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Pearl Harbor (2001) Poster

(2001)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

When Evelyn first enters Pearl Harbor, there is a tall building that clearly says, "Est. 1953".

Anachronisms 

In the first view of Pearl Harbor, just before the nurses are shown in the small transport boat the Arizona Memorial is visible in the background.
When Rafe and the other pilots are attempting to reach their planes, he tells them that P-40s can't outrun Zeroes, but can out-turn them. Not only is this information untrue, in fact the truth is quite the opposite, but how would he know this information? The Zero was only introduced in 1940, and very few, if any, Americans had ever seen it in action before Pearl Harbor.
A sailor betting on Dorie Miller's boxing match has a $5 bill with the "Hawaii" overprint on it. Although series 1934 and 1934-A notes were printed with the "Hawaii" overprint, these notes were not issued until July 1942, seven months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Most of the women in the film do not wear stockings of any type, let alone the seamed nylon stockings that were hugely popular at the time. Before the US entered the war and nylon was rationed, virtually every woman wore nylon stockings. During the nylon rationing, some women actually painted seams on their legs to simulate stockings. After the war ended and they went back on sale there are numerous reports of women rioting in department stores to get a pair of nylons.
In the beginning of the movie, we see a newsreel of 1940, showing a US tank fighting in the city of Cologne. This did not happen before March 1945.
Japanese pilots are shown putting on white rising sun headbands and drinking a cup of sake before the takeoff. This ritual was created for the "special attack" (kamikaze) units and did not appear until almost three years later.
During the opening scene almost all of the terms used by the boys came into use during World War II, years after the supposed time of the scene.
The license plate on the car says 1943.
In the golf course scene you can see a Willys Jeep M38. This car was not produced before 1950.
The rimless eyeglasses worn by Dan Aykroyd's character, with the lenses held in place by a nylon wire, are a relatively modern invention. Back in WWII, the only rimless eyeglasses that would have been available were what were called "drill-mounts"; holes were drilled into the lenses, and the nose bridge and temples were screwed into the lenses via these drill holes. Nylon wire rimless glasses didn't come into use until many years later.
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Many of the ships seen in Pearl Harbor during and after the attack are clearly anachronistic. Although there were some that at least somewhat resembled World War-II destroyers, most were recognizably modern, ranging from the 1960s Knox-class frigates, 1970s Spruance class destroyers, and other auxiliary and support ships built decades after World War II.
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The Japanese zero aircraft depicted in the film are green, even though the ones used in the real attack in 1941 were painted grey. The Japanese Navy didn't paint their zeroes green until 1943.
Due to the obvious difficulties in obtaining antique machinery, some of the military equipment does not exactly match the period, and dates from later in the war. Some of the ships and aircraft were built long after World War II, or have equipment added by their present owners - antique planes and warships are even harder to come by.
When Rafe and Danny are giving blood, a Catholic priest is administering Last Rites to a dying serviceman. He concludes his prayer with the use of "Holy Spirit" and not "Holy "Ghost" when he makes the Sign of the Cross. Holy Spirit did not replace Holy Ghost until the 2nd Vatican Council in the mid 1960s.
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The early boyhood scenes are dated 1923, but the father is a crop duster, an occupation that did not exist until after WWII. In addition, the Stearman biplane used in the opening scenes wasn't produced until 1934. It was a pilot trainer for the military, and was released to the public after WWII as surplus.
During the Doolittle Raid, USS Hornet has the number "8" painted on her deck. At the time of the raid, US carriers didn't have their hull numbers on their flight decks. Most showed their names abbreviated, e.g. "EN" for Enterprise, or "YKTN" for Yorktown. Hornet's deck only had guide lines to aid the pilots.
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A modern barcode can be seen on the back of a whiskey bottle. There's also a clear shot of a bottle with a built-in plastic translucent pourer under a plastic screw cap.
Air conditioning units can be seen on top of the White House.
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After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Danny and Rafe are seen boarding a C-47 transport which is to take them to their destination where they will train for the top secret mission. The C-47 used, clearly has a radar dome mounted in the nose. C-47s of this type did not exist in that time frame.
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When Danny is called on the carpet by Doolittle for buzzing the field, he refers to Doolittle's trophies on a cabinet to his left. One of the trophies is of an F-86 Sabre, a swept wing jet not even on anyone's drawing board in 1940.
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A machine gunner, though not smoking (in accordance with the film's no smoking policy), has a pack of cigarettes - modern "Marlboro Lights".
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A Japanese officer is shown examining Reconnaissance photos mounted on black illustration board. The Name "Oxford" is clearly visible, as is the modern "Recycling" symbol, indicating that is at least partly made from recycled materials.
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The "Battle of Britain" scenes take place in early 1941, but the battle ended by the end of October 1940. The Germans still bombed the UK until 1941 but only at night
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In the England scene, a spitfire with a four-blade propeller is seen. This was a late-war model. All Spitfires at the time of the Battle of Britain were models with three-blade constant pitch propellers.
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In the scene when Admiral Kimmel complains about transferring twelve destroyers to the Atlantic, the distinctive "mack" of a decommissioned Knox class frigate is clearly visible in the background. Another is visible in the background of the fight scene. The first ship of this class was not commissioned until 1975, and it was the only class of ship in the US Navy with this type of mack (combined mast and stack).
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A speedboat featured is a 1950's era Capri type Chris Craft. The movie is set in 1941.
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In the scene in the Cryptography office, as Dan Aykroyd mutters about the Japanese flooding the Pacific with radio traffic, the ticker-tape coded messages are printed out in Helvetica, a font not designed until the 1950s.
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Multiple New York-class battleships are shown being attacked in the raid. Neither of these ships was in the Pacific at the time. At the time of Pearl Harbor, the USS New York was in Newfoundland, and the USS Texas was in Maine. The USS Texas, the ship used in the filming process, was used as it was the only surviving World War II-era American battleship with features, like the 1930s-era tall, fire-director tripod masts, that could 'substitute' for the actual battleships in Hawaii on December 7.
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When Anthony and Red pull up to the nurses in the tan '28 or '29 Ford Model A Deluxe Roadster, they sound a modern style horn. These cars were equipped with a Klaxon (or "Aoogah") type horn as seen below the driver's side headlamp.
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Red's M1928A1 Thompson submachine gun has a 30-round magazine. 30-round magazines weren't available until the release of the M1/M1A1 Thompson in 1942 so he should be using a 20-round magazine or the 50-round drum magazines the other pilots are using. Red does later switch to a 50-round drum magazine.
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A modern 'rocking' style light switch can be seen in Evelyn's house.
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Character error 

When a Japanese fighter pilot narrates the letter he sent back to his family, he refers to Japan as a nation, during that time, Japan considered itself an empire, not a nation.
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When threatening Evelyn with jail, the Army Signals officer says "Brig" which would be a Navy jail. In the Army the appropriate threat of incarceration would be the stockade.
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Continuity 

As Rafe and Danny talk on the beach, the lighting and the color of the sky changes between shots
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When the planes take off to bomb Tokyo, the captain of the carrier says "forward" in order to help them taking off. When the planes are still taking off, the carrier has its anchor chains as if it was anchored. In reality, the filmmakers were working on the USS Lexington (CV-16), a carrier-turned-museum that was indeed docked.
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Danny and Rafe are promoted to captain when selected by Doolittle for the Tokyo mission. They continue to wear lieutenant's bars on their jackets afterward. Danny wears captain's bars on his cap, but lieutenant's bars on his jacket. The captain's bars on his cap look like they are gold colored, and should be silver.
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When Rafe accidentally pops the cork into his already damaged nose, he lies down and it bleeds across his cheek. In the overhead shot, the blood is gone.
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Evelyn gives Rafe a scarf when they say goodbye. It disappears and reappears between shots.
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As Danny and Rafe try to take off from the airfield, three enemy aircraft are closing in on them, guns blazing. In the first shot, the aircraft are D3A1 "Val" dive-bombers (distinguished by their fixed landing gear in bulky fairings); in the next shot, however, the aircraft are replaced by A6M2-21 "Zero" fighters, with retractable landing gear.
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When Danny and Evelyn leave the Black Cat diner, Evelyn doesn't leave her handkerchief on the table. After she has walked out the door, Danny picks up the handkerchief, which was not there a second ago.
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When Miller shoots down the Zero, the ammunition canisters for the anti-aircraft gun he is firing are open and closed in different shots, and sometimes missing altogether.
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When the major brings Evelyn into the command post area, he tells her Doolittle's raid is scheduled to take off in a "couple of hours". If the task force was spotted by a Japanese ship and immediately launched which advanced the raids execution by 12 hours (as reported to President Roosevelt), how could the Major have brought Evelyn to the command post a couple of hours before they were scheduled to be launched. The raid would have been over.
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When Rafe is shot down just off the coast of England and crashes into the water it's bright daylight. Yet when he surfaces just moments after crashing it's pitch black outside.
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When Evelyn is whispering to Rafe about "the feeling" when she's giving Rafe his shot, Evelyn goes from talking at his shoulder, to right at his ear between shots
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When the pilots return home after bombing Japan, we see a back view of Doolittle's wife with a purse in her left hand. As she walks forward to welcome her husband home, the camera reverses angle and we see a front view of her. But now, the purse had switched sides and appears in her right hand instead.
