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Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) Poster

Goofs

Revealing mistakes 

When Superman lands on the moon and surveys the elevator car that he trapped Nuclear Man in, black curtains are clearly obvious directly behind him.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Superman is speaking in Russian to the cosmonauts, his voice is obviously dubbed.
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Character error 

Lex Luthor is able to cut through the piece of Superman's hair holding the heavy weight with a regular pair of bolt cutters, even though his hair should be totally indestructible (like him). Lex's cutters have no Kryptonite blades, which would enable him to cut the normally indestructible hair.
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Near the end of the film, Nuclear Man sees the photo of Lacy Warfield and then goes to the Daily Planet to find her. Outside, he meets Superman and asks "where is she?" Superman replies "you'll never find her". He never said who he is talking about, so Superman wouldn't have known who he meant. He also says "OK, I'll take you to her", without gaining knowledge of who he was referring to.
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Continuity 

Lacey Warfield survives leaving earth's atmosphere, The depths of space, and reentry. How is that possible.
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In Superman and Superman II Lex Luthor wears a wig because he is completely bald. In this film, Lex is balding (as Gene Hackman was in real life).
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Lex Luthor's hideout is supposed to be at the top of the "Metropolis State Building" (stated in the deleted scene of the creation of the 1st Nuclear Man, in the Special Features section of the DVD). When Nuclear Man crashes through the floor to find Lacy Warfield, not only are he and Superman supposed to be in a different building (the canopy outside says "Metropolis Tower"), but the room is clearly the set for Lex Luthor's lair.
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When Nuclear Man flies over a street full of people, threatening to drop the Statue of Liberty on them, the crowd looks up in horror and screams. In the next shot, the street contains moving traffic, and no people. In the next shot, the people are visible again.
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The purse over the shoulder of the woman in military uniform disappears when she enters the bunker.
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When Clark Kent is looking out of the window of Laci's kitchen after he hears the message from Lex, the billboard beneath the one where Lex's picture appears clearly says "Super Slurpee". When the camera moves closer to the screen in the shot, the billboard has a completely different ad on it.
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During the "LexTV" scene, footage of the street is repeated over and over. The same green car turns right, around the same corner, every time the film cuts back to Lex Luthor.
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When Superman looks over his shoulder to see the Russian cosmonaut float away, the stars disappear behind Superman's head just before he flies to rescue the cosmonaut.
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Lois and Superman fly past a train below them going left to right. In a closeup, they fly over a completely different train traveling right to left. When they fly over San Francisco, they pass in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. In the next shot, they're approaching the bridge, then they pass the bridge again before flying off.
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In the close-up of the Russian missile's engines starting up before it flies into space, only one of the 4 engines actually fires. In the wide shot, all the engines fire when it takes off.
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When Jimmy is taking pictures of Jeremy in front of the United Nations plaza, and when Superman makes his speech to reporters, a large sign says "Daily Planet", implying that the Planet is across the street from the United Nations. Earlier scenes implied that the Planet was in downtown Metropolis.
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When Superman and Nuclear Man are fighting on the moon, there is an insert shot of Nuclear Man's foot stamping on Superman's, yet the following mid-shot implies that it was Superman who stamped on Nuclear Man's foot.
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During the fight on the moon, one shot shows what appears to be the US flag torn/tattered. Two minutes later Superman re-stands the flag and it is now clean and fully intact.
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After Nuclear Man rises with the dawn, he walks over to a table and sees the 'new' Daily Planet with Lacy Warfield's photo on the front. The close-up of him looking down at the paper, to his left, includes a bit of smoke, a few sparks, and heat waves distorting the picture, as if something out of frame was on fire.
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During the fight scene on the moon. One shot shows, what appears to be, the US flag torn/tattered. Two minutes later Superman re-stands the flag and it is now clean and fully intact.
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In the final scene, when Superman is about to address the press, the shot with Lois, Jimmy, and Clark contains diffused light, as if it is morning. After Clark leaves, the sun shines hard light at the actors' backs.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Nuclear Man tips the SWAT van on its grill and spins it around, a SWAT officer flies upwards out of the back. The flying wires connected to the officer are showing.
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When Superman lands on the moon, wires are clearly visible attached to his back, even as he walks on the surface of the moon.
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When Nuclear Man flies through each level of the Daily Planet, the wires pulling him up are clearly visible.
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During the final moon battle, wires appear on Superman and Nuclear Man in several frames.
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In several of the shots of Superman and Nuclear Man fighting in space, the silver grommets that hold the wires that Superman is hanging from are clearly visible around his waist.
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During the street fight, white ropes pull the SWAT van into the air.
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Wires are visible in many scenes, including when Superman takes Lois flying, and when Superman is flying all over the world, trying to stop Nuclear Man.
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When Nuclear Man is thought to be destroyed, and Superman lands on the moon to stand the American flag in its proper place, wires are clearly visible.
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When Nuclear Man zaps a group of male bystanders, causing them to float into the air, flying wires are clearly connected to each man.
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When Lex Luthor puts up a bill for Nuclear Man to incinerate, he places it slightly above his head, holding it with two fingers. In the next shot, he is holds it lower, with three fingers. When Nuclear Man sets it on fire, the hand is clearly a stunt double's hand.
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When Superman and Nuclear Man fight on the moon, black curtains appear in the distance in several shots.
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Errors in geography 

