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Inglourious Basterds (2009) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (15) | Character error (16) | Continuity (21) | Errors in geography (1) | Factual errors (8) | Miscellaneous (1) | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (6) | Revealing mistakes (2) | Spoilers (18)

Anachronisms 

In the opening sequence of the film, which is set in the year 1941, The SS Colonel refers posthumously to Reinhard Heydrich, "The Hangman," in his conversation with the French farmer and mentions that he had been assassinated; however, Heydrich was attacked and mortally wounded on the 27th of May, 1942, and died a week later on the 4th of June, 1942 - a year later than the time in which this scene of the film is set.
The Gestapo officer in the tavern is shown wearing a M1932 Allgemeine-SS uniform, which was made famous by the SS in the 1930s. A Gestapo agent would not have worn one, especially in 1944, as its use had been abolished in 1942. They would have instead appeared either in civilian attire or in an SS-style gray field uniform similar to Landa's.
In the opening scenes at the farmhouse, it can be clearly seen that the fields have been farmed using mechanized farm equipment - the crop marks from spraying from tractors, for instance. Rural France before the 1960s in general and during the war in particular, was not mechanized in any meaningful way until an influx of wealth from Great Britain and Germany via the Common Agricultural Policy of the Common Market/European Community/European Union. It would all have been horse drawn or manual.
After Sgt. Donowitz ("The Bear Jew") kills the German soldier with the bat, he struts about shouting a "play-by-play" account of his action. During this, he uses the phrase "Donowitz goes yard!", meaning hitting a home run. The term "goes yard" was not used for a home run until the 1990s.
As the German soldiers in the bar play the card game one of them is "Winnetou", a fictional Apache created by Karl May and a very popular book series. When he guesses his character he stands up and imitates a gesture with his arm - moving it away from his heart saying "I am Winnetou!" This gesture was used first by actor Pierre Brice playing Winnetou in Treasure of the Silver Lake.
Shosanna is introduced working on her marquee in Paris, "4 years later". Yet this occurs in 1944 and the previous scene in 1941. That's 3 years, not 4.
When Mélanie Laurent is updating the sign outside the cinema, the red characters are see-through, and she throws them at a stack from the top of the ladder. This implicates they are made from a see-through, hard to break material like poly-carbonate. These characters would not have been available during WWII.
The movie theater is lit entirely by fluorescent lighting; such technology was unavailable during World War II except for the war effort (i.e. lighting factories).
Lt. Archie Hicox uses the phrase "Paris, when it sizzles," which was a lyric from Cole Porter's play "Can-Can" ("I Love Paris"), not written until the 1950s. Porter coined the phrase, he didn't just adopt it from general usage.
During the opening scene in France, Landa mentions Heydrich as being called "the Hangman" by the people of Prague. This conversation takes place in May 1941. However, Heydrich was appointed Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia (which includes Prague) on 27 September 1941. In May 1941, few Czechs likely even knew who Heydrich was.
Shoshanna's red dress worn has "invisible" plastic coil zippers inserted in the sleeve ends and center back, a technology that did not exist during WW2. Invisible zippers are a clean solution but no doubt, the designer didn't anticipate a close up of the inside sleeve, nor the evidential zipper pull at the dress center back.
During close-ups of Lt. Aldo Raine as he's addressing the eight Jewish-American soldiers, an ear piercing hole is clearly seen in his left earlobe. Men, especially soldiers, did not pierce their ears in the 1940s.
The scene of the killing of Shoshanna's family, in the opening sequence of this film, is set in May, 1941 - one year into the German occupation of France. In reality, however, the rounding-up of French Jews in the German occupation zone of France only commenced in mid-1942, and the rounding-up of French Jews in the Vichy controlled zone of France commenced in 1943. Thus, the Dreyfus's execution in this film happens more than a year earlier than what it would have in reality, depending on what zone of France the family was hiding in.
In the opening scene the small convoy winds up the road to the farm house, all the fields can be seen to be modern crops - not pasture as suggested in the plot - with 'tramlines' where modern sprayers have driven through the wheat, clearly visible.
At various times during the movie the distinctive enamel decorated Perrier-Jouet cuvée Belle Epoque champagne bottle is shown. Although this bottle design was created in 1902 by Emile Galle it was quickly forgotten. In 1964, Pierre Ernst discovered four of these bottles and the design was re-released two years later to celebrate the seventieth birthday of Duke Ellington.

