Best history movie character mistakes of all time

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The Great Escape picture

Character mistake: The scene in the outdoor Parisian cafe is incredibly daft. First, the cafe owners call James Coburn's bizarrely-accented Australian to the telephone to keep him out of the way as their accomplices assassinate three uniformed German officers seated in the cafe in a drive by shooting. They then toast the killings with cognac, and that is the mistake - not the shootings, not the luring away of Coburn - the mistake is that the cafe proprietors celebrate the assassination of the German officers in broad daylight, in the open, without even stopping to think that such an action would have them shot, because all of this is done in the direct view of passers-by in broad daylight. Do they think those three German officers were the only ones in Paris? How did they know Coburn wasn't an undercover Gestapo agent or a French collaborator? Don't they stop to consider that in an occupied city machine gun fire is going to draw some attention from the authorities, who might just wonder what a couple of bullet riddled corpses are doing lying about the place?

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Suggested correction: Regarding the French cafe proprietors making a toast, if questioned, they could simply claim they were celebrating surviving the incident and/or needed a calming drink. Considering any ensuring panic and confusion after the shooting, pedestrians would hardly notice the waiters. Attention would be on the dead Germans. French citizens most likely wouldn't care or cooperate with the authorities. Being indifferent to German officers getting killed is not proof of involvement. Most French hardly be remorseful over their enemies' deaths. Antagonism toward the Germans was normal. It would be more suspicious if the proprietors showed concern. As far as helping James Coburn, it was pretty obvious he was neither French or German, and they took a chance to protect an innocent bystander. Also, it was to inject some subtle levity into the scene.

raywest Premium member

Rubbish. During the occupation Paris was crawling with collaborators and undercover German agents. The cafe owners are drinking champagne - not much of a nerve stiffener! - and they clink glasses in celebration of the shooting of the German officers. Their actions are beyond obvious to anyone that can see them. They simply would not take the risk and would act as if they were horrified to see their customers shot dead in their cafe.

Nope. Even if collaborators were "crawling" around, no-one would expect any French citizen to care about Nazis being killed. If questioned they can claim it was for the other reasons already stated (and they are not drinking champagne). It does not prove their involvement. Little would come of them being interrogated. As mentioned, this is a movie, and the scene injects subtle humor and is intended to show the audience that they are involved in the coordinated plan.

raywest Premium member

Again, rubbish. The Nazis occupying Paris arrested anyone suspected of belonging to or assisting the Resistance on the slightest pretext, and the cafe owners who were celebrating the deaths of three German officers would be in a Gestapo prison cell before the bodies of the dead Germans were cold. What they do after the Germans are shot is blatant, irresponsible, dangerous and completely unnecessary. They could have saved their celebrations for later when it was safe.

Once again, NOPE. Clinking glasses is not proof of possibly belonging to or aiding the Resistance. They also were not wildly celebrating. It was a quick, low-key action, and they looked both nervous and relieved. Also, I re-watched the scene on YouTube. When the car pulls up to shoot the Nazis, the street around them is completely empty. No witnesses anywhere. People are only seen far in the background. The phone call just before the shooting is a signal and indicates this was well-coordinated and timed. Secondly, the story needs to move quickly, and insignificant characters would not be seen toasting later. This also showed James Coburn (and us) that the waiters were potential allies.

raywest Premium member

You think the Nazis needed proof of someone's involvement in the Resistance? They arrested, tortured and shot innocent people on the unsubstantiated word of pro-German informers! No witnesses anywhere? What about Coburn? They didn't know who he was or where he was from. For all they know he could have been a Gestapo agent himself. The scene is absurd. Nobody is so stupid as to do what they did at the risk of dying horribly if caught doing it.

It should also be noted that the cafe owners duck behind their counter before the car carrying the gunmen shows up, and they get Coburn to do the same. They just provided incontrovertible evidence that they knew about the assassinations ahead of time.

Yes, they absolutely were part of it, and the hit was timed and planned in advance for the opportune moment. This was not a random act, and the phone call appears to be the signal that sets the events in motion. When they made the toast, they knew the street was completely empty and obviously felt it was safe to do so. Also, if Coburn was a spy or collaborator, he would have warned the Nazis, not hidden behind the counter.

raywest Premium member

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The Social Network picture

Character mistake: At Henley, Prince Albert of Monaco is introduced as "His Royal Highness Prince Albert." He is a Serene Highness, not Royal. A British VIP would know the difference and say "His Serene Highness" instead.

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Dunkirk picture

Character mistake: The story arc set on the Mole covers one week. The Highlanders attempt to refloat the beached trawler on the last day of that week. One of them confidently states that the tides are three-hourly. (The audience know this isn't true because we've seen a similar conversation between the Admiral and the Colonel.) At least some - if not all - of those Tommies have been on the beach all week. Have none of them have noticed that the tides are six-hourly?

