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The Mask of Zorro (1998) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

Don Rafael Montero that says he came via Lisbon and San Francisco. In 1841, San Francisco was still Yerba Buena. The name change didn't occur until January, 1847.
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Captain Love is identified by his insignia as a cavalry captain. He should be using the model 1840 cavalry saber, but the sword shown has a straight blade more like a modern fencing saber.
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Captain Love is wearing sky blue trousers, which were not adopted until the Civil War in 1861 and ENLISTED shoulder scales, not officer's epaulets.
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The movie was set around 1841, but a pressure gauge measures in metric units which were not adopted in Mexico until the 1860s.
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Elena has a nylon zipper on her dress in the last scene. Zippers were not used in the 1840's and nylon was not used for this purpose until after WWII.
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Captain Love uses a Remington 1858 Carbine in the movie. The movie takes place in 1841, 17 years before the revolver on which the carbine is based was invented.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Don Diego is about to confront Don Rafael for the first time, he begins talking in the shadows but his voice isn't in sync with the picture.
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After the big chase scene, as Zorro and his horse canter up the hill, the horse's steps don't match the hoof beats heard.
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Character error 

Tornado, the black horse of Zorro, isn't an Andalusian (as called by Diego) but a Friesian. (It has the typical feathers on its hoofs and is of stockier build.)
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Continuity 

After Zorro undresses Elena with his sword, she covers her breasts with his hat. When he snatches his hat away from her, the hand in the close up is not wearing a glove, even though Zorro was wearing gloves throughout the entire sequence.
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When Don Diego is fighting Alejandro in the Cantina, there are some hay stacks in the corner. When Alejandro attacks Zorro, one of the hay stacks falls down but in the next scene it's up again in the corner.
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During a training exercise, Alejandro knocks Diego's sword from his hand and catches it. As he throws it back, the blade points down; when Diego catches it, the blade is pointed up.
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When Alejandro is fighting Captain Love at the gold mine, he stops the large wheel from spinning by sticking something in it. The next time we see it, the ladder is in there holding the wheel, but it is not broken anymore. When he jumps off the platform the wheel starts moving and then stops again.
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When Zorro is cheered by crowds near the beginning of the film, the shots of him were taken at sunset, but the shots of the crowd were taken closer to midday.
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Alejandro, dressed as Zorro, fights the guards and grabs the "chandelier". The candles were lit, then when he swings on them, they are blown out. In the next shot, they are lit again.
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When Don Rafael arrives in the lifeboat, the camera in the boat shows six rowers, all wearing navy blue army uniforms and hats. In the next shot, there are only four rowers, and the two on the left side are wearing white bandannas on their heads.
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When Zorro is knocking off guards from their horses in order to get to his horse in the front, during a moment when he's standing upon two horses you can hear him yell and the sound of grunts. Then when you see Zorro attack two guys by slamming them together, the same sound plays.
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When Don Raphael and Captain Love are seen in the hacienda's study discussing the plans to destroy "all the evidence" (the mine and its workers), we see plainly Captain Love's sword belt, with no bowie knife scabbard attached. When, shortly thereafter, Zorro fights Love and Raphael because of the missing map to the mine, Love's bowie knife scabbard has reappeared.
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In the barn, there is clearly a different horse used in the bucking section. Zorro's soon to be horse is large with a thick, wavy mane and tail. The horse that is actually bucking is smaller, with a thin straight tail.
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When Alejandro tells the soldiers to touch their toes, one of them is in front of the other. But when Alejandro kicks them out the window they are side by side.
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When Alejandro is fighting Captain Love, his hat falls off when he is swinging on the tree branches. When he lands to pick up his sword, the hat is back on again.
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When Don Diego and Alejandro are fighting in the Cantina, Don Diego knocks Alejandro's sword out of his hands and on to the ground. In the next shot, he catches the sword as if it was tossed into the air.
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When Alejandro whistles for his horse in the forest, his hat is plain black, without the gold markings seen in the previous scene or when he gets on the horse a moment later.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When one of the Dons comes into the room where de la Vega is hiding at the party, stage lighting is briefly visible when the door is opened.
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When the two prison guards return with the bag to carry away the dead prisoner in, an iron door swings back before they pass through. The crew member who pulls it open it is briefly visible at the far right of the screen (widescreen only).
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Errors in geography 

When Don Raphael comes ashore there are saguaro cactus which only grow in the Sonoran Desert in extreme southeast California.
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Factual errors 

At the mine the wagon is shown filled with gold. Given the dimensions of the bars since gold is heavy each bar would weigh between 25 and 30 pounds. This would mean that the amount of gold in the wagon would weigh between 5 and 6 tons, much more than that type wagon could carry.
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The Mexican flag appearing in the headquarters when Zorro is fighting the soldiers has the red and green areas reversed.
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At the party, Captain Love is wearing officer's epaulets, but is wearing a senior officer's (double breasted) uniform. The double breasted uniform was used only by those of the rank of major and above.
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When the older lady presents the garment to Catherine Zeta Jones she has a younger woman translate to her from Spanish to English. Why would a young woman who grew up in Spain not know how to speak/ understand Spanish while in Mexico?
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

In the confessional, Elena says she broke the fourth commandment. For Roman Catholics, "honor thy father and mother" is the fourth commandment, not the fifth.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Elena is presented with a sprig of white flower on the beach, and its scent triggers a lost memory in her, she is told the plant grows only in California. The flower used in the film is a Camellia japonica cultivar, a shrub native to (and long-cultivated in) China, Japan and Korea, though introduced to Europe in 18th Century, and thence to America in the 19th. It has no scent at all.
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When Don Rafael Montero shows a gold bar to the other Dons, he holds it only with two fingers and shows no signs that it's heavy. A gold bar this size would be much too heavy for anyone to hold like that.
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When he dismounts to stop the burning wick, it is obvious Captain Love's saddle cover is made of fake leopard skin material.
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When Zorro is surfing down the gulch on a shovel during his fight with Captain Love, a strap holding his foot to the shovel can be seen.
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As Zorro is swinging on a tree branch just before kicking Captain Love, the parallel bars used for the tree limbs are clearly visible.
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When Zorro undresses Elena with his sword, the clothes are clearly ripped off by a string attached to them, rather than falling off by themselves. (See also the item in the trivia section.)
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When Zorro rides up the steps while cheered by crowds near the beginning of the film, his shadow is on the wall behind him even though the setting sun is *behind* the building.
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When Alejandro calms the horse gone wild in the crowd, the rope tied to the horse can be seen dropped by someone off screen the moment Alejandro grabs for it.
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When we first meet Alejandro's soon-to-be horse, you can see changes. The horse's mane changes consistency from straight to wavy as the horse is rearing in two different shots.
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When we see Alejandro in the guards place were the black Andalusian was taken, he picks up a barrel of gunpowder to stop it from exploding and as he goes out the door leaving a trail of it. When he comes out of the door you can quite clearly see the trail of gunpowder already laid down in front of him before he gets there.
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When Zorro first appears, saving the men from execution, he leaps down from a rooftop unto a balcony. Shot from overhead, it's quite obvious he lands on a stunt pad (the stone yields just like a cushion).
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

During Zorro's big duel at the end, he carves an 'M' on Captain Love's cheek. The letter 'M' is made of four lines, therefore four cuts would be required to carve one. If you listen carefully however, you can hear five cuts being made.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Alejandro (Zorro) kills Capt. Love, only a little part of the sword crosses the Captain. In the next scene, from above, the sword crosses him to the half, and the point of the sword clearly doesn't match with the rest.
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See also

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

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