Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) Poster


Audio/visual unsynchronised 

In one scene two different screams come from Paula's mouth at the same time.
The Old Man walks into the street and we clearly hear him get hit by a car, but his shadow is still on the ground.

Boom mic visible 

Boom mic shadow is clearly visible at the top of the screen the first time the pilots encounter the flying saucers.
Seen in shadow when the cockpit is lit up by the flying saucer.

Character error 

Police officers are generally trained in how to properly handle firearms - yet in several scenes they are seen to grossly mishandle them, such as using the barrels of their pistols to adjust their hats, scratch the sides of their heads and gesture at others, all while their fingers are clearly on the triggers.
When Jeff complains to his wife, Paula (Mona McKinnon), about having to hush up his UFO sighting, he calls her "Mona".
A man at the old man's funeral says that it is "getting dark." It is already pitch black.
The aliens are frustrated that the Earth people refuse to acknowledge their existence, yet go to extreme lengths to remain secret, such as killing witnesses.
After General Roberts and Colonel Edwards finish their briefing, they salute each other. Air Force personnel do not give salute indoors unless reporting to a superior.
The gravediggers apparently don't fill the grave we've seen before, they just throw the earth behind them, as if they started to dig a new hole. Still in the same position, their work is then declared to be done and they leave the place. There is no new or any other grave on the scene which is supposed to take place on the cemetery.
It is said that Col. Edwards is in charge of a division of the government specifically for dealing with saucers, yet during their meeting, Gen. Roberts insinuates that Edwards could be in trouble for acknowledging that saucers exist, due to a government directive stating that saucers don't exist.
General Roberts says that the alien radio messages are garbled by "atmospheric conditions in outer space." The vacuum of space has no "atmosphere."
Tor Johnson's character, a police detective, is called "Inspector Dan Clay". Although San Francisco and a few other cities use the title "Inspector" for their detectives, virtually every police department in California - and in Los Angeles, Burbank and San Fernando, where this was filmed - uses the title "Detective".
While inside the landed saucer, Lieutenant Harper calls Jeff over to look out of the window, but he calls him "Jim".
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The three persons who're spotting the saucers while driving their car point in three different directions.
Jeff describes the saucer-shaped flying saucers as "cigar-shaped".
Criswell's opening narration (where he can be seen reading off of cue cards) begins: "Greetings, my friends. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future." A moment later, though, he is placing the same events in the past, telling how "what happened on that fateful day" must no longer be kept secret. In the next paragraph he says it's sundown when it's obviously broad daylight.


Day changes to night and back and forth in the same scene, many times.
Paula runs out of her house barefoot, but after she is chased through the cemetery and is picked up alongside the road, she is wearing shoes. Immediately afterward, the police discussing her case note that her feet were all scratched up from not wearing any shoes.
When the police leave the station house to go to the graveyard, it is night and they pile into a black 1953 Ford. A shot of the police car driving on the road to the cemetery - in daylight - reveals that it has changed into a 1957 Ford (and just before the shot ends the car pulls over to the side of the road and the occupants start to get out, although neither the cemetery nor Jeff's house is anywhere in sight). A few seconds later, as the car pulls into the cemetery, it has metamorphosized into a black-and-white 1956 Ford, and it is nighttime again.
When the Ghoul Woman attacks the two grave digggers, they are standing in broad daylight, but in the shot that shows her attacking them, she is in the middle of a pitch black night.
When the police cars set out for the graveyard, it is broad daylight. When they arrive, supposedly a few moments later, it is pitch black.
In a couple of scenes, a police car is seen racing down the street with lights and siren. But the car that arrives on set has no lights or police markings on it.
In some scenes, Jeff has a mole and in others it is mysteriously gone.
The white wicker patio furniture moves itself from the patio to the bedroom.
While Kelton is in Clay's opened grave, the tombstone that fell in a few scenes earlier isn't there.
When the stewardess is talking to the two pilots in the cockpit, the position of the clipboard she holds changes significantly between each cut - some eight or nine times.
When the two military officers are listening to the "Eros" tape, the later cutaway shots of the tape player show the officer's hand resting on it even though in the shots of the officer it's clear that he moved his hand away after turning it on.
Colonel Edwards had three rows of service ribbons when he was briefed by General Roberts. The upper row (a single ribbon) is crooked and ready to fall off. Apparently it did fall off, because in his next scene the upper ribbon is now missing.
Stock footage shows a completely different cemetery.
When "Vampire Girl" attacks the two gravediggers in the cemetery, she arrives just a few seconds after she's just been buried, and from a completely different direction. She should come from behind them, not the front. To be able to pull this off at all, she'd have to get out of the coffin and tunnel beneath the length of the cemetery at lightning speed.
Paula runs past the same spot on the cemetery seven times while being chased by "The Ghoul Man". "The Ghoul Man", on the other hand, only passes the spot once, but manages to make a headstone sway distinctly while doing so. However, he passes another spot on the graveyard (i. e. they've rearranged the headstones) four or five times.

Crew or equipment visible 

Inside the cockpit, the rim of the spotlight is visible for the duration of this and subsequent shots in the cockpit.
Clearly visible lines holding the flying saucers.
As the camera moves back in the scene outside the house where Jeff tells Paula to lock the doors, you can hear the cameraman's footsteps while the characters are standing still.
In the cockpit when the plane moves from side to side, the movements of the set and of the spotlight are out of sync.
Someone's hand (either that of the stewardess or a crew member) from behind touches the shower curtain in the cockpit of the plane as the pilot says, "You better radio in for landing instructions, Danny".