Character error 

Lt Hicox said prior to the war he wrote a book about the film director GW Pabst, who described as being German. If Hicox really wrote Pabst's biography, he would know that Pabst was Austrian.
When the British soldier Lt. Archie Hicox is introduced to his superiors, he is instructed to "stand at ease" which is still a formal position, but Hicox "stands easy", which allows him to relax arms and move the feet.
Hugo Stiglitz is shown slowly sharpening his knife. At the end of each stroke there is an ominous "shhhlick" sound as he twists the blade with a flick. This would actually remove the edge he is attempting to sharpen, and dull the blade.
When Lt. Raine is speaking to his general over the radio, the general ends the transmission by saying, "Over and out." This is incorrect radio protocol in the U.S. military. The proper procedure is for the person ending the transmission to simply say, "Out."
When Eric (the bartender) hands a glass to Bridget, he calls her "Frau" instead of "Fräulein." "Frau" implies she is married and/or elderly, which Bridget isn't.
During Adolf Hitler's first appearance we see a map of Europe and where Turkey is supposed to be, reads "Osmanien" (written in Fraktur, making the "s" look like a "t"). The Ottoman Empire collapsed in 1923 and Turkey was established in that region, approximately 20 years before when this movie is supposed to be taking place.
Fenech salutes with no head dress on, which is incorrect British military custom. The same is true for the German soldiers in the bar.
When Landa arrives at Lapadite's farm, one of his subordinates refers to him as "Herr Oberst". As an SS officer, Landa would not be addressed using an Army rank. His correct title would be "Standartenführer".
When Lt. Hicox says "And seeing as I might be rapping on the door momentarily", he uses "momentarily" in the sense of "in a moment". In the British English of the time, "momentarily" would have exclusively meant "for a moment", so he would not have used that word.
When Lt. Raine introduces himself, he claims he took part in the invasion of Sicily. However, the map shown behind Adolf Hitler shows an incorrect representation of Axis forces/control for the time (showing North Africa and Sicily as still under Axis control).
Landa says to Lapadite that Hitler fetched him from Austria. But Austria was a part of the German Reich at the time and was called "Ostmark".
Lt Aldo Raine is wearing the 1st Special Service Force unit insignia, yet later he is referred to as a "Secret Service" officer. Raine could be called a "Special Service" or a "Strategic Service" (OSS) officer, but not "Secret Service", which is the organization founded in 1865 and responsible for guarding the US President since 1894.
In the opening credits for the film within the film Stolz der Nation, the name Joseph Goebbels is misspelled "Goebbles".
When the Lieutenant meets the General and Sir Winston Churchill, the strings are hanging out of his beret which is the French style, not the American or British style (unless the Director was trying to show the character's lack of military bearing.)
In the tavern, Lt Hicox is wearing the rank insignia of Obersturmfuhrer but Gestapo officer 'Major Hellstrom' repeatedly addresses him as 'hauptsturmfuhrer'.
Lt. Aldo Raine says he is from the Smoky Mountains, and later from Maynardville, Tennessee. Maynardville is not actually in the Smoky Mountains, but in one of the East Tennessee valleys between the mountains (some distance north of the Smoky Mountains).

