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The Thing (1982) Poster

(1982)

Goofs

Revealing mistakes 

When Blair is destroying the radio room he drops the axe to the floor and fires his gun. When they rush him with the table he suddenly has the axe back in his hands and hits the table with it.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

After Palmer's blood leaps from the dish after being scorched by Mac's flamethrower, we see Palmer(Glenn Clennon) morphing into a Thing-monster. Several men tied to a couch are now screaming in terror for their lives. We hear Nauls's(T.K. Carter) screaming loudly but when the camera catches some shots of Nauls, he's just sitting their placidly when the soundtrack simultaneously reveals him to be screaming.
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Boom mic visible 

When Mac yells to Norris in the rec room, "Any of them move you fry 'em," a shadow cast by the crew's boom mic can be seen on the wall above Clark, Copper, and Garry on the couch.
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Character error 

Although Fuchs has told them that the alien organism is highly infective, they don't care about sharing the same knife to get their blood samples.
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When MacReady is making the tape recording, he mentions that "Windows found some shredded long johns." It was actually Nauls who found the shredded clothing.
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Copper and MacReady find several empty cans labeled "karosin" outside the Norwegian camp. The Norwegian word for kerosene is actually "parafin".
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Continuity 

The chess moves spoken by the computer don't match the ones on the screen; also screens are shown from different games.
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Norwegian pulls the same grenade out of the box twice.
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The front part of the rifle used by the Norwegian at the beginning is different than the rifle shown when he is seen from the front.
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Macready's bottle of whisky is completely covered in snow when he leaps into the snowdrift as the chopper explodes, but when he runs to help Bennings in the very next shot, it is totally free of snow.
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When MacReady goes to check the helicopter after he sees Blair, he is wearing a protective hood. After he hears the gun shot and runs out of the helicopter, his hood has disappeared.
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Childs breaks down the door with an ax, doing extensive damage to it, but several scenes later, the door is intact except for one ax hole.
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When Macready and the doctor go off to check the Norwegian base, it is said they should only take about an hour to get there, and it is light when they leave. However, there is a night-time scene set at the American base in-between the time it takes for Mac to arrive at the Norwegian base, even though it is daylight when he arrives there.
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When Mac is in the tool shed talking with Blair, the bottle of vodka from which he drinks mysteriously spins 180 degrees. He sets it down with the label facing the camera but in the following shots the label now suddenly faces away.
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In the scene where Nauls is let back inside and the men question him, there are multiple continuity goofs with where Palmer is standing and how he is holding the flamethrower.
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As Mac comes out of the supply room with the flare and dynamite, the TNT sticks he is holding are almost falling apart and he is holding them by one stick. In the following shots of Mac the TNT sticks are suddenly wrapped tightly with black tape again and he holds all the sticks.
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Copper's sleeves suddenly roll up when Norris' jaws clamp down on his forearms, and one of his arms sever and tear away above where the jaws clamp down on them.
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Between the time Fuchs talks to Mac about Blair's notes, calling the snowcat 'the Thiokol' (another brand of snowcat) the logo and model changes from a Skidozer 301, with its model name between the headlights, to a 302, with the Bombardier lettering between the headlights and the model name lower down to the left side (screen right). When they take Blair out to be locked up, the snowcat is again a 301 (you can see the blue model-plate between the headlights, not the black-on-yellow of the 302's Bombardier lettering).
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At the Norwegian base, when Mac and the doctor enter the room with the ax in the door, you see the door closing in the background, but in a later camera shot, you see the door still wide open.
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When the helicopter explodes there are almost no parts near it. Later while it is getting extinguished, there are many small parts burned near it. Also the whole main propeller is missing. It was on the helicopter just after the explosion.
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In the scene where the men are gathered around the dead Norwegian, Fuchs is seen standing among the group and Palmer is also there offering Copper a ride. In the very next scene, Copper is walking towards the helicopter wreck telling Mac to get his things on and Fuchs and Palmer are already standing by the wreck dressed in their snow parkas.
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When MacReady visits Fuchs in his room, and Fuchs mentions preparing their own food, et cetera, there is a beaker of dark brown liquid on his desk. When the lamp flickers we get a close-up of the beaker and it now contains clear liquid.
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When viewing the ruined flying saucer from the cliff, the hoods on Norris and Palmer's coats alternate between being on and off between shots.
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When MacReady plays Chess Wizard and spills his drink into the circuit board, we see one big ice cube. The problem is he had taken three small ice cubes for his drink, which had also almost fully thawed right before he spilled it.
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When MacReady is administering the blood test with the hot wire, we see the characters cut their thumbs and let some drops of blood into the dishes. However, when he glances down at them a lot more blood has appeared in some of the dishes.
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All exterior shots of the tool shed where Blair is imprisoned show the window next to the door has been boarded up with the boards horizontal. However, all interior shots of the shed show that same window with the boards attached vertically.
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As Dr. Copper puts the defibrillator onto Norris' "chest mouth", in the next shot when the mouth bites Copper's arms, the defibrillator cord disappears.
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When one of the characters turns into the thing, he flies upward onto the ceiling, causing the panel to break apart, but in the next shot the panel is undamaged.
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When the Doctor goes to hit Norris with the defibrillator the second time, his hands change position as the camera cuts from one angle to another. As he starts the move the paddles are coming down side-by-side on the man's chest, just like the previous time. The camera cuts to a close up, an effects shot where the chest cavity opens up as a sort of mouth and swallows Dr. Copper's arms. This time the paddles are coming down laterally aligned with Norris' sternum, rather than side by side, as they started.
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When the "Head Bug" is shown trying escape the facial features still retained by creature are facing away from the group as it crawls toward the door. However in the very next shot just before Mac torches it the creature has suddenly stopped running and facing into the room.
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At the beginning of the movie, a posted sign reads: "United States National Science Institute Station 4". But when MacReady is dictating into the audio cassette recorder, he finishes by saying: "R.J. MacReady. Helicopter Pilot. U.S. Outpost Number 31."
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Crew or equipment visible 

