Best war movie mistakes of all time

Please vote as you browse around to help the best rise to the top.

Gladiator picture Gladiator mistake picture Video

Visible crew/equipment: In the "Battle of Carthage" in the Colosseum, one of the chariots is turned over. Once the dust settles you can see a gas cylinder in the back of the chariot. (01:22:55)

More Gladiator mistakes
The Great Escape picture

Factual error: Why is Hilts not wearing a uniform? A serving officer captured behind enemy lines in civilian clothing risked being shot as a spy. If a prisoner's uniform was too worn or damaged to wear, it was routine for the German authorities to replace it - a P.O.W. in civilian clothes is an obvious escape risk. He is wearing a pair of tan chinos, a cut off sloppy Joe sweatshirt, both ridiculously anachronistic - Sixties hipster fashions - and nowhere even close to a World War 2 uniform. He is also wearing Army Type III Service boots - something that would never have been issued to a fighter pilot.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The character of Hilts was based (in part) on the life of a British OSS agent who managed to pass as pilot by stealing a flight jacket (revealed in the DVD). We can only assume that since the Germans believed the camp was escape-proof, it didn't matter what Hilts was wearing, since he wouldn't be going anywhere.

Cobblers. Hilts is wearing casual clothing typical of the time the film was shot, not when it was set. No prisoner of war would be dressed the way he was. The posting is correct.

I've always assumed that the actor, Steve McQueen, insisted on the outfit so he would look hip per his image. He had a reputation for being a prima donna on set.

More The Great Escape mistakes
The Final Countdown picture

Factual error: Listening to a radio broadcast, live, since no other indication is given, Joe Louis is completing the 12th round of a fight. This is December 6, 1941. Joe's last fight of 1941 occurred in September, his next fight was January 1942. (00:00:10)

More The Final Countdown mistakes
1917 picture

Factual error: The strong current of the river the main character falls into carries him to a considerable waterfall. There is not, nor has there ever been, a river of that kind in Flanders' Fields, let alone a waterfall. Anyone who has any insight into the geography of the region will tell you it is flat as can be. The largest body of water, the Yzer, gently meanders and flows into the Channel, even during really rainy times.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: I do not believe that either Ecoust or Croisilles Wood is in Flanders. Both are behind the old German lines at the Somme. That said, there are no bodies of water in that area.

Ecoust and Croissilles are in department Pas-De-Calais in the French Flanders, together with the Belgian flanders they are called Flanders Fields. It is indeed a flat area.

lionhead

There is a watercourse that goes through Croisilles... But it's basically a ditch.

More 1917 mistakes
The Dirty Dozen picture

Factual error: During the war games they have Jefferson pose as a major in order to facilitate the commandeering of the ambulance and the jeep. Regardless of their personal feelings in the matter the ambulance crew and the driver and troops in the jeep would be perfectly aware that no black man would ever be promoted to a position of authority in an otherwise all white command. We may find it repugnant today but the US Army was rigidly segregated during World War 2 - and it stayed that way until 1948. Jefferson may have been inducted into a special unit like the Dirty Dozen but considering that the future of the entire mission is riding on their success at the games, throwing it all away like that makes no sense at all.

More The Dirty Dozen mistakes
Fury picture

Factual error: During the final battle, Gordo the tank driver calls out, "Panzerfaust, four o'clock!", as he looks through his periscope. He could not have seen any targets at four o'clock, as the driver's periscope could barely rotate towards the eleven and one o'clock positions, close to the left and right front corners of the tank's hull. The four o'clock position would be near the right rear of the tank.

Scott215

More Fury mistakes
633 Squadron picture

Factual error: When the bombs are being taken down the lane, in the background where the lane meets the road a white mini can be seen passing the entrance.

More 633 Squadron mistakes
The Catcher Was a Spy picture

Other mistake: Recreated newsreel of a trip to Japan by Moe Berg before Pearl Harbor attack shows copyright date of MCMXLIV (1944) in the lower left corner, 3 years after the attack. (00:16:25)

More The Catcher Was a Spy mistakes
The Hurt Locker picture

Factual error: In one scene they are playing on an Xbox 360, but the Xbox 360 did not come out until 2005, and the game being played, Gears of War, wasn't released until 2006. The movie takes place in 2004.