Continuity 

In the final scene, Landa is handcuffed by Utivich, but when he is being "marked" by Raine, his hands are free and gripping the soil.
After Mathilda has taken Bridget's place to join the quiz game with the soldiers, bartender Eric leaves the counter and walks over to assist her. He is shown standing left behind her. Then the camera cuts to the officers' table. In the background Eric is shown standing behind the counter again.
When Hans Landa is talking to Shoshanna after ordering strudel for her he offers her a cigarette and lights one for himself. His cigarette doesn't appear to be lit when he removes his lighter but in the next shot there is half an inch of ash on it.
When Lt Raine is speaking to the Basterds and says "We're into one thing", he is standing at the right side (Samm Levine's) of the formation. An instant later, when he says "Killin' Nazis", he is at the other end.
The level of beer in the glass, shaped like a boot, of the Nazi-officer in the basement pub, changes between shots.
When Shosanna is on the ladder for the second time, before the Germans come to take her, she is cleaning black letters. She cleans 2 different letters, one of them a 'u', another one, and the 'l' remains uncleaned. The next shot you can see only the 'l' has been cleaned.
In the café scene in which Landa sits across from Raine and Utivich, one of the black studs on Raine's tuxedo shirt is missing but appears in the next shot.
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When Colonel Landa approaches Bridget Von Hammersmark at the premiere the camera shows her with her hands on her hips as she says, "Colonel Landa, it's been years. Dashing as ever I see". In the very next shot she and Landa are holding hands when they kiss on the cheek.
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As the conversational confrontation between Hicox and Hellstrom gets more and more heated in the basement tavern, there is a scene where Hicox's right hand is in an arched position on the table, but the next scene it's flat and not visible. This happens a couple of times.
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The Brigitte Horney card on Archie Hilcox's forehead changes direction in between takes.
When Shosanna first meets Zoller, she is taking the red letters of the board at the cinema and throwing them down to a canvas sheet on the ground. The letters move around on the canvas throughout the scene when the camera angles shows Zoller from above.
In the ditch scene, while Lt. Aldo Raine questions the first of his three German prisoners Sgt. Werner Rachtmann, the latter's Close Combat clasp (worn over his left breast pocket) appears and disappears between scenes.
In the bar, when Dieter Hellstrom has successfully found out that King Kong was on his playing card, he takes the card off and puts it on the table. In the next shot, filming Cpl. Wicki over the shoulder of Hellstrom, the playing card is still on the forehead of Hellstrom.
Near the beginning of the film, when Hans Landa is talking to Perrier LaPadite, there is a moth that visibly lands on Landa's glass and climbs to the top of it. When the camera angle changes, the moth is gone.
La Padite starts his pipe and it should produce a decent billow of smoke to some of the air, but he soon puts it down and there is no trace of smoke anywhere in the small farmhouse.
When Sgt. Donowitz (a.k.a. The Bear Jew) beats the captured Nazi to death under the bridge, we see blood on the ground near the corpse, but when it switches to an overhead shot, the blood has disappeared.
When Landa orders the strudels, the server first puts the milk on the table, at which point the espresso is on the server's plate. In the next shot, the espresso is on the table already.
In the first chapter, Col. Landa's peaked hat is missing the Silver Braid just above the brim. In later chapters, the braid is attached to the hat.
In the first scene, when Perrier's daughter is spreading a sheet over a clothesline, a clothespin appears on the sheet between shots.
The second time the server scoops up some of the cream, it falls off of the fork, but still ends up on Landa's dessert.
In the tavern scene, the German soldiers are playing the game and one of them gets Mata Hari wrong. In this scene the barkeeper and his daughter are clearly visible with them at their table, however when the film cuts back to Von Hammersmark's table they appear instantly at the bar behind them.

Errors in geography 

After the basement bar fight, Landa identifies one of the basterds as Cpl. Wicki, stating/implying that he was a German jew who emigrated to the US before the war. However, Wicki is neither a 'typical' jewish name, nor a German name but in fact a typical (and fairly common) name in Central Switzerland. If he was a Swiss Jew, Wicki would have most probably fled to Switzerland, but Landa doesn't mention anything in this direction concerning Wicki's family name and fate, which seems improbable since Wicki is a foreign sounding name to Germans and since Landa cares to show off his military intelligence.

