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From Hell (2001) Poster

(2001)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

Some of the constables and law enforcement officers shown in nighttime scenes are carrying flashlights, which were not patented until ten years after the film's date of 1888.
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Anachronisms 

In 1888, a bottle of laudanum would not have been labeled as poison, as it was a popular, socially acceptable, and inexpensive painkiller and sedative at the time.
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Prince Albert Victor's painting in the gallery declares him to be the Duke of Clarence, a title he would not receive until three years later, in 1891.
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We see a shot of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. However, it only gained its "Royal" status in 1990 - for the duration of its previous 250 years history, it was called just The London Hospital.
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Several lobotomies are shown being performed in 1888, but this process was first performed in Switzerland in 1890, and did not become common until at least 10 years after that.
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Abberline has an old looking phonograph in his flat. It has 100 years worth of blemishes even though it was a brand new invention.
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The absinthe fire ritual is only usual since the late 1990s, from a Prague bar. In 1888 no one would have prepared absinthe with setting it on fire.
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The electric light in the library is much too advanced for 1888, when such technology was in its infancy.
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In one scene, Buckingham Palace is pictured, as it looks today. The eastern wing (being shown in the film) was however built many years later.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Gull and Abberline are first discussing the murders, there is a shot from behind Gull when he is talking. His mouth does not match up with what he says.
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Character error 

Inspector Abberline explains to Mary Kelly that they should pass notes via the barkeep of a nearby inn. "Barkeep" is an American usage; in England it would be "barman" for someone working in the pub or "landlord" for the owner.
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The surgeon is addressed as Doctor Ferral (American style) rather than Mister Ferral (British style).
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William Gull says that he is the Royal Family's "physician-in-ordinary," misspeaking the scripted line "physician-in-extraordinary."
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Continuity 

McQueen's ear is whole in some scenes and it is cut (for an earring) in other scenes.
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When Abberline first meets, and discusses the Ripper killings with Sir William Gull, Abberline's drawing of a Liston knife keeps changing shape and position on the blackboard between shots.
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Upon arriving at the murder scene (in the back yard of a house), Inspector Abberline's coat and hat are clearly hung upon the fence a moment before we see him actually hang them there.
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When men broke into the room where the couple was having sex at the beginning of the film, the woman quickly covers up her bare breasts with her sheets, then during the close up of the man, she is again trying to cover her breasts.
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When Abberline is taking Mary into the gallery to view the picture of Prince Albert Victor, they pass the same lady in the white dress twice in different shots.
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The size of the chalk letters with the word Jewes written on it changes shape from when Abberline points it out to the time the constables wipe the chalk board clean.
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After the coach had tipped over onto the man you have an external scene with sparks coming from underneath. The body has vanished but re-appears in the next shot.
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Errors in geography 

The film depicts the Ripper in his carriage en route to pick up his next victim (as depicted in the next shot) racing along the Thames with Big Ben and the Tower in the background. This would mean that he was on the wrong bank of the Thames, racing away from the Whitechapel district, which was located within easy walking distance of the Tower.
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Factual errors 

Liston knives were not serrated as they were used for the cutting of muscle. Only bone saws and the like had serrated edges.
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A little after the second murder, Abberline is talking with Gull about "Jack the Ripper". However, he was not to become known by that name until the double event murder and receipt of the "dear boss" letter, almost a month later.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

By the late 1800s glass windows were becoming common, and while the glass was heavier and sometimes uneven, it was certainly clear and very much like modern glass (although more expensive). While still produced by a glass-blower, it could be blown into large sheets and cut for windows. Thus the modern-looking windows in the movie could have been around in 1888.
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Revealing mistakes 

During the cemetery scene, the head stone from which the crow flies moves visibly as the bird pushes off.
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When Abberline gets smacked at the beginning of the movie to try to get him somewhat conscious, seconds before you can see the 'blood' on his lip where he is supposed to be hit.
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Anachronisms 

When the Abberline is hiding a small gun behind his back when he is about to confront Dr. Gull you can see a tattoo on Abberline's finger. Tattoos were around but not on fingers of respectable police officers.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Ferrall is performing the lobotomy on Anne, on the last tap we cut to Gull talking. In the glass we see the reflection of Ferall performing the tap, but there's no sound. In the following shot of Ferrall he repeats the tap this time with sound.
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Continuity 

In the final scene when Sergeant Godley finds Inspector Abberline's dead body he places two coins in his eyes. In the following shot of the Sergeant and the Inspector it can be clearly observed that the coins have disappeared.
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Factual errors 

Inspector Frederick Abberline is depicted inaccurately as a young man who is an opium addict and psychic as well as dying soon after the Ripper murders. The real Frederick Abberline was a middle aged man in 1888 with no known opium addiction or claims of paranormal ability. He lived until 1929 when he died in England. An alternate ending on the DVD has him living to old age, which is accurate, but sets his death in Hong Kong, which is not.
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Factual errors 

As in most film versions of the Ripper murders, the Ripper's victims are shown as being considerably younger and more attractive than in real life. In reality all of the Ripper's victims were in their mid forties and not very good looking, except for Mary Kelly. No authentic likenesses have ever been found of the women when they were alive. The only known photographs are of their mutilated corpses.
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Factual errors 

It is stated that the infant son of Prince Albert-Victor and Ann Crook is a Prince and heir to the UK throne. This is incorrect as they were married by a Roman Catholic priest, and the Act of Settlement (1701) specifically forbids Catholics from holding the throne or claiming marriage to Royal family members. Prince Albert-Victor could stay in the line of Royal succession only by disowning his wife. The son would not be a Prince or eligible for succession unless Parliament passed a special vote to adopt him into the system. Real life analog: Prince Michael of Kent and his family.
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Plot holes 

When Abberline takes out a gun and points it at Gull, Ben Kidney hits him from Abberline's front-right side. In such a large room with plenty of empty space to his right, there's no way Abberline would have not seen Kidney coming at him (in the kind of distance covered by him from the Fire to Gull)
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See also

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

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