Most movies have a few goofs and errors; it’s unavoidable when working on a huge set involving hundreds of people and dozens of locations. Most of the time, these mistakes are barely noticeable and don’t break the viewer’s immersion in the story.
However, some goofs are so big that they stand out, occasionally hilariously. Redditors recently got together on r/movies, the largest film subreddit, to discuss which films had anachronisms, screw-ups, and other mistakes they couldn’t help but love. After all, it can be argued that the flaws are what makes something unique, not its perfections.
10 ‘Titanic’ (1997)
Titanic hews pretty close to the true story of the sinking, although it introduces a few fictional characters and other made-up elements just for story purposes. Nevertheless, some anachronisms and other errors did creep in. For instance, we see a shot of the Statue of Liberty that looks as it does now — copper-green — when in reality, it would have been brown in 1912.
“In Titanic, Jack talks about ice fishing on a lake that wouldn’t exist, and Billy Zane‘s servant/hitman carries a pistol that hadn’t been invented yet. Cracked surmised that Titanic is a Terminator movie based on these details — which is super fun, for me, to think about,” said user DrRexMorman.
9 ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ (2001)
It may come as a surprise, given Peter Jackson‘s meticulous attention to detail, but there are actually quite a few goofs and mistakes in the Lord of the Rings movies. It’s inevitable when you’re making a project of that scale. For example, when Isildur’s dead body floats down the river, he’s clearly wearing a pair of modern hiking boots.
Similarly, there’s a shot where Arwen’s elf ears vanish and then reappear later. Redditor ReadOnly00’s favorite goof was “when Sam and Frodo are in the field with the scarecrow, you can see a car cruising past in the distance, from right to left.”
8 ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’ (2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is littered with goofs and anachronisms, which is pretty much to be expected for a movie based on a theme park ride. For instance, some scenes take place in Port Royal, which was destroyed in an earthquake 22 years before the film is meant to take place.
There’s even one shot where Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is wearing a headscarf with an Adidas label clearly visible. For user tpphypemachine, the most memorable error was a scene where you can see “a crewman in a cowboy hat onscreen.”
7 ’10 Things I Hate About You’ (1999)
10 Things I Hate About You is a romantic comedy that modernizes Shakespeare‘s The Taming of the Shrew. It centers on Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles), a fiercely independent and sharp-witted teenager who is reluctantly pursued by the charming and persistent Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger).
“In 10 Things I Hate About You, the student who is supposed to run and get help after an arrow shoots someone doesn’t run all the way off-screen before stopping and turning back to watch the scene instead,” pointed out Redditor Muskogee.
6 ‘Ghost World’ (2001)
Ghost World is a terrific film based on the comic by Daniel Clowes and starring Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson as two teenage friends navigating the disorienting transition from high school to adulthood as they become entangled in the life of a lonely local named Seymour (Steve Buscemi).
There are some mistakes, though, like a shot where a boom mic can be seen. “The extra who played the principal in Ghost World was inadvertently also cast as a customer in the porn shop,” added user fergi20020.
5 ‘Top Gun’ (1986)
The Top Gun movies are great fun but are far from being the most realistic. There are plenty of things said and done that would never happen in real life. There are also some straight-up mistakes, like during the final dogfight where Slider (Rick Rossovich) tells Iceman (Val Kilmer) that there’s a MiG “on your left, 3 o’clock.” The 3 o’clock direction is actually to the right; 9 o’clock would be the left.
There’s another scene where Goose (Anthony Edwards) says that he’s at 6,000 feet, but his altimeter reads that he’s only at 2,000 feet. “My own I caught: The dog tags for the toss scene at the end of Top Gun were Viper’s, not Goose’s,” said Redditor TylerDurdenUMD.
4 ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers’ (2002)
There are quite a few continuity errors in The Two Towers as well, like horses appearing saddled then unsaddled or characters being on one side of the screen in one shot and on the other side in the next. At one point, Legolas’s bow even changes color.
According to user square3481, the most noticeable mistake is “Eomer’s sword falling out of the hilt.” “It’s to make up for the very satisfying grip-change a horse rider does when he rests his spear,” said Redditor riegpsych325.
3 ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ (1962)
The Manchurian Candidate is a classic Cold War thriller about a plot involving brainwashing and assassination, featuring Frank Sinatra in the lead role. It’s aged well and is still worth watching, though it also has some fun goofs.
For instance, during one scene in Korea, there’s a US flag with 50 stars on it — even though there were only 48 states in 1952 when the movie takes place. The user Fabulous_Ad_1842 mentioned another shot where “Laurence Harvey [can be seen] reversing food out of his mouth.”
2 ‘It Happened One Night’ (1934)
Another classic, It Happened One Night is a rom-com directed by Frank Capra and starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. They play an unlikely couple who are brought together by circumstance and go on a rollicking adventure through the United States.
There’s a scene where one of the characters flies and lands an autogyro, a kind of precursor to the helicopter. However, Redditor Fabulous_Ad_1842 says that the “actual stunt pilot of the autogyro [is] clearly visible.”
1 ‘Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope’ (1977)
The Star Wars franchise is the undisputed king of goofs. There are a ton of mistakes throughout the movies, though they generally work within the series’ more laid-back, doesn’t-take-itself-too-seriously vibe. In Empire Strikes Back, a camera crew can be seen reflected on C-3PO’s head. In Return of the Jedi, one Ewok clearly has human fingers, and there’s one moment where Vader’s lightsaber lights out the wrong end.
A New Hopetakes the cake, though. “That poor Stormtrooper,” said user Kinofhera, referring to a shot in the first film where a Stormtrooper accidentally bumps its head on a doorframe. “Star Wars was made extremely messy, including its edit. Possibly in the rush/effort to make a good final cut, they completely missed it. Or Lucas liked it and kept it, especially since he never removed it in future cuts and added the sound effect,” said Redditor fcaboose.
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