Best movie mistakes of 1973

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The Day of the Jackal picture

Plot hole: An important plot point (in the book and the film) is that Charles Calthrop - thought to be the Jackal, at that stage - played some mysterious part in the 1961 assassination of Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of The Dominican Republic, and rumours of his involvement came to the attention of MI6 and Special Branch, leading to the accidental exposure of the Jackal's false passport. In fact there is no mystery at all about the assassination of Trujillo and there were no shadowy foreigners involved. It was organised by Trujillo's own senior aides, amongst them General Juan Tomás Díaz, Antonio de la Maza, Amado Garcia Guerroro and General Antonio Imbert Barrera. The gunmen was later identified as Luis Aniama Tio. All the conspirators except Tio were arrested, tortured and shot. There was no panicked evacuation of foreigners who were involved with Trujillo's regime and no reason for them to be concerned - the government did not fall and Trujillo's brother Hector took over as President, ruling in a brutal and totalitarian manner for a further eight years. Any rumours of a mysterious Englishman would have been dismissed out of hand and would not have made it onto even the lowest level filing system anywhere in Whitehall.

PEDAUNT
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Westworld picture

Plot hole: There is a barely credible explanation for the fact that a guest cannot be injured or killed by being shot in Westworld, but what about the vicious fistfight we see in the bar? People are injured or killed in bar brawls all the time, and this once was incredibly violent. How do they prevent guests from being injured or killed by the cutting and stabbing weapons we see in Medieval and Roman World? Guests are supposed to fight each other, not just robots - they cannot be 'programmed' to lose! Delos is going be sued into bankruptcy within a week of the first guest arriving. Quite apart from the legal position, think about the bad publicity! Who is going to pay the huge fees demanded by the parks owners when the media is constantly reporting on the guests who wound up dead or with life changing injuries?

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Suggested correction: The explanation given in the TV show would seem to easily apply to the original film as well: guests can be injured, but not to the point that it would leave a lasting mark. The park has access to futuristic medical techniques, so they can heal most non-life-threatening injuries easily. Also the guests almost certainly sign waivers, so in the event of serious injury the park isn't liable.

Jason Hoffman

Suggested correction: It's easy to nitpick the factual details of "Westworld," the screenplay of which was written on-the-fly on a fairly limited budget, even by early 1970s' standards. Author Michael Crichton (who also wrote "The Andromeda Strain," "The Terminal Man," "Congo," "Sphere," "Jurassic Park" and several other technological thrillers) himself acknowledged that Westworld was more a visual story (like a comic book) than a cerebral piece of science fiction, and he learned on this movie that suspension of disbelief outweighed technical or even factual details, if he wanted to expedite the story in an hour-and-a-half. Crichton said he was having more fun and devoting more time to shooting the film than actually writing it, comparing the experience to playing cowboys and indians as a child. So, yes, Westworld is not much more than an adult fantasy with a number of plot holes that we are supposed to gleefully overlook, rather than analyze.

Charles Austin Miller

Suggested correction: Westworld ensure that any interactions with the robots are entirely safe for the patrons of the park. They cannot prevent humans fighting amongst themselves, just as Disneyland can't prevent people fighting there. People are also injured or die all the time in horse-riding accidents, but that won't lead to people suing Westworld. Due to the nature of the park, all the guests likely sign a waiver stating that any injuries are not the fault of the park.

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The Sting picture

Plot hole: A vital plot line, obviously, is that Doyle wants to kill the con men who fleeced his runner of the numbers money. He has Luther killed and turns his best men (and women) onto Johnny Hooker, almost killing him, too. What about the third conman, Kid Erie? He is an essential part of the con, as much a part of it as Luther and Hooker. During the setup - just before they fleece him - the numbers runner watches Kid Erie running away. He looks at him, Hooker and Luther in turn. Even if he couldn't identify him he would still be able to inform Doyle that there were three rather than two con men involved. Even so, Kid Erie comes and goes as he pleases. Doyle doesn't have anyone looking for him; he doesn't even mention him in conversation, and in fact consistently refers to two - not three - con men. He makes it clear that he would have to kill his best friend if he even found out about the con, yet he lets one of the central participants go scot free. It doesn't make any sense at all.