When the creature comes out of Norris's chest, there is a wide-shot with Mac in the foreground. In the air ducts on the ceiling, a crew members hand can be seen moving.
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When the helicopter is chasing the dog, you can see two shadows that are not from the dog.
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On a pull-in through a door to the dog sitting under a table (just before it gets up) the shadow of the camera/cameraman can be seen moving on the wall/door frame.
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As the camera pans through the empty camp, after Bennings calls Nauls on the intercom, it casts a shadow next to the blood storage.
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When Norris and Mac climb down into the crater and are walking towards the open hatch in the center, look on the far right hand side of the screen and you will see the head and arm of somebody come into shot and then disappear again.
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Right after Bennings yells on the intercom to turn the music down and we see his request ignored by Nauls in the kitchen, the following scene that slowly dollies from right to left in the empty medical room, the moving wheels of the dolly and a man in a light blue shirt pushing the dolly are clearly seen in the reflection of bottom and top pane of glass of the stainless steel and glass medical cabinet. Especially visible on the Blu-ray version.
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As the men come down the stairs into the generator room, Nauls and Garry head down a second flight of stairs as Mac holds up a flare. The shadow of a crew member is clearly visible on the floor holding a boom mic. The shadow even moves as the men walk away from the camera.
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Errors in geography 

On the "first day of winter" (June 21st) there is no daylight south of the Antarctic Circle.
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Factual errors 

During the many interior scenes where the flamethrowers was used, resulting in large fires being started and then extinguished by the characters, the rooms the fires were in would be left with thick choking & blinding smoke, yet you see the rooms are always smoke free after the fires are put out.
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Macready says "It's forty below outside." That would be a freakishly warm winter day in inland Antarctica, where winter temperatures are closer to minus 80 Fahrenheit (minus 62 Celsius).
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The chess game McReady plays vs what appears to be a dedicated chess-playing computer (ie a computer built specifically to play chess, period) is totally bogus. There is no "check" much less checkmate possible in the position we see immediately before McReady is "checkmated" there is no "Rook to Knight 6" with check possible and even that's inaccurate - correct is "Rook to King or Queen) Knight Six" although even using English Notation was dubious - chess programs use Algebraic Notation.
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Miscellaneous 

In the original release of the film, Nauls plays Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" on his cassette player. For early DVD releases, the song was replaced with instrumental stock music because Universal had not secured the rights to use the song; nonetheless, English subtitles still displayed Wonder's lyrics.
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Plot holes 

The UFO is around 60 feet under ice. We are told it has been buried for 100,000 years. But the creature that crawled from it was found only a few feet under the ice.
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An essential plot point depends on a Norwegian scientist's inability to speak English. Every educated Norwegian speaks fluent English.
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The camp's tractor was supposedly sabotaged along with the chopper by Blair to prevent The Thing from reaching civilization. However near the end of the film when they are preparing to set the camp on fire Nauls is shown driving said tractor into one of the buildings on the compound.
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Revealing mistakes 

When they have the Norwegian in the US base on the medical table, you can see the "dead" man blink once.
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When the Norwegian is firing on the American scientists at the beginning of the movie, we clearly see that Childs has already jumped into the snow in previews tries of the scene. We can see a shape on the snow.
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At one point they are looking out the window at the thermometer which reads well below zero. There sure is a lot of moisture and water drops out there for being so cold.
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In the opening scene, when the alien ship enters the Earth's atmosphere, it just suddenly disappears, instead of continuing downwards. We also hear the roar of its engines (?),though sound doesn't propagate in outer space.
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When Fuchs goes outside following the mysterious figure outside the lab, there is already snow on his knees as he drops to pick up Mac's shredded clothing.
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Obvious stunt double for Palmer when he has a hold of Windows. Denim vest and white long-sleeve shirt change to just a green t-shirt.
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When one of the characters is slammed into the ceiling, a piece of the ceiling breaks off, but instead of falling to the ground, it "falls" upwards into the ceiling, revealing the scene was shot upside-down.
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While the guy in the chopper with the rifle fires several shots at the dog, and we hear the sound of a gunshot on the soundtrack, at no time do we ever see a muzzle flash from the end of the rifle.
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When Blair does the autopsy on the burned creature he takes out the inner organs like they were lying loosely in the body.
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While they are looking at the ice block in the Norwegian base, several of the icicles can be seen swinging.
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When MacReady and Norris are approaching the hole in the ice next to the spaceship, Norris's head is partially obstructed by an obvious matte-line during the dissolve-in part of the establishing shot.
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Spoilers 

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Crew or equipment visible 

When Windows is being eaten and mauled by Palmer a brief shot reveals a man holding him above his head in a green tank top.
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See also

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

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