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The Godfather (1972) Poster

(1972)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

In several scenes wine bottles are shown with the DOC Italian wine classification designation shown on the bottle. DOC designations did not come in effect until 1963.
Clemenza's house has an A/C hanging out the window.
Michael reads a New York Mirror newspaper account of his father's brush with death. The page is fabricated but inserted into an actual newspaper, which appears to be the NY Daily News. The Daily News page on the opposite side shows a story about a Catholic mass celebrated at St. Patrick's Cathedral, written by a reporter with a Hispanic surname. A minority's byline would never have appeared in the News at that time; minorities did not attain the status of reporters at that newspaper until the late 1960s or early 1970s. Also, the barely readable text in the story says the mass was said by Terence Cardinal Cooke, who was then a parish priest and did not become a cardinal until 1969.
When Michael moves his father's bed from the hospital room into the hallway, there is a sign on the wall over Michael's shoulder which lists Robert O'Lowery as the Fire Commissioner. He was Commissioner in the 1970s, not the 1940s (it should have been Patrick Walsh).
In late 1945, the Empire State Building is shown with the 222-foot television antenna mast that it did not acquire until 1950.
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50 star U.S. flag in 1947 (on the building where the "peace conference" is held).
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The main gate of Woltz International Pictures shows the rear of a car which is either a 1952 or 1953 Chrysler.
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When Michael is arriving in Las Vegas, supposedly set in the very early 1950s, when he, Fredo, Tom and others are getting out of the car in the hotel driveway, two long-haired, bearded "hippie types" from the early '70s can be seen through the window in the lobby. (In the DVD commentary, Francis Ford Coppola admits that he is embarrassed by this oversight, but that the shot was done on the cheap by the second unit.)
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50-star flags are visibly seen down the street just before Michael and Kay finish they Christmas shopping.
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At the airport at night, a swept tail Cessna 182 is shown. Production of this airplane didn't start until approximately the mid-1960s.
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As Mama Corleone is singing at Connie's wedding, the pianist above and to our right is wearing glasses with 1970s plastic frames.
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Tom Hagen flies to California to see the movie producer in a Lockheed Constellation. The first production model of the Lockheed Constellation was not produced until 1947, and did not enter commercial service until even later. Tom's flight was apparently in 1945 ("almost 1946" according to movie dialog).
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In the scene where Vito is being returned home via ambulance, a pale yellow 1947 Lincoln Convertible is also shown. It is supposed to be 1945 "almost 1946" according to Hagan.
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The accordion played in the wedding scene was an "Excelsior" model that was not manufactured until the 1950s. The same goes for the "prop" accordion seen in the shoot-out, where the accordion is on a chair with the bellows open. The older accordions did not have the same features.
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When Vito is taken home in the ambulance, the curbing on the side of the road is painted yellow to indicate "no parking". However, this practice was not incorporated until the 1960s.
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When the funeral procession drives into the graveyard, 1970s 18-wheelers and vehicles can be seen on the freeway at the top left and top right of the scene. The freeway with these vehicles is visible throughout the scene during various shots.
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There is a newspaper shown with the article about Don Corleone's discharge from the hospital. In the lower right is a Table Of Contents, with the first item "TV-Radio Listings." If TV listings existed at all in 1946, they would not be noted before radio listings.
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When Michael finds his father without protection in the hospital, he picks up the phone by the bed to alert the family. The receiver has a curly cord which wasn't available until the mid- to late-1950s.
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When Apollonia drops her nightgown, she has tan lines from a bikini top. Apollonia would not have been allowed to wear a bikini given her family values.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

During Sonny and Carlo's fight, one of Sonny's "movie" punches is shot from the wrong angle and clearly misses, but still produces the sound of an impact.
When Moe Greene says his line "I talked to Barzini," it's clearly obvious the line was dubbed in.
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(at around 1h 29 mins) There is blood on the forehead before there is a shot.
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When Sollozzo releases the abducted Tom Hagen, he says to him "...and bad luck for you if you don't make that deal!" His lip movements, however, show that he only says "...and bad luck for you!"
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When Don Corleone is heard, off camera, introducing the heads of the other families and where they're from, at the meeting, his voice is noticeably different than it was in scenes before or after.
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In Vito's brush with death, one hitman's pistol emits a muzzle flash, visible just after a cut to the overhead shot of them running away, but there is no accompanying sound effect for this last gunshot.
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Boom mic visible 