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When Rafe's squadron is scrambled (in the sequence before he gets shot down) he gets on to the wing of a Spitfire with the markings RF-T. For the rest of the sequence he is in a Spitfire with the markings RF-M (apart from one fleeting shot where the last letter is R).
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When Nurse Evelyn is holding her fingers in the soldier's neck artery, she uses her right hand. When she asks the doctor what he needs, and turns to get it, she turns her body completely (and her right arm elbow is crooked) obviously taking her fingers away from the man's wound. She then hands the item to the doctor (again with the right hand). There is a cut away to show her hand still on the wound.
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In a scene where the ship turns over, the chain on the bottom curves up as if gravity has no affect on it.
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Special effects shots of the Japanese flagship, IJN Akagi, are accurate. However, Essex-class USS Lexington stood in for Akagi for scenes aboard ship and is visibly different. In particular, her island structure is much larger than Akagi's.
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We see an above shot of Evelyn putting ice on Rafe's nose (after the cork hits it), then it cuts to a side shot and we see Evelyn pulling the ice away. When the camera cuts back to the above shot, the ice is still on Rafe's nose and Evelyn pulls it away after a couple of seconds.
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When Evelyn and Danny leave the movies, they both point to a place to go and it's across the street. But when it shows them in the window of the "Black Cat Diner" it is right next to the theater.
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Towards the end of the movie, when Rafe is running over to Danny's plane after he crashed, you see him shoot a Japanese soldier, and the slide on his gun goes back signaling that the gun is empty. In the next few shots, you can see that it's forward again.
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Rafe shoots and kills the Japanese soldiers taking Danny away, before a fourth soldier aims his rifle at Rafe. Rafe discovers his pistol is empty and the Japanese soldier who had been aiming his rifle at Rafe and only has to pull the trigger, then turns and aims again.
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When Evelyn and Rafe are on the date at the Queen Mary, Rafe pulls a lever and the lift begins to ascend, however the ropes and pulleys do not move at all. The same goes for when the lifts comes crashing down. At the last second though when they hit the water the camera is zoomed in and you see the pulleys turning and the lever spinning rapidly.
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When the Japanese planes are flying into Hawaii, it shows them fly past some kids playing baseball. They stop playing and move to the backstop fence to watch the planes and the catcher takes off his mask and has it down at his side. In the next scene he has the mask still on his head and is supporting it with his right hand.
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While the nurses are on the transport, right at the end of the scene, Betty puts her sunglasses on twice.
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Near the start of the movie when President Roosevelt is selling his case to the table that the U.S. must do more to help stop Germany, a large speck of lint repeatedly appears/disappears on the President's left shoulder between shots.
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When Evelyn says goodbye to Rafe before the last raid, the angle in which Rafe is holding his head head changes between back and forth twice between clips.
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(at around 1h 05 mins) Evelyn and Danny are talking about the night before. He tells her everything will be alright then they hug. Her head is on his right shoulder the next shot its on his left shoulder.
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Danny and Rafe report to Doolittle for the secret mission Doolittle tells them that they have won the silver star and have been promoted to Captain, Months later they are in the Navy briefing room and you can see on Danny's flight jacket he is still wearing 1st Lieutenants bars.
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When Rafe and Evelyn go to the Queen Mary ship and they are rising on the platform, and kissing, one camera shot shows them rising and when they stop the camera does a close up and you can see they are still at the red painted water line indicator. The next shot shows them above it again.
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The hangar used in the "Mitchell" Field scene is the same one used later in the film as Clark Field, with the world "Mitchell" removed, leaving only the word "Field."
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Just after Rafe pops himself in the nose with the champagne cork, there is a bit of blood running down his right cheek. It disappears when the camera cuts back to him.
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In the scene near the beginning of the movie where Rafe is being reprimanded by Maj. Doolittle for stunt flying, Rafe starts to talk about the various accomplishments that Doolittle has to his credit. The scene shifts to Doolittle and you can see in the background some of the trophies that he won in various air races and endurance tests. One of the trophies has a small model of an F-86 Sabre jet. The scene takes place in early 1941 and the F-86 didn't exist until the 1950's. In fact, jets weren't around until the end of the war and mostly in the hands of the Germans.
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On the morning after the love scene with Evelyn and Danny, they are talking and she puts her head on his right shoulder and starts crying. The camera pulls back and she is still crying on his shoulder - but this time on his left shoulder, not his right.
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As the Doolittle Raiders are taking off from the aircraft carrier there are several sweeping views of the carrier task force as the planes fly off. The decks of the carriers are obviously modern US carriers with the landing portion of the flight deck angled out about 10° from the catapult direction of the flight deck.
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During the scene when Rafe and Danny are in the P-40's shooting down a few of the Japanese planes, they fly through some smoke from the burning ships, their prop wash makes the smoke swirl all around. But, a few minutes before that, when two Zero's fly through some smoke, the smoke doesn't move at all, almost as though the planes were never really there...
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This mistake takes place in the scene where Rafe is in the train, trying to get Evelyn's attention. When he first notices her outside the window, the camera pans and zooms on him. For a brief second, you see a young woman wearing a red hat is sitting next to him. After Rafe fails to get Evelyn's attention, he looks at the person sitting next to him. The young woman is now an old man with a gray hat on. You can also spot the same lady in the train station when Rafe is with Danny. She seems to be buying her ticket.
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Another indication that "Doolittle's Raiders" took off from a modern-day carrier - you can see a steam-powered catapult on the deck.
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When Rafe and Danny are taking off, in the view from the Zero the tails on the P-40's are up, next view they are down, and next shot they are up again.
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In the first scene with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, we see a rather large piece of lint, probably a cigarette ash, on his right shoulder. In the next shot, the ash is gone. Then it returns and disappears again.
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During the Battle of Britain sequence, in the scene where Rafe gets shot down he can't open his canopy to bail out so he shoots holes in it with his pistol. In the wide shots of the plane the canopy is whole.
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At the very end of the movie when Rafe is flying with little Danny, the faraway shots of the plane show that the pilot is wearing an aviator cap and goggles. The close up shots show Rafe with no hat on and little Danny with the cap and goggles. But from far away, the person with the cap and goggles can't possibly be little Danny.
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When Rafe and Danny take off during the attack their canopies are open. In the next shot from behind you can see that the canopies have closed themselves.
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Near the beginning when Rafe is in a train seat looking out the window at his girl, she is standing next to a stainless steel round end observation car with the name "Silver Horizon" in plain view. This car was built for the California Zephyr which didn't begin service until 1948. As Rafe's train begins to move, you can see the car's California Zephyr car number also.
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When Rafe's plane takes off from the carrier (as the second), you see the totally empty deck of the ship, even though there ought to be 14 planes left.
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In the first overhead view of Dolittle's carrier the front plane has its tail just about at the level of the carrier tower. In a later shot there are 2 planes in front of the tower, and when Dolittle takes off, his plane - as the first - is positioned behind the tower.
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Just after the shot of Evelyn sitting on the rocks, it cuts to Rafe in England. The first shot we see that the pint of lager on the bench is half empty, but it refills itself in the next shot.
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The bomb that hits the hospital produces a really big hole in the wall. A car is thrown through the air. But there are some people standing on the stairs two or three meters away and they keep standing there. Some minutes later Rafe and Danny are thrown to the ground by a detonation about ten meters away.
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When Rafe first meets his commander in England, the commander is standing next to a guy looking at a plane. The commander turns around and looks at Rafe, but in the following shot the other guy is now also looking at Rafe.
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In the scene when Danny and Evelyn are at the restaurant after they hear the news about Rafe's death, as the camera comes in on them from outside her milkshake is full to the point of overflowing but when they switch angles to show them from the inside the milkshake is half gone.
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In the scene after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Danny and Rafe get a message to go to see Colonel Doolittle, and the camera cuts to a taxi. The driver is standing inside the door of the taxi, but in the following shot of Rafe from inside the building, the driver is now standing with his arms crossed at the front of the car.
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In the club, Danny and Rafe and their friends are having a drink after Rafe came back from the dead, and Rafe punches Danny for going out with Evelyn. In the first shot Red goes up to Danny and he is over Danny's right shoulder, but in the following shot Red is now over Danny's left shoulder.
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When the black cook is in a boxing ring with the big guy, the cook beats the big guy. Just before the big guy falls you can see a man over his left shoulder saying something like, "That's it, that's it", but in the following shot he is on his right (there's nobody else in the ring so it can't be someone else).
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Close to the beginning when Rafe is in England and we hear sirens going off signifying they're going to attack, he runs over to his aircraft and shouts at a guy. If you look closely at his aircraft it says on the side RF T, yet in all other shots we see him in the aircraft marked RF M.
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When Rafe is talking to Danny about going to Britain, Danny's position changes from being at the side of the truck to being at the front of the truck.
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In the scene where Evelyn and Rafe are by the ship they show a close up of Evelyn and she is wearing a dark color eyeshadow. Then when Rafe tells her he is going to war she has light eyeshadow on. Then the next close up of her the dark eyeshadow is back.