The Daily Planet is supposed to be a U.S. newspaper. One headline uses the British spelling of "favourite." The American spelling has no U.
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Near the end of the subway sequence early in the film, as Superman leaves the scene, a billboard in the background says "New York" at the bottom.
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The trains and the subway system are part the London Underground, not New York's subway system.
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At the end, the sequence of Lex and Lenny on the 'interstate' includes a white hard shoulder stripe and an orange SOS box, hallmarks of a British motorway. They're actually on the M25.
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Cars with UK license plates are visible in several shots.
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Factual errors 

At the United Nations, the nation immediately to the left of the aisle is "England". "England" is not a member of the United Nations, "The United Kingdom" is a member of the United Nations.
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Lacy Warfield is able to survive in space without a space suit.
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There is no direct route from the exhaust tower of a nuclear power plant to the reactor.
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Capes flap in space and Superman is able to speak to the Cosmonaut, even though there is no air in space.
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Nuclear Man descends into a volcano. While there may have been heat from lava for him to feed off, he would have no sunlight to reach the interior of the mountain.
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Nuclear Man was created using genetic material harvested from one of Superman's hairs. Lex Luthor get this hair from a museum using bolt cutters. He cuts the top and bottom off to get at the part in the middle. He takes only the middle part with him. Genetic material is only found in the follicle of a hair, which would be at one end.
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When Superman frees himself from the hole on the moon, he is gasping for breath. There is no air on the moon for him to breath. In addition, during the fight on the moon both Superman and his opponent can be heard gasping for breath in a vacuum.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

While it is true that daylight does not hit China, New York, Italy, and Russia at the same time, Superman and Nuclear Man's fight likely takes place over the course of several hours, allowing ample time to pass for daylight to be able to hit each of these locales.
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When Superman pushes the moon out of orbit to stop Nuclear Man, he pushes either black lava rock or black granite. The Moon is gray, unless he was pushing a crater, in which case the ground and hills around it would still be gray. Parts of the moon are darker than the usual gray, these are commonly known as "mare" (Latin for sea) and have names such as sea of tranquility or sea of clouds etc. These mare are the result of volcanic activity in the past, therefore it is possible for superman to be pushing volcanic rock on the moon.
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Plot holes 