During the scene of the meeting between Moe Green and Michael, The boom mic can be seen clearly, as Moe sits down for the first time. A shadow also reflects a hurried movement behind the camera.
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Character error 

When Tom Hagen is trying to convince Sonny not to go to war after Vito Corleone was almost murdered, he states that the Corleone family will be outcasts and all the five families will go after the Corleone family. However, the Corleone family is one of the five families, so he should have said that the other four families will go after the Corleone family.
When Mrs. Corleone and Don Stracci sing "A Luna Mezzo 'O Mare" during the wedding celebration, Stracci's dentures can be seen coming loose. Stracci re-seats his teeth without missing a note.
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When Vito Corleone shows Johnny Fontane out of his office, we see an extra walk onto the frame from the left, but as soon as she sees Vito, she quickly lets out a little smile and backs away, as if she was in the wrong place.
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When Michael Corleone is leaving the safe-house in Sicily by car to meet Apollonia, the driver clips the gate on the way out causing the hanging decoration to fall off.
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Continuity 

When Don Corleone is talking to the pastry shop owner during the wedding scene, the man is holding a small shot glass. As he is getting up to grab Don Corleone's hands, the glass is still in his hand but in the next shot it is gone.
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The waiter fills Tom Hagen's glass twice within seconds during his dinner with Woltz.
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Fredo removes his sunglasses twice during Michael's meeting with Moe Green.
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Enzo (the baker) visits Don Corleone in the hospital after he is critically wounded. Enzo is holding a large bouquet of pink carnations and baby's breath. Later, when he is standing outside the hospital with Michael, the bouquet has been changed to a much smaller one with orange carnations.
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In the wedding scene, immediately after Kay Adams meets Tom Hagen, the cigarette in her hand disappears and then reappears.
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After Vito Corleone's brush with death, Fredo sits next to the front of the car on the pavement and next to Vito's head. But following that, when pedestrians walk towards Vito, Fredo is gone, then he is back in the same place in the next shot.
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The blood on the bed in the "horse head" scene. First it's there, then it disappears.
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Level of wine in the glasses while Michael and Kay are having dinner following the attempted assassination of Vito Corleone.
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The level of wine in Vito Corleone's glass when he is discussing Barzini's move to kill Michael.
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When the dons meet, one of them sits back twice: once before and once after an edit.
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When McCluskey is harassing Michael at the hospital, Michael's jacket changes. Michael's jacket is open a few inches near his tie as McCluskey is puling back his arm to hit Michael. After the cut his jacket is closed and straight when he gets punched.
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While Michael is talking to Apollonia's father after he has given her the necklace. The same two people pass by twice - once in a close-up of Apollonia and the other in a wider shot.
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The gun that Sonny gets from the drawer in the dining room when Clemenza comes to the house following the attempt on the Don's life, is in his belt, disappears when he throws Clemenza against the counters and reappears as he turns around after talking to his wife.
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While Michael is telling Kay the story of Luca Brasi, the gun and the contract, Michael is leaning back in his chair, but we cut to Kay on the other side of the table and Michael is leaning forward.
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When Sonny talks to Paulie in the meeting room and tells him to get some brandy for his cold, his right hand is between his legs. In the next shot, Sonny's right hand is on top of the couch.
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In the first scene of the film, Bonasera approaches Don Corleone to whisper to him. He keeps his left arm by his side. In the next shot he takes his left hand from Don Corleone's chair back.
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When Tom addresses Woltz studio, he is carrying the suitcase in his left hand. But indoors he appears with the suitcase in his right hand.
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After his brush with death, Don Corleone lays on his back with his right arm folded on his chest. Thereafter he appears turned to his left side, with his right arm stretched-out on his right side.
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When Tessio brings the package of dead fish to the meeting in Don Vito's study, the paper is disarranged and a little open. But when Sonny takes it, it is tidy.