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When Rafe is leaving Evelyn's cubicle near the beginning, he turns around and says, "Miss I really like you," and he is not holding onto the drip pole, but in the following shot he is.
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When Rafe is drinking with his friends in the club and Danny is there, Red says, "Maybe we should leave you two alone," then Rafe proceeds to say, "No, no, we're celebrating here." Rafe reaches out to stop Red with his right hand on his chest, but in the following shot it is Rafe's left hand on Red's chest. (Slow-mo may be required.)
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When one of the pilots of the "pride of the pacific" crew is painting a woman on the side of his airplane, he is brushing it on with his right hand, but in the following closeup, he is now brushing it on with his left, then back to his right in the wider shot.
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Just after the love scene in the parachute hangar, you see Danny and Evelyn talking. Evelyn puts her head forward, Danny rests his head on the side of hers, in the following shot, he has his head on her forehead.
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When Rafe hits Danny's dad, his hands on the plank changes between shots, and the plank goes from being held away from the body, to close to the body between shots.
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When Rafe is in the plane trying to get Zeros off his tail he says, "Son of a bitch" and he is very sweaty. In the next shot he's not half as sweaty as the shot before.
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In the scene in the bar before Rafe and Danny fight, Rafe is accepting a shirt off of some guy's back. The guy hands the shirt to Rafe, in that scene, Rafe's shirt is still buttoned and on him when he accepts the shirt. The camera switches to Danny, and then a couple of seconds later, back to Rafe who is already putting the shirt on. There is no way Rafe could have taken his own shirt off and already be putting the "hula" shirt on in that short of time.
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In the scene where Dorie Miller almost knocked out the other man, the "referee" is first on the left, but as soon as the camera changes angles, he is suddenly on the right (or maybe it's vice-versa).
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In the scene where Danny takes Evelyn flying to see the sunset, you can see that several times the sun changes position, i.e. in one scene the sun would be half way set, then in the next scene it would be way above the horizon.
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When the Japanese are attacking Pearl Harbor and we see Danny and Rafe driving toward an airfield, there is a photographer in the backseat who says his line. In this shot he is not holding onto his hat, but in the following shot he is..
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Close to the beginning of the film when we first see the president being wheeled into the room with his staff at the table, at the beginning of this scene you can see that the wheelchair has already turned into the room, but in the following shot it's turning into the room again.
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When the cook uses the mounted gun it has two ammo cases and then during the scene it changes between one and two cases and the right hand one is even open at one stage.
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When Doolittle's raiders are first starting to practice short takeoffs, the flaps of the planes aren't extended in close ups but would have to be for takeoff especially short takeoffs. Planes shown taking off have the flaps extended. In the real takeoff from The Hornet, One pilot retracted his flaps because prop wash from previous planes was lifting his plane. He then forgot about it and took off without flaps extended and was only saved by the heavy wind and forward speed of the carrier. There is actual video of the plane nearly hitting the ocean.
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During the attack on the smaller airfield where Rafe and Danny are, the photographer who dove in the back of the car gets shot, falls and drops the camera. When it lands it's filming his face, and there is something on the ground right in front of his face, but in the following shot nothing is there.
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During the attack on Pearl Harbor just after the big explosion we see a captain on the bridge of his ship looking at the attack. The Japanese fire upon the bridge killing many. The captain ducks and goes to the corner, and we see him grab hold of the corner and then release his right hand to his side, but in the following shot his hand is still on the corner.
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When Rafe is going in for medical tests and to thank Evelyn her for not taking his wings away, when Rafe starts acting a little strange Evelyn asks "This isn't your chart?" When it cuts to Rafe he is holding onto the IV just underneath the IV bags, but in the following shot his hand is much further down the pole.
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In the scene where Roosevelt is delivering the "Day of Infamy" speech to Congress watch the microphone placement. The MBC microphone likes to move around from left to right.
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When Rafe's Spitfire crashes into the water, the preceding shot shows it to be diving nose first, In the next shot however, it lands virtually flat.
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When we see the Navy Department's "vacant sea map", there is a guy holding a cane and explaining what it means. He walks around the globe in the middle of the room holding onto the side of the globe with his left hand, but in the following shot his left hand is on the cane.
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In the scene where Rafe gets his medical check, he has problems reading. But in a later scene, he has no problem writing letters to Evelyn, and has no problem reading them.
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When launching Doolittle's plane from the carrier the deck is smooth. When Rafe's plane launches the deck has catapults. The following planes are back to smooth decks with no catapults.
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When Danny and Evelyn are starting to make love, Evelyn touches Danny's chest and after it she pulls her hand back and grabs his necklace (and dog-tag) way too fast.
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When Red and his army friend pull up next to the four nurses at the side of the road, Red asks Betty if she wants to come for a ride. Red leans forward and puts his hand on the steering wheel, but in the following shot he is leaning back with his elbow on the top of the door.
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In the scene where we see an Admiral getting some news from Washington to transfer another 12 destroyers to the Atlantic, one of the guys he's talking to moves from standing side by side with another officer to further away.
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In the scene where the Red head boy is proposing to the nurse, 2 men walk by together, one wearing a light coloured shirt with some scattered pattern on it, and the other wearing a plain white shirt. Then they walk by again a few seconds later.
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In the scene where Goose is in the bunker with everyone else, he says "Planes. Should we fire?" When he says this, we see him staring down the site of a 50 cal. In the next shot, we see the gun, but no Goose. And we know it's the same gun, because Red was by it both shots. Yet when we see the gun in the very next shot he is holding it again. He had no time to move away and back to the weapon again.
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When Rafe is just about to burn Evelyn's letters, he folds them. In the first shot, he folds them with the writing on the inside, but in the next shot and the shot when the letters burn, the writing is on the outside.
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At the start of the attack, the Japanese fly past a baseball court with some kids playing baseball. In one shot we see perhaps two or three kids in the batting cage. If you look to the far left you can see a woman. In the following shot she is now suddenly where the batter was.
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When Rafe returns and is having a drink with his friends in the beach club, if you watch Rafe's fingers on the glass of whiskey, they change from being held over the top of the glass to being held at the side of the glass between shots.
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When Rafe meets Evelyn outside the hospital with a bottle of wine, he accidentally hits his nose with the cork and lays his head on Evelyn's lap. Her right hand is holding some ice, but her left hand is nowhere to be seen, but in the following shot her left hand has appeared on Rafe's chin and cheek.
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When Rafe is looking at the letter exam on the wall, the eye exam on the wall keeps changing between shots.
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Just after the Japanese attack and the shot cuts to the airfield where they all are gearing up to fight them in the air, there is a shot of two guys on a roof of a building that are shooting the Japanese planes. They get shot and fall down, but in the following shot you can see they have come back to life.
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In the middle of the film just after the Japanese start attacking Pearl Harbor, Cuba Gooding Jr sees the captain injured. If you watch closely, the captain is pointing at Cuba but doesn't touch his arm, yet in some shots you can see that his hand is touching his arm.
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When Rafe goes to thank Evelyn, Evelyn at one point goes up to his ear and whispers, but her position at his ear keeps changing from really close to a bit further away between shots.
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In the scene where Danny, Rafe and Jimmy Doolittle are on the deck of the Hornet talking about "returning" the friendship medals before the attack on Tokyo, you can see what appears to be a radar dish covered with a grey tarpaulin. The scene cuts back to Doolittle, Danny and Rafe talking some more, and then back to a wide shot of Doolittle walking away. The mysterious tarped object is completely gone now.
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When Rafe is taking Evelyn to the boat in the beginning of the movie to sit on the lighted platform, they clearly pass the same platform about 2 or 3 times before they get onto it.
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In the scene where Rafe is burning his love letters on the beach after learning Evelyn is pregnant with Danny's child, when Danny and Rafe are talking there is a modern "dune fence" meant to keep people from walking on sensitive dune plants clearly visible in the background.
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When Rafe and Evelyn go to the Queen Mary ship and they are rising on the platform, and kissing, one sweeping camera shot shows the handle of the elevator controls going straight up. This would mean that they had stopped, yet they are still moving up. A couple of seconds later, a close up of the handle shows that it is now in the position to move the elevator up.
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During the attack on Pearl Harbor, Rafe, along with a couple of other pilots jump into a convertible car to drive to another airfield. The actual set they depart from (which is exploding all around them) is the same one they "arrive" at minutes later, but the whole set is intact, instead of an actual different set/location.
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On the island with Pearl Harbor when the girl and Ralf is sitting in the old car on the beach you can see the camera wagon in the bumper on the car.
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When one of the Men are speaking to the President about the boys having to take the airplanes off the carrier too soon, you can see there's a ring on his left pinky finger, but no wedding ring.
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In the scene where Rafe is fighting for Britain his plane gets hit. As it goes down into the water, it is day. Later when they show him swimming out of the plane and to the surface, it is night.
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When Rafe and Evelyn go to the Queen Mary and are rising on the boat is one sweeping camera shot. Look to the right as their boat goes up and you can see the film crew going up on a platform. Note that the next shot of them on the boat is filmed from that platform.
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When Danny & Rafe take off from the satellite airfield their landing gear is (obviously) down. You see a shot of them from behind like this. Two seconds later they just clear a building, in the heat of a combat takeoff,and both sets of landing gear are fully retracted.
