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Big Fish (2003) Poster

(2003)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

Right before Ed is shown parachuting out of the plane, he checks his watch. This watch ticked every second, when in reality there were not quartz watches that ticked in this fashion until the 1970s and 1980s. At the time the movie was set, only mechanical watches were available, and they "swept" fluidly.
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When Sandra is hanging laundry, right before Edward returns from the war, she is hanging a sheet on a clothes line. A satellite television dish is clearly apparent on the house past her and to the left, right above the laundry basket on the ground.
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In the bank robbery scene, a small portion of the FDIC logo on a gold colored plate is seen. That particular logo was not used during the era of the movie.
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During the story of young Ed's athletic achievements in high school, which would be during the 1950s, he can be seen taking a long range basketball shot from behind a 3-point-line. The 3-point-line was not widely used until the late 1960s, and even then only in professional arenas, which Alabama still does not have. It did not see wide use in high school gyms until the early 1980s.
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In the early 1950s, Edward learns that Sandra attends Auburn University. In reality, however, the University was known as the Alabama Polytechnic Institute until 1960.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Ed Bloom (Young) comes to buy Jenny's house, he enters to see her playing piano, but the movement of her hands does not match the notes we hear.
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Character error 

Mr. Calloway tells young Edward that Sandra is in her last semester at Auburn. In the 20th century, Auburn always counted time in quarters, not semesters.
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Continuity 

When Edward first sees Sandra, and time stops, there is a woman swinging hula hoops. At first, she holds the hula hoop with her hand at the top, but when Edward goes through the hula hoop to get to Sandra, she is holding it from the side.
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When old Edward is drinking the can of Ensure health drink, he opens it, then in the next shot it hasn't been opened, then in the next shot it is open and he drinks from it.
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When the senior Ed Bloom and his wife are both in the bathtub together, there are separate shots of each of them at their respective ends of the tub. The water levels are noticeably different.
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After Jenny has thrown Edwards's shoes up on the wire Norther, Mildred and the mayor invite Edward to follow them by putting their hands on his shoulders. Mildred's hand is on Edward's back in the first shot, on his shoulder in the second one and again on his back in the following.
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While playing football in Ashton, Edward Bloom is running with the ball when two players from the opposing team dive to try to tackle him, and dive off screen. As the camera continues to reveal more of the field, the players are nowhere to be seen. They should have still been on the ground where they had fallen.
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When Edward is picked up by the scary tree in the woods, the key to the city falls to the ground. In a close-up, the key is still around his neck. Returning to the long shot, the key is again on the ground.
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When Sandra joins Edward in the bathtub, they are sitting at opposite ends of the tub. When Edward holds his hand out to Sandra, she puts both of her hands into the water to move toward him. But in the next shot, both of her hands are on the rim of the tub as she moves toward him.
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Jenny answers Will Bloom's knock on her front door at Spectre, when Will arrives to learn about his father's relationship with her. There's a kid seen taking lessons at the piano, at the opposite side of the room. When Jenny sits on the piano stool to give Will the background, the piano is now on the opposite side of the room, next to the front door.
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When Ed dives into the river after the water snake, he was all wet when he emerges from it, with leeches on his legs. However when he returns to Spectre with Jenny in the next scene, his shirt and pants are completely dry.
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When Edward is in Spectre having lunch together with Norther Winslow and the mayor, Norther is holding his cup with both hands. When the camera goes down under the table to shoot Jenny while she steals Edward's shoes, Norther has his own hand close to his knee. In the very next shot Norther Winslow is holding his cup with both hands again.
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When the mayor is giving Young Edward Bloom the key to the city, watch the girl in the band with the clarinet. From the camera angle when the mayor finishes his speech, she has her clarinet in her mouth. The angle changes yet we can still see her, clarinet out of her mouth, then the angle changes back and the clarinet is back in her mouth.
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When Edward surprises the enemy soldiers and the enemies are preparing for the fight and are finished showing off their fancy moves, they are standing back to back (from Edward's point of view). In the view from behind the enemies and looking at Edward, they are about 2 feet apart, then they are back to back again in the next shot.
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Ed Bloom has scratches on his face after the run-in with the werewolf. The next day the scratches are gone.
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Will Bloom visits Jenny at Spectre , she is sitting on piano stool with her orange Cat behind her , and when camera angle moves to where Will is sitting across from her - the same orange cat is now sitting beside Will .
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Edward leaves Spectre, there are fresh tire tracks in the grass, probably from the crane being used to film the scene.
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Errors in geography 

