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Courage Under Fire (1996) Poster

Goofs

Character error 

When the LtCol's tank is confronted by enemy infantry he uses his .50 Cal by using its butterfly trigger which would allow the weapon to fire, but by doing it that way he couldn't have aimed the weapon system, and it exposes himself to danger. Instead he should have used commander's control inside the tank which would have been safer for him and he could change the elevation and traverse the cupola.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

During one of the scenes of firefight, you can hear Captain Walden say, "Gimme the goddamn M16," but you can see that her mouth does not say "M16."
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Character error 

As Serling and General Herschel where talking on the golf course, General Herschel was swinging a left-handed golf club right-handed.
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When Monfriez reprimands a recruit for leaving another recruit behind in the obstacle, he doesn't further reprimand him for calling him "sir". Drill sergeants are never called "sir" in the Army. They "work for a living".
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Continuity 

Karen shoots more than 100 rounds from the M-16's 30 round magazine.
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When taping a conversation, Col. Serling only depresses the "play" button, not the "record" button.
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When Monfriez and Serling are driving in Monfriez's convertible, they are directly alongside the train, but when Monfriez pulls onto the tracks, the train is nowhere in sight. They did not drive far enough or fast enough to get that far ahead of the train.
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The medal hung around Karen's daughter's neck disappears during the flyover.
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Boylar's insignia indicates he is a captain, yet he is referred to as a lieutenant.
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When Serling leaves Hershberg's office after their confrontation, he is seen from the inside of the office not carrying anything, but when we see him from outside (immediately after) he is carrying his files.
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When the tape from Al Bathra is played back at the end, there are numerous changes in dialogue.
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When Col. Serling is in the motel room looking at a photo of the mother and daughter sitting on a porch swing, the view of the back of the photo shows it is substantially wrinkled. When the front of the photo is shown it is unwrinkled.
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Just after the Huey is hit, Ilario is seen hanging out of the left side of the helicopter. In the very next shot from inside the helicopter, Ilario is still inside the helicopter, then falls back as the helicopter spins out of control.
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When Serling turns in his final report to Hersberg, he slams it down on the table. When he raises the folder, his thumb on the bottom, but in the next shot, of the folder on the table, his thumb is on top.
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Discrepancies within Ilario's "consequences" quote between his face-to-face interview with LTC Serling and when Serling plays back the tape in his hotel room.
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During the confrontation on the train tracks, the distance of the approaching train visible over Sergeant Monfriez's shoulder varies greatly.
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After speaking with Specialist Ilario, Serling drives home and parks around the corner. His wife sees him and enters the car. During their conversation, her lapel moves up and down between shots.
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In a meeting between Serling and Hershberg in Hershberg's office, Hershberg sets a book down on his desk with the binding facing the wall. When the meeting ends and Serling walks out, the binding of that same book is away from the wall.
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LTC Serling accidentally shoots a friendly tank and kills his friend "Boylar." LTC Serling references "Boylar" as "Lieutenant Boylar." However, in a photo showing both Serling and Boylar (where Boylar is wearing a desert "boonie" hat) Boylar is wearing the subdued rank of Captain, not Lieutenant.
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In the photo of Ilario with Walden and other crew members, he looks very thin, as he is in the later parts of the film, but until Walden's death he was normal weight.
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During Serling and Gartner's talk in the park, it was alternately sprinkling then not. When the camera cuts to Gartner, their jackets are wet, but when it cuts to Serling, their jackets are completely dry.
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Ilario's cigarette by the pool.
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Ilario's position when at the pool with Serling.
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In the tank combat sequence, Serling asks, "Do you or do you not have a fucking target?" When a recording of this is later played, the expletive is missing.
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The LtCol and his gunner don't have their eyes against the Tank's sites. No wonder they couldn't identify a target.
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When the helicopter drops the fuel cell on the Iraqi tank and sets it on fire with the flare gun causing the tank to explode, in the next scene after the helicopter is hit and spinning out of control, there is a camera shot of the chopper filmed from the other side of the Iraqi tank and you see the Iraqi soldiers standing around the tank and can briefly see the tanks turret with the commander still sitting in the hatch behind the heavy machine gun of the turret, when in fact, according to the previous scene, the tank should now be a flaming smoking heap.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Capt. Walden's helicopter is circling the Iraqi tank and attempting to neutralize it, there is a quick split second where the tank is in the foreground and the helicopter behind it. At that exact moment, you can clearly see a man with dark brown hair in a blue shirt and khaki pants on or near the tank.
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Reflected in the TV screen in the General's Office
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Just after Monfriez's car is hit by the train, you can see some sort of carriage that the car is mounted on. The rear rims of the car also look like train wheels (that belong to the carriage the car is mounted on).
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Errors in geography 

The Capitol dome cannot be seen from Bethesda, Maryland.
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When the two men are talking in what appears to be a park in Washington, D.C., an Austin, Texas, Capital Metro City Bus drives by in the background.
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Factual errors 