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Suggested correction: This isn't a plot hole or even a mistake. The only information Doyle, or anyone in his organisation, has about the con men comes from the runner himself; who it is said was found in a bar drowning his sorrows later that day. He explained what happened to some of Doyle's men and was killed shortly afterwards. It could simply be that he was too drunk to remember the third man involved, or to realise that the third man was part of the con. This is at best a character being given inaccurate information. As the submitter says, Doyle consistently refers to two con men, not three. So as far as he knows he's looking for 2 con men. The only 'mistake' here is Kid Erie advising Hooker to go on the run, without seemingly considering that he's just as at much at risk.

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Papillon picture

Visible crew/equipment: In the last scene where the main character escapes, he jumps into the bay and is supported by a sack which he is carrying. Actually you can clearly see that he is supported from underneath by a diver.

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The Exorcist picture

Visible crew/equipment: Near the beginning of the movie, the old priest is in Northern Iraq and you can see the shadow of a microphone on his hat.

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Robin Hood picture

Continuity mistake: During the archery constest, in one scene Prince John has a ring on his right paw with no jewel, then all of a sudden the jewel appears. a few scenes later he has three rings on that paw, and later he has no rings at all.

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Magnum Force picture

Visible crew/equipment: After Callahan removes the bomb from his mailbox, he looks up at a man on the nearby stairs. As a car drives by on the street, the lights from it cast the shadow of the boom operator onto the wall.

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American Graffiti picture

Factual error: In one scene a parked car is sitting along the street - it is a '68 Chevy, it has sidelights. Yet the film is set in 1962.

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Paperback Hero picture

Continuity mistake: In the first scene where the truck drives along the road, if you look in the top right hand corner you can see the shadow of the helicopter that was filming the shot.

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Charley Varrick picture

Plot hole: Swapping his dental X-ray records with his deceased partner won't convince anyone that Varrick is dead - then (as now) the patient's name appears on the X-ray.

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Bang the Drum Slowly picture

Continuity mistake: In some of the locker room scenes, the overhead boom microphone is visible, and clearly shaking.

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The Wicker Man picture

Other mistake: During his conversation with the landlord of the pub he ends up staying in, Sergeant Howie makes it clear that he did not intend to stay on Summerisle overnight, that he had been delayed and so needed accommodation. Makes you wonder why he packed his pyjamas. He's wearing them when Britt Ecklund does her famous naked song and dance routine, and they are not new so we know he didn't buy them that day. When he arrived he didn't even think he'd be on Summerisle for more than a few hours - we don't see him with so much as an overnight bag.

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The Three Musketeers picture

Continuity mistake: At one point D'Artagnan reaches the Duke of Buckingham, who is on a hunt. He has just killed a stag and his hands are covered in blood. D'Artagnan rides up and offers him a note from Queen Anne. He wipes his palms with a cloth before he takes the note, but his hands are still covered with blood up to and above the wrists. When he reads the note, he and D'Artagnan take off on foot for his castle where they go into a private room behind the walls. Suddenly it is apparent that his hands are perfectly clean right down to his scrubbed fingernails and, without explanation, the plot-heavy sequence continues.

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The Golden Voyage of Sinbad picture

Continuity mistake: The swords of the animated statue of Kali are different from the swords used in the close-up fight scenes.

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Live and Let Die picture

Visible crew/equipment: When 007 takes the taxi outside the Oh Voodoo Cult Shop, you can see the reflection of the crew on the window of the car.

Dr Wilson
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Enter the Dragon picture

Other mistake: In the intense outdoor battle scene at the end, when Bruce kicks a guy in the face three times in a row, one of the extras in the background cracks up laughing.

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The Seven-Ups picture

Revealing mistake: When the Grand Ville turns onto the street where the children are playing, it clips a parked car as it makes the turn. This is the same car that later gets its driver's door ripped off by the Grand Ville just before the police give chase. It was repainted red for the second scene, but note the same dent in the right fender as before.

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Emperor of the North Pole picture

Factual error: On the night of 19 October 1933 the railroad workers begin betting whether A-One will make it to Portland on the 19. A quick closeup of the money changing hands reveals the $1's to have the Great Seal reverse (introduced in 1935) plus the motto IN GOD WE TRUST (introduced in 1957). Also, the green-seal Federal Reserve Notes and the red-seal United States $2 notes are of the types first introduced in 1934.

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Charlotte's Web picture

Continuity mistake: When Wilbur is meeting Charlotte's three daughters in the barn entrance, the medal that the farmer hung there keeps appearing and disappearing between shots, though the duration of the scene.

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The Daring Dobermans picture

Continuity mistake: Right at the start of the movie, the dogs go though the bank's front door, which can only be opened from the outside, which means someone had to have opened the door for the dogs.

Nhogan
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