Mission: Impossible

Factual error: The vents that Hunt and his sidekick crawl down at CIA Headquarters are standard galvanized steel box vents; they are very common in the building trade. Try walking or crawling down one - you'll make a noise like the sky is falling down. People will be able to hear you for miles. Every person in that building would know somebody crawling about in the vent system. (This error applies to dozens of films, not only this one).

Factual error: CIA headquarters in Langley has its own firefighting unit and never, ever calls for outside help. In fact it is official CIA policy that they would rather have a building and its contents burn to the ground than allow unauthorised access by firefighters they know nothing about.

Factual error: The train is a French TGV, these do not operate in the UK (not to date anyway) The Channel Tunnel passenger train is the Eurostar.

Factual error: When the helicopter blows up, the train stops dead in its tracks almost instantly. A high-speed train like the TGV needs more then two miles to come to a complete stop from its top speed, or at least from the speed it's traveling at. And a Little Bird attached to it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference.

Friso94

Factual error: In the scene where the helicopter is being flown into the tunnel, sparks can be seen on the far tunnel wall, where the rotors have hit it. No helicopter can keep flying in a straight line after the rotors have collided with a solid object in this way.

Factual error: When Ethan is lowered into the computer room at Langley, he is dropped and nearly lands on the pressure-sensitive floor. When an object moves through the air, it pushes the air in front of the object. As the floor sensors were set so high that a drop of water was sufficient to set an alarm off, the air displaced during Ethan's fall would have triggered them too.

Factual error: The Channel Tunnel tracks run through separate tunnels, one going to France, one going to Britain, so trains don't pass in the tunnel as they do in the film.

Factual error: Liverpool Street Station is shown as more or less deserted in the hours of daylight. The only way this could be achieved in real life is by phoning in a bomb threat.

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Suggested correction: It's night. After Ethan sees that his parents have been arrested, he walks out in the streets, and it's dark outside. Several shots later the big clock in the station is shown, and you can see that it's about 11pm.

This validates the entry rather than correcting it. If it is 11.00 pm the pubs have just closed and Liverpool Street Station would be heaving. This is true of any mainline station in London - as well as the fast food restaurants associated with them. Any Londoner knows that.

Factual error: The train is running on the right-hand track, but in the UK and France trains run on the left-hand side.

Factual error: In the scene of the eurotunnel train the ticket collector is wearing a 70s British Rail uniform This was the national railway company for Great Britain but is now defunct due to privatisation in the 90s.

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Suggested correction: At the time of filming, British Rail would still have existed as it was only being dismantled in the mid 90s. However, I think Eurostar would provide their staff with different uniforms.

Andy Benham

Factual error: In the scene in the aquarium restaurant where Kitridge reveals to Ethan that the operation was a mole hunt Ethan uses the chewing gum explosive to smash the glass and make his escape. However, the explosion also causes a man within the aquarium restaurant to go flying through the air and through the window. It is physically impossible for a chemically composed explosive of that size, that is not enclosed, to create enough force to move him in that way, add to the fact that he is seemingly the only person or object (besides the aquarium glass) affected by it, all these combine in making this scene physically impossible.

Factual error: The TGV (and also Eurostar) trains are powered by an overhead power transfer, so an escape from the train with a helicopter would indeed be a Mission Impossible.

Factual error: CIA headquarters in Langley has its own firefighting unit and never, ever calls for outside help. In fact it is official CIA policy that they would rather have a building and its contents burn to the ground than allow unauthorised access by firefighters they know nothing about.

More mistakes in Mission: Impossible

Franz Krieger: If we're going to Virginia why don't we drop by Fort Knox? I could fly a helicopter through the lobby and set it down right inside the vault. And it would be a hell of a lot easier than breaking into the goddamn CIA.

More quotes from Mission: Impossible

Trivia: The last major Hollywood film to be released on the Betamax video-tape format.

More trivia for Mission: Impossible

Question: Did Ethan actually know it was a mole hunt to trap Jim, or was he oblivious until he worked it out at the train station?

Answer: Ethan never thought it was a mole hunt to trap Jim. He found out from Kittridge at the restaurant that it was a mole hunt, but Kittridge believes that Ethan is the mole (the money his parents mysteriously receive). At the station Ethan realises that Jim must be the mole since it is too convenient both he and his wife survived. However, the hunt to catch the mole was never directed at Jim - Kittridge never suspected him until at the end when he sees Jim alive.

swordfish

Actually had suspicions before Jim showed up. Ethan found the Bible that was stamped from the Drake Hotel. Where Jim had literally just come back from before the mission. It made no sense otherwise why that would be in Jim's possession.

More questions & answers from Mission: Impossible

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