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When Rafe comes back for the first time after supposedly being dead and you see his reflection in the glass before meeting his lover, as the camera pans across the room you can see a green light moving on the wall as the camera moves. I'm not sure what it is but it could be the light to indicate the camera is on.
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In the scene in front of the hotel on the night before Rafe ships out to England, Evelyn puts a scarf around his neck. There is a camera shot from his back: no scarf; then another one from his front, and he's wearing the scarf again.
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In the scene showing the ship's deck while the ship is sinking and people are falling off of the deck, etc. clearly visible on either side of the deck are huge ship chains. These chains never sag from gravity as the ship is turning on its side. They don't even move.
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After Doolittle's bombing raid on Tokyo and the planes are flying towards China, the sun is setting behind the planes. The planes are flying west, so they should be flying towards the setting sun.
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When the final planes take off from the aircraft carrier to bomb Tokyo, the captain gives the order for extra speed. But when the second and third planes take off, you can see that the carrier is safely moored with three anchor chains at the front of the ship and not going anywhere.
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As the Japanese attack begins, fighter aircraft strafe pedestrians (and everything else) near the harbor. The reporter with the hand-held movie camera is killed twice. Watch as he is blown into the air and then miraculously restored to health, only to be blown away yet again, this time with the camera in front of his face.
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In the scene where President Roosevelt is sitting at the table talking to the joint chiefs etc., the camera pans around the table and as it passes General Marshall, it shows what appears to be a Vietnam service ribbon in the cluster on his chest.
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In another scene when Danny and Evelyn are at the Black Cat diner after leaving the cinema she gets up to leave first, but when she gets up there is no hankie on the table. After the camera shows her walking out the door, it cuts back to Danny who picks up the hankie, which was not there a second ago.
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After Rafe hits himself with the cork, Evelyn puts snow on it. She then is seen removing it, but when the camera angle changes, the snow is back on his nose.
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As the bombs land and chaos ensues in Pearl Harbor, in a scene where some classic cars are parked on the beach, you can clearly see the card-board squares that the cars' wheels are parked on (presumably to keep them from digging in to the sand.)
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When Evelyn and Danny are having a drink in a cafe going over the good times with Rafe, we see the camera pan down from a height, in this shot we see Danny holding onto a cup in his right hand which is sitting on a saucer on the table, but in the following shot he is just putting it down on the table.
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When Rafe's girlfriend is looking for him at the train station there's a train behind her that says "Silver Horizon." But when the camera shows Rafe looking at his girlfriend the words on the train are gone.
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Crew or equipment visible 

During the scene when Rafe and Evelyn are on the lift of the Queen Mary, when the lift crashes to the water, a crew member in a black hooded shirt can be seen on the smaller boat trying to get out of the shot and eventually hiding by ducking under the windscreen.
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The camera pans across a window, showing Evelyn seated inside and eventually stops at a reflection of Rafe. A red indicator light from the camera is clearly reflected and moves across the first pane during the shot.
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As Dorie Miller sets down the tray of dishes you can see the hand of a crew member holding the remote control for the Steadicam.
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As Rafe and Danny sleep off their hangovers in the convertible, the crew is visible in the car's chrome bumper.
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During the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the people are jumping off the ships, a crew member can be seen (dressed as a sailor) holding a camera (covered in green plastic) floating next to him in the water.
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While Dorie Miller is running down a corridor during the attack, the camera following him revels a crew member holding a device standing slightly off screen.
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When Dorie Miller is in the hall of the ship, he is holding a tea or coffee set, on the left side of the screen you can see the hands of the camera focus puller and the wireless focus controller for a brief moment.
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In the scene where the Japanese planes are taking off, there is a shot where, in the upper left hand corner, you can get a glimpse of the helicopter that the crew used to film aerial shots.
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In the scene where Rafe and Evelyn are on the platform against the hull of the Queen Mary, just after it falls into the water and they are trying to balance themselves, if you look closely at the small boat they came in at that moment, for a brief second, you can see the silouette of the head and shoulders of a crewman pop up and duck back down either in or behind the boat.
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After Evelyn tells Rafe that she is pregnant, she walks away and leaves him standing by the gas pumps. The camera zooms out and a boom mic comes into view in the upper right hand corner.
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When Rafe receives his medal if you look to the left of the screen you can see a camera.
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When the Captain is seeing the attack he ducks when the plane opens fire. In the next shot, when the two sailors say they just sunk the Arizona, at the top, left side you can see a man holding a camera, then it follows the two sailors.
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When Rafe is pouring champagne (after the cork has crashed against his nose) stage lights are reflected on the glasses.
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Ben Affleck's character takes his fiance to the beach in his car. When they are both standing in front of the vehicle, the film crew can be seen in the reflection in the car's bumper.
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When the young Danny and Rafe are in the real aeroplane, in one shot before it comes to a stop you can see the shadow of a camera and cameraman.
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During the scene where Danny and Rafe are being chased at low level by several Zero fighters, there is one camera shot where we can see past a P-40's tail at the Japanese attackers. The nearest Zero appears to have a strange object attached to the top of its fuselage, just in front of the tail. Presumably, this object is a remote-controlled camera which was used by the film-makers for the aerial combat scenes.
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In the scene where Rafe returns from England, Evie is busy with something. Camera slowly zooms out from Evie and moves right to show Rafe's reflection on the window. Look carefully. You can clearly see the red light of the camera reflecting back, not from the window that reflects Rafe, but the mirror on Evelyn's right.
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During the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the people are jumping off the ships, you can briefly see a crew member (dressed as a sailor) holding a camera (covered in green plastic) floating next to him in the water.
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Errors in geography 

Mountains can be seen in the background at Mitchell Field in Long Island, which is shown as being by the sea. There are no mountains in Long Island and the base is inland.
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Throughout the attack scene, the placement of the battleships in Battleship Row changes. When the Oklahoma is shown capsizing, in some scenes she is correctly moored next to the Maryland, in other scenes she is next to the destroyed Arizona. In some parts the capsized ship is even surrounded by some sort of fog with no ships around her. When Admiral Kimmel is on the small boat touring the harbor after the attack, the Oklahoma is next to the Arizona and other battleships that seem to have been placed in a random clutter next to each other, instead of the line that they were in that morning. Even in the scene showing Pearl Harbor at an aerial view right before the attack, the Geography of Ford Island and the placement of the battleships is wrong. Battleship Row isn't even visible.
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After the Doolittle raid, the Raiders head west to China. In one shot, however, the Raiders are shown heading away from the sun as it sets behind them, which means they are heading east and therefore back to Japan. This would be very unlikely considering the dire fuel situation on board the aircraft.
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At the beginning the pilots are at Mitchell Field in Long Island. When they land there is a large mountain in the background.
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Factual errors 

At the end of the film we are told that the raid on Tokyo forced upon the Japanese the need to withdraw from their conquests. In reality the raid led the Japanese to try to expand their conquests to provide better protection to the home islands. This led directly to their defeat at the Battle of Midway, and the subsequent reconquest of the Pacific. The Japanese never willingly gave up their conquests, hence the hard fighting the allies had to endure.
In the scene where President Roosevelt is expressing his dismay with the Americans not doing more to aid the Aliies in Europe he mentions that the US needs to send more tanks to Britain and Russia, to provide aid. At this point in time, early 1941, Russia was still an ally of Nazi Germany. They didn't start fighting on the side of the Allies until after the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 and were not considered part of the Allies until January 1942.
When the Japanese patrol boats are contacted, it is said that they are 400 yards away. At a distance of 400 yards ships at sea are in danger of colliding, not just being spotted. The actual sighting was made at 10,000 yards. Further, such a sighting was no great surprise, since an air patrol had spotted Japanese ships earlier that morning.
When the Doolittle raiders are practicing their takeoffs, the flags in the background indicate that they are on a downwind departure. Anyone with any knowledge of aviation knows you take off into the wind. Especially if you are trying to shorten the takeoff run.
Only one raider died during a plane crash following the Doolittle Raid. Two others died from their injuries sustained from crashes. Five more died while in Japanese captivity (4 executed; 1 of malnutrition). However, the movie killed off several raiders inaccurately, including one from Japanese anti-aircraft fire during the actual raid.
In the scene after the attack where both main characters are donating blood, the blood is stored in open cola bottles. That process would dry and clot the blood, making it useless for medicinal purposes. (Not to mention blood poisoning due to microbes present in the air)
It would have been virtually impossible for Rafe to have served with the RAF. The movie makes it almost seem like some sort of secondment but, in actual fact, the US Army and government had a lot of rules and laws in place to prevent their serving airmen from flying with foreign air forces. The AVG Flying Tigers in China, for example, and the American Eagle squadrons in RAF service were manned by men who effectively broke military law and had to go by very circuitous routes to get there. Rafe would have had to resign his commission and work out how to get through a war zone as a civilian to end up flying Spitfires in Europe. Somehow he repeats the feat in reverse, turning up back at Pearl with his rank restored - very unlikely, especially when the USA was neutral and very hostile to the idea of its servicemen flying with other combatants. He more than likely would have been court martialled.
