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The Great Santini (1979) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (2) | Character error (1) | Continuity (5) | Crew or equipment visible (1) | Factual errors (3) | Miscellaneous (1) | Spoilers (1)

Anachronisms 

The film takes place in 1962, but the aircraft are F-4J Phantom II's, an aircraft that was manufactured in 1966. The aircraft have ECM antennas on the intake shoulders, which were added in 1975. Finally, the planes are gull-gray on the bellies and noses. This was a paint scheme mandated in 1978.
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During the last scene of Bull Meechum with his family on the porch prior to the Prom the youngest son is wearing a jacket covered in aviation patches. One of these patches is for the F-14 Tomcat which first flew in 1970 and wasn't operationally deployed until 1974. The film is set in 1962.
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Character error 

At a military funeral all personnel in uniform render a hand salute during the playing of Taps. In the movie the only personnel presenting arms are the firing detail.
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Continuity 

As the Santini family pulls up to their new home, Lillian is seen putting her arm in the window. In the next shot her arm is no longer in the window.
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As Santini's family is waiting at the hanger for him to arrive, Lillian's hair changes. With the wind blowing, sometimes her hair is messed up, sometimes it is combed nicely.
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When Santini and his wife Lillian are in bed together, her right hand in some shots, is up by his head/neck area and in other shots it isn't.
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When the Santini family is in their station wagon, in the process of moving, Santini wakes his son up. The pillow that Lillian was using is missing in the shot of the awakened boy and Santini.
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When Santini and his oldest son are at, what appears to be the officers club, there is a full shot showing Santini standing to make a toast. On the table there is a bottle. In the next full shot, the bottle has moved about four inches to the viewer's left.
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Crew or equipment visible 

Bull Meechum meets his old buddy, Virgil Hedgepath, and they wrestle each other in Hedgepath's office. In the background, you can see a couch. As Hedgepath gets Meechum in an arm lock, on the floor, you can see that the floor has been raised: in the background, the couch is noticeably higher, and you can see the side of the platform that the actors are on, directly below Robert Duvall's face. Filmed in a 4:3 ratio, the raised floor was cropped out for the 1:85 theatrical release.
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Factual errors 

The squadron that Bull Meechum assumes command of, VMFA-312, was known as "Checkerboards", not "Werewolves". In the opening scene, he dogfights with two navy F-4s while flying a VMFA-312 jet. Supposedly, he left that squadron in Spain! Also, the tail letters for VMFA-312 are "DR", not "DF".
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In Colonel Hedgepath's office, he admonished, "And don't go attacking anymore corporals on the latrine!" No Marine would refer to a bathroom as a "latrine"; that is an Army term. In the Marine Corps and the Navy, the term is "head."
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When Bull Meechum is in bed with his wife, his arm bears a tattoo of VMFA-323. This unit was designated VMF(AW)-323 in 1962.
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Miscellaneous 

In the opening dogfight sequence you hear the lead pilot call "Okay, it's Marines verses Navy"; and you see a F-4J Phantom with the word Navy on the side. However, the squadron designation is VMFA-251. At the time, only Marine Phantoms carried the "VMFA" designation, Navy Phantoms were "VF" . The "Marine" squadron was in fact VMFA-251 Thunderbolts, who now fly the F/A-18C.
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Spoilers

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

When Bull Meechum is talking to the tower just before his airplane crashes, his mask is alternately clipped/unclipped between shots.
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See also

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

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