Best thriller movie factual errors of 1977

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Capricorn One picture

Factual error: The whole conspiracy is doomed from the start! They show a Lunar Module on the set representing Mars; the astronauts were supposed to use this to 'land' on the Martian surface. This is insane. The Lunar Excursion Module cannot operate in an atmosphere; it would burn up on entry. It has no heat shield - the engine nozzle and landing legs would have to poke through it if it had. Exterior protrusions like antennae and steering engines would burn off during descent through the Martian atmosphere. While Mars' atmosphere is thin, it is still more than sufficient to burn up a Lander designed this way. All three recent Mars Landers, Spirit, Opportunity, and Phoenix, had heat shields and parachutes to facilitate safe re-entry. This is not a radical redesign of the LEM; it simply cannot be the shape it is if it is to work in an atmosphere. Any schoolkid would know that, and the world's media would not be fooled for a second.

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Airport '77 picture

Factual error: After the plane is submerged, Jack Lemmon says, "... this plane is pressurized!" Jet aircraft are pressurized by bleeding air from the compressor sections of the engines into the cabin; in other words, the plane is only pressurized while the engines are running. Also, aircraft are only pressurized to a few psi above the outside air pressure at altitude, and never to more than the air pressure at sea level. The water pressure would be a great deal higher than the air pressure in the cabin, and since aircraft are not water tight, the water would quickly fill the aircraft. (If the aircraft was in 50 feet of water, the water pressure would be 21.7 psi, versus a maximum cabin pressure of 14.7 psi.)

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The Spy Who Loved Me picture

Factual error: When James Bond programs the two submarines to destroy each other we see the paths of the missiles displayed on a globe. They swing across in two arcs, narrowly missing each other. However, we are looking down on the surface of the globe, with no height perception, so the missiles should in fact travel in straight lines directly betweeen the submarines.

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The Gauntlet picture

Factual error: After mounting armor in the bus they are approaching Phoenix on a two lane highway from the northwest. When entering the city they are shown coming around South Mountain on Interstate 10 from Tucson from the south.

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Factual error: Near the beginning, when the crew is chasing the great white shark and trying to avoid hitting the raft, Captain Nolan yells to the pilot "Hard to port." The pilot turns the wheel to the right, which is starboard.

wizard_of_gore Premium member
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Telefon picture

Factual error: Donald Pleasence's character makes a left turn at an intersection controlled by a traffic light. The camera pulls back and reveals an Interstate highway shield on the road he turned from. Interstate highways never have at-grade intersections controlled by traffic lights; they are designed to be non-stop routes with access to side roads available only through ramps and grade-separated interchanges.

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Black Sunday picture

Factual error: After loading the bomb, Dern and Keller hijack the blimp. As Shaw watches the blimp heading for the stadium, he spots a helicopter across the field, moving bundles of pipe. Shaw and Weaver commandeer the chopper to chase down the blimp. A major part of the security plan for the Superbowl, was that the only aircraft "trusted" to be allowed to fly within a 100 miles of the stadium are the Goodyear blimp and the Police helicopter. The other helicopter would not have been allowed to fly that day.

supercent
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