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The Alamo picture

Character mistake: In a conference with Crockett and Bowie, Travis states that Fannin in Goliad is preparing to relieve the Alamo and will be ready to "march south by the end of the week." Goliad is 90 miles south of San Antonio. To relieve the Alamo, Fannin would need to march north.

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JFK (1991)

JFK picture

Character mistake: When Garrison is leaving the house to question Clay Shaw on Easter Sunday, his wife is complaining about his working on the Sunday, and at one point calls Garrison 'Clay'.

DavidRTurner

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Midway picture

Character mistake: When the Japanese attack is imminent, a soldier loads the 50 caliber machine gun rounds into the box backwards, with the rounds facing the gunner.

Robert F Baptista

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Gettysburg picture

Character mistake: When Buster gets hit in the arm the first time, he is busy tying the kerchief below the wound. (02:21:05)

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The Doors picture

Character mistake: In the scene before the New Haven concert, when Jim is talking with the reporter/ love interest about his school history, she comments that Jim attended the University of Florida. In actuality, Jim attended Florida State University.

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The Amityville Horror picture

Character mistake: When Jackie the babysitter is stuck in the closet, she explains to George and Kathy that the door was locked. George says Amy there's no lock on this door. Her real name is Amy and her film name is Jackie.

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Zero Dark Thirty picture

Character mistake: Dan is supposedly such an expert in Pakistan, but he hands Ammar the cigarette pack with his left hand (unclean to Muslims, and therefore not much of a gesture of hospitality).

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Miracle picture

Character mistake: While watching a documentary about the Soviet team Herb Brooks says that the Soviets had had 42 games in the last three months with 42 wins. This was supposed to be said in 1979. In the whole of 1979 Team USSR played 24 games only, winning 23 of them and losing Game 1 of the 1979 Challenge Cup, to the NHL All-Star team.

WhiteRussian

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Battle of Britain picture

Character mistake: Many windows only have 1 or 2 panes taped over to prevent glass from shattering when it's hit. Unless every pane is taped over this will achieve next to nothing.

stiiggy

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Casino picture

Character mistake: When the high roller Ikachawa returns to The Tangiers, Rothstein said he's betting $1,000 instead of his usual $30,000, so when he won, it didn't feel like he had won $10,000 (10 $1,000 bets), but felt like he lost $90,000, alluding to the fact that betting 1/30th of his normal bets made him feel even though he was winning $1k a hand he was missing out on the other $29k, or losing that. At ten hands won, at $1k/hand, he really would have felt like he was losing $290,000, not $90,000 as Rothstein says.

Michael Prete

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Apollo 13 picture

Character mistake: When Marilyn asks Henry "Do they know they're not on the air?" her finger is pointing just below her face. In the next frame with the camera now facing the pair, her hand is down at her lap. (00:47:00)

Zim

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The Passion of the Christ picture

Character mistake: During the scene when Jesus is being whipped, the devil is walking through the crowd looking at him, in this scene only Jesus should've been able to see him, however look closely and one of the characters in the crowd's eyes can be seen following him.

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Nuremberg picture

Character mistake: Wilhelm Keitel was a field marshal, not an admiral as stated during the sentencing.

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The Longest Day picture

Character mistake: According to the subtitles, when the landings begin General Marcks asks his aide to get General Pemsel at 5th Army on the phone. Pemsel was chief of staff of 7th Army, as the caption correctly states when he first appears. 5th Army was disbanded in 1939.

Necrothesp

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Tora! Tora! Tora! picture

Character mistake: Immediately before the attack, when the flag is being raised on the flagpole, the young seaman who previously rang the bell steps backwards and trips over the concrete step behind him.

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211 (2018)

211 picture

Character mistake: Mike and Steve try to get Kenny out of their squad car while under fire. The driver side of the car is fully protected as it's the passenger side that the merc is shooting at. Mike tries to open the back door on the driver side but says it's stuff and asks Steve to get Kenny out on his side... where the merc is shooting. Kenny crawls to the front of the car, they open up the passenger door and Steve pulls him out. Mike then asks if they can get Kenny around to his side. Only while he's asking this you can see the front door on Mike's side is wide open. Kenny could easily have just gotten out that way and out of the line of fire. He even crawled to the front seats but got out on Steve's side instead of the open door on Mike's side where it was safe. (00:46:30)

Quantom X Premium member

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Never Look Away picture

Character mistake: The tour guide inside the "Degenerate art" exhibition ridicules the 'child-like' paintings of the likes of Mondrian and Kandinsky. In particular he stands in front of Kandinsky "Upward." The German name of the work is "Empor", but the tag says "Empore." (00:03:40)

Sammo Premium member

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