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When Michael gets in Sollozzo and McCluskey's car, we see that there is a long distance between the two men on the back seat and Michael on the front seat. However, in the next shot, with Michael in close-up, the two others appear just behind him.
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When Michael is telling Kay about Luca Brasi, she has a cigarette in her left hand which disappears and reappears between shots. A few seconds later, the cigarette is gone and Kay has a fork in her left hand which then jumps to her right hand.
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When Michael reads the paper about his father's brush with death, he crumples it and then starts to run across the street. The paper is crumpled in his hand as a car passes in front of him on the street. After the car passes, Michael throws the paper down. When he does this, the paper is very smooth and neatly folded.
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Walking down a hill immediately following the wedding ceremony in Sicily, Fabrizio loosens his tie, the camera cuts away, then back, to show him loosening his already loosened tie.
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When Michael meets Moe Green in Vegas to buy him out, he gets out a pack of cigarettes, then we cut to another angle and he does it again.
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When Tom is talking to Woltz about putting Johnny into is new film, when they are standing by the door, the right side of Woltz and the left side of Tom are in light, but in a close up the same sides are completely in shadow.
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As Sonny receiving the fish, the pillow on his lap changes positions in between shots.
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The coffee cup Sollozzo drinks out of in the scene where Tom Hagen is held hostage is seen again at the hospital when Michael visits Don Corelone. When Michael looks into one of the staff rooms, the coffee cup is there next to the half-eaten sandwich.
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When Michael returns to New York from meeting Moe Green in Vegas, two black sedans pull into the Corleone compound, with Michael and Kay apparently in the second sedan. The cut to the interior of the vehicle shows Michael, Kay and their son in the back seat of a two-door vehicle, not a four door.
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When Tom Hagen is having dinner at film producer Jack Woltz's home, the butler fills Tom Hagen's half-empty wine glass. In the next shot, Hagen's glass is one-third filled and the butler is filling it again.
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After Fredo yells at Michael for trying to negotiate with Moe Greene, we see a shot of Michael smoking. As Michael exhales, we see a cloud of smoke quickly disappear from his mouth as the camera splices to another take of the shot.
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A glass of wine in the wedding scene.
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Kay's hands when she asks Michael when she will see him again.
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The placement of Moe Green's drink during his meeting with Michael.
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When the package of dead fish is placed in Sonny's lap, the position of his hands changes in close-up.
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Errors in geography 

When Sollozzo is taking Michael to the restaurant for their conference, his car drives onto a bridge, where Michael sees a sign reading "To New Jersey", and he asks, "We're going to Jersey?", just before the car U-turns in mid-span. In fact, the only bridge between Manhattan (where they picked Michael up) and New Jersey is the George Washington Bridge, and the bridge on which the car is shown is definitely not the GWB. (It may be the Williamsburg or 59th Street bridge.)
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Factual errors 

The typefaces shown in the headlines of the various New York City newspapers depicted are almost all incorrect for the newspapers shown.
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The use of the title 'Don' is incorrect as the proper use of this term of respect is always attached to the individual's first name, not surname. Marlon Brando's character should have been addressed as Don Vito, not Don Corleone. Same rule would apply to the other 'Dons'... Barzini, Fanucci, etc.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The punch to Michael's face broke his cheek bone which gave him a permanent black eye (and caused his sinuses to continually run - hence the use of a handkerchief all the time) until he got back to America and had surgery to fix it (Freddie says, "that doctor did a good job.")
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The exterior set-up shot for the summit meeting of all families is of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. While this seems like an unlikely place for a "family" meeting, it's an indication of how high their influence reaches.
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When Michael is moving Vito to a different room in the hospital with the help of the nurse, we can see that Marlon Brando instinctively moves his hand when it hits the door post. However he is conscious, hence his crying while Michael is holding his hand, just heavily sedated due to the pain inflicted by his gunshot wounds.
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Revealing mistakes 

