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Ghostbusters (1984) Poster

(1984)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

The USA Today cover, dated Oct. 8, 1984 lists an obituary for The Thin Man actor William Powell, who actually died on March 5, 1984. The designer of the faux covers, Mike McWillie, probably used the actual March 6th USA Today cover as the basis for his mock-up. (The text on the cover is only readable on the high-definition Blu-Ray version of the film.)
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Louis runs toward the Tavern on the Green he says, "I'm going to bring this up at the next tenant's meeting. There's not supposed to be any pets in the building," but his mouth doesn't move.
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Character error 

Ray declares the phenomena they are witnessing may be as important an event as "the Tunguska blast of 1909" in Siberian Russia. This occurred on June 30, 1908, not 1909. (It should be noted that when combined with his misquote of Revelations (see below), many fans consider this to be a quirk of Ray's; that he sometimes gets his facts just a little bit wrong.)
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Ray quotes a Bible verse, which he says is Revelation 7:12. In fact, it is Revelation 6:12. Also, Ray forgets some words, while Winston adds words that aren't present in the verses.
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Venkman tells Egon he has Dana "whacked up with 300cc" of Thorazine, a relaxant and anti-psychotic. "300 milligrams" would be more correct, as proper and vital practice is to describe dosage by weight, not volume. Besides, "300cc" is almost one-third of a liter of solution, certainly not doable given the circumstances but certainly fatal to Dana had it been so, if not diluted with sterile saline down from the standard 25mg/cc vials. That being said, 300mg Thorazine all at a single administration is exceedingly high even for severely disturbed patients. While it is likely an error, it could mean that a 300cc dose is necessary given the vague nature of demonic possession.
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Near the beginning of the film Venkman is conducting an experiment, in which he says he is using Negative Reinforcement. Two test subjects guess the symbol on the back of the card. Venkman administers electric shock for wrong answers, and gives praise for correct answers. (Of course, he's cheating, but on with the content critique.) Psychologically and Scientifically speaking, Negative Reinforcement is the subtraction of a variable in order to reinforce/increase the frequency of a desired behavior. Venkman is actually engaging in Positive Punishment, the addition of a variable/stimulus (in this case the electric shock) designed to decrease the frequency of a behavior (wrong answers). In Behavioral Psychology, Negative and Positive do not refer to traditional ideas of good or bad but rather the addition or subtraction of a variable in order to enhance or discourage a given behavior.
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Continuity 

In the scenes where the gang is about to enter Dana's building, an over-enthusiastic extra with ginger hair in an '80s cut can be seen in two different crowds that are supposed to be facing each other.
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During the "montage" there is a shot of the guys carrying their loaded traps out of a building and crossing the street. Just before the next clip comes in, the shot reverses and runs backwards for a few frames.
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When Dana gets out of the cab her groceries include a green leafy vegetable with a large white stem but when she gets to the hall it has become completely green lettuce. It changes to celery while she is talking to Louis. When she sets it on the counter it is still celery but in the next shot the item on the counter is lettuce. After the eggs start frying on the countertop it changes to lettuce and celery each pointing in opposite directions. When Venkman is checking out the apartment they are both pointing the same direction.
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In the birds-eye view of the Ghostbusters walking through the wreckage of the penthouse, there is still sunlight bouncing off the building despite the fact that New York is supposed to be covered by a big black cloud.
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When Dr. Peter Venkman is with Dana Barrett when she is possessed by the Gate Keeper in her bedroom. The window that faces the city changes from nighttime to daytime to nighttime.
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When Egon, Spengler, and Venkman are walking to the property, Venkman is wearing a silver collar bar underneath his tie. However, when they are inside of the building, it is missing.
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After the Marshmallow explosion, Louis gets a smear of marshmallow goo on his shirt; in the next scene, it's gone.
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When the Ghost Busters first encounter Slimer on the 12th floor, the proton beam burns on the wall appear before the proton blast has even reached them.
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His uniform says "Zeddemore" over the pocket, but the credits list "Winston Zeddmore". (The sequel spells it "Zeddemore.")
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After Dana and Venkman meet and set their date, Dana walks away with the violinist. As they walk, the violinist's violin case is alternately by his right side/tucked under his left arm between shots.
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Inconsistent number and position of splattered eggs on counter as camera angles change.
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When Peter goes to Dana's apartment for the first time, the piano cover goes from being closed, to open, to closed, to open again.
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When we first see Alice the librarian, the books on the top shelf of her cart are all set spine-up, leaning back towards her. When the shot cuts to a wider angle, there's now a short stack in the middle of the shelf, with books on either side leaning against it.
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When the "marshmallow cream" falls from the top of the building onto Walter Peck, the splash is large enough to cover the rear driver's side corner of the Ecto-1. During the end credits, when the Ecto-1 is driving away, the same rear driver's side corner is clear of "marshmallow cream."
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When Peter, Ray and Egon come out of the library, Egon's hair is noticeably different than it was while they were inside. When they go into their office to find they've been fired, it's back to how it was before.
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The Ghost Busters exit the stairwell on the 22nd floor to go to Dana's penthouse (top floor) apartment, but all outside shots show a building that is much taller than that.
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When Venkman comes out of the crumbled street, he has a small circular bandage on his right temple near the hairline, possibly an injury from a previous take. The next time we are able to see him from that angle is on the apartment building rooftop, and the bandage is missing.
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At the moment the Ghostbusters unleash their proton packs on Mr. Stay-Puft, his red neckerchief is missing.
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The Ghostbusters firehouse has "Entrance around corner" stenciled on the front with an arrow pointing toward a door on the side. However, there is no corresponding door inside.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When the Marshmallow Man is walking down the street (seen from the Ghost Busters' perspective, before the tiny hydrant explodes) the cables used to maneuver the character's face can be seen by his right foot.
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When the Ghostbusters get hit by Gozer's finger lightning, as they are shot back you can see the stunt cable used to pull the Ghostbusters through the air moving out of frame in the upper left side.
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After "neutronizing" Gozer on the rooftop, as they walk off the platform, the folds in a dark curtain can be seen in the background behind Ray.
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Light reflector behind Egon while walking with Mr. Delacorte in the library.
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When Venkmans vault over his office partition to meet Dana, a crewman's legs can be seen moving behind the file cabinets to the left.
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Errors in geography 

