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Waterloo (1970) Poster

(I) (1970)

Goofs

Crew or equipment visible 

As the camera pulls back and then upwards towards the right, in the first establishing shot of the British army after the sun has risen on June 18 (the day of the battle, with Hougoumont in the background), the shadow of the camera crew can be briefly seen on the cannon that it pans over.
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Errors in geography 

Mountains can be seen in the background during the battle. There are no mountains in this part of Belgium.
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Factual errors 

Fred Jackson, who is present at the Duke of Richmond's Ball, but does not have a speaking part, is listed as the Prince of Brunswick in the credits. There never was a "prince" of Brunswick, but there was a duke, and he was 43 at the time of Waterloo (he was to be KIA at the battle of Quatres-Bras, two days before Waterloo, on June 16 at the age of 43 leading the small Brunswick corps). Jackson portrays a much younger man wearing the uniform of Willem, Prince of Orange (the crown prince of the Netherlands). The Prince of Orange was present at the ball and was on Wellington's staff as commander of the I Corps, and also commander-in-chief of all Netherlands forces.
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At the opening of the campaign (just after Napoleon's "God's got nothing to do with it" comment), French troops are seen marching down the road and across the fields. Troops did not march-in-step whilst on the move across country. It was too tiring and inefficient. Route step (aka route march) was used instead, in which the troops remained in a loose formation, but did not match their steps.
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Miscellaneous 

During the scene where Napoleon and his staff see the advancing Prussians in the distance, where they raise their telescopes to their eyes, one officer on the right of the scene doesn't have a telescope and just pretends to raise one to his eye.
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Revealing mistakes 

At least twice in the movie when French infantry are shown marching to the beats of drums that are played by young drummer boys, the tattoo beat by the drummer boys sounds clear and consistent, but close up shots of the drummer boys reveal that they are, in fact, just beating the drums randomly, if at all. Some of the boys seem to be barely able to march holding the drums, let alone play them, with such precision as heard in the movie's soundtrack.
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When the Prussians are first seen advancing through the wheat field, the wheat in front of them is trampled down (presumably from previous takes of the shot or the route they took to get onto the other side of the hill)
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When the British return fire to the initial French cannonade with their cannons, the cannon on the extreme right moves backwards after a substantial amount of time has elapsed after it has fired, probably being pulled back by someone off screen, though this "effect" is not used in the following artillery scenes.
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Rod Steiger rides like a cowboy, which to a horseman looks very strange for Napoleon.
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The French soldiers when marching are stretching their foot as it moves forward and are swinging their arms with a little up-turned movement of the hand. This is how Russian soldiers march, not French.
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Despite all the pre-battle talk of mud, the ground at Waterloo is very dry, except for small areas that were clearly prepared for the cameras.
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When the French cavalry are attacking the British squares, the overhead shot shows many of the defenders firing in random directions, occasionally at each other.
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See also

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

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