The Japanese did not bomb hospital areas, but many Japanese aircraft (after hitting their initial targets) preceded to strafe "Civilian" areas near Pearl Harbor and the airfields, including hospitals.
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At that time, Japanese was written from right to left. All the Japanese characters in the movie are written from left to right, except one phrase, which says, "Empire of Japan banzai".
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During the Attack on Pearl Harbor,Capt Mervyn S.Bennion is seen to die in the arms of Doris Miller after a bomb hits USS West Virginia.But in the reality,after West Virginia was hit by a torpedo,Capt.Bennion was hit by shrapnel from a bomb that blew up part of his command deck. Cook Third Class Doris Miller and several other sailors attempted to move Bennion to a first aid station, but Bennion refused to leave his post. Using one arm to hold his wounds closed, he bled to death while still commanding his crew.
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During the attack scene, a U.S. Navy sailor is crouched over a wounded comrade yelling for a corpsman (a naval medic), incorrectly pronouncing it as "corpse-man" instead of the proper "core-man" pronunciation.
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The Japenese torpedo dropped from a plane rockets on the water with its wooden frame intact. In reality, the wooden frame would detach once in the water.
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The Queen Mary was painted battleship gray in 1939 and remained that way until the end of the war, serving as a troopship for the Royal Navy. It is impossible that she would be in New York harbor during Rafe and Evelyn's 'date'.
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References are made to being "thrown in the brig". Brig is a term used only by the Navy and Marines. Danny and Rafe are Army pilots, so the phrase should have been "thrown in the stockade".
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When the Japanese are shown planning the attack, there is a scene showing several models in the water, including one representing a repair ship, USS Vestal, that was moored alongside the Arizona on December 6 to assist in some repairs. There was no way for the Japanese to know ahead of time she would be there. The filmmakers may have been confused by a well-known photograph of a Japanese scale model of Pearl Harbor being arranged by workers, and which featured the Vestal; the photograph was frequently mistaken for being that of a model used to plan the attack, while the truth was that it was made for a Japanese propaganda film about the attack.
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During the Doolittle raid, as the B-25's are taking off from the Hornet they are portrayed as barely making off the deck. In reality the planes were literally leaping off the deck. The takeoff speed for the B-25 is about 80 M.P.H., the carrier sped up to about 25 M.P.H. and there was about a 40 M.P.H. wind blowing for a total of 65 M.P.H. before the planes even started rolling. They only needed about 15 M.P.H. more to become airborne. In short they were lifting off way before the calculated lift-off point. The only plane to have a close call was the one flown by Ted Lawson, the author of "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" and that's because he forgot to put his flaps down.
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When the bomb crashes into the Arizona's ammunition magazine, it is shown knocking a rack of shells for the main guns loose and landing among a stack of powder bags. In addition to the fact that shells and powder were always stored separately, the projectiles are shown bouncing off the floor with a resounding "clang", as if hollow and made of a light metal. The projectiles for the Arizona's 14" guns weighed over 1,500 lbs. each, and obviously would not bounce in this manner.
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Rafe wears an Eagle Squadron badge, as do the Spitfires. The squadron code 'RF' is for No.303 Squadron, which was a Polish unit. The only Hurricane seen in the film has the correct codes for an Eagle Squadron, 'XR-T' for No.71 Squadron.
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Military Nurses were not permitted to wear long flowing hair styles as portrayed in the film. While in uniform, including their whites, the length permitted was just above their collars.
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At the end, during the retrospective voice-over, Dorie Miller is presented with a Navy Cross by what is portrayed as a Commander, with three stripes on the shoulder-board. Dorie Miller received his Navy Cross from Fleet Admiral (then Admiral) Chester W. Nimitz, whose shoulder board at that time would show four stars and an anchor.
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Gooz doesn't bash the firing pin down on the Type 97 grenade before throwing it. Furthermore, the grenade was known to be weak and certainly wouldn't have had enough blast to send bodies flying.
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In the film, a battleship's tripod mast is shown collapsing onto another battleship equipped with the same type of mast. Four ships had these that day; none were moored next to each other and no mast collapsed in such a manner.
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In a scene shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack is finished, FDR asks his assembled military staff if it is true that they can still hear trapped sailors tapping on the hull of the USS Arizona. A general replies that yes, they can, but they can't get to them because they're 40 feet underwater. The USS Arizona was completely destroyed by a bomb, and many who had survived were able to get off the ship as it was still upright. The better reply would have corrected FDR that the Arizona was a total loss, or that he meant the USS Oklahoma; it was the capsized Oklahoma that was the centerpiece of many post-attack efforts to rescue the men trapped inside the hull.
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President Roosevelt's declaration of war message contained no specific reference to the number of casualties (over 3000 is mentioned in the film). Such information was considered too sensitive and demoralizing to mention, and the numbers were still only estimates on December 8.
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The Doolittle raid is loaded with errors. First, the 16 bombers are shown flying together at somewhat high altitude and in formation on the way to Japan, whereas each plane actually flew the mission as a single sortie at very low altitude to avoid radar detection. Next, the Japanese targets are shown to suffer very heavy bombing damage, whereas very little damage was actually done (the psychological damage to the Japanese, however, was considerable). Finally, Japanese land and air defense forces are shown to offer heavy resistance to the American bombers during the attack, whereas the bombers were not detected before the attack and were unopposed during the attack.
After Pearl Harbor, Col Doolittle recruited Rafe and Danny to fly on the Raid on Tokyo. Rafe and Danny are single-engined fighter pilots and would not be qualified to fly multi-engined bombers. While the B-25 Mitchell bomber is an easy plane to fly, the participants would have come from qualified bombardment squadrons. As a matter of historical record, the pilots on the actual raid largely were recruited from the 34th Bombardment Squadron of the 17th Bombardment Group (aka, "The Thunderbirds").

Furthermore, Doolittle implies that the men have been selected due to their being "just about the only pilots with combat experience". This is untrue, and, as aforementioned, would not have been a logical choice; said experience was irrelevant with what the mission entails (Danny & Rafe were land-based fighter pilots dueling with Japanese fighters without needing to bomb anyone; the mission involves multi-engine, bomber aircraft being launched from an aircraft carrier at sea, and who could not maneuver wildly), and the two pilots would have to be extensively retrained to fly multi-engine aircraft anyway.
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In the several scenes showing the large Japanese fleet formation prior to the attack, the ships are so close together as to constitute an extremely serious hazard underway. Actual ship-to-ship spacing in a large carrier task force is typically 800 to 1000 yards, in which case the entire task force could not be shown, even on the widest screen available, unless photographed from a much higher altitude than as portrayed.
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When the first B-25 is taking off the carrier, halfway down the flight deck Alec Baldwin (Doolittle) shouts "max power." In reality, each B-25 was revved to full power before the brakes were released for take off. Anything less than full power, and the planes would have crashed into the ocean.
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During the attack 'Sgt. Earl' uses a SCR-536 'handie-talkie' to communicate with Rafe and Danny's planes. This portable radio was primarily meant for short-range tactical use among ground troops and not as a ground-to-air radio and would not have likely been issued to Air Corps units. Under absolutely ideal conditions the radio had a maximum range of 3 miles, meaning that it would have been out of range of the P-40s in the film most of the time.
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The USS Oklahoma, when shown capsized, has four shaft/propellers. In fact, she was a twin shaft ship. Furthermore, the film seems to show the Oklahoma capsizing completely, with her propellers high over the water; during the real attack, most of her hull was underwater, and only a small part of her starboard side was visible. Only one propeller was partially outside the water.
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The car the heroes drive to the airfield in is strafed by a zero. The large-caliber armor-piercing ammunition that can rip airplanes and ships to pieces does only cosmetic damage to the car.
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As Rafe's unit of Spitfires moves to engage a group of German bombers below them, he says they should "drop on them". The next scene shows the Spitfires at most a couple thousand feet above the cliffs of Dover. As the bombers would actually have been at an altitude of 10,000 to 20,000 feet, it would be hard to "drop on them".
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Several shots show the Oklahoma to have capsized at 180 degrees with her keel straight up. Due to how shallow the harbor was, the Oklahoma actually capsized with part of her starboard side exposed as her superstructure got stuck in the mud and halted the capsizing before she could roll completely over.
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The movie depicted the Arizona getting bombed right at the onset of the attack, and the Oklahoma capsizing towards the end of the attack. The Oklahoma was actually hit early and capsized within about twelve minutes of the onset of the attack, and the catastrophic bomb hit on the Arizona took place shortly after the Oklahoma capsized.
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During the Japanese attack, one of their bombers that are attacking an airfield is carrying an aerial torpedo. This weapon is designed only to attack ships by being launched at low level into the water by a bomber flying toward the target, not to attack land-based targets.
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In preparation for the Doolittle raid on Japan, the film shows the Japanese medals being wired to the nose of the bombs, where they might interfere with detonation. Historic photos of the actual event show the medals being wired to the fins.
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The Nakajima B5N "Kate" bombers armed with torpedoes were the first in the actual attack and only flew perpendicular to the ships they were attacking. They would never have flown between ships as shown multiple times in the film.
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The RAF Squadron Leader calls Rafe "Pilot Officer", an RAF rank equivalent to a US Army Second Lieutentant. As his silver bars indicate he is a First Lieutenant, he would have held the rank of "Flying Officer" in the Eagle Squadron.
