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Backdraft (1991) Poster

(1991)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (1) | Character error (2) | Continuity (23) | Crew or equipment visible (4) | Revealing mistakes (3) | Spoilers (2)

Anachronisms 

During opening 1971 sequence, an 80's style Dodge Caravan can be seen parked on the street while the firefighters are in route to the fire.
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Character error 

Throughout the movie, numerous firefighters are seen *not* wearing their air packs.
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In the opening scenes, Dennis McCaffrey is wearing an officer's helmet that reads "Engine 17". But, going to the fire, he climbs into the officer's seat on the ladder truck. If he was wearing the Engine 17 helmet, his place would have been on the actual engine. To ride the ladder truck, his helmet would have read "Truck 46".
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Continuity 

The first victim's body doesn't land on the car after the explosion, but is there when firefighters arrive.
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The position of the keys dropped in the theatre.
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The fire truck crashes onto its side twice.
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When Brian and Jen are on the fire truck, Jen's bra starts out lying on top of a hose, jumps back on her body and then disappears altogether by the time she has her jacket on.
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In the apartment fire, Stephen goes in to save a little boy. When there's an explosion, Brian falls back and his boots are all the way up, on another shot when he's on the floor his boots are folded down.
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While Brian and Steven are talking on their dad's boat, there are several shots of a canal in the background. In most shots, it's empty, but in one shot, there's a barge afloat in it that abruptly vanishes.
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In the apartment building, Tim puts on his mask when he sets off with Steve to check the rooms. When we see them coming down the corridor, Tim is neither wearing nor carrying his mask.
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During the first fire, Stephen has a door chuck in his helmet when he comes through the door. When he is talking to Brian, the door chuck is gone.
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When Brian McCaffrey climbs the ladder to the top of the chemical plant fire, the angle is so steep that he is required to use his arms to keep his balance. But, when he gets to the top, we see the angle of the ladder has been lowered.
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When the ladder is crashing, it slides on the driver's side and then winds up crashing onto the Captain's side of the vehicle.
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The position of Brian's hands and arms when he is in the bar talking to the bartender right before Tim reads his station assignments. In one shot, they're holding the beer glass, in another shot, they're folded and in another shot, he's eating.
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When Brian is talking to the Alderman during the retirement party, his fork alternates between the plate and his mouth between shots.
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The dancers come out twice at the retirement party.
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In the sewing company fire, the woman that was rescued (woman in green dress) can be seen in the crowd outside of the building as 17 is approaching the building.
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At the fire at the theater, Donald is holding the electrical plug with the crowbar, but in the next shot, he's got his hand on it and in the next shot, it's back to the crowbar.
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When Bull drives Bryan at home his arm changes position repeatedly between shots.
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When the ladder truck flips and drags the ground, Brian is in the driver's side jump seat. Before and after the crash he is in the passenger side jump seat.
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When Steven and Axe are hanging from the platform, Steven's grip switches from overhand, to underhand (as he is trying to pull them both back up), and back again (just before they fall).
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In the final fire scene, both brothers are swimming in an elevator shaft filled with water, but as they are trying to escape that building moments later, there is no water running off them, or in their boots.
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When Brian jumps aboard the ladder truck for the final fire he was just carrying his coat, now he's wearing it.
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When Brian goes to talk to Ronald at the mental hospital, Brian lays out some reports and pictures on the table. Ronald picks up a report and starts to read while Brian asks him who's doing this. The top page of the report that Ronald has in his hands changes positions in between shots several times.
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When Rimgale has Brian lift the trash can to prove his theory on how the arsonist was creating backdrafts, Rimgale is smoking a cigarette. The cigarette repeatedly changes length becoming longer and shorter, and then longer again in each shot of Rimgale. There is no time for Rimgale to smoke a whole cigarette, then light another one and smoke most of another in this short scene.
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Several establishing shots of Co. 17 engines headed to fires early in the movie show them crossing a Chicago River bridge with Merchandise Mart in the background soon after leaving the firehouse indicating that Co. 17 is located near downtown Chicago. At the end of the movie when the pull back shots shows Co. 17's engines headed towards the fire, the skyline of downtown Chicago is considerably further away, indicating a location on the west edge of the city of Chicago
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Crew or equipment visible 

The stunt mat that Shadow lands on after the explosion.
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Reflected in the screen door after the "stinking spinach" line.
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During the "you go, we go" sequence, lighting equipment is visible several times
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In the warehouse fire, when Bull is holding onto Axe and the explosion knocks them off the platform, you see Bull dangling from his "harness" and reaching for the beam in mid-air for a split second before the camera angle changes.
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Revealing mistakes 

The pressure dials on the fire truck at the garment factory all read zero.
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Just as the department goes to a call when the hippies are around, you can see the overhead light-bar on while the fire bell rings.
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In the garment factory fire when Brian goes off searching for a person, there is a drain on the floor and you can see the fuel the crew spread on the floor, the camera then cuts to a different angle and when it returns the fuel is on fire.
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Factual errors 

In the opening scene, Dennis McCaffrey is verbally referred to as "Captain" a number of times. However, while responding to the fire in which he is killed, he is shown wearing the lapel pin of a Lieutenant (Single Bugle on red background) instead of the lapel pin of a Captain (Double, Parallel Bugles on red background).
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Plot holes 

When Bull is in the back of the ambulance and he starts crashing, the paramedics give him lidocaine to settle his heart rhythm. Lidocaine isn't given in severe trauma patients, because one of the side effects is hypotension, something he already has from the blood loss.
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See also

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

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