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Mister Roberts (1955) Poster

Goofs

Factual errors 

The envelopes for the letters from Doug and from Pulver's friend that announces Doug's death have postage stamps. Postage stamps are not required, nor are they available, for serviceman in the combat zones.
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This goof item contains spoilers. Click to view

Anachronisms 

When Ensign Pulver is talking to Lt. Gerard in the hospital, through the window to their left you see a blue automobile pass by in the distance. It is obviously a 50's style automobile although the film is set during WWII.
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The radio shown in the officer's quarters is a 1946 or 1947 Zenith model.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

As Ensign Pulver tries to climb the stairs after blowing up the laundry room, you hear him calling out to someone and whistling at the same time.
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On more than one occasion, Ensign Pulver's lips don't move when he sings his little song.
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(at around 14 mins) While looking through binoculars, Insigna says there's a white flag flying on the island but his lips don't move.
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Character error 

When they hear of the end of the war in Europe, Pulver calls it "VE Day". As there was no mention of this prior, he could not have known of this appellation and used the term.
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Continuity 

The shore patrol arrives with a truckload of guards to restrict ship's personnel from leaving "The Bucket" and Schlemmer drives a motorcycle off of the dock. Before he does so, he passes the ship and the truck and all the shore patrol personnel are missing.
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In the scene where the ship is underway and at general quarters, several shots of the bridge show that there is no one at the helm (steering the ship).
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When Ensign Pulver returns to his cabin after blowing up the ship's laundry facility, the soap suds on his head and back change between shots.
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When Doc corks the bottle of alcohol, the cork appears out of nowhere.
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After Doug's transfer order comes through, he is talking with Doc. The accordian folder is first next to Doc, then under his arm, then back to the side of the table, then back to in front of Doc.
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When Roberts is talking to the sailors inside after his confrontation with the Captain about his letter requesting a transfer, all the sweat stains on his shirt have disappeared.
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During the "hat" scene in the captain's quarters, the safe is open at different angles.
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The backgrounds behind both Roberts and the Captain vary when the Captain is confronting Roberts about the transfer request letter. The sky behind both Roberts and the Captain varies from clear blue, to having clouds, to being completely cloudy. There is land in the background behind the Captain's head that disappears.
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When Ensign Pulver is supervising a supply transfer, his uniform shirt is heavily sweat-stained. But when confronts the captain shortly afterward, his shirt is spotless.
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Crew or equipment visible 

Camera shadow falls on Doc when he gets up to go to "check on hypochondriacs."
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Factual errors 

The sailor on the LCM wants to trade the film, "The Sheriff's Daughter" with Hoot Gibson, to Mister Roberts. However, although there are five silent films entitled 'The Sheriff's Daughter" and two silent films entitled "The Daughter of the Sheriff", none of these feature Hoot Gibson. It is also unlikely that sailors would be watching silent films. The Hoot Gibson film nearest in name is "The Marshal's Daughter", but this was not made until 1952.
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The Reluctant is a Camano-class cargo ship an AKL type ship. It was controlled by the army. And crewed by the United States Coast Guard. Not the United States Navy as shown in this film.
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Plot holes 

Just before Roberts leaves the ship Dolan tells him the Captain has had a new palm tree dug up and placed a 24-hour guard around it. But when Pulver later goes to throw the palm overboard, there is no guard anywhere near it.
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Revealing mistakes 

As the drunk sailors return from shore leave, the same shot of the truckload of men is used twice.
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When Mister Roberts finally leaves the U.S.S. Reluctant by seaplane, the plane makes a 180 degree turn to the left and makes a close fly-by along the starboard side of the ship. This shot was not taken from the plane; it was taken from a camera boat passing the ship. You can see the wake from this boat at the left side of the screen as it meets the side of the Reluctant at the waterline.
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Spoilers

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Factual errors 

In the letter announcing Mr. Robert's death, it states that he and another officer were having coffee in the wardroom. If the ship were under attack, it would have been at general quarters. Mr. Roberts and the other officer would have been at their battle stations and no one would be lounging around. The destroyers on picket duty off of Okinawa and Iwo Jima tended to be at general quarters virtually from before sunrise to after sunset. While much is made of the carriers that took kami kaze hits, the fact is that the picket destroyers took a lot worse.
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See also

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

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