Factual errors 

In the tavern scene there is a female Nazi sergeant. There were no female soldiers in the Third Reich, except of helpers for AA guns, medical orderlies, and aircraft mechanics in the Luftwaffe.
During the card game, Bridget's card reads "Genghis Khan". However, since the game was played entirely by Germans, they would have used the German spelling, "Dschingis Khan". (Also, when leaving the table, Bridget comments that she never would have guessed it and uses the English pronunciation, even though she's speaking German.)
At the premier, Pvt. Zoller is in his full dress uniform with all his decorations. He wears the Knight's Cross with oak leaves, swords, and cut diamonds around his neck and the Iron Cross 2nd class on his chest. However, conspicuously absent is the Iron Cross 1st class, which he certainly would've worn to the occasion (see where Adolf Hitler wears his), and which is necessary to receive the Knight's Cross. Without the 1st class award, he could not have received a Knight's Cross let alone with oak leaves, swords, and cut diamonds.
At the premiere, Pvt. Zoller wears his Knight's Cross around his neck but when in uniform in all other scenes, he is without it. The Knight's Cross was one of the highest orders the Third Reich bestowed upon soldiers and when in any uniform Zoller would have worn it around the neck.
Standartenfuhrer Landa is wearing the correct rank patches on his collar, but they are pointing in the wrong direction. The top of the oak-leaf should point away from the head. Change them over and they would be correct.
Standartenfuhrer Landa is wearing the correct rank patches on his collar, but in some scenes they are pointing in the wrong direction.
During the film Adolf Hitler is shown wearing his brown uniform with the red swastika armband. This is inaccurate because the film occurs during World War II and Adolf Hitler always wore his gray arm uniform from the start of the war, September 1, 1939, till the day he committed suicide, April 30, 1945.
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The Gestapo officer in the tavern is shown wearing a Black M1932 Allgemeine-SS uniform, which was made famous by the SS in the 1930s. A Gestapo agent would not have worn one, especially in 1944, as these SS Uniforms were no longer worn starting in 1939. He would have instead appeared either in civilian attire or in an SS-style gray field uniform similar to Landa's. Also his uniform has a SS Runes patch on the right collar. As a member of the Gestapo, he would be in the SD Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service of the SS). His right collar patch should be plain black and he should have an SD patch on the bottom left sleeve.

Miscellaneous 

During the whole movie the character of Diane Kruger is referred as "fräulein" in the subtitles that translate the German language into English. The correct grammar would be "Fräulein", the first letter being a capital. It is a noun like Herr or Frau (Mister or Mistress).

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Archie refers to Aldo as "lootenant." Normally, a British officer would pronounce it "leftenant" among fellow British officers. Out of professional courtesy, however, British officers typically use the American pronunciation when dealing with American officers.
At the beginning of the film Perrier's daughter is hanging sheets on the line to dry; however, the sheet she is securing to the line is already dry (it isn't wet). In those days, however, people hang their sheets to air them so they didn't have to wash them so often. So dry sheets would be hung.
Colonel Landa is seen in uniform and he is wearing a Nazi Party pin. The German military was specifically excluded from being party members.

Colonel Landa is an SS officer. Although members of the Wehrmacht were always expected to be apolitical the SS was the military arm of the Nazi Party, they were NOT members of the Wehrmacht.
Many of the subtitling "errors", such as "Merci" instead of "Thank You", are intentional, given that these phrases are interchangeable and can be understood without English translation.
Col. Hans Landa claims the Bubonic Plague was caused by rats. However, the plague was caused by fleas on the rats, not the rats themselves. In the 1940s it was believed that rats were the cause so it is correct for Landa's character to be mistaken.
The Scotch beverage is written as "whiskey". Scots write "whisky", but this is an American movie which uses American spellings.

Revealing mistakes 

Shosanna and Zoller are talking outside the theatre. It is supposed to be June in Paris and you can see them breathing like it is winter time.
Possibly intentional: The German sniper's name is Friedrich Zoller, and he is called that, but the movie posters spell his name in the Anglicized version as Frederick.

Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Anachronisms 

When Landa has Raine and Uitivich as prisoners, and is gesturing toward the telephone, the handset is connected to the phone with a perfectly coiled black cord that didn't exist until after 1960.