Walter Peck says he represents the EPA 3rd district. New York City is within EPA's Region 2, there are no districts.
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Factual errors 

The Dana's building is located at Central Park, Manhattan. The police car in front of the building is from the 41st Precinct, which is located in the South Bronx on Simpson Street. This car would not be in that area.
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After the containment unit is shut down, Peck says that the Ghosbusters are 'in criminal violation of the Environmental Protection Act'. However, there is no such act, law, or guideline. There is a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), and many other environmental policies; The Environmental Protection Act is not one of them. Also, it is normal for a STATE agency representative to deal with any potential violations before requesting assistance from the EPA- the EPA could not possibly check up on every new potential hazardous business in the Region.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The Hittites/Babylonians/Sumerians are said, by Venkman, to have worshiped Gozer around 6000 BC. The Sumerians come into history around 4000 BC, although they could have existed for some time before then. The first Babylonian empire in Mesopotamia was from 1900 to 1600 BC, and the second one was from 626 to 539 BC. The Hittite empire was from 1600 to 717 BC. Considering that Gozer is a fictional god invented solely for this movie, and that the referenced civilizations all existed in the same general region, and the later civilizations' religions were influenced by those of the earlier civilizations, there is no reason that there couldn't be, in the context of this movie, a Gozer cult in the Hittite culture.
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In the scene in Dana's apartment where Venkman is examining the contents of the refrigerator, a can of soda on the top shelf appears to switch between Coke and Coca-cola several times. However, there are two cans in the refrigerator - one says "Coke" and the other says "Coca-Cola".
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Dr. Peter Venkman claims that he has doctorates in psychology and parapsychology. Later in the movie, he says that he sedated Dana Barrett/Zuul with Thorazine. Doctors of psychology, or parapsychology for that matter, are not MD's and so are not authorized to prescribe or administer drugs, especially a controlled substance such as Thorazine. However, someone as clearly immoral as Venkman would do so regardless of his credentials.
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The Ecto-1 has blue lights but only a government vehicle like police, fire, or ambulance would be allowed to use blue flashing lights on a vehicle. The State of New York only uses Red lights for emergency vehicles. Blue lights are never used on government vehicles.
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When Winston and Ray are in the car talking about the Bible verse, Winston is in the driver's seat. When they pull up to the HQ after the explosion, Ray gets out of the driver's seat. (They may have stopped and switched seats between the scenes.)
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In the scene when Ray and Winston are in the Ghostbusters car driving over the New York bridge, Winston is at first wearing his Ghostbusters uniform. When we see them exit the car after arriving at HQ, Winston is wearing a checkered shirt. There is a significant time gap and since the uniform is one piece, it is possible that Winston took it off when they stopped somewhere (see above goof).
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When Dana enters her apartment after Louis cajoles her to bring her date to his party (and locks himself out again), her obviously touch tone phone rings like an old rotary. However in the 1980s touch tone phones existed that had an actual bell in them and could emulate the tone of an old rotary phone.
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Plot holes 

