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Platoon (1986) Poster

(1986)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

In the scene where the men are playing cards, one of the men is looking at a Playboy from March 1971, despite the film taking place in 1967.
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Set in 1967, features Bunny listening to Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee," not released until 1969.
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In the last battle, as well as in the patrol in the very beginning, Captain Harris was seen wearing the nylon Y-shaped suspenders, which was not issued until the 1970s.
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When the soldiers are celebrating in the tent early in the film, they are drinking Budweiser from two-piece stay-tab cans with UPC symbols. Container companies introduced the two-piece can in 1974, the stay-tab in 1975 and the UPC symbol in 1978. Budweiser introduced the can style used in the movie in 1981.
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Staff Sergeant Barnes and Sergeant Elias both carry Cold Steel brand knives, which were not manufactured until the 1980s.
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When they board the UH-1 Huey near the church right before the scene where Sgt Elias gets chased, a Philippine Air Force insignia can be seen on the tail boom of the helicopter. The PAF did not operate in Vietnam.
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Staff Sergeant Barnes and Sergeant Elias use the Colt Model 653 which was not available until 1973.
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Both SSG Barnes and SGT Elias are seen carrying M16A2 rifles (round hand grips and collapsible stocks). These rifles were not available until the early 1980s
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The "drug den" uses miniature Christmas lights. They only had 7-watt c-7 Christmas lights in 1968.
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Boom mic visible 

In right upper corner, when they are "emptying the shitter."
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Visible above King's head when he lights his cigarette.
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Character error 

At one point, a character is warned not to drink from a river because he might get malaria. While drinking the water could cause any number of diseases, malaria is not one of them, as it can only be transmitted by insect bite.
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The characters in the movie are in the Army, but on the cover, the dog tags that make up the two "O"s in Platoon read USMC.
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When Taylor, King and Crawford are cleaning the latrines, King says he has 39 days left to serve and will be released from duty in March, while Crawford says he has 92 and will be released on April 17th. With 53 days - nearly 8 weeks - separating their discharges and Crawford out on April 17th, King would be out in February, not March.
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Continuity 

When the platoon finds the bunker complex, the Lieutenant sends Taylor and Washington out to guard the flank. Washington has a pack of Marlboros stuck in his helmet. Once he reaches his position, it is a pack of Kools in his helmet.
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At the bunker complex, Sergeant Elias goes into the tunnels. In one shot he goes through some water, but in the following shots he is dry.
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During the last battle, Sergeant O'Neill hides behind a dead body. As he pulls the body over him, the body's eyes are closed but when we see O'Neill peeking out, the eyes are open.
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When leaving the burning village, SSG. Barnes' left eye is black. When he and Sgt. Elias return to base camp and have a discussion with the Captain, Barnes' right eye is black.
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Sgt. Barnes' T-shirt when confronted by Chris at the end.
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After the first firefight, the blood "M" the medic puts on Private Gardner's forehead disappears.
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During Bunny's last stand he is seen carrying his shotgun, but in the next shot he is carrying an M16 just before he's shot.
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When Sal and Sanderson are examining the ammo box, Sal's cigar is short, than long, then short again.
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The position of the bandoliers worn by King in the goodbye scene with Chris just before the climactic battle.
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After the last battle Chris has obvious injuries to the face and arms, skin burns etc. As he is stretchered out, his face and arms no longer have the blackened marks
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In the third battle (Ambushed by VC), the machine gunner (Morehouse) was hit spot on by an artillery shell from friendly fire and was shattered into pieces by the explosion. When the troops evacuated, his quite complete body, although charred, was the first one taken out.
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When Bunny is in the tent talking to Junior, he opens his beer can with a "church key" (can opener). But when Lieutenant Wolfe walks in and Bunny bites a piece out of the can, it has a pop-top and shows no sign of having been opened with a "church key".
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The length on the soldier's cigar when they are in the bunker looking at the Viet Cong maps, right before the booby trap blows.
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The position of Barnes' dead body after the tank approaches.
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The day after Sergeant Barnes cuts Private Taylor under his eye during the tent scene, neither a cut or scar is visible.
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Crew or equipment visible 

Exploding pack under Barnes' T-shirt when Taylor shoots him.
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Errors in geography 

When Sandy and Sal are investigating the bunker they come across a reused ammo-box filled with maps. The map shown is actually of the British Isles with Ireland, most of England and northern France plainly visible. A local VC/NVA unit would have no interest in detailed maps of Europe.
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Factual errors 

In the attack on the camp, we see two NVA/VC soldiers acting as suicide bombers (one falls and explodes, the other makes it into the communication bunker before blowing up). In the script, these two men are identified as sappers. NVA and VC Sappers were specially trained combat engineers/reconnaissance commandos who used stealth to infiltrate a camp's defenses and take out strategic targets, such as barbed wire obstacles or bunkers, with explosives before the main attack. Although there were indeed reports of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops using suicide bombers during the war, sappers were never used as suicide bombers because they were considered too valuable to expend.
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The uniformed VC/NVA troops are often depicted wearing steel helmets; steel helmets were only worn by NVA anti-aircraft troops protecting base camps in Cambodia, Laos, and North Vietnam. The VC/NVA troops ought to be wearing either floppy "boonie-hats" or the standard NVA sun helmet.
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In the opening credits, the military technical advisor Captain Dale Dye is mistakenly credited as belonging to the US Marine "Corp." instead of "Corps". The "US Marine Corps" is a military organization, not a corporation.
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Taylor arrives in Vietnam wearing the unit insignia of the 25th Infantry Division. Low-ranking enlisted infantry replacements did not arrive in Vietnam with unit assignments, or insignia, but were assigned to line units as required.
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Revealing mistakes 

When the M60 machine gun is being fired the rounds on the ammo belt are clearly blanks; the ends of the cartridges are crimped and there are no bullets.
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When the booby trapped device (box with Vietcong maps) in the bunker explodes, it rips off the arms of one of the soldiers. When he stumbles out of the bunker and dies, his hands are clearly visible hanging out under his T-shirt.
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While the troop are in the VC village, interrogating the villagers, searching for weapons, etc; it is obvious that their rifle bayonets are rubber.
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When the men are wrestling through the foliage in a rainstorm near the beginning, the rain sounds like it has an echo, as if it were inside a stage.
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As Chris is firing at the villagers feet in the hut, no fired shell casings are being ejected from the rifle although we hear it firing.
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During the ambush scene where PVT Gardner shows PVT Taylor a picture of his girl back home, the calendar in his wallet doesn't match 1967. More than likely its a calendar from 1986, the year of production.
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When we see Chris and the other new soldiers arriving in Vietnam during the opening sequence of the film they jump to the ground from the rear end of an Air Force C-130 - the rear ramp they would have walked down is missing. The ramp which doubles as the rear cargo door is either closed during long distance flights or partially open flying 'in country' with a rear gunner positioned out on the ramp tethered inside of the plane.
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

During the scene when Bunny beats the villager to death with his shotgun, Seargent O'Neill's cigarette varies from long to short each time it cuts back to him.
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Continuity 

We see a view from the helicopter of Elias running as he gets shot by the Vietcong, and during this shot he raises his arms up, but when it goes to a close up shot of him, his arms are suddenly down and then raised up as he dies.
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Continuity 

After the final battle Francis stabs himself in the right leg. He has a bandage on his left leg when seen on the evacuation helicopter.
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See also

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

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