U.S. Army Medivac Choppers marked with the Red Cross, are covered by the Geneva Convention, thereby allowing the aircrew to only carry personal weapons. So no M-16's or M-60 machine guns would have been allowed on "Dust off 3". The Red Cross marks the copter a non-combatant, medical vehicle. This would make it a war-crime for enemies to fire upon it. However, for Meg Ryan's character to take her Red Cross marked copter in to attack enemies would be considered a "perfidious act" -- a very serious war crime.
The Medal of Honor is never placed around the neck of anyone but the recipient of the award.
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The Huey had long-range fuel tanks installed and they disconnected them to drop them on the tank to destroy it. In real life, it takes about an hour to uninstall the long-range tanks and if they are full of fuel you can not unhook them from the over head hook they are connected to. You have to drain all the fuel out to get enough slack to unhook them.
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We see a locomotive skidding with its wheels locked in a shower of sparks. Locomotive wheels do not lock up when the emergency brakes are applied because, a) it won't stop the train any faster, and b) it would create flat spots on the wheels which are very expensive to repair.
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The crew that Capt. Walden is there to rescue is referred to as a Blackhawk crew. However, the downed aircraft that the crew are around is not a Blackhawk, but instead a Huey.
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The dispersion of the Tanks were only about 20-30 feet rather than the 100-200 meters that was actually used.
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In the night combat scenes where the SAW is being fired, there should be tracer rounds visible as every fifth round on the belt is a tracer.
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In the final combat scene where they are getting ready to evacuate, the M16 is fired on full auto. The model of M16 used at the time was the M16A2, which had a three-round burst, but not full auto.
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Lt. Col. Serling tells Gen. Hershberg that the tank was "hit by a uranium spent projectile" rather than using the correct terminology, "depleted uranium projectile."
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SPC Ilario is seen wearing a Canadian flight suit bellow his flight vest, in scenes where his left shoulder is visible the Canadian flag in OD colors is shown, As he in the movie was a member of the US armed forces this was obviously a wardrobe mistake.
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The M1A1 used by the 2nd ACR (Armored Cavalry Regiment) of which Col. Serling plays a part fires a 120mm combustible case round. Only the aft end cap comes out of the breech after firing, not the whole casing.
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When LTC Sterling places his Silver Star on the Tombstone, the MOH insignia is shown on the stone. It should be embossed in gold, not just carved in the surface.
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During Serling's opening speech, an MLRS system can be occasionally seen firing rockets in the background. However, the firing does not resemble real MLRS launches, which produce massive smoke plumes that often obscure the whole vehicle and a very loud sound. The one seen in the film launches far more feebly, leaving little more than a small smoke trail and the sound is more like a flare launch;. An actual MLRS launch can be seen in the stock footage during the opening credits.
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Airforce A-10 aircraft are seen dropping napalm. Only the Marines dropped napalm in the first gulf war from AV-8B aircraft.
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When the medivac helicopter has crashed Capt. Walden threatens Monfriez with something like a Section 20 or a Section 26 of the UCMJ for Mutiny. The correct reference for mutiny in the UCMJ is Sub chapter X Section 894 Article 94 MUTINY OR SEDITION. Which most likely would be Referred to as an Article 94 with out the reference to the sub-chapter or section.

Further, after reading article 94 I am not sure that Monfriez would be guilty of Mutiny since he is acting alone.

Aricle 94 MUTINY OR SEDITION Any person subject to this chapter who--

(1) with intent to usurp or override lawful military authority, refuses, in concert with any other person, to obey orders or otherwise do his duty or creates any violence or disturbance is guilty of mutiny;

(2) with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with any other person, revolt, violence, or disturbance against that authority is guilty of sedition;

(3) fails to do his utmost to prevent and suppress a mutiny or sedition being committed in his presence, or fails to take all reasonable means to inform his superior commissioned officer or commanding officer of a mutiny or sedition which he knows or has reason to believe is taking place, is guilty of a failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition.

(b) A person who is found guilty of attempted mutiny, mutiny, sedition, or failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.
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In the morning, when the crew of the two downed helicopters were rescued, CPT Karen Walden refused to go. She continued to lay down suppressive fire and told her crew to come back for her with a stretcher. The Huey CPT Walden piloted, being a medevac as well, would have had a stretcher, or litter, on-board.
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The M1A1 Abrams tanks in the film were not actual Abrams tanks but visually-modified older British Centurion tanks. These have 6 large road wheels arranged with two in the front, while real Abrams have 7 road wheels with 1 further in front of the others. During certain scenes where the driver of the tank is seen, he is offset to the right of the tank; on actual Abrams tanks, the driver is positioned directly in front and under the main gun. There is also a lack of detail on other features and the tank generally seems smaller than the real article.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

While Dr. Mary E. Walker was the first woman to be awarded the Medal of Honor (in 1866, for bravery as a surgeon), Capt. Walden would have been, as stated, the first woman to be nominated for the medal "for performance under fire".
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Revealing mistakes 

After Monfreeze shoots Walden, he says "Christ captain, I thought you were firing at me!", she then points the gun at him and cocks the hammer on her pistol after having fired at the Iraqis. This would not be necessary with a .45 as the slide automatically re-cocks the hammer when fired. Even if she had reloaded, the hammer would still remain in the rear position after having replaced the magazine and released the slide. The pistol was a Beretta 92 (military designation M-9) in 9mm, on which the hammer could be decocked, allowing it to be manually cocked. It's uncertain if an army pilot's training would have been to keep the pistol decocked and it will fire the first round without being cocked in any case.
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During the last walk through of the events in Iraq, Walden cocks her M9 while pointing it at Monfriez. When she does so, it is obvious that the M9 is mounted on something below, just out of camera shot.
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At the end of the last walk through of the events in Iraq, the napalm is dropped and it ignites. The pattern of the napalm is completely wrong and the fact that it ignites in all areas at the very same time indicates it is fake.
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After Walden's helicopter crashes, Ilario is tending to Rady who is injured and unconscious. When Ilario ask's Walden for a hook to hang the IV bag, Rady, still unconscious, opens his eyes for a second, then closes them.
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