Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer mistake picture

Factual error: After the successful Trinity test in 1945, people in a crowd are holding small US flags with 50 stars on them (offset rows). At the time there were only 48 states and the flag had 48 stars in even rows. The 50 star flag didn't exist until 1960, after Alaska and Hawaii were made states in 1959.

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Suggested correction: While this is correct, an argument can be made that since the colour scenes are meant to be subjective and the black and white scenes are meant to be objective, Oppenheimer could have been unintentionally mapping the modern US flag onto this scene.

THGhost

That's a ridiculous stretch with zero evidence, not least as 48 star flags are seen in colour in other scenes. Sometimes a mistake is simply a mistake.

There is evidence, though. Nolan said so himself. Look it up. As for the mistake itself, I'm merely repeating what I've read on Twitter, and this correction was merely a suggestion. Seeing the 48 star flags in other colour scenes still doesn't disprove this theory. It is just a theory though, so no need to shoot it down so hard.

THGhost

He's said subjective in terms of the colour scenes being "first person", and maybe not strictly factual in terms of creating moments between characters and conveying emotion, but nowhere does that stretch to "one random scene happens to feature 50 star flags because Oppenheimer is mapping the modern flag onto it, when nothing like that happens anywhere else in the film."

Meh, take it up with Twitter. I just thought it was interesting, so I posted it here for a different point of view/perspective for others to read. It is most likely bull**** though.

THGhost

The fact that a director realized they had made a mistake and retroactively made up a deus ex machina explanation for it in no way invalidates the mistake. Nice try, Mr. Nolan but this posting is absolutely valid.

While Christopher Nolan's talked about the subjective/objective colour/black and white thing, which is entirely fair and no doubt exactly his intention, I don't think he's actually tried to "excuse" this by using that explanation, that's just other people trying to connect the two things. I'm not sure Nolan has commented on the flag issue in interviews at all.

Precisely, and I was in no way trying to invalidate the original mistake. I just found the whole theory interesting and posted it here. It is rather hilarious that a director with such attention to detail like Nolan would have missed something like this. We shall see if he gets it fixed for the streaming/physical release.

THGhost

It's not fixed in the home video version. However, the behind-the-scenes materials provide a reason for the mistake, in that putting a crowd in the scene was apparently a spur-of-the-moment decision. It's like that in their haste to bring in the crowd, the set decorators bought some modern miniature flags and put them into the scene without anyone realizing the 48/50 discrepancy.

Vader47000

Factual error: When Oppenheimer delivers his lecture in "Dutch" he's actually speaking German. Although in the German dubbed version, the language heard is Dutch.

Factual error: In the film, when Oppenheimer receives the Enrico Fermi award in 1963, Edward Lawrence congratulates him by patting him on the shoulder. Lawrence died in 1958 and could not have been there.

wizard_of_gore

Factual error: Just before the Trinity test explosion, a counter is shown counting back to zero. The counter displays the numbers with Nixie tubes. The tubes, however, were only invented in 1955.

Factual error: When Edward Teller proposed that a fission explosion might ignite the atmosphere in an uncontrollable chain reaction, Oppenheimer did not go to New Jersey to consult with Einstein. He actually went to Michigan to consult with experimentalist Arthur H. Compton.

wizard_of_gore

Factual error: The real Edward Teller walked with a pronounced limp due to his right foot being almost entirely severed in a streetcar accident in 1928. In the film, he walks normally.

wizard_of_gore

Factual error: No one would have used the phrase "black hole" in 1939. The term "black hole" was first used in 1963 in "Life" and "Science News" and by Ann Ewing in an article in January of 1964. Princeton physicist John Wheeler popularised the term.

wizard_of_gore

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Suggested correction: Nobody uses the term "black hole" in the movie, only the term "dark star". Oppenheimer once refers to it as a hole in space, but not a black hole.

lionhead

When Oppenheimer walks into the room of cheering people (after he says he'll be in Pasadena), someone says "paper on black holes, it's in!"

Bishop73

Ah, yes, I see. I wonder, though, if it's really that unlikely someone would call it a black hole before it was popularized? It is essentially what they are. Certainly, it's possible somebody before 1963 called it that without it ending up in a paper. Just a coincidence, then.

lionhead

Factual error: When Oppenheimer delivers his lecture in "Dutch" he's actually speaking German. Although in the German dubbed version, the language heard is Dutch.

More mistakes in Oppenheimer

Leslie Groves: Are you saying that there's a chance that when we push that button... we destroy the world?
J. Robert Oppenheimer: The chances are near zero.
Leslie Groves: Near zero?
J. Robert Oppenheimer: What do you want from theory alone?
Leslie Groves: Zero would be nice.

More quotes from Oppenheimer

Trivia: Robert Downey Jr. declared this was "the best film I've ever been in" at the UK premiere.

More trivia for Oppenheimer

Answer: The black and white scenes are shown from the perspective of Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.), whereas the scenes in colour are shown from Oppenheimer's perspective.

Casual Person

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