Superman used up the last energy crystal from his parents in Superman II, but another "last" crystal is mysteriously available for him to use in this movie.
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After Superman saves the cosmonaut and brings him back to the space capsule, he tells him in Russian, "You'll be safer singing in here." How could he have known the cosmonaut was singing? He didn't show up until after the shuttle was struck by the satellite and the cosmonaut was floating away, by which point he had definitely stopped singing.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Superman is flying the Statue of Liberty back to it's rightful home, one of the flying shots uses a black and white background plate of New York, where as the rest of the scene and all of the other shots are in full colour.
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When Nuclear Man sends the cop who pointed his gun at him flying backwards over the hood of the squad car, and when he sends the fleet of police cars backwards to explode, action in the background reveals that the film is running backward.
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When Nuclear Man blows up around the street, an exploding fire hydrant is clearly made of foam.
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When Nuclear Man and Superman are fighting in Space, Nuclear Man uses his super breath to freeze Superman. Right before the camera pulls away, Superman's head moves.
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When the car carrying the guards goes over the cliff, a shot in the air reveals that the car is empty.
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After the missile with Nuclear Man's DNA attached is launched, Superman races after it. When he grabs the underbelly and they streak out of frame, a small square appears in the bottom left of the screen, showing the scaffolding Christopher Reeve is hanging from (Travelling Matte).
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In the shot of Superman flying, just before he looks behind him to see the Statue Of Liberty taking off, a red string is holding Superman's cape straight.
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When Superman flies the Statue of Liberty back to its base, part of the statue's tablet behind Superman's head is distorted, a possible attempt to cover up flying rigging.
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When Nuclear Man catches up to Superman to give him his 'nuclear scratch of doom', the background footage runs in reverse during Nuclear Man's close-up, so he appears to fly backward.
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Nuclear Man caves in the front of a taxi. In the next shot, a big white string stretches off screen from the cab's taxi sign, just before the second cab hits the back of the crunched one.
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When Superman puts the Russian cosmonaut back in the space capsule, the area around his helmet is distorted in a poor attempt to hide the flying wires. The capsule is also visible through Superman's head.
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The same building is used for the Daily Planet (when the Statue of Liberty falls in front of it), and the Metropolis Tower (when the windows of the building are blown out as Nuclear Man crashes through the floors inside).
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The editing implies that the film takes place all over Metropolis, but one outdoor street set is used for all of the major outside scenes: Clark crossing the street to go to the Daily Planet, the fight between Nuclear Man and Superman, and the fight outside the Metro Club between Nuclear Man One and Superman (in the Deleted Scenes of the Deluxe DVD Edition). The Metro Club parking sign is shown to be across the street from the Daily Planet/Metropolis Tower (Lex's Lair).
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The title card is stretched out, making the official "Superman" logo used in the title look distorted, a result of superimposing the title on squeezed anamorphic film without first squeezing the title to match.
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When Superman uses his heat vision to cut off the top of the mountain to use it as a plug to silence the erupting Mt. Etna, his animated heat vision rays lag behind the explosive cut they are supposed to be making.
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When Superman straightens the leaning American flag, the wooden dowel used to make the flag appear stiff in the airless environment of the moon it sticks out an inch or two.
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When Superman drops the elevator with Nuclear Man onto the Moon, and when the two of them fight on the Moon, dust swirls around in clouds, instead of simply dropping back to the surface. This should not happen in the vacuum environment of the Moon.
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When Nuclear Man returns to Earth, the scene with the Moon in the distance shows a view of the Moon that cannot be seen from Earth.
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When Superman flies to intercept the missile with Nuclear Man's DNA on it, there is a shot of him flying left to right. Two wires stretched are stretched out in front of him.
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Lacey Warfield survives leaving earth's atmosphere, The depths of space, and re-entry.
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When Superman is flying with Lois Lane, there is one point where he lets go of her to let her fall so he can catch her. Lois should be falling straight down, but the background indicates that she is still flying.
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When Superman and Nuclear Man are at the base of the Statue of Liberty, distortions are clearly visible around both of them, the result of attempts to hide their flying wires.
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When Lex is stealing Superman's hair, the hole for the 1 ton weight to fall through is revealed when the fake flooring on the base falls away too soon.
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During Nuclear Man and Superman's first fight in space, a platform appears under their feet.
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When a piece of space debris strikes the Soviet space capsule, the Cosmonaut's head breaks off. In the next shot, the Cosmonaut is intact.
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When Nuclear Man blows up the storefronts in his attack, the whole set shakes much more than it should.
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When taxicab that 'drives' toward Nuclear Man has its front end crunched, the cab's tires are a few inches off the ground, but they spin as if they are in contact with the pavement.
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The motion control dolls used to represent Superman and Nuclear Man flying (and fighting) in space look nothing like Christopher Reeve or Mark Pillow. Nuclear Man's muscles are way too big, and Superman's arms are way too long in several shots (if you put the arms at the figure's side, Superman's hands would reach his feet).
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Spoilers 

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Revealing mistakes 

After Superman and Nuclear Man fight on the moon, Nuclear Man defeats Superman and returns to Earth. The scene includes a reversed picture of Earth.
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See also

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

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