Anachronisms 

The highly-flammable cellulose nitrate film of the period plays a major role in the film's showdown. However, in the projection booth, projectors are shown with the film reels exposed, which would have been totally unthinkable at that time. All projectors were equipped with fireproof boxes in which the reels would run. These boxes had only small windows for the projectionist to check for the amount of run off or taken up film. If the film were to catch fire while running through the projector and spread up into the feed reel or down into the take-up reel, the reel boxes would contain the fire long enough for the fire-shutters on the booth windows to be closed and for the projectionists to leave the booth and commence evacuating the building.

Anachronisms 

When Shosanna is splicing her special film into the print of STOLZ DER NATION, a close-up shows that both prints have dual bilateral variable-area optical soundtracks. This type of soundtrack is still used today, but wasn't introduced until 1954. An optical soundtrack prepared in 1944 would more likely be of the variable-density or unilateral variable-area types.

Character error 

When Colonel Landa speaks with Lieutenant Raines and Private Utivich about chances being "999-point-999 out of one million" it appears he misspoke. However, when counting in Germany, a period is used where a comma would be used in the English world, and vice-versa. He did mean 999,999 out of one million but mistranslated.

Character error 

After the bar-basement fight, when Landa is identifying soldiers, he says that Wicki "immigrated to the United States" when he should have said that he "emigrated", as Landa was standing in the country from which Wicki left. If he has been in the US, the country to which Wicki emigrated, then he would have been correct in saying that Wicki "immigrated to the United States".

Continuity 

In the final scene where Col. Landa is surrendering to Lt. Raine, Lt. Raine's tie is untied and hanging off both shoulders. In one shot, the right half of the tie moves behind him, then returns in front in the next shot.

Continuity 

When Shosanna takes the specially prepared fourth reel (with her 'surprise' for the Nazis) out of the case, her hair is down and hanging loose. In the next shot, just a few seconds later, as she is putting the reel on the projector, her hair is pinned back. Some time after this, when the bell on her projector tinkles to let her know it's time to switch reels, she glances out the projector porthole at the audience and we see her hair is again down and hanging loose. As she pulls the lever to activate the reel, just a few seconds after this, her hair is once again pinned back, remaining this way throughout her final scene.
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Continuity 

In the basement bar scene, Stiglitz's hand is under the SS officer's arm. When he shoots, his arm is over the officer's arm.

Continuity 

After the shootout in the La Louisiane tavern, Bridget von Hammersmark's silver earrings completely disappear only to later reappear in the scene at the veterinary hospital shortly thereafter.
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Continuity 

In the tavern scene, when Bridget von Hammersmark is shot she falls backwards in her chair to the floor; but a moment later, when we see the room after the shoot out, her chair is still upright at the table.
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Crew or equipment visible 

Reflection of camera and operator is visible on the short wave radio mike that Landa's holding when speaking to the American general.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Any mistake relating to actual facts of the Second World War can be thrown out with one explanation: This is Quentin Tarantino's universe, whose history diverged from ours in the early 1940s, and where Adolf Hitler was gunned down in a burning theater. Troop movements, uniforms, and technological developments occurred differently in the Tarantinoverse. Actor Christoph Waltz has stated that the film is "a piece of art. Not a history lesson."

