Midway

Revealing mistake: In the final scene where Fonda and Holbrook are looking over the carrier at the crowds on the dock you can see that only the first rows of people are dressed in period clothes, the rest of the crowd are dressed as they would have been in 1976 when the film was made.

Revealing mistake: Utility poles are visible in the scene of the Japanese aircraft carrier launching planes for the first attack on Midway.

Revealing mistake: In virtually every shot of the flight deck looking up at the fighters and bombers overhead attacking the U.S. ships, the anti-aircraft guns show the red paper caps of the blanks rather than pointed bullets.

Revealing mistake: Still another "Recycled Footage" sighting, plus a double error in one: A scene has a truck blown up during the "attack" on Midway by a Japanese Fighter Plane. Same footage (a bit cut for time) from "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and Midway is small enough that trucks of that size weren't used on the Island.

Revealing mistake: Just before the Japanese planes were launched, you can see that the maintenance workers for the planes weren't moving. They were just statues.

Revealing mistake: Probably another instance of the recycled footage issue with this film. When the Japanese planes begin their attack on Midway Island a wide shot shows many of the Japanese planes with torpedoes attached to them. Shouldn't they all have bombs instead of torpedoes?

Revealing mistake: When the PBY is leaving Midway to begin the reconnaissance operation a long stretch of land is passing by in the background. The same stretch of land is earlier when Admiral Nimitz lands at Pearl Harbor indicating the same location was used for two different areas in the film.

Revealing mistake: When Admiral Nagumo and Rear Admiral Kusaka walk onto the bridge of the Akagi for the first time while the ships are still in Hiroshima Bay look closely at the bay in the windows, it's obvious the background is a matte painting, the water isn't moving.

jbrbbt

Factual error: When we see Midway before the Japanese attack the US flags that are flying have 50 stars on them, instead of 48 as there should have been at the time.

Helvellyn

More mistakes in Midway

RAdm. Tamon Yamaguchi: Once, we filled the sky with our aircraft. Now we win or lose with six fighters and ten torpedo planes.

More quotes from Midway

Trivia: The film-makers only had three vintage US aircraft for the production, namely two F4F Wildcat fighters and a PBY Catalina search plane. All of the other aircraft that appear are from either wartime footage or from previous war movies.

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Question: How accurately does the movie portray the Battle of Midway?

Answer: This is from Wikipedia: "Later studies by Japanese and American military historians call into question key scenes, like the dive-bombing attack that crippled the first Japanese carrier, the Akagi. In the movie, American pilots report, "They've got bombs all over their flight deck! We caught 'em flat-footed! No fighters and a deck full of bombs!" As Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully write in "Shattered Sword" (2005), aerial photography from the battle showed nearly empty decks. In addition, Japanese carriers loaded armament onto planes below the flight deck, unlike American carriers (as depicted earlier in the film). The fact that a closed hangar full of armaments was hit by bombs made damage to Akagi more devastating than if planes, torpedoes and bombs were on an open deck."

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