Best movie plot holes of 1977

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Capricorn One picture

Plot hole: The "death" of the three astronauts and the requirement to then fake the whole scenario of the failed mission was obviously unplanned - it came about because of an unexpected computer glitch which reported that they had burned up on reentry, causing a mad scramble to cover up the fake mission and kill the astronauts. Obviously it was planned to have the astronauts "return" to Earth as heroes after their supposed trip to Mars, maintaining their deception (under threat if necessary) for the rest of their lives. One problem. Every scientist on earth would be champing at the bit to get their hands on a sample of Martian rock. Samples would be worth billions, worth far more than Moon rocks are worth today. How was NASA going to explain they didn't have any? They could not possibly fake the rocks - Martian soil and rocks would have a number of identifiable characteristics that a smart first year college student could identify. Using Martian meteorites collected from the Earth's surface won't work, either - prolonged exposure to the Earth's atmosphere would leave tell tale weathering and chemical changes that would be instantly detectable. NASA have painted themselves into a corner and that is not something they would have failed to realise well in advance.


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Suggested correction: They could use meteors that had landed on Earth. This is one of the theories for the "faked" moon landing, that they either created the moon rocks from scratch, or collected meteors. As for the death of the astronauts, that's not a plot hole, it's the plot of the movie; the powers that be wanted the men to fake everything and return as heroes. When they wouldn't play along, it was decided they needed to be eliminated.

It is clear from the narrative of the film that it was planned that the astronauts would "land" safely. Using meteorites would not work - exposure to the Earth's atmosphere would mean (and has meant) that the rocks would show weathering and chemical changes that anyone would be able to detect.

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The Spy Who Loved Me picture

Plot hole: When Bond's Lotus is being attacked while its traveling underwater it develops a few small leaks, which spray a thin stream of water into the car. When the Lotus drives out onto the beach, Bond rolls down the window and drops a big fish out of the car. How did that get in there? If there was a hole in the car the size of that fish, it would have flooded the driver's compartment and sunk the car.

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Rollercoaster picture

Plot hole: When the bomber is surrounded at the end he gets shot in the leg but manages to get away from all of the police that were surrounding him. They were literally an arm's length from him.

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Cross of Iron picture

Plot hole: "The regiment headquarters calling for Corporal Steiner. Come in Steiner." The film starts with this repeating radio message. It's even heard by Steiner and his men who are on their hush-hush job behind the enemy lines: a reconnaissance mission. Calling Steiner just makes no sense, especially with the name.


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Close Encounters of the Third Kind picture

Plot hole: The aliens provide coordinates for a place to make a rendezvous with humans but do not specify a time. It's possible they're monitoring and will arrive when they see enough humans gathering at Devil's Tower, but the humans seem to expect the aliens to come more or less exactly when they actually do, somehow.

TonyPH Premium member

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Suggested correction: Scientists were prepared for the aliens and knew when and where they would arrive, as seen by the extensive complex built at Devil's Tower. However, as Claude Lacombe, the French scientist, speculates towards the end, hundreds of humans may have had the Devil's Tower image recently implanted in their minds, saying they were "invited" but never made the connection. Neery figured it out and was compelled to go there at that time. Neery was then allowed to join a group of trained volunteers that were already prepared to go on the ship, while the previous "abductees" were being returned to Earth.

raywest Premium member

The aliens had not given a time to meet. The scientists may be taking it on faith that the aliens will know that they've arrived at Devil's Tower and are ready, but the way the subject of timing is left unaddressed on screen feels like an oversight.

TonyPH Premium member

We don't know for certain if the scientists were given a specific time, but it appears they were, or at least a general window. The long-lost objects, like the ship and the military aircraft, suddenly showing up in the desert, is an indication the process has started. If humans were given the precise location where the alien ship would arrive (Devil's Tower), then, logically, the aliens would also communicate when. The scientists were communicating with the aliens using tonal sounds. Early on, the scientists received map coordinates through dish satellites as repeating pulses. They would likely receive time information the same way. As often happens in movies, this info may be something that got edited out of the film, causing an inconsistency.

raywest Premium member

This might be one of those edge cases. Under most circumstances I'd agree we could assume arrangements were made off-screen by virtue of the fact that the rendezvous occurs successfully in the first place; but in the context of this movie, in which any and all forms of contact with the aliens is treated as profound and significant, leaving it unaddressed (not even with a line of dialogue) comes off like a plot hole. I suppose we'll just have to let our fellow website readers decide.

TonyPH Premium member

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Slap Shot picture

Plot hole: During the intermission break of the championship game, Joe shouts about scouts from the NHL in the stands waiting to sign up the team. But Reggie is mystified about this before sending his team out to get rough again. Why doesn't the coach of his own team know about people from the NHL waiting to sign his players up?


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Exorcist II: The Heretic picture

Plot hole: Dr. Tuskin warns that if Regan were to remember the events of her possession it could be so traumatic for her it could lead to suicide, even though Regan's therapy seems to be based almost entirely on what she can remember about the events of her possession.

TonyPH Premium member

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Smokey and the Bandit picture

Plot hole: If the authorities know the Burdettes are putting truckers up to bootlegging beer across state lines then why don't they just arrest them? Aren't they basically contributing to illegal activities by purchasing all the beer that's being brought to them?


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The Deep picture

Plot hole: If the vacuum is strong enough to suck up a hand grenade, why isn't it sucking up the ampules?

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The Crater Lake Monster picture

Plot hole: Despite no one actually seeing the landing site of the meteorite, the sheriff takes his boat and the divers to the exact location of the rock. They go down and immediately find it.

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The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training picture

Plot hole: The game in Houston is only 4 innings. If it almost got called after 2 innings, it's obviously pressed for time. Although called safe for the win, if Kelly was called out at home plate at the end of the 4th, the game would have ended in a tie. No extra innings would be allowed for sure this time due to time factor, so how would a winning team be determined to play in Japan?

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Suggested correction: This isn't a plot hole, it's a question. Asking "what would have happened if..." isn't a valid plot hole. The writers had no need to explain "what if" scenarios since they never would have occurred. However, to answer your question with plausible answers; 1) The Bears HAD to win in order to go to Japan and thus a tie would mean the Toros played Japan (like a champion retaining his title after a draw in a title fight). Or 2) They played a 2nd game at a later time.


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Charleston picture

Plot hole: The whole premise of the movie hinges on the fact that someone is going to try to buy the ship off James Coco for 3 millions, to try and sell it for 5 to Morris, who put a false ad on the newspaper but he's gonna hightail after. First; it's unclear how whoever checks out of the ad with the 5 million offer is going to be aware that Joe Lo Monaco has a ship for sale for 3 mil; he did not put an ad out himself, and who checks out of the morning paper looking for multimillionaire bargains on ocean liners? It's something entirely out of their league for the gang of small crooks shown in the movie and that Charleston ends up helping. Even more absurd is the fact that Morris plans to disappear after the 'sting', but he is running it with his own real name and in London, where he works as a high profile lawyer. Not the kind of person who can and would just 'disappear' into thin air, especially when the sting could have been done in any other part of the world.

Sammo Premium member

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