More The Hurt Locker mistakes
Guns of Navarone picture

Plot hole: Maria describes in lurid detail how Anna was arrested by the Germans and tortured by being severely whipped, leaving her with gruesome scars all over her back. She also says that Anna hasn't spoken a word to anyone since she escaped from captivity. How, then, does Maria (or anyone else) know about the scars? Nobody saw them (they don't exist) and Anna obviously didn't tell anyone about them.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: She is probably able to write.

This correction is too speculative and offers no in-film evidence or further proof.

Bishop73

Anna was a school teacher.

Wasn't she a school teacher? So probably could write.

If she "wrote" about the scars wouldn't someone want to see them, perhaps get her to a doctor? Making up silly, deux ex machina explanations for film mistakes does not invalidate them.

Your assuming a lot like when the Germans release here. She could have "recovered" and had a fit anytime anyone touched her.

As was noted above, making up silly, deux ex machina explanations for film mistakes does not invalidate them. You cannot 'recover' from scars. It is ridiculous to think that nobody ever thought to get Anna to a doctor for treatment.

More Guns of Navarone mistakes
Midway picture

Revealing mistake: In the final scene where Fonda and Holbrook are looking over the carrier at the crowds on the dock you can see that only the first rows of people are dressed in period clothes, the rest of the crowd are dressed as they would have been in 1976 when the film was made.

More Midway mistakes
Zulu picture

Revealing mistake: When Mr Witt rides out of the Zulu camp in a 2 horse cart at the beginning of the movie, just before it exits, you can see it's a stunt double at the reins.

More Zulu mistakes
Red Tails picture

Factual error: Before receiving the North American P-51D Mustangs, the Red Tail squadron was using the Curtiss P-40E Warhawk. The movie shows the Warhawks being able to keep up with the German Bf 109 G-6s quite easily, fighting on even terms. In reality, the Bf 109 G-6 could easily outperform the Warhawk, being able to easily outrun and out-turn the Warhawk. Still, the Bf 109s are no match for the Warhawks.

André Vinícius

More Red Tails mistakes
Gone with the Wind picture

Character mistake: When Melanie and Scarlett are talking with an (off-screen) wounded Confederate soldier, the soldier says he hasn't heard from his brother since Bull Run. Only Northerners refer to that battle as Bull Run; Southerners have always referred to it as Manassas.

mdwalker

More Gone with the Wind mistakes
More Tora! Tora! Tora! mistakes
Black Hawk Down picture Black Hawk Down mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: Near the end of the movie when the convoy is heading back to the Pakistan Stadium, a Humvee stops briefly to allow a man to walk across the street with a child in his arms. When the shot changes and the Humvee begins driving again, a crew member or cameraman is seen inside the Humvee wearing a white shirt. All of the men who entered the Humvee were wearing fatigues. (02:05:27)

More Black Hawk Down mistakes
Gallipoli picture

Factual error: Frank, Archie and Snowy are all rural boys from New South Wales, but they all play Australian Rules football expertly. In 1915 Australian Rules was almost unknown outside of Melbourne. In a time before television or film they wouldn't even know what the ball looked like. In fact the game was only established in Sydney in the 1980s, and is still not terribly popular there. There is no way that three people from New South Wales would know how to play the game in 1915, let alone with such skill.

More Gallipoli mistakes
More Meet the Spartans mistakes
Enemy at the Gates picture

Factual error: When the map of the German advance is shown, Switzerland is shown to be taken over. Switzerland was never invaded by the Germans. (00:05:10)

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: It doesn't show German advances. It shows the German influence over Europe, symbolizing it covers all of Europe and then expanded towards the East. Italy was never conquered by the Germans either yet it was part of the axis and is shown being covered by black. Switzerland, though neutral, was fully surrounded by the Axis and their influence played heavily upon the country. Its a very crude simulation.

lionhead

Suggested correction: It does not show the German advancement in true historical order, but more like a red shadow that expands across Europe in a steady pace. And just as the camera starts zooming in on Stalingrad, you can see a small sliver of red starting to spread on the south-eastern coast of Norway.

dizzyd

More Enemy at the Gates mistakes
Pearl Harbor picture Pearl Harbor mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: After Evelyn tells Rafe that she is pregnant, she walks away and leaves him standing by the gas pumps. The camera zooms out and a boom mic comes into view in the upper right hand corner. (02:17:25)

Low Cow

More Pearl Harbor mistakes

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.