Based on editing and dialogue, Ray buys the Ecto-1 car earlier the same day as the Sedgewick job. Given Ray's list of repairs the car needs and its initial appearance, it would take more than one day to get Ecto-1 to the painted-and-equipped state seen at the Sedgewick that night.
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The scene where Venkman meets Dana after her recital and arranges their date is cut between two scenes where Winston is instantly employed and hurriedly trained. In the other two scenes, all characters are wearing the same clothes, implying they occurred at the same time. However, Venkman is present in all three scenes and could not travel between the two locations in such a short amount of time. Also, during the scene with Dana, his uniform is clean, and he's wearing an orange shirt.
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Revealing mistakes 

When the building at the end rains down debris, a huge piece of concrete or stone bounces off a wooden police barricade, when it should have smashed through it.
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Wires can be seen tearing down parts of the Spook Central.
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As the camera pans down on the rooftop when the gargoyles come alive, the soundstage floor can briefly be seen at the bottom left corner [Widescreen version only]
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During the scene where the Ghost Busters are about to enter the building and the ground begins to break apart, you can see that the pieces of ground are not all solid. What appears to be a brown colored sheet billows out as one piece slopes down.
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When the street cracks open and lifts up, the sides of the broken road can be seen to waft in the breeze like curtains.
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One shot of the Ectomobile during the first montage is flopped. Note the logo facing the opposite direction compared to the rest of the film.
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When Dana/Zuul levitates as Venkman is counting to three, you can see part of the device used to lift her up under her middle back area.
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Dana's chair is dragged into the kitchen. After the door has shut, the track used to drag the chair along is visible on the floor.
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In versions before the digitally remastered release, light can be seen reflecting off the camera lens when Venkman stops everybody so he can try to pull the tablecloth out from under the dishes.
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In a ground level shot of Mr. Stay Puft as he approaches Dana's apartment house, the lower section of the building shakes from the ground vibrations, but the upper sections do not.
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A heavy object used to destroy Dana's apartment wall can clearly be seen flying as the wall explodes.
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Obvious seam between the hot and cold sections of the counter top, revealed by the eggs only partially turning white.
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When the ram-horned face breaks off the side of the temple, the dust/debris disappears behind the matte painting of the roof cap.
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At the end of the scene where Mr. Stay-Puft walks through Columbus circle in mayhem, his body overlaps a street light in the foreground even though he should be far behind it.
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Obvious stunt doubles falling into the earthquake crater.
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Near the end of the movie, when the dimensional portal opens, part of the left-hand door disappears briefly in the close-up.
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When the police car is swallowed up by the ground at the end, white metal poles attaching the car to the set are visible. There is also a wheel chock on the left rear wheel.
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The shot of the clouds gathering at Dana's building is a reuse of an earlier establishing shot. Note the people on the lawn on the right-hand side of the screen.
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The piece of street that cracks and pops up bounces when it stops.
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When we first see Dana Barrett (getting out of a taxi), there is a shot of the avenue below her apartment from the roof, just before she steps out of the cab. On the side of the roof there is the head of a gargoyle with protruding sharp teeth - and "through" the teeth we can see the yellow traffic lines separating the lanes on the avenue below, showing the compositing used to achieve the shot.
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When all the ghosts are escaping across downtown Manhattan, several ghost trails are not fully animated and abruptly cut off at the bottom right of the screen [Widescreen version only]
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When Ray is watching the Onionhead ghost (Slimer) circle the chandelier through his goggles, the ghost disappears the last few frames before the cut.
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

Prior to the final battle, the sky clouds over and darkens when the Ghostbusters prepare to enter Dana's building. Following the explosion, the sky clears to reveal stars. As they exit the building, it's sunny again.
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Plot holes 

The temple explosion clearly shows Stay-Puft exploding out and away from the roof. So how did the guys, on the roof, get covered in marshmallow?
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Revealing mistakes 

The photo of the Ghostbusters in the newspaper under the "Chinatown Spook" headline during the montage is clearly lifted from the "cross the streams" sequence later in the movie. (Compare the poses, positions and expressions.)
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See also

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

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