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The American P-40 fighters depicted in the movie are "E" or "N" models, which did not enter service until after 1941. These can be identified by the shape of the chin radiator on the "E" and the canopy shape on the "N". The actual model available at the time was the "B" or "C".
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A gunner in the back of a dive bomber begins waving at the kids who stopped to watch the Japanese squadrons fly over a little league baseball game on their way to attack Pearl Harbor. The first group of planes started their attack around 7:48am Hawaiian time. It is highly unlikely that someone would schedule a kids baseball game to be played that early on a Sunday morning in December.
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Dorrie Miller is shown as as Petty Officer Second Class. At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack he was a Third Class Petty Officer.
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When the camera follows a torpedo from it is being dropped by a plane through the surface of the water, the wooden fins remain in place. In reality these wooden fins were loosely attached and meant to fall off in order to level the torpedo off at a shallower depth than normal, so that they could be used in the harbor.
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Near the end of Roosevelt's speech to Congress, he makes the statement, "We will gain the inevitable triumph," and abruptly ends there. In fact, Roosevelt said, "We will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God."
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While attempting to free drowning sailors one engineer can be seen using a welding torch to cut the hull. The torch's sound is that of an arc welding torch which would have been too bulky and dangerous to use on a capsized vessel.
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Danny's B-25 strafes the Japanese forces that are advancing on Rafe's position after he ditches, firing the fuselage-mounted 50-caliber machine guns. The B-25B models used in the raid were not outfitted with these guns.
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During the presentation of medals to the Navy nurses, of which Evelyn is one, the sleeve stripes of their uniforms denote the rank of Ensign, whereas Evelyn was referred to as Lieutenant. In the U.S. Navy, Lieutenants are the equivalent of Army Captains, and Lieutenant J.G. is the equivalent of Army First Lieutenants. In either case, there should be two sleeve stripes on a Navy Lieutenant's uniform: two of the same width for a Lieutenant, and the top stripe thinner for a Lieutenant J.G.
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During the raid on Pearl Harbor, a US Navy destroyer escort with the hull number 1041 is seen in a couple of the attack sequences. However, this ship was not commissioned until the early 1960s, and there were no US warships with hull numbers in the 1000s back in 1941.
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In the scene where Danny and Rafe arrive at the airfield where their planes are during the attack, Earl the mechanic fires 11 shots from his Model 1897 Trench Shotgun in rapid succession at the Japanese planes. The 1897 is only capable of holding 6 shells.
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The ending voiceover talks about the fact that the Doolittle raid was the turning point of the US-Japan war, with Japanese "realizing" they can't win and retreating, and the US seeing hope for victory and "surging forward." While the Doolittle raid was certainly an enormous morale boost to the US at the time, and, also a warning to the Japanese, this narration is a gross, oversimplified falsehood. The Midway, Guadalcanal, and Kokoda Trail campaigns are what actually accomplished what the narration attributes to the Doolittle raid. All three of them are in are mid-late 1942, not the Doolittle raid's early 1942.
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During the raid on Tokyo, the radio transmissions of the pilots could be heard on receivers in Honolulu. This would have required exactly the right atmospheric conditions in order for aircraft radio transmissions to be heard several thousand miles away. These conditions are fairly rare and could not be counted on to occur reliably. Reliable reception of aircraft radio at those distances would require satellite-based radio which, of course, did not exist in 1941.
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The tailgunner in one of the Japanese B5N "Kate" dive-bombers is seen firing an American-made M2 .30-caliber machine gun. No Japanese aircraft would be equipped with an American weapon.
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When Doris Miller starts firing the anti-aircraft gun about the USS West Virginia, there are several mistakes. First the ship seen alongside the West Virginia is a Knox class fast frigate, which did not enter the fleet until 1965. Second, the Knox class frigates do not even closely resemble a battleship of the time, and the only ship alongside the West Virginia in Battleship Row during the attack was her sister ship, the USS Tennessee. Third, the Knox frigate appears to be the outboard ship in the row. The West Virginia was the outboard ship which is why she took so many torpedo hits, and this had also been established several times in the torpedo attack sequences.
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During the Doolittle Raid launch sequence, as the camera pans over the length of the aircraft carrier from the ship's starboard side, we can briefly see a double digit number that appears to be a 10 on the ship's island. The USS Hornet, the real-life Doolittle carrier, did not have her hull number painted on in such a way, and, in any case, her number was 8; the '10', actually a 16, belongs to USS Lexington, an Essex-class carrier commissioned long after the Hornet was sunk later in 1942, and where the sequence was filmed.
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When Danny and Evelyn are saying goodbye prior to Danny taking off for California for Doolittle raid training, there is a C- 47 warming up in the background. The C-47 had a range of about 1,600 miles and could not have made it to California. They would have had to fly back in a B-17, a flight of which was noted as due in from the mainland by the radar crew as the raid was underway.
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As the Japanese fleet steams toward its launch point, there is a close up of the nose of a B5N1 Kate torpedo bomber with its distinctive two-bladed propeller. Trouble is, the Kates used against Pearl Harbor were B5N2's, with a two row radial and 3-bladed prop.
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One shot of the "Japanese fleet" at sea clearly shows a nuclear-powered super-carrier, surrounded by guided missile-armed cruisers and destroyers.
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For reasons of expediency and the practical requirements of storytelling (and, presumably, due to some genuine errors), many of the actions and procedures depicted in the movie do not accurately reflect the actions and procedures followed by American and Japanese service personnel in 1941. Many of the events shown in the movie did not happen, or happened differently on the morning of 7 December 1941. This is not a documentary.
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"Mitchell" Field, on Long Island, is actually called "Mitchel Field" (with one "L").
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A Japanese gunner is seen firing a Browning machine gun during the attack. In reality, the Japanese rear gunners during the attack used the Type 92 LMG, a Japanese copy of the aircraft version of the Lewis Gun.
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At several points during the pearl harbor attack scenes several Ticonderoga or Spruance class cruisers were shown, some being hit by bombs. You can clearly tell by the iconic American superstructure design below the bridge. Both ships were designed and laid down after 1970, and so would have not been in WW2, or anytime soon after it.
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When the Japanese officer reports the success of the mission, Admial Nagumo states " I am afraid we have awakened a sleeping giant from which there will be no resolve." This statement was actually made later by Admiral Yamamoto.
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There is no way that anyone in Hawaii could have listened to the radio chatter among Doolittle's raiders. First, because the planes were flying separately on different routes, not as a group, and were observing radio silence, so there was nothing to hear. But mainly, because the radios used for inter-plane communication are low-power short-range units. Long-range communication was carried out by each plane's radio operator, using Morse code. Long-range voice communication by radio was not possible back then.
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At the beginning of the film there are some newsreel bits showing the war in Europe giving the background for the historical setting circa 1939-40. In one of these, for about 2-3 seconds you see a M-26 Pershing next to a wall. The M-26 Pershing wasn't introduced until early 1945 when it entered the war in Europe.
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In the beginning of the film, there are scenes at "Mitchell Field" on Long Island, New York. The actual spelling is "Mitchel Field."
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The nurses are wearing far too much make up when on duty: bright red lipstick, eyeliner, mascara and blusher expertly applied. Military medical nurses are allowed subtle skin tone make up and surgical nurses none at all. It's always been that way, right back to the 1890s when the British Army first hired nurses.
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When Danny and Evelyn take a joy ride in a P-40, they speak to each other in soft, romantic tones. In reality, they would have had to scream at each other to be heard over the noise of the plane's engine.
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The P-40s depicted in the movie were later models that were not around during Pearl Harbor. The ones used in filming were probably either P-40Ks, P-40Ms, or P-40Ns instead of the historically correct P-40Bs or P-40Cs that were around at the time of the attack. This is noticeable because the planes in the movie have three guns mounted on each wing while a correct P-40 would have two mounted on each wing and two on the engine crowling.
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One of the intelligence photos taken by the Japanese spies shows a North Carolina class battleship which wasn't in Pearl Harbor at that time.
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Admiral Kimmel is shown on the golf course when he first receives word of a Japanese submarine attack. Although he was planning to golf that morning with Army General Short, he actually received the ominous report at home, and then proceeded to Pearl Harbor.
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We see the Queen Mary, but where is her "war" paint? Queen Mary, along with nearly all liners and civil/commercial vessels, were painted an oceangoing grey for camouflage, but the Queen we see in Pearl Harbor shows in her black and red colors... the Queen is an English vessel and England had been at war two years. She should have been grey by this time.
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At the launch of the Dolittle raiders, the seas were stormy with waves breaking over the carrier's bow, not completely calm, as shown in the movie.
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During the attack on Pearl Harbor Danny and Rafe take off from an airfield and then fly to defend battleship row. As they fly over the harbor there are several Newport Class LSTs shown at anchor. This type of ship did not exist until 1966.
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In the control tower scene after the stunt flying, look closely in the background and you will see the shapes of E-2 Hawkeyes. The E-2 wasn't in service until the early 60's.
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When they show the whole fleet sailing, there is clearly a nuclear submarine out front. It is easily distinguished by its teardrop shaped hull.
