Edit
The Great Debaters (2007) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (4) | Continuity (3) | Errors in geography (1) | Factual errors (3)

Anachronisms 

When Samantha is participating in her first debate at Oklahoma City, she mentions World War I in her argument. In 1935, this war would have been referred to as the "Great War", since a World War II had not yet occurred.
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the final debate against Harvard, James Farmer Jr. goes to the hot seat and clicks a ballpoint pen closed. The movie is set in 1935; the ballpoint pen was patented in 1938.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Prof. Tolson lectures his students about the origin of the word "lynching," he refers to the Willie Lynch Letter or Willie Lynch Speech, which are generally considered modern-day hoaxes. There is no historical or archival record of either before the 1990s, when they first appeared on the Internet. No 1930s professor could have cited them.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At the Harvard debate the radio coverage is announced as WNBC. Those call letters didn't come into use until 1946. In 1935 the flagship station of the National Broadcasting System was WEAF in New York City, which headed up its Red Network. NVC's other network was the Blue Network, headed by WJZ in NYC.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Continuity 

When Henry Lowe comes home drunk after viewing the lynching, he and James Farmer Jr struggle. The lamp constantly changes between upright and knocked over.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When James Farmer Jr. comes home after the late-night union meeting, he takes off his shoes. He ran through the woods, water, and mud to escape from the police, yet his pants are clean.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When James gets home after being selected for the debate team, he is holding his books with their spines towards his left arm. But when he sets them down to go speak with his father, the spines are towards his right.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Errors in geography 

Prairie View, Texas is nowhere near Waxahachie, Texas.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Factual errors 

The 1935 Wiley College debate team debated USC, not Harvard. In an interview, Denzel Washington said they used artistic license because Harvard has a better reputation.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In 1935, Marshall, Texas, was major rail center, not a one-track whistle stop.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
On the train, the combine is placed between the coach and the observation car, and the baggage car is in the back. At the time, large pieces of freight, like combines, were put at the front of the train, behind the baggage car.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

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

Contribute to This Page