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The Deer Hunter (1978) Poster

Goofs

Revealing mistakes 

When Linda goes to Mike and Nick's trailer for the first time, the trailers hitch as well as the tail lights can be seen. The wires from the tail lights are seen running into the windows above the hitch. The tail lights should be on the rear while the hitch is on the front.

Anachronisms 

When returning to the bar after the hunting trip, they are singing "Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through The Goalposts Of Life))" a Bobby Bare song released in 1976, long after the Vietnam War had ended.
In the wedding dance, we hear the Catsatchok, composed by Russian musician and opera singer Boris Rubaschkin, who was just 13 years old by the end of the war and had not yet composed that song.

Character error 

Christopher Walken's character's Russian name Nikanor is misspelled as Nikonar in the movie.

Continuity 

The level of Michael's beer while he is leaning against the post at the wedding reception goes up after he drinks.
In the first hunting scene as they're changing their clothes, Michael and Stan are arguing about Mike's boots. Nicky is seen putting on a sweater and had both arms in when it cuts back to Mike who delivers his "This is this" lines. When it cuts back to Stan and Nicky, Nicky is once again putting the sweater on as if it was never on in the first place.
Near the end of the movie, right before Nick's funeral, the scene shows the Eagle Super Market with the exact same sale signs in the window as at the beginning of the movie, which were different when Michael had returned home from Vietnam, some year-and-a-half later.
The deer that Michael kills in the hunting scene is not the same species as the one that is strapped to the hood of the Cadillac when the hunting party arrives back into town.
In the scene at the VFW hall where they are playing bingo, the guy calling out the numbers on the winning card calls B-15, but when the board comes into view showing the numbers that had been called, B-15 is not lit up.
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In the bar before Nick, Steve and Michael are going off to Vietnam, Nick opens up a can of beer that he shook up, spraying its contents. In the next scene, Nick is opening the same can of beer a second time.
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In the bar, right before the guys start singing along to Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", Michael is sitting on a chair holding a pool cue in his right hand and tapping it on the floor. A split second later as they begin to sing, he pounds the cue stick on the floor with his left hand.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Angela looks at herself in the mirror wearing her wedding gown, a mic hanging over her head is also reflected in the mirror.
During a brief moment, the whole camera crew becomes visible in a shop window.

Errors in geography 

The hunting scenes supposedly taking place in the Appalachian Range are obviously filmed elsewhere: The Appalachians are a smooth rolling range, but the scenes show towering, jagged peaks. The scenes were filmed in the Cascade Range, clear across the country.

Factual errors 

When Michael comes back from Vietnam he has a full beard while in uniform. He would not have been able to leave Vietnam in uniform until haircut and facial hair complies with uniform regulation AR 670-1.
Mike wears the green beret of the U.S. Army Special Forces operator. He is dressed in SF tigerstripe camouflage in Vietnam. However, in full dress uniform his left shoulder sports the 101st Airborne Division badge.
The deer that Michael shoots is an Asian Red deer and not indigenous to North America.
The credits list John D. Rockefeller III as the Governor of West Virginia, when in fact it was his son, Jay Rockefeller, or John D. Rockefeller IV.

Revealing mistakes 

In the hunting sequences Michael (Robert De Niro) carries a left handed Winchester Model 70 rifle, with the bolt handle on the left side. However in one shot during the second hunting scene, the bolt handle is suddenly on the right hand side. His wristwatch is also on the opposite wrist. The editors apparently flipped the negative so that he would be facing the right direction to match the other shots in the sequence.
In the bar scene at the beginning of the film, a supposedly live football game on the TV is obviously film, complete with many scratches on the image.

Spoilers 

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

When Nick is killed in the final Russian Roulette game, the gunshot is underneath the flow of blood on his bandana, yet on the close up, the gunshot is near the top of his bandana while the flow of blood is underneath.

See also

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

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