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A Passage to India (1984) Poster

Goofs

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

In a faraway shot at the "bridge" party at the club, an all-Indian band is playing, but the conductor's beat pattern is off- the song is in common time (4/4 time), but he is beating beat 3 when the band is playing beat 1.
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Continuity 

When Adela climbs up the hill and goes into the cave, she is wearing white shoes. When she runs down the hill, she is wearing black shoes.
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Adela lights a match when she enters the cave. She turns round and the match slowly burns down. When she has turned all the way round and looks up to see Aziz, the match is back to almost full length.
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When Aziz goes to the party after his trial, Fielding stands on or near the verandah and sees him off. In a later shot of Fielding, protest signs appear each side of Aziz's door that were not there earlier.
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When Adela, Mrs. Moore, and Dr. Aziz are riding the elephant, the first close-up shot of Adela and Dr. Aziz shows certain landmarks on the rock in the background. The next shot is a long shot of the elephant's feet as it walks. The third shot is another close-up of Adela and Dr. Aziz passing the same landmarks at the same starting point.
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Errors in geography 

When Stella gets out of the car to view the Himalayas, she turns her head slowly from left to right to view each summit, then finally looks in the middle. However, each summit that she looks at has a shadow on a different side, and the final shot of a summit has no shadow at all.
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Factual errors 

When Aziz arrives in the hill station train for his arrest, the inscriptions on the railway time table are in Tamil, whereas the whole story is supposed to have happened in Chandrapore, Bihar. Agreed, this shot was captured in Ooty, but Lean's cameras could not hide this!.
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At the Marabar Caves, the elephants and their mahouts are decorated in the South Indian style-ash smeared on their foreheads etc. whereas the story is supposed to have happened in Chandrapore, Bihar. These scenes were clearly shot in South India, perhaps in the caves and hills, near Bangalore.
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The visiting British women, in addition to a band, are treated to reed instruments which resemble (South Indian) naadaswarams and not local Bihari music, though everybody including Fielding speaks Hindi and Urdu. When Dr Aziz is being felicitated for his freedom, the music is in Hindu Marathi - "Govinda Ala re," a music reserved only during Janmashtami ( Lord Krishnas' birth) in Maharashtra, whereas the audience is predominantly Moslem.
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In the opening scene, the stamping officer in the Bombay port says that "Mrs Moore returns on the RawaIpindi". In those days and even now, ships dock at Bombay and then there are trains to other parts of India, Bihar in this case. It is improbable that Mrs Moore will get off the ship in Peshawar (in today's Pakistan) and travel to Chandrapore, Bihar via Rawalpindi (again in Pakistan) by train. Not sure, if EM Forster's book also carries this statement.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Exiting the caves, Mrs. Moore sees a full moon overhead in the mid-day sky. This is an astronomical impossibility, but it is shown in the film to highlight the powerful effect that the caves have on the human mind. The caves would also deeply affect Adela a little while later, but with much more serious consequences.
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Revealing mistakes 

At the end of the film, as Dr. Aziz writes a letter, a festival with fireworks is going on outside his window. The colors red, green, and purple all appear simultaneously at two separate intervals, indicating studio lights instead of fireworks.
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Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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