Best war movie mistakes of all time
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Factual error: When the Marines strip off and run into the sea in the final scene, Doc takes off a pair of white socks that would be more appropriate for a final at Wimbledon. Not only are they white rather than khaki, they are virtually spotlessly clean which would be impossible after a week of fighting on the black sands of Iwo Jima.
Factual error: John Wayne's squadron lands on Guadacanal as part of the "Cactus Air Force" in August 1942. However, they are flying F6F-3 Hellcats, which were not available, even to the Navy, until the middle of 1943. To top it off, they are painted in a late-war camouflage scheme with late-war markings.
Continuity mistake: When Joan first meets with her captains in Orleans, they argue. She walks away and La Hire calls her "a helluva woman". As she walks away, you can see him looking at her. Immediately, she turns back, and he is now looking at the other captains as she walks up to him and belts him. He must have turned his head very quickly, too quickly to be caught on film.
Factual error: This relates to the first movie with this title, the one with Jack Benny in it. About midway in the film there is a scene with Polish pilots in the RAF in a room. It cuts to a brief shot of airplanes flying which obviously purports to show the Polish pilots flying their airplanes. But, the airplanes shown are circa 1935 U. S. Army Air Corps Consolidated two place fighters, never used by the RAF and in fact totally obsolete and never used by any air force during WWII.
Continuity mistake: The city railroad scenes were filmed in Spain, and many of the forest railroad scenes were filmed in Finland; in both of those countries, most of the railroad track is broad gauge (the rails are more than 5 feet apart). The plains and mountains railroad scenes were largely shot in Canada, where the rails are "standard gauge": 4' 8 & 1/2" apart. The rails can be seen to jump between far apart and closer together more than once as the movie progresses.
Factual error: The weaponry of the Romans and their use is wrong (as they are in all Hollywood movies playing in the Ancient Mediterranean that I know): Instead of one spear, each legionary would carry two weighted javelins, called Pila (singular: Pilum), which had a long narrow iron head. The purpose of these were to throw them at the enemy before melee; if they did not kill their targets, the pila would get stuck in their shields. The head shaft would bend, making the pila useless for 'return' to their original owners, and with the added weight of the javelin, the enemies' shields were rendered useless as well. Following this, the Romans attacked with short swords (the Gladii; singular Gladius).
Factual error: Major Stewart addresses the Indian NCO as "Sergeant Major" and he is so described in the credits. There was no such rank in the British Indian Army. Indian cavalry sergeants were known as Daffadars. More senior Indian cavalry officers held VCO ranks (Jemadar, Risaldar and Risaldar Major) which had no British equivalent. Given the importance of rank and protocol, it is highly unlikely that a British commissioned officer would be unaware of this.Necrothesp
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