During the sequences filmed in Sicily, Michael's broken-jaw make-up does not match the make-up used during the sequences filmed in New York. This is because Paramount Pictures would not pay the costs of sending makeup artist Dick Smith to Italy with the rest of the crew.
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When Michael gets out of the car in front of the hotel in Las Vegas, he is with his brother, Fredo. However, it is clearly not John Cazale (Fredo) getting out of the car, but someone else (notice the hairstyle in the scene).
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Watch closely during the fight between Sonny and Carlo and you can see Carlo slightly jumping as Sonny throws him over the little fence.
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Outside the hospital, as McCluskey prepares to punch Michael, as the shot changes showing McCluskey (Sterling Hayden) punching Michael, it is clearly not Sterling Hayden throwing the punch as evidenced by the longer, brown hair of the man doing the punching (vs. Hayden's short, gray hair).
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When Michael Corleone calls home after his father's brush with death, the dial on the pay phone is clearly out of alignment.
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Anachronisms 

The stop sign in New England when Michael returns from Sicily (before his father dies in 1953) is red and white. Stop signs were yellow and black at that time and did not change to red and white until the mid/late-1950s.
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Anachronisms 

Sonny dies in late 1948 or early 1949; however, he was listening to the 3 October 1951 radio broadcast of Russ Hodges calling the Dodgers-Giants playoff, a half-inning before Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World," two years later.
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Anachronisms 

A building reflected in the window of the police car during the assassination of Barzini was built more than ten years after the scene takes place.
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Anachronisms 

When Sonny is driving up to the fatal toll booths, the camera shot has a microwave tower in the background.
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Anachronisms 

Just before he is shot, Don Corleone shops for fruit at a shop. Cardboard boxes of Sunkist oranges in that shot feature graphics that weren't introduced until the 1970s. In 1945 most oranges were still shipped in wooden crates.
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Anachronisms 

Shortly before Paulie is killed the car is shown driving past a run of guardrail with steel posts, first used in the mid 1960s.
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Anachronisms 

(1:53:44) After Sonny is shot, When the shot is on the toll booth a yellow 1970s car can be visibly seen driven past out the window.
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Anachronisms 

At the Don's funeral, the other crime family heads arrive in Cadillac models from the mid-1950s, several years after their own murders, which are said throughout the series to take place in either 1950 or 1953.
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Anachronisms 

The revolver Michael uses to murder Sollozzo and McCluskey is a recently manufactured Smith and Wesson Chiefs Special.
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Anachronisms 

After Michael kills Sollozzo, there is a series of newspaper headlines. The last one is an article entitled "Syndicate Big Shot Vito Corleone Returns Home". In the corner of that paper is an "Index", which has a line beginning "TV/Radio". In 1945 or 46, there wouldn't be television listings, even in New York newspapers, as so few people owned televisions at that time.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Connie is yelling at Michael because he had Carlo killed, she says, "That's your husband, that's your husband." Her lips do not match what she is saying.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Al Neri (dressed as a police officer) kills Barzini and his bodyguards, he clearly fires all six rounds from his pistol. However, only five shots are heard on the soundtrack.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

During the baptism, when two of Michael's assassins burst into a room, the sound of a large and unwieldy 50 cal machine gun can be heard, but both of them are holding much smaller submachine guns.
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Character error 

When Don Corleone is talking to Michael, just before the Godfather dies in the garden, he asks Michael if he's happy with his wife and his children. Michael & Kay only had 3-year-old Antony at that time.
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Character error 

When Tom Hagen tells Don Corleone about Sonny's death, Corleone says "Consigliere of mine, I think you should tell your Don what everyone seems to know." Marlon Brando pronounces the G in Consigliere. Any Sicilian would know that the G in this word is silent.
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Continuity 

When Woltz first sees Khartoum's head lying on his bed, the blanket is covering part of the neck stump. In the next shot, the blanket has been completely removed from the stump.
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Continuity 

