Deliberate mistake: At the end of the film when Pacino and the gangsters are shooting each other on the escalator, the escalator takes a long time to get to the bottom, way too long.
Factual error: In the scene where the mobsters are chasing Carlito, they chase him on to subway and are about to get him when some New York City Police Recruits also board the same subway. The mistake is that this cannot be possible because New York City had a hiring freeze from 1974-1980, and the movie takes place around 1975, thus there could not have been any recruits around that time.
Continuity mistake: There's a scene where Al ducks into a bar from a very wet and rainy night outside, and he's soaking wet. However a couple of shots later his hair appears perfectly blowdried.
Continuity mistake: When Pacino is talking to his old drug dealer friend at a table outside a cafe he has a bottle of beer in his hand. The bottle hops all over the place in the scene. One minute it's in his hand, then on the table, then he's taking a sip from it....without Al Pacino moving. (00:16:25)
Continuity mistake: In a scene at a coffee shop, the same few period vehicles keep passing by on the street in the background.
Revealing mistake: In the last scene of the movie after Carlito gets shot by Benny Blanco and Carlito's friend says "Let's get out of here", Benny Blanco turns and shoots him too. Right before he shoots him though, you can see Carlito's friend's eyes close and put on a facial expression as if bracing for the shot.
Factual error: In the scene where Al Pacino is talking on the phone in a phonebooth, you can see that the cars passing on the street behind him have rear window break lights. This movie is set in 1975 and rear window break lights weren't put into use until they were government mandated for the 1986 model year.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Carlito is being chased by mobsters; as they are about to close in on him in the subway car , several New York City Police Recruits board the same subway car. The uniforms they are wearing weren't worn by police recruits until the late 1980's, and the movie takes place in the early 1970's.
Factual error: As Carlito is being carted off, the camera pans across an intravenous line in his hand. The end that is taped to his hand is actually the drip chamber, which pierces the bag or bottle of fluid, not the skin. Also, paramedics would not "stick" a patient there; there are no major veins in that part of the hand.