Errors in geography 

The scenes of the military attacking the flying saucers with artillery guns are obviously taken from stock footage of the Korean War. You can even see the thatched huts of a Korean village in the background, even though the action is supposedly taking place in California.
Stock footage of rocket launchers is used to show the attack on the flying saucers, which are up in the air. The rocket launchers are ground-to-ground weapons. Also, one of the rocket launcher vehicles shown is a Russian 'Katyusha' truck, filmed during the Russian counteroffensive during WWII.

Factual errors 

The tombstones in the cemetery are too close together for there to be room for bodies.
The mortars used by U.S. soldiers nearly hit the UFOs, which are hundreds of miles in the air. Mortar shells can only achieve an altitude of 60 meters.
The pilot sitting on the left in the cockpit scenes calls in to the air traffic control tower using a candlestick telephone. Pilots use hand held CB radios for communication purposes.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Three flying saucers and one mother ship are shown, yet the humans win the battle after destroying only one saucer because the Ruler recalled the other ships.
It is said that the Pentagon is in Washington, D.C. It's really in Arlington, Virginia, but is so linked to Washington's political and economic culture and so close physically that Pentagon employees generally think of themselves as Washingtonian rather than Virginian.
The Pentagon has a special computer to translate alien language. Although it's hard to catch, Eros turns on a similar computer on his ship right before the climax, so the humans and aliens understand each other during the final confrontation.

Revealing mistakes 

When Kelton and the second police officer hit the zombie Inspector Clay on the head knocking him unconscious, he falls to the ground dropping the passed out Mrs. Trent who the zombie captured in a previous scene. As Mrs. Trent falls, pillows placed on the ground to cushion her fall can be seen.
Actress Joanna Lee barely restrains genuine laughter during Dudley Manlove's "Stupid! Stupid!" tirade.
The map on the wall of Gen. Roberts' office, which is supposed to be in the Pentagon, is clearly imprinted on the bottom left-hand corner with a large logo of the Santa Fe Railroad. Later, when the General points out something to Col. Edwards on the map, the words "Santa Fe" have been taped over.
When Ghoul Man is walking through the cemetery in pursuit of Paula, he casts a shadow on the night sky backdrop.
When the stewardess enters the airplane cabin you can see light bleed around the cracks in the cabin wall on the left hand side.
During the attack on the UFOs, the Military Officer with the binoculars casts a shadow on the "sky" backdrop.
Just before Inspector Clay resurrects, and the dirt falls back into the open grave, you can see there is a blanket underneath the dirt, which is used to pull down the dirt.
In the cockpit scenes, the pilot sitting on the left is reading his lines from a script on his lap.
During the first briefing between Eros and "His Excellency", the latter stops talking mid-sentence twice, and obviously has to read his lines from a hidden manuscript on his desk before he can continue.
The pilots in the cockpit seem to just be sitting on boxes, not proper chairs.
Clay blinks when he is supposedly dead.
When Colonel Edwards, Lieutenant Harper and Jeff Trent confront Eros and Tanna for the first time in the flying saucer, white X's, used to indicate the actors' places on the set, are clearly visible on the floor.
In one scene someone trips over a tombstone and causes it to wobble.
One window inside the spaceship shows a cloudy afternoon sky. The window next to it shows darkness.
The grass wrinkles and the gravestones flap in the wind and topple over.
The flying saucers wobble as if being hung by a string.
Eros forces the heroes to look out the window of the spaceship to see the Clay ghoul. One window shows gray mist; the window beside it shows complete darkness. In neither window can the Ghoul Man be seen.
None of the public that spot the flying saucers seem to be in much dismay or panic, and act very natural in some cases.
The priest at Clay's funeral is obviously reading from a cue card.
When Bela Lugosi walks off the screen, it is obviously a freeze frame - the swaying tree suddenly freezes.
When the saucer flies across the cemetery in the beginning of the movie, actors knock over headstones as they fall.
The controls in the cockpit are obviously fake.
The exploding rockets are clearly firecrackers set off in front of a backdrop.
Obvious doubles during the fight between Eros and Trent in the spaceship - they are the wrong relative heights.
"Scientific" equipment used as controls for the spaceship, used by Eros, is seen again at Space Station 7, as communication equipment for The Ruler.
Zombie Vampira flinches when Inspector Clay fires at her.
The mausoleum in which the ghoul man is buried is obviously made of wood, and its door is crooked.
In the cockpit scene, the curtain separating the cockpit from the rest of the plane is rustled, and you can catch glimpses of the stewardess behind it. It's obvious she's waiting for her cue, even though she shouldn't be anywhere near the cockpit at that moment.
Ghoul Man is played by Bela Lugosi in some scenes and Tom Mason in others (see trivia entry).
The inside door of the small saucer is the same as the outside door (there is the same ladder on the left hand side of the hatch). Obviously the exterior walls of the saucer were inverted to provide the interior set. The hatch itself is the same as the hatch on the airplane cockpit, and in the interplanetary headquarters.
When one of the spaceships leaves the space station, it casts a shadow on it as it flies by.
A strong wind from the flying saucer's exhaust is enough to blow Jeff and Paula to the ground, but not to move their hair. This is true every time people get knocked to the ground.
The shot of the Ghoul Man walking down a path towards the cemetery is repeated many times during the course of the movie.
The aerial shots of the saucer make it appear to be round, but shots from the ground show it as having straight sides and square corners. One miniature saucer was modified to accommodate the square-sided set (see Trivia entry).

See also

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

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