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The following continuity errors are considered to be intentional stylistic homages to the bad editing in the "spaghetti western" genre:
  • At the beginning of the film, the timing it takes for Hans Landa and his men on the motor vehicle to arrive at the dairy farm is completely inconsistent. When the camera shows them approaching the farm in the background, they pass the same tree next to the road three times.
  • In the first chapter, when Col. Landa was talking to Perrier, the glass of milk he was drinking repeatedly moved positions back and forth, and the level of milk in the glasses changes.
  • In chapter one, when Colonel Landa is sitting at the kitchen table with Perrier LaPadite, the shadow changes shape and "density" and sometimes disappears completely during different shots from the same camera angle. When Colonel Landa starts writing on the piece of paper, the shadow nearly covers half the table and is very dark, but then when we see the same camera angle a few seconds later, there's no shadow on the table. It then reappears again but of different length in another shot from the same angle about a minute later.
  • When Hugo Stiglitz is introduced, we see a newspaper. There are initially 2 rows of 6 officers pictured on the front page, but when the paper's shown in close-up there are 7 officers' pictures in one row.
  • In the basement scene, when Eric, the bartender reaches for his gun, in the background, you see Hicox and Stiglitz with their guns aimed at Hellstrom. At that point in the scene, however, Hicox hasn't yet revealed that he's been aiming his gun at him, nor has Stiglitz made his move to Hellstrom's crotch.
  • When Shosanna takes the specially prepared fourth reel (with her 'surprise' for the Nazis) out of the case, her hair is down and hanging loose. In the next shot, just a few seconds later, as she is putting the reel on the projector, her hair is pinned back. Some time after this, when the bell on her projector tinkles to let her know it's time to switch reels, she glances out the projector porthole at the audience and we see her hair is again down and hanging loose. As she pulls the lever to activate the reel, just a few seconds after this, her hair is once again pinned back, remaining this way throughout her final scene.
  • After Donny and Omar kill Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels in the Opera box, as they begin to fire randomly into the panicking crowd, Donny's white shirt is clean and spotless. Each successive view of him as he continues firing into the crowd, shows his shirt becoming more and more blood-spattered even though the crowd he is firing into, is more than ten feet below him on the floor of the auditorium. The only people close enough to spatter his shirt with blood were Hitler, Goebbels and the woman companion, who they'd already killed before any blood is shown on Donny's shirt.
  • When Lt. Aldo Raine is speaking to Col. Hans Landa in the forest, his open bow tie on his right disappears and reappears under his jacket.
  • In the last scene Aldo shoots Herrman. In the shot where he shoots Herrman it is seen that he falls facing away from Aldo, i.e. is the farthest away from Aldo. But later when Uitivich is scalping Herrman we see that Herrman's head is facing Aldo. This can be proved because Uitivich even looks up in Aldo's direction.
  • In the last scene where Aldo is carving a swastika in Landa's forehead Aldo is carving the bottom of the Swastika to the left which is incorrect. In the next scene that mark is gone and he's correctly carving it to the right.
  • When Aldo is carving the swastika onto Landa, it shows Landa's hands beside him gripping the grass in pain. Yet Landa's hands had just been handcuffed behind his back.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

It is hard to believe that Landa who checks for the cinema's safety does not discover the enormous pile of highly flammable cellulose nitrate film behind the screen. However, Landa is shown at the end of the movie to only be looking out for his own interests. It is likely that he saw the film, but chose not to report it so he could ensure that his attempt to gain amnesty would succeed.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Landa clearly expresses his love of his nickname "Jew Hunter" in the opening chapter but shows utter disdain, contempt even for the epithet by the end, preferring "Detective" to "Hunter". However, three years have passed since the first chapter; Landa may have grown tired of his nickname in this time. Also, Landa is planning to betray his superiors in exchange for amnesty from the Americans. Now that the Allies are on the verge of victory, he fears punishment for his wartime actions and naturally wants to distance himself from his reputation as a hunter and killer of Jews.

Revealing mistakes 

Stiglitz's eyelid moves several times when Landa examines him, hours after he's been killed.

Revealing mistakes 

When Col. Hans Landa's men shoot through the floor boards in LaPadite's house, the resultant bullet holes in the boards are funnel shaped, being larger in diameter at the top and smaller diameter at the bottom. In reality, the opposite would be true. The point of entry would be just a clean round hole with no funnel shape carved in the boards as seen from above the floor boards.

Revealing mistakes 

In the final theater scene, when the moviegoers are fleeing the fire and the Basterds are firing from above into the crowd, a woman extra gets shot in the back several times and when she falls forward (dead or dying, presumably), she grabs on to her hat to make sure it doesn't fall off.

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