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In the scene where the nurses walk among the flag-draped coffins after the attack, the nurses are in stylish civilian outfits. Those nurses are all Naval personnel, and once war was declared they were ordered to be in uniform at all times, except when in the privacy of their quarters.
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When the MPs drive on to the golf course to alert the commander of the attack, the Jeep they're driving is a Korean War era M-38.
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There is an old mahogany speedboat in the movie. The movie is set in 1941, the speedboat is a 1955-1958 Chris Craft Capri.
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Dorie Miller was not carrying an elegant tray of coffee service when the attack began. He was carrying laundry.
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The British squadron Rafe served in had the "RF" radio ID markings. These were assigned to the Polish 303 squadron, so the planes should have additional Polish markings on the engine cowling (apart from standard British ones) plus the squadron logo.
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In one scene before the battle starts, a crew member is having his P-40 decorated with noseart. However, before late 1942, noseart wasn't allowed by the USAAF, unless you had a commander who really didn't mind. Lieutenant General Walter Short, who was in charge of the P-40's at Pearl Harbor, wasn't one of those commanders.
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Japanese Naval officers say "We have hit battleship row. Now we must hit the smaller airfields." In actuality, the attack was planned to every detail so that all of their targets were hit simultaneously.
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In the scene where Rafe and Danny are kids fooling around in their father's cropduster the plane is a PT-17 Stearman or similar model. This plane was not in regular military usage until after 1934 and did not find its way into civilian hands until after WWII.
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In every photo or drawing I have seen of the Oklahoma or Arizona, their main guns had no flash suppressors as depicted. The main rifles were sealed with tampions in port, and those would be impossible to fit into the muzzles shown in the movie.
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The B-25's used for the Doolittle raid were "B" models, yet a number of aircraft were shown equipped with 50 caliber guns in cheek blisters, a modification that did not occur until the "H" model came out later in the war.
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In the scene where Admiral Kimmel is inspecting the crew of the battleship an aide comes up with a message to send some ships to the Atlantic. Admiral Kimmel starts complaining about the orders. No Admiral would ever do this especially in front of enlisted men. In fact he was placed in charge of the Pacific fleet when his predecessor complained about moving the fleet from San Diego to Pearl Harbor.
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Doolittle's B25s were an early version, while in the scene aboard the carrier, they have side gun mountings and four-point fifties in bulges on both sides of the nose. These were implemented in much later B25G versions.
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The Zeros in the movie are not the right model for the attack on Pearl Harbor. The ones featured in the film are exact replicas of A6M5 Zeros which can be denoted by looking at the engine exhaust ports. The A6M5 did not come out until later in the war. The correct model should be the A6M2.
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The spinning fan on the bomb wasn't the fuse itself - it was meant to arm the fuse, so that the bomb would detonate on impact. It needed to make only several spins to work. The bouncing bomb in the airfield scene should make a big hole, not bounce. It should also suffer some damage, while in the scene even the thin stabilizers are intact.
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When Rafe's train leaves New York you can see an Amtrak Genesis engine through the window. Amtrak wasn't created until 1971 and the Genesis diesel engines weren't designed until 1992.
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At the RAF airfield, Spitfires are shown lined up right in front of the ground crew's tents. After almost two years at war, and with Luftwaffe attacks still a regular occurrence, it seems highly unlikely that any RAF squadron would be stupid enough to try and sleep on top of their aircraft, which might be bombed or strafed at any time. In reality the only thing that close to the aircraft would have been the dispersal hut where pilots on readiness that day would wait for a scramble order.
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While Rafe is on the beach during the training to take off from an aircraft carrier, and burning some letters, mountains are noticed in the background while he is conversing with Danny. The actual location for this training took place on the historic "Doolittle Ramp" located at Hurlburt Field, Florida, near Eglin Air Force Base. The site is within 100 yards of the beach among numerous trees. There are no mountains (low hills maybe) in Florida .
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As Danny and Rafe prepare to depart for Florida to train for the Tokyo raid they board a DC-3 to take them to the mainland, with the nearest point 2,400 miles away. It would have been a wet trip: the DC-3 had a range of 1,600 miles. Military transport to the mainland in early 1942 would be by ship, " Clipper" seaplane or a stripped-down bomber.
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When the raiders are just over their targets, the pilots of the flights order bombs away and the bombs immediately drop. The problem with this is it's the bombardiers job to decide when to drop the bombs on the target. If the pilot dropped the bombs, you wouldn't need the bombardier or the bomb sight.
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In January, 1942, US National insignia deleted the red ball in the center of the star. The Doolittle raiders are depicted with the old insignia, and while this was accurate on the fuselage and wing bottom, official US Navy photographs show that at least some of the B-25's had the newer insignia on the top left wing.
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Early in the film, a close-up of Rafe in his Army Air Corps uniform shows his wings. The wings are not Army Air Corps, but the "shield and stripes" of the US Air Force, which did not exist at that time. Additionally, when a priest is giving last rites to the dying, he says, "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." But before the Second Vatican Council, it was "Holy Ghost."
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While the hospital did sustain some damage during the actual battle at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese forces did not deliberately target or fire upon it. Hospitals are usually avoided in battles as the people within are not in any condition to fight back and it would just be consuming ammunition that would be needed for attacking more practical targets such as enemy aircraft, assault vehicles, weapon repositories, and such.
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When Ben Affleck is about to ditch his B-25 in China, and yells that the #1 engine is out, the port engine is shown spinning to a stop, with the propeller already feathered. A perfectly functioning engine would not have its propeller feathered; the pilot would feather it only after the engine stopped, to reduce drag.
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For some reason, Danny believes Rafe's story that he's been officially assigned to an RAF Eagle Squadron for "combat training." While almost 7,000 Americans did volunteer to fly for England before Pearl Harbor, these were either as civilians or Americans who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. It was against the law for any citizen to fight for a belligerent power while America was neutral, so Rafe's superiors couldn't have ordered him to fight for Britain, and Danny would have known that.
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The USS Hornet, a Yorktown-class aircraft carrier launched in 1940, is played by a much more modern Kitty Hawk-class carrier. The B-25s also take off from a steel deck instead of a historically accurate wooden deck.
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In the RAF squadron scene, the lined up Spitfires are the wrong mark for the period. For early 1941, the correct mark would have been a mark V. The Spitfires are later, as they have six exhaust outlets per side, and several have four-bladed propellers, neither feature being present on mark V Spitfires.
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When Rafe comes to England he gets a damaged Spitfire to counter the Luftwaffe. If you ignore the fact that he should at least make some flying hours in a Spit before going into combat, no one had to fly a shot-up Spit during the Battle of Britain, since Spitfire production could quite well keep up with the war losses. It was lack of fighter pilots that almost caused Britain's defeat.
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As with the film Tora! Tora! Tora!, in Pearl Harbor we see that two American fighter planes took off to fight the Japanese. In reality, a total of six American flights actually took off to repel the invaders.
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When Rafe first presents himself at the RAF base, there is a scene with two Spits having the same RF-M squadron designators. Since this was the way individual aircraft were identified, such a thing would never come to pass.
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Towards the end of the film, when the United States launches an attack on the Japanese ammunition factories, the planes fly over Japan and show shots of geishas to establish the country. Japanese geisha communities were shut down by the Japanese government at the beginning of World War II.
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When the Japanese pilots are taking off the carrier deck, there is an overhead view of the launch. The carrier in the scene has a angled deck. The angle deck carriers didn't come along until after the war was over.
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In the shot where they show the pictures the Japanese spies took, you can see the helicopter pads on the ships. Also, during the attack, helicopter pads are visible on some ships. The helicopter was not used until the Korean War, and they didn't have helicopter pads on ships until more recently.
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During the Air raid scramble of the RAF squadron, one pilot behind the RAF mechanic can be seen to be boarding a Hawker Hurricane, not a Spitfire. As far as I am aware, Hurricanes and Spitfires were never operated in mixed units. Squadrons had one or the other.
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In the scene showing the bomb on its way down to destroy the USS Arizona, the bomb is a conventional aerial bomb purpose-built for anti-ship use. Historical records state that the Japanese had no armor piercing bombs ready for the attack, so they modified conventional battleship shells with wooden fins instead.
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The scene of Doolittle speaking to the men who have volunteered for what would become the Tokyo Raid is filmed in a hanger. Historically this took place in the crowded Air Ops office at Eglin.
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All of Jimmy Doolittle's "raiders" had leather flight jackets prepared especially for their mission to bomb Tokyo. On the back of the jackets was a message written in large Chinese characters that explained who they were so the Chinese (if the crew were lucky enough to reach unoccupied China which was the original plan) would not kill them. I also believe there were large U.S. flags and Chinese flags (the old Republic of China style) painted or sewn on the back of these jackets as well. This important costume detail was omitted in the movie.
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When you see the carrier from above, you can see that the planes take up more than half the deck space. If there were 420 feet of space to take off, that would mean that the carrier was at least 840 feet long. They were at most around 650-700 feet.
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In the scene where the Japanese aircraft are launching for the attack on Pearl, an officer on one of the carriers holds a white flag in his right hand just as the planes are about to take off. Look carefully; the wind is blowing from the stern of the ship towards the bow (as evidenced by the position of the aircraft in the background). The flag should be moving in the opposite direction, as the carrier would be turned into the wind and moving forward at top speed to launch aircraft.
