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20 Million Miles to Earth (1957) Poster

Goofs

Character error 

The scientists tell the news reporters that bullets have little effect on the creature because it has no heart or lungs, but a network of tubes, and yet when the creature is anesthetized, we see its chest rise and fall in a breathing fashion.
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The General, fearing that the space ship has sunk, points to a body of water on the map and says that the lost astronauts are now "20,000 leagues under the sea." Of course, it's a coy reference to the recent sci-fi flick 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (and Jules Verne's novel). However, a league is about 3 miles; no ship could sink 60,000 miles under the sea since the earth isn't that large. The Verne title refers to the amount of miles traveled under the sea, not how deep the craft was operating. So the General has made a geographical error while trying to make a hip quip.
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After testing the release of the wire net from the helicopter, an enlisted man with one stripe on his uniform says to Col. Calder, "The hook's working fine, sir!", to which Calder replies, "That's good, sergeant!" One stripe is the insignia of a private, not a sergeant.
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Continuity 

Colonel Calder has been bed-ridden in the hospital for a few days but when he finally wakes up and jumps out of bed, he is wearing a perfectly-pressed uniform.
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Near the beginning when the spaceship starts to sink, the meteor hole starts to go under water. The next shot is from the inside and the hole is still above the waterline. The next shot is outside and the hole is almost covered with water.
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As the fishermen row away from the sinking spacecraft, we have a clear view of the inside of their small boat. The two astronauts they've just rescued are nowhere to be seen.
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During the barn sequence the farmer is seen in two different positions when the Ymir is cornered.
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The Marines board the helicopter with plain metal helmets. Later, they assemble wearing cloth camouflage helmet covers.
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A fisherman tells another to get the boat hook out. Yet in the prior shot, the boat hook is already extended.
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During the fight in the barn the stain on the Colonel's bandage grows from a small spot to two long streaks and then to a large stain covering most of the bandage. But when Marisa Leonardo asks to change the bandage the stain has shrunk to about half the size.
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Crew or equipment visible 

In the sequence where the large military helicopter is searching for the Ymir, there is an aerial shot taken from above the helicopter as it skims over the fields. The helicopter casts a big shadow as it flies, and if you look directly in back of that shadow you can see a smaller shadow trailing it, which is that of a smaller helicopter that is filming the scene.
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Errors in geography 

A report comes in to the general's office identifying the crash location as a fishing village in Sicily. They go over to a wall map, examine it for a moment, then one of them points and says, "There it is!" However, the map covers the whole world and thus would not be detailed enough to show a small town. In the next shot we see a close-up of the map and, sure enough, there are no towns whatever shown in Sicily.
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Factual errors 

It is stated that the craft was spotted by radar over Iceland at an altitude of 200, descending at 3,500 feet per minute. It was then tracked again later, still descending at 3,500 feet per minute, and they project the landing position. However, at that rate of descent, it would take 5 hours to fall 200 miles. During that time it would make over 3 orbits of the Earth, so it would not be possible to simply look at a map and point to a landing location.
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(at around 10 mins) The US mission control bods are told that the rocket has come down off the coast of Sicily near the small fishing village of Gerra. They don't know exactly where that is so go to a large world map on the wall and one of them points to a location on it, saying, "There it is." As is obvious from the map size and can actually be seen shortly after, the map is of such a small scale that it shows only major cities so would in no way enable a small fishing village to be located.
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William Hopper's character, an Air Force Colonel (note clouds and lightning bolts on hat brim) would be wearing a navy blue hat with his tan uniform, not an olive drab Army hat. Also, General's stars and Colonel's eagles would be silver, not gold. (Colorized 50th Anniversary version).
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In the opening titles, director of photography Carlo Ventimiglia is credited as Carlos Ventigmilia.
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During the fight in the barn, military carbines are used to shoot at the Ymir. These carbines are bolt action as the first shot is taken after working the bolt to insert a cartridge in the firing chamber. But all subsequent shots are taken without working the bolt again.
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Miscellaneous 

The rate of descent by the space craft that is talked about at the beginning of the film is 3500 feet per minute. That is less then 60 mph. No object reentering the atmosphere from "space" could move so slow. Reentry speeds are measured in the thousands of miles per hour.
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In the opening sequence, after the rocket has crashed into the sea and the fisherman have climbed on board, whilst the rocket is upside down, everything inside it is inclined only at a slight angle.
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Plot holes 

When the craft crashes into the ocean; it noses in and stops short; with momentum carrying the ship to nearly vertical. This is the kind of thing that would happen if the craft stuck it nose in the bottom. So where did the ship sink into; or why did stick the landing that way?
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Revealing mistakes 

The General says they are looking for a metal canister, and it does have metal bands around it but the canister itself is opaque - clearly plastic.
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During the fight between the Ymir and the elephant, there is a tight shot of three men hiding behind a pillar of the viaduct. When the two animals get close, the turn and flee, one of them falling backwards, and another tripping over him. In a wider shot scene a few seconds later we see the same pillar, the same men run up to it, hide and watch the fight as before then turn and run, as before, tripping over each other. It's then same shot used two times closer/farther perspectives.
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See also

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

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