Catch Me If You Can

Factual error: On the plane, while being escorted by FBI agents, Frank Jr sees New York's LaGuardia Airport and says, "There it is, LaGuardia Airport, runway 44." A runway numbered 44 is impossible. No runway can be numbered over 36 because there are 360 degrees in a circle. (01:58:25)

Factual error: In the scene where Handratty hits the button to stop the press, suddenly individual checks come flying up from the press. This could not happen. On such a large press the checks would be printed several up on a large sheet of paper, to be cut down after printing is completed. (01:53:10)

Factual error: In a telephone conversation scene between Frank and Handratty, Frank is using a phone that has a plug type receiver. The phones in that era were all hard wired.

Factual error: In the street scene after Frank buys his airline uniform, he crosses the street in front of two buses. Behind one of the buses you can see a Federal Express truck. The movie is set in 1964; FedEx began operations in 1973; the FedEx logo on the truck was introduced in 1994. (00:35:20)

Factual error: The nurse in the hospital wearing braces has the stick on braces, which were not available at that time. The only type available had wrap around bands. (01:11:30)

Factual error: When Frank's mother takes him to the non-private school and he urges his mother not to smoke, in the background, through the car window, you'll see a light-colored Chevrolet Kingswood Estate Wagon driving by, of a 1970 vintage.

Factual error: In an early scene where Frank Sr. and Jr. go to the Chase Manhattan bank in New York (1962) a Duane Reade Drug Store with new (1998) store signage is seen in the background.

Factual error: In the scene where Frank first meets the candy striper at the nurses' station, you can see a gray Notifier annunciator for the fire alarm system on the wall. These are for a digital system that could not have been around at that time.

Factual error: The green-capped McCormick spices on the spice rack in the apartment were not available in the early 1960s.

Factual error: When Frank is arrested in France, Handratty bends over to look at him through the rear window of the police car. You can clearly see the lines of the window defogger on Handratty's face. Cars did not have electric defoggers like that in the late 1960s. (01:57:35)

Factual error: When Handratty presses the emergency stop button at the printers, it causes paper to fly all over the place. Pressing the emergency stop would also stop the sheet feeder, and therefore stop the paper feeding through the press. (01:53:10)

Phil Watts

Factual error: On the letter from Frank Jr. to Frank Sr. with the Atlanta return address, the stamp used had not yet been issued by the date of postmark (September 12, 1965). The stamp, the sheet version of the 5-cent "unshaven" George Washington (Scott Catalogue No. 1283), was not issued until February 22, 1966. (01:19:26)

Factual error: When Frank goes to pick up his fiance at the Miami airport, he is driving a 1964 Chevelle. Quick shots of the car show that the hubcaps on the Chevelle belong to a 1965 Chevelle SS, which would be incorrect for a 1964 model.

Factual error: 3-28-04 7:11pm CST In the scene when Frank shows up at the Miami International airport in a Checker Cab. The cab is no older than a 1978 model. That was the year that the bumpers changed from chrome to the heavy iron style we see in the shot

Factual error: When Carl explains the check system to the other police officers, they show a map of the USA with Kansas City in Nebraska instead of Kansas, and Boston in Maine instead of Massachusetts. The next time the map was shown, the cities are at the good place and the shades of gray are different. (00:43:20)

Dr Wilson

Factual error: Towards the end, when young girls are 'interviewed' for stewardess' positions, one of them sings part of John Denver's 'Leaving on a Jet Plane'. That song was on John Denver's debut LP "Rhymes and Reasons" which was released in 1969, and made popular by Peter, Paul & Mary, but by then Abignale was already in jail in France, having been arrested two years prior, in 1967. (01:47:00)

Factual error: When Frank Jr. is watching Mitch Miller with Brenda's family, there is no bouncing ball on the words on the screen like there was on the actual show. (01:31:20)

Factual error: When we see Leo's yearbook photo close-up, the image isn't half-toned as it would have been at the time. Instead, it's printed using error diffusion dithering, a computer technique not available at the time. (01:00:25)

Factual error: In the lunch scene in the fancy restaurant with Frank Sr. and Frank Jr., the crystal goblets are of a pattern that wasn't available in the 1960's. The pattern is Mikasa Parklane, which I believe became available in the late 1980's.

Factual error: In the scene where Frank Abagnale is arrested in France, on of the police cars has a license plate that ends with 'PP 41'. Now the last two digits are a code for a particular French district ('departement') and the two letters indicate the age of the car, i.e. the first licence plates ever had the letters AA, then AB, all the way through to ZZ and most recent licence plates have three letters. For this particular 'departement' the highest possible letter sequence would have been HH for 1969 and JB for 1970. So this particular car, or its license plate, is much more recent than 1969 or 1970. (01:57:45)

Factual error: In a telephone conversation scene between Frank and Handratty, Frank is using a phone that has a plug type receiver. The phones in that era were all hard wired.

More mistakes in Catch Me If You Can

Frank Abagnale Sr.: You know why the Yankees always win, Frank?
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: 'Cause they have Mickey Mantle?
Frank Abagnale Sr.: No, it's 'cause the other teams can't stop staring at those damn pinstripes.

More quotes from Catch Me If You Can

Trivia: Frank Abagnale's father was, in real life, a straight honest law abiding citizen, and not the shonky con-man as depicted in the movie.

More trivia for Catch Me If You Can

Question: I may have missed this, but why does Frank tear the labels off bottles?

Answer: He was taking the labels off the bottles to make fake checks, using the logos as this is the one thing that he could not create on the checks. The MICR printer was only used to print the routing and account numbers and the emboss the checks.

Answer: He does it so he will have things in his wallet. As he has no identity of his own and steals or creates others, filling his wallet with labels is fulfilling a subconscious desire to be normal and have an identity.

Grumpy Scot

More questions & answers from Catch Me If You Can

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