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Escape from New York (1981) Poster

Goofs

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When the Duke is shooting at the handcuffed President, we hear the sound of very loud, echoing gunfire even though he is conspicuously using Snake's submachine gun equipped with a rather large silencer.
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Italian subtitles mistranslate "fission" as "fixation".
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Character error 

During the bridge chase, Lee Van Cleef tells "Cronenberger" over the radio to get to the bridge. The character's name is Cronenberg, after the director.
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Continuity 

When Snake triggers the tracer after the fight in Madison Square Garden, Hauk follows the signal to the World Trade Center. But Snake did not take the tracer bracelet with him, he left it on the man at the Garden. It is not on his wrist for the rest of the film.
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After Snake takes off in the glider, Charles Cyphers is seen in the control room wearing a shirt and tie. In the next shot, he is wearing a suit jacket, which he then takes off. He wears the shirt and tie for the remainder of the scene.
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When the USPF initially go into New York immediately after Air Force One crashes, helicopter 3 is shown landing, and a large chunk of the sticky back black plastic used to create its USPF livery is peeling off and missing from the tail section, revealing the green US Army livery underneath. (The UH1 Huey used in this scene was on loan from the Missouri National Guard.) When it takes off again a few moments later, the tail is back to perfect black.
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When Snake first receives a signal on the President's Life Signs transponder, he radios Hauk then checks his mission timer. The timer reads 18:50:18 (and counts down to :14 seconds). As the scene is fading (at the :14 sec. mark), the timer changes to 17:50:14
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When Snake drives the station wagon through the gauntlet of convicts on Broadway, they pelt the car thoroughly with broken bricks. Immediately afterwards we see the vehicle from several angles, filthy but not actually dented.
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The interiors shots of the plane before the crash are from a wide-body airliner. However, the wrecked fuselage seen on the ground is not a wide-body.
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Air Force One is shown in flight as an aircraft with engines mounted at the back either side of the tail. The wreckage on the ground and the computer image on the USPF computer as it crashes are of a 737 type aircraft with the engines mounted on the wings.
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When Snake get into a car to steal it to take himself, Brain and Maggie to the Duke's place the headlights are on. However when he starts to drive the car away the lights are off. The next shot shows the car font the front with the lights on. After crashing the car through the barrier after the run down Broadway the lights are off again but when the car stops the lights are on again.
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When Snake gets into a car to steal it to take himself, Brain and Maggie to the Duke's place the headlights are on. However when he starts to drive the car away the lights are off. The next shot shows the car font the front with the lights on. After crashing the car through the barrier after the run down Broadway the lights are off again but when the car stops the lights are on again.
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Crew or equipment visible 

You can see a crew member giving Isaac Hayes a "stand-up" cue quite visibly in the left side of the screen when The Duke is quieting the Madison Square Garden crowd.
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In an aerial shot of a helicopter flying toward central park, the camera films the right side edge of the door opening from the camera helicopter.
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In the scene immediately after Snake departs from the World Trade building, and is walking toward the wreckage of the President's jet and loading his gun, as soon as he passes a "campfire" (which is providing the low-level lighting for this shot) you will see Snake's face turning to the right, as he looks at a crew member (with a camouflage hat) taking his picture with a "handheld" camera.
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Errors in geography 

The scene at the train station is clearly not in New York. The city's two rail stations, Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal both have their tracks located below ground level.
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Factual errors 

While briefing Hauk about "David 14," Rehme says the jet is "Seven miles out and closing." Even at a leisurely 300mph (the cruising speed of the Convair 580 aircraft the Air Force One model was based on), the plane would have reached them in under a minute and a half. Yet they have plenty of time to get to the control center and ID the aircraft before it even crosses the river.
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The most common rifle used by the police is the M-16 with the front handgrips removed. Apart from making firing very uncomfortable, the hands of the shooters would be in direct contact with the barrel, which becomes very hot.
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Miscellaneous 

Plissken carries an Ingram Mac-10 machine pistol with a rifle-type scope fitted on it. This is useless, since this weapon is very inaccurate. Also, the distance to the eyepiece is too large to be useful in any way.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

During the sequence where Snake is being chased by the Crazies (and is about to shoot an oval pattern in a wall so he can break through), his eye patch shifts enough to reveal a perfectly good eye. This is commonly regarded as a mistake, but it is not, Snake still has his left eye, but he wears the patch due to a paralyzed iris, making it extremely sensitive to light.
The American flag on the right-hand side of Air Force One's tail is not reversed. In reality it would have the stars in the upper right to represent a real flag moving forward. However, the flag could have been changed in the alternate history within the movie.
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Revealing mistakes 

Walls in the "Choc Full o' Nuts" building are clearly made of Styrofoam.
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When Snake gets into the LTD after knocking out the driver, you can see the bars in the windows jiggle revealing them to be rubber. This is especially noticeable in the shot from the front of the car.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

When Snake kills Slag, he goes limp and falls forward into the ropes (arms at his side). In all subsequent shots, Slag is shown with his arms over the ropes.
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Toward the end, the helicopter lands just outside the prison walls, and it's broad daylight. The rest of the film takes place at night, even though the times given indicate clearly that the helicopter landed only moments before the subsequent action.
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Immediately before Snake goes into the city, Hauk gives him the timer that gives Snake just under 23 hours to get the President and get out. After Snake is injected with the microcapsules, Hauk tells him them will be fully dissolved in 22 hours. At the end, when the doctor neutralizes the microcapsules, we watch the timer on Snake's wrist countdown to zero. That means he should have been dead less than one hour ago.
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After the baseball bat gets imbedded into Slag's head, it disappears and reappears in subsequent shots.
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When the President shoots The Duke, the cable to bring Snake up from the city is clearly under the railings; but when Snake reaches the top, the cable is over the top railing.
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When the bombs in Snake's arteries are deactivated, he raises his right hand to his left wrist to display the time on his countdown clock. When we see a closeup of the clock as time runs out, Snake's right hand is not there. But when we switch back to the previous view, his right hand is still pressed against the clock.
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Right before Snake's fight with the Duke at the end of the film, he watches his timer which says 00:01:32. Then after the President shoots the Duke and Snake gets the micro-bombs deactivated he waits for 10 seconds and watches his timer which reads 00:00.02. However the time elapsing between the two times he checks his timer is 00:02:08, but according to what we see on the timer in the film only 00:01:30 should have past.
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Crew or equipment visible 

Snake and the others return to the elevator on top of the World Trade Center (immediately following the loss of the jet-glider). Sticking out near the jam, you can see the fingers of a crew member pushing the right-side door closed.
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Factual errors 

As the Duke drives his car toward Maggie on the bridge, she fires her six shot revolver seven times at the car.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Brain stabs Romero in the storeroom and lowers him to the floor, Romero drops the last few inches and Brain is left holding the "knife" but you can see there is no blade.
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See also

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

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