Sonny's windshield is shattered by machine-gun fire, but is whole again by the time his bodyguards arrive.
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Continuity 

When Al Neri shoots Barzini's chauffeur, he is apparently shot in the chest. In the next shot, the chauffeur is lying on the ground with a small pool of blood coming from the back of his head.
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Continuity 

When Sonny is machine-gunned on the causeway, bullet holes appear at the roof line of his car, then disappear, then appear again.
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Continuity 

Michael fires his gun twice at McCluskey in the scene. The camera is on Michael for the first gunshot. The cut to McCluskey after the first gunshot shows him to reaching for his throat and making gurgling noises , indicating he's been shot in the throat. In that same long shot, the bullet wound to the head appears after the throat reaction. For the second gunshot, the camera cuts back to Michael firing the gun, then cuts to McCluskey, where the forehead gunshot wound appears after and in response to the second gunshot.
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Continuity 

When Don Corleone is shot at the fruit stand, Fredo stumbles out of the car, fumbling with a gun and lurching, nearly falling forward. The next shot, from overhead, shows Fredo walking steadily around the car toward the Don. The third shot, back at ground level, shows Fredo stumbling again.
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Continuity 

While he instructs Michael how to behave after to kill Sollozzo and McCluskey, Clemenza has a cigarette in the mouth. From one shot to another, when Michael passes in front of him, the cigarette jumps to his left hand.
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Continuity 

The death of Barzini: During the string of shootings during the baptism, Don Barzini (Richard Conte) is shot on the courthouse steps. In the medium close shot, the squib bullet-hits are clearly visible. In the long shot, however, Conte's stunt double tumbles down the stairs without any bullet holes on the back of his jacket.
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Continuity 

When Tom Hagen is abducted by Sollozzo after Christmas shopping, it is clearly nighttime. In the next scene Don Corleone is gunned down and it is clearly daytime. Later Sollozzo tells Hagen that they hit the Don about an hour after they abducted Hagen.
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Continuity 

The amount of blood on Sonny after he is murdered on the causeway.
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Continuity 

During the string of shootings during the baptism, the guy in the bed with the woman falls down twice. Just before and after the cut from far to close.
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Continuity 

During Vito's death scene, he removes the orange peel from his mouth before start coughing. The camera then cuts to Anthony and back to Vito, and the peel is back in his mouth.
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Crew or equipment visible 

During Vito's funeral, when Michael stands up to talk to Tessio, the face of Mama can be briefly seen under his arm, tinted orange-red and chewing gum. After Roger Ebert reported this in his "Movie Answer Man" column in 2001, Francis Ford Coppola and Kim Aubry investigated: they confirmed that Morgana King was not supposed to be in the shot, but had gotten into it by an accidental reflection in the optics, probably off a filter (hence the tint) in the matte box.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Clemenza goes for a pee, crew reflected in side window of car in which Rocco has just shot Paulie.
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Crew or equipment visible 

After Michael shoots Sollozzo and McCluskey, he bumps into the camera as he passes it exiting the restaurant
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The opening cemetery shot of Vito Corleone's funeral procession shows two towers side by side in the distance which are incorrectly thought to be the World Trade Center towers. They are in fact smokestacks, complete with smoke, and are in nearly the opposite direction as Lower Manhattan and WTC.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The dead McCluskey blinks. Recently deceased corpses can exhibit this reflex.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Cuneo is killed in the revolving door of the hotel the first shot breaks the glass in front of him but no blood squib appears on his shirt. It is not until the second shot goes off does blood appear.
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Revealing mistakes 

The eyes in Khartoum's severed head have obvious cataracts (which are typically caused by old age and/or degenerative diseases such as diabetes). That is hardly what you'd expect to find in a champion stallion in the prime of his life.
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Revealing mistakes 

After Sonny is gunned down, when his bodyguards arrive you can see shallow breathing from his chest.
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Revealing mistakes 

The thoroughbred racehorse Khartoum has a white "star" emblazoned on his forehead. On his severed head in the bed there is no white star.
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See also

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

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