Cronauer closes his final show (in 1965) with Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," which wasn't recorded until 1967. (Director 'Barry Levinson' was aware of this but the song was perfect for the montage scene he used it on, he decided to ignore this anachronism.)
Early on in the movie, Adrian Cronauer pretends to play a record backwards, mimicking it saying, "Freddie is the devil...Freddie is the devil". The film takes place in 1965, and backward messages on records were a generally unknown phenomenon until the Beatles famously made use of this technique a year later with the release of their single Rain, which features the first backwards lyric; "When the rain comes, they run and hide their heads." Furthermore, backward "devil" messages on records did not become an issue until a few more years down the road in the 1970s.
When Adrian has the three shrimp heads on his fingers pretending to be the Supremes, he refers to the group as "Diana Ross & the Supremes." The film takes place in 1965. The group would not be known as Diana Ross & the Supremes until July of 1967.
The film universally shows US soldiers carrying M-16s, but as this film takes place in 1965 and M-16s only began to be issued in March of that year, the majority of units were still equipped with the very different-looking M-14. Indeed, the 1st Infantry Division, the unit Cronaur performs for while stuck in traffic, were not issued the M-16 until 1966, yet the film shows them equipped with it in 1965.
After the first meeting with the radio staff, Cronauer and Garlick drive their jeep to Jimmy Wah's. In the traffic, there is a yellow 1966 Dodge Polara following them that would not have been available in 1965 Vietnam. And when they get to Jimmy Wah's, the Dodge is already there parked ahead of them.
During one of Cronaur's broadcasts, one of his characters refers to the weather as 'crotch pot cooking'. The crock pot, that this line references, didn't exist under the name 'crock pot' until 1971, six years after the time frame of the movie.
Throughout the film, armed forces personnel are shown wearing garrison caps and other headgear (referred to as "covers") and saluting indoors. This is not correct, as uniformed personnel are required to remove covers when indoors (therefore "under cover") and do not salute indoors.
When Hauk utters, "Who gave anyone permission to program modern music?", the clock above him reads "6:01"; Cronauer's initial rant goes on another three-and-a-half minutes, and when Hauk is shown again saying, "That is *not* what we program here!", the clock above him still reads "6:01".
Armed Forces Radio provided music discs to its affiliates, including AFVN, on its own label 12" LP records. No commercial discs are permitted in AFRS facilities, and no 45 rpm records were ever played on an Armed Forces radio station.
Saluting and wearing one's cover (or hat) Saluting is never done indoors unless under strict circumstances, such as reporting to a review board. Also, strict courtesy guidelines that you always remove your cover when indoors.
Sgt. Maj. Dickerson's Class B uniform features the blue shoulder cord worn by infantry soldiers and officers. However, per Army regulation AR 670-1, cords such as this one are to be worn on the right shoulder; Dickerson is wearing his on the left, which is incorrect.
US Air Force enlisted men do NOT wear a US cypher on their overseas caps. Williams is shown in every scene in which he wears 1505's (Air Force tan uniform) in an overseas cap which has the USAF enlisted US on it.
The studio gramophones are Garrard 401s, with S.M.E. Series II pickup arms. These would never have been used in an AFRTS Radio Station. They would have used U.S.-made gramophones. Proof that this film was made partly in England.
When Marty is reading the news on air while filling in for Adrian, he references "rookie all-star Pete Rose." The film takes place in 1965; Pete Rose's rookie season was 1963 (he was the National League Rookie of the Year for that season).
Cronauer is wearing 2" USAF stripes on his fatigue uniform that are for the blue or 1505 shirt, when they should be 4" stripes for the fatigue uniform. Also, he would never have been allowed aboard a MATS or MATS-contracted transport aircraft unless he was wearing the correct uniform - certainly not a flight cap (worn improperly) with pajamas!
About 4' into the film, we can hear Levitan on the radio, saying that "AFRS operates on an assigned carrier of 540 and 749 Megahertz". It is very unlikely that those frequencies have ever been used for commercial grade radio broadcasting. AM broadcasts typically used (and still use) frequencies ranging from 540 to 1600 KHz, and FM broadcasts in United States are located between 88 and 108 MHz. Using higher frequencies would require more relays (due to the "line of sight" propagation mode of those frequencies), which is probably not really feasible in hostile countries, and above all, it would require custom receivers.
When Adrian Cronauer first reports to Sgt Major Dickerson, Cronauer answers Dickerson by addressing him as "sir" Dickerson screams at Adrian Cronauer, "I work for a living. You will address me as Sgt. Major Dickerson," yet when Dickerson phones G-2 about the A-1 road to ANLOC, the corporal Tyser called Dickerson "sir" several times during the conversation and is not corrected by Dickerson.
The movie was filmed in Bangkok, Thailand, where the traffic is set on the left. In a scene of traffic in a crossing, cars are seen entering a two-lane street in clearly the wrong lane, as you see directing arrows on the tarmac facing the other way.