story is set in the 2nd Century AD!
#5. Forrest Gump
Seems like more than one or two movies starring Tom Hanks have had their fair share of slips! Don’t worry though, we still think they’re awesome. I’ll assume you’ve watched this one… and seriously, if you haven’t, wait no longer and book an appointment with Netflix ASAP.
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There’s a funny thing almost nobody noticed in the story. When Lieutenant Dan and Forrest get rich, the former decides to invest some bucks in Apple. So far there’s nothing suspicious… but there’s more to this. Apple then sends a letter to Forrest, dated 1978. That’s hard to believe since the business wasn’t known until 1981!
One of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters ever, Titanic is one of those stories that make everyone shed a tear or two, to say the least. The movie depicts the disastrous sinking of the British RMS Titanic in 1912 pretty accurately.
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Nevertheless, there was a little distraction while writing the script. In one scene, DiCaprio’s character, Jack, tells Rose (Kate Winslet) that he used to go to Lake Wissota with his dad. This lake was formed in 1917 though, 5 years after the famous incident!
#3. Django Unchained
Sometimes directors decide to contradict history in favor of aesthetic or style. Some of the wardrobe decisions for Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino’s Western film released in 2012, serve as a clear example of this.
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Django Unchained is set in the 1850s, an era where sunglasses weren’t used to look cool. In fact, these were only used when a doctor prescribed them, but Jamie Foxx’s charismatic character definitely uses them for the swag.
#2. The Aviator
I hope you love Leo DiCaprio’s movies as much as I do, here’s one of his best! The Aviator is one of those movies which leaves the audience wondering: “why wasn’t he given an Academy Award for this brilliant performance?“.
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For this one, DiCaprio pulled off a stunning performance as Howard Hughes, the real-life aviator. There’s a teeny tiny inaccuracy in one scene, however. We can observe Leo buying a box of chocolate chip cookies at one moment. These were created in the 30s, but the story is set in 1928. Oopsies!
Braveheart, directed and starred by Mel Gibson, retells the First War of Scotland’s Independence. Fans and historians had a very different opinion about this movie, that’s for sure. While the audience loved the moving plot and performances, historians were seriously pissed off with some mistakes
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One of the most obvious was related to some wardrobe choices. For instance, many characters (including Mel Gibson’s one) can be seen wearing Scotland’s famous kilts. Maybe those angry historians were right because the movie is set in the 1300s, while kilts were a thing in the country from the 16th century onward!