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On the Waterfront (1954) Poster

Goofs

Continuity 

Towards the end of the film when Terry confronts John Friendly at the little club house on the river, a Coke machine on the porch appears and disappears between cuts.
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Jump to: Audio/visual unsynchronised (1) | Boom mic visible (2) | Continuity (16) | Factual errors (1) | Revealing mistakes (4) | Spoilers (1)

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

In the opening scene, when Joe talks to Terry, Joe's mouth doesn't match what he is saying.
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Boom mic visible 

In the church scene when the meeting is broken up by the thugs outside there is a long shot with the characters trying to decide which way to run and you can see a boom mic bouncing around for a few seconds at the top of the screen.
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In front of Johnny Friendly's Bar at the beginning of the film, the boom mic is visible on Charley's coat as he leaves the frame.
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Continuity 

In the final scene, the large ship at the dock in the background changes between a freighter and a cruise ship.
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When Father Barry (Karl Malden) gets hit in the head with a beer can, he gets a cut on his forehead, which bleeds visibly in the scene. In subsequent scenes, there is no sign of the cut or of a bandage to show that he had been hurt.
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As Terry walks to the pier after the climactic fight with Johnnie Friendly, the blood on his forehead and the side of his face disappears.
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In the bar, Terry's arms are folded when viewed from behind and supporting his head when viewed from in front.
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In the last scene, as Brando makes his way to the warehouse, after being beaten up by Cobb and the goons, the chalk writing on the sign changes from "8:00 am (plus two lines), to: "5 full crew & 5 Extras"
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Toward the end of the film as Terry is walking back into the work building, water puddles on the ground appear and disappear between shots.
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When Edie's father is packing his clothes, Edie holds a cat with her left hand and moves its paw with the other hand. The next shot shows her caressing the cat's back.
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When Terry is talking to Edie by the fence, Edie's hair changes from messy to neat between shots.
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When Charlie and Terry are talking in the taxi, Terry is seated behind the driver on the left side of the car. When the taxi pulls over, he gets out of the passenger rear side of the car.
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Inside the taxi Terry's jacket zipper jumps about between shots.
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After Terry is beaten senseless and Fr. Barry and Edie go to pick him up, Terry is clearly wearing ankle high work boots. However when he is stumbling towards the loading dock the camera cuts to his feet for a few seconds and now he is wearing low cut work shoes.
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During the climactic fight between Terry and Johnny, Johnny loses his scarf at one point as he and Terry scuffle. There are a couple of shots after that showing the longshoremen and Johnny's henchmen watching the fight, but when we cut back to Terry and Johnny, Johnny's wearing his scarf again. Terry then hits him and we get a closeup shot of Johnny falling against the wall and calling his henchmen for help, and in this shot the scarf is missing again.
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When Friendly is pushed into the river, the splash, and the sound it makes, are seen and heard twice in succession, instead of just once.
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The label on the bottle of "Paddy" whiskey changes orientation in every other shot when Johnny Friendly is telling Charlie to straighten out his brother.
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The position of Johnny's scarf changes between shots, when Terry talks to him just before their fight.
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At around 1h 4 mins when the waterfornt crew are in the Longshoreman's Local 374 hut and Johnny Friendly is telling Charlie to sort out Terry, Mac is seen reading and his seating position changes between shots.
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Factual errors 

In the beginning of the movie in the first bar scene after Terry has set-up Joey Doyle, when 'Skins', the man from 'Greenpoint', is asked by Johnny Friendly if he "handled the sheet metal", Skins says, "yes, it was easy, here's 45 Bills" (meaning $4,500.). Friendly gives the money to Terry's brother, Charlie the Gent', to count. After he does Charlie erroneously tell Friendly the total is $2673.00, i.e., the amount 'Big Mac' says is the total of Friendly's cut from the day's shape-up of the 813 Union members that worked that day, instead of $4500.
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Revealing mistakes 

As the scene in which Terry coaxes Edie into walking home with him dissolves, Eva Marie Saint breaks character by abruptly stopping and turning around to head back towards the crew area near the camera.
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The prosecutor at the hearings is shown on TV facing Terry in the witness stand, but in the hearing room there is no television camera located behind the stand, where it would have to have been for the angle shown in the TV picture to be possible.
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When Terry sets up Joey Doyle it's already dark outside, but when the camera pans up to the roof where the killers are waiting, the sky is still light.
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Obvious dummy being thrown off the roof in the opening scene.
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Spoilers

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Revealing mistakes 

Obvious dummy for Terry's brother's hanging.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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