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In the first view of Pearl Harbor, just before the nurses are shown in the small transport boat as they arrive at Pearl, you clearly see the Arizona Memorial in the background as the camera pans down from sky to harbour.
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When Danny is paying tribute to Rafe after he is shot down, he pours Jack Daniels into a glass in front of Rafe's picture. The bottle of Jack Daniels is a modern bottle with all the awards on it that were not on it in the 1940s.
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During the first scene of the adult Rafe and Danny at Mitchell Field on Long Island, there are large hills/mountains visible in the background. There are no large hills or mountains located anywhere in Long Island. (Scenes were filmed elsewhere, including Hawaii, which explains the hills/mountains, but this is a mistake nonetheless, since they are supposed to be at Mitchell Field at Long Island, NY.)
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Just before the attack on Pearl Harbor begins you see a scene of some Japanese planes flying in a place called Kualoa Valley. Two boys watch these planes fly by. Here is the error - in order to get to Pearl Harbour they would have to be flying almost the exact opposite direction, these planes were flying out of the valley...back out to sea.
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In the scene where Petty Officer Dorie Miller is boxing, a sailor betting on the fight holds a wad of dollar bills where the top one shows the overprinting HAWAII. The HAWAII overprint notes were not introduced until July of 1942, when the U.S. government replaced all currency on the islands with overprinted notes just in case the islands were invaded by Japan. If they had been overrun by Japan, the notes would then have been declared illegal.
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When Rafe and Danny are courageously holding the hand(s) of drowning sailor(s) in the overturned hull (assumed to be the Oklahoma) they are well above see level. How did the compartment they are standing on flood so high above sea level?
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Miscellaneous 

Evelyn would have become pregnant about Nov. 11th by her timing. It was Apr. 18th when she was "typing" as the raid progressed. She would have been 5 months along, but not in maternity clothes. Rafe probably returned about two months later, 7 months, and still no maternity clothes.
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All of the ships shown in the attack sequence have their Naval (bow) registry numbers painted over with an off color hue on the hull. Also they have radar and antennas that do not belong on ships supposedly constructed prior to 1941.
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When the casket is carried out from the airplane by Ben Afflek there's is a zoom-in on his Hamilton Kakhi wristwatch which is not running at all.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The Japanese are shown flipping a calendar from the 6th to the 7th of December on the morning of the attack. This is done for American audiences who are familiar with the date of the attack being 7 December 1941. Clocks aboard the Japanese ships were kept on Tokyo time, so for them the attack actually took place the morning of 8 December. The Japanese version of the film shows the calendar flipping from the 7th to the 8th.
Hardly anyone smokes. Although during the 1940s nearly every soldier smoked cigarettes, it was a conscious decision on the part of the film makers not to portray it because of the current feelings about the dangers of smoking.
Early in the film it is revealed that Rafe cannot read the letters off the chart for the vision test and then later on he writes letters to Evelyn while in England. He seems to be demonstrating symptoms of a Dyslexia.
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During the practice runs for the Doolittle raid, the B25s are heard to squeal their tires and fishtail under the heavy throttle at takeoff. As all airplanes are prop or jet powered, not wheel powered, this would be impossible. However in order to achieve the short take off, the brakes were locked on and the engines run to full power before releasing the brakes, the squeal would have been caused by the engines power starting to drag the locked wheels along the tarmac.
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A newsreel refers to the bombing of "downtown London". While there is in fact a "central" London, this area has never been referred to as "downtown". However, Edward R. Murrow, whose reporting is being simulated in the scene, did use that common American term.
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When the Navy fighter Pilots are attacking Tokyo and the camera pans around the cockpit of Danny's plane it looks like a green screen is visible behind him. It is actually a part of the windshield that is green, probably as a sun screen. You can see it much clearer further on in the scene.
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During the Doolittle raid take off scene, two catapults can be seen on the flight deck. USS Hornet had no catapults. -- Actually the Hornet had three catapults; two on the forward flight deck (as shown) and one hanger deck catapult. The catapults were not used to launch the B-25s.
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Plot holes 

American pilots serving with the RAF were not released from service until after the U.S. entered the war as an ally. It would have been extremely unlikely for Rafe to be back in U.S. service before Pearl Harbor unless he deserted from the RAF (in which case the U.S. Army Air Corps would not have accepted him).
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A pilot, such as Rafe, who was shot down, if physically able, would have been put back into action as soon as possible. The RAF did not have sufficient pilots to spare.
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Rafe has dyslexia and when he fails his eye exam, he explains to Evelyn that his vision is excellent and that he is a skilled marksman back home - he just has difficulty telling letters from one another. However, he tried to fake his way through the eye exam by looking at a crib sheet with the eye chart reproduced on it. Since he cannot tell letters apart, if he cannot read then eye chart, then he also should not have been able to read the crib sheet.
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Danny receives the telegram from Rafe, telling him that he is alive, at the same time Rafe meets with Evelyn. The telegram must have been sent from Hawaii. Why didn't he just call on the phone? When Rafe reached the U.S. after leaving England why didn't he send a telegram then. In those days it took some time to travel from the Eastern U.S. all the way to Hawaii and there is no way he beat the telegram if it was sent when he returned to the U.S.
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Near the end of the Tokyo raid, Col. Doolittle orders his radio operator to "break radio silence" so he can address the rest of the planes. For the duration of the raid, though, intelligence officers had been listening to radio transmissions back at Pearl (other users have already commented that this in itself is a historical error). If these transmissions were being heard at Pearl, there was obviously no radio silence to begin with.
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In the scene where Danny and Evelyn are talking, Danny 'finds out' that Rafe volunteered to go to England. Danny already knew that Rafe volunteered because near the start of the film, Danny was in the same office as Rafe when Rafe was given the choice to go to England or not.
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Revealing mistakes 

When the guy sent to bomb the Arizona is looking through to aim the bomb, you can see next to the fake Arizona, the real one in the water.
(at around 1h 30 mins) When the car explodes outside the hospital, the car clearly has an empty engine compartment.
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When the third bomber takes off from the aircraft carrier, it was filmed on a real carrier, and the jet catapult is briefly but clearly visible on the deck.
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When the battleship Oklahoma is shown rolling over, the anchor chains on her forecastle never move. Each link in such an anchor chain would weigh over one hundred pounds, and so should have drooped toward the water as the ship rolled.
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When the photographer that is recording the attack with a small handheld video camera (specifically the Bell & Howell Filmo) is shot by the attacking aircraft, you see him being filmed by his own camera after he has been killed. In reality, the Filmo only records when a button on the camera is being held down, if it has been released the filming will stop instantly. There is no way the camera would continue to film him while lying untouched near his body.
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As the Japanese aircraft attack the smaller fields, we see the pilots and the newsreel cameraman running across the airfield. The cameraman and numerous pilots are gunned down by the Zeros twice.
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The gas flame used to simulate muzzle flash can be seen in a Japanese AA gun.
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When the suspected "dud" bomb bounces across the tarmac into the oil drums, you can clearly see a webbing safety strap attached to the tip of the prop bomb as it crashes into the oil drums.
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Immediately after the raiders take off, we see a view from in front of the carrier where you can clearly see the mooring lines securing the ship to something. As the ship is not in port, and is full speed into the wind, the mooring lines should not be visible.
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When the Japanese planes fly over the hill towards the harbor to bomb it, you can see a cross on the hill. That cross was not there back in 1941 during the raid. It was put there afterwards as a memorial to the point where the enemy planes first came over the hill.
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During the scene in which the Japanese are planning the attack, one shot has several of the Japanese Officers looking at aerial photographs of the harbor. These pictures appear to be attached to some sort of poster board and on the back of one of them is the "Recycled Paper" emblem (the three arrows bent back on each other). Visible on the DVD.
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When Evelyn is on the porch of the dispensary, as Danny drives up with the telegram about Rafe, there is a modern three-prong grounded electrical outlet visible on the wall behind her.
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Other users have commented on the placement of the island on the Japanese carriers. If you watch the launch scene very carefully (as one squadron of planes flies over another of the carriers), the carrier is a modern, angled deck carrier, but the planes are all lined up backwards. As the shot moves over the ship, you can plainly see the bow of the carrier (with the protrusions for the catapult water brakes, and Japanese planes lined up on the bow, facing the stern). As the shot progresses down the ship, you will see the angled deck amidships, with the island where it belongs, and the planes taking off over the stern.
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After Danny's plane crash lands in China, and Rafe runs towards the crash site, he shoots a Japanese soldier. After his next to last shot, the slide locks back on his pistol, indicating it is empty. You can see the slide locked back moments before he takes his last shot, with an empty gun.
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When the kids are playing around with the plane and make it move along the grass field, tracks from previous takes are visible in front of the plane. When the angle changes the tracks are gone.
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When the dead nurse's body (Betty I think her name is) is being placed on the pile of dead people, she blinks and twitches her face as the person carrying her puts her down.
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When Betty's body is being placed amongst those killed outside the hospital, the dead guy lying on the left side breathes at the wrong time (you can see his neck and head move slightly).
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Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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