Will and Josephine live in Paris as the movie begins. As they enter their apartment, they carry paper grocery bags. No such bags are used in France. Since the 1970s, all French supermarkets and grocery stores have been handing out plastic bags.
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Factual errors 

In an early scene Will Bloom is seen giving Ensure liquid to Ed Bloom, which is given to patients who cannot eat solid food. But in later scenes he is seen taking solid food despite of the fact that his cancer was irreversible and incurable, and hence he should have never been able to eat again.
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When Edward makes the winning basketball shot, he is standing on the 3 point line. The 3 point shot was introduced in high schools in 1987.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Edward Bloom's "story" is set in a nostalgic, idealized amalgamation of the 1940s through about 1970, so strict chronological and factual accuracy is not required.
When Edward Bloom infiltrates the "North Korean" concert there are multiple languages being spoken (not just Korean). These languages include Mandarin, Cantonese, and Tagalog. In addition, the translation book Edward reads on the plane in simply entitled "English to Asian". This is done deliberately in order to obfuscate a reference to any country/war in which Ed might have been. Ed is old enough to be a veteran of WWII, but he is fighting the Chinese, who would have been allied with the US at the time. This is simply to let the audience know that the war is not WWII nor any specific war but is symbolic of all wars.

Revealing mistakes 

When Edward and Norther Winslow escape from the bank, Edward turns to look at the clerk in apology and leaves, jumping over a customer lying on the floor. You can see his mark - a black dot - on the floor where he was standing.
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In the "frozen" circus, a woman blinks to Ed's right as he reaches the floor level.
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In the War, Ed Bloom picks up an enemy document stamped "Top Secret" in red ink. The document itself is actually a foreclosure notice from a bank.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

When Will takes the Deed and puts it between the Handi-matic's fingers, it can be read "Deed of Trust". When Eddie takes the deed Jenny has just signed, we read "Quitclaim Deed".
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In the bank robbing scene Norther pulls the second cashiers drawer of money out onto the floor. Bills of money are seen flying around in the air. When Norther says "Let's go" to Edward there is no money showing on the floor and the cashiers drawer is back inside the cabinet.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Ed Bloom is left to die and become the fish in the river at the end of the movie, you can see the cables under the water beneath the son's right hand.
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When Ed is dying in the hospital, his son watches him in anguish and there is only one light reflected in each of Will's and Ed's eyes. When Ed's eyes become fixed, the light in his eyes brightens, and a second light can be seen reflecting in the corner of his eyes. When the camera pans back to Will, two spots of light are now reflected in his eyes showing the addition of a second light off camera.
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Factual errors 

Before Will leaves Jenny's house, Jenny signs a quitclaim deed and hands it to Will. On it we see a notary seal. A notary would not have placed a seal until after it was signed in the notary's presence. The document also states that the property is being conveyed for zero dollars of consideration. Real estate interests cannot pass without "consideration" and a one dollar amount is usually included to meet this requirement. The document would be regarded as void without any money being exchanged.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Where the crowd gathers at the end of Edward's funeral, either Ping or Jing is seen talking in a small crowd, clearly separated from the other. As the camera pans to another crowd gathered in the foreground, the other Siamese twin is seen simultaneously. The twins were conjoined in Edward's tall tale, but when seen in real life they are ordinary identical twins. This scene was clearly meant to reveal this fact. Also, we can also see that Carl the "Giant" was not really a giant. As the camera shows an overview of the people crowded around the casket, we can clearly see that Carl is just a little taller then everyone else. All characters in Ed's stories are just fantastical exaggerations of real people.

See also

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

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