Independence Day

Character mistake: In the Iraqi Desert, when the British soldiers speak of the casualties and losses, one of the British soldiers mentions the loss of the Belgian contingent and possible reinforcements, then makes a reference to the "Golan Straits"; there is no such place.

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Suggested correction: "Golan Straits" is another word (albeit dated one) for the Goland Heights which is a region of Syria occupied by Israel.

The region in question has no straits, which is the point of the entry. And never would the term "Golan Strait" be used to identify a 1,800 sq km plateau. The actor, or writer, used the wrong term that a soldier in that situation wouldn't use.


Factual error: The missile launched by the B-2 is made-up. The nuclear missiles carried by the B-2 are powered by a small jet engine, not a rocket motor. The last air-launched, rocket-powered, nuclear missile was withdrawn from USAF service in 1990, before B-2s had even been delivered to the Air Force. Plus, these missiles are very accurate and have a range of hundreds of miles. Why get so close? Finally, the B-2 pilots have no flash blindness protection. No blackout panels on the windows, or special goggles that darken when exposed to bright light. The tinted visors on their helmets isn't good enough to block out the flash from a nuclear detonation. (01:36:20)

Factual error: The firewall that destroys Washington DC is all wrong. When the destroyer blows up the White House, as in NYC and LA, it would have created a ring of fire that would have spread outwards. The White House is in a North Westerly position from the Capital Building, so when the fire wall hit the Capital Building, it would have hit from the side - but, instead, it hits from the back/front. (00:47:30)

Independence Day mistake picture

Continuity mistake: On the television screen that has a map of where all the ships have landed in the Eastern Hemisphere, every city is identified by name, except for Berlin, which is just identified as "Germany." (00:26:50)


Other mistake: When the President and the others arrive at Area 51, the sliding glass door to the laboratory that the staff member opens with his key and numerical key code opens before he finishes entering the code.

Independence Day mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When President Whitmore is on the phone with his wife (their daughter Patricia lies on the bed), telling her he wants her to leave LA and a chopper will take her to Nellis Air Force Base, a Secret Service Agent appears at the doorway and the actor's mark is visible on the floor. (Only visible on fullscreen DVD.)

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Factual error: When Air Force One is taking off, the fireball should not be that close. The heat from the fireball would keep the wings from getting any lift as hotter air is thinner. Since the fireball is hot enough to explode steel and concrete it would surely have ignited the 45,000 gallons of fuel in the wings and melted the rubber tires. Had the plane actually been able to get its tires off the ground, the 'rolling' effect of the fireball and the rapidly rising heat being below and behind the plane would have caused it to do a 'negative angle pitch-over' or forward somersault right into the runway.

Other mistake: In the scene immediately after Jasmine, her son, and their dog escape the fireball in the utility closet, they emerge from the wreckage to find everything destroyed. But in the background there are two palm trees still standing, with leaves and branches still intact. Isn't it logical that a huge fireball such as that would at the very least burn the leaves off the tree?

Factual error: The opening scene shows the Apollo 11 landing site. Aside from the previously mentioned plaque incorrectly shown being on the ground, the scene shows a pristine American flag standing upright. The Apollo 11 flag was actually knocked over when the Lunar Module ascent stage launched. Plus the American flags left on the moon are bleached white with no color, due to UV rays and massively direct sunlight - and they are probably disintegrated, due to micro meteors and solar destruction. (00:00:45)

Independence Day mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When Steven is about to leave for El Toro, just as he walks up to his red car, where Dylan plays, the actor's mark is visible on the ground before he steps up to it, and before Jasmine joins him beside the car. (Only visible on fullscreen DVD.)

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Independence Day mistake picture

Continuity mistake: At the Oval Office, when General Grey says, "They're tracking another one off the California coastline," the grandfather clock is perfectly centered between the two doorways. In the following shots the clock is much farther to the right. (00:14:45)

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Independence Day mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When David introduces the idea of a virus, the first time Major Mitchell shoots at the Coke can the two actors' marks are visible on the floor in front of Julius and Connie, as well as a brown rug at their feet, that are not in other shots. (Only visible on fullscreen DVD.)

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Factual error: When the alien ship arrives in Washington DC, its shadow goes over the Lincoln Memorial from the bottom of the Lincoln statue to the top. Since the saucer is heading over the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial faces the Mall, the shadow should have gone from the top to the bottom. (00:21:40)


Independence Day mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: A few shots after the White House and chopper are destroyed, when a light colored car lifts up from the bottom left to top left of the screen, the roll cannon is visible under the car, between the front tires. (00:52:10)

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Other mistake: When the alien spacecraft arrives at New York City, notice the shadow of the alien ship moving up the World Trade Center buildings, yet the sun is still shining on the water in front of the buildings.

Independence Day mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When David squeezes his dad's shoulder, after he just won chess, David has a severe bruise on the middle fingernail of his left hand, which disappears as soon as he gets back to work.

Continuity mistake: At the beginning of the film when we see the Casse kids in the caravan, one of them is messing with the TV, in one shot we can see his hand on the bottom knob, in the next shot it's on the top knob. (00:10:00)


Factual error: David is in New York playing chess and then goes to the station riding his bike through the office. When he goes past the vending machines, the water machine is Arrowhead branded, which is a California / west coast water brand - not on the east coast. (00:07:00)

Continuity mistake: In the Oval Office, when David says, "They're using our own satellites against us," the grandfather clock is about a foot away from the doorway behind him. In the previous wideshot, when Alex appears at the doorway, the grandfather clock is farther to the right, nearer to the other curtained doorway.

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Captain Steven Hiller: Y'know, this was supposed to be my weekend off, but got me out here draggin' your heavy ass through the burnin' desert with your dreadlocks stickin' out the back of my parachute. You've gotta come down here with an attitude, actin' all big and bad...and what the hell is that smell?! I could've been at a barbecue!

More quotes from Independence Day

Trivia: When Steven and David are being chased out of the alien mothership, David says "Must go faster, must go faster." This is a line Jeff Goldblum said in the film Jurassic Park (1993), when he was riding in the back of a jeep, getting chased by the T-Rex. That line from Jurassic Park was loved so much by ID4 filmmakers, they looped it into the dialogue. Jeff never actually spoke that line when ID4 was being filmed.

More trivia for Independence Day

Question: In the scene where the pilots are receiving their initial briefing, the officer in charge is a Lt Colonel, but in a later scene where the alien ship is approaching area 51, he is a captain. Is this the same officer or is this a mistake?

Answer: This is indeed a mistake. The character is played by Bill Smitrovich and is listed as playing Captain Watson, but in the briefing scene he is wearing collar insignia for a Lt. Colonel.


More questions & answers from Independence Day

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