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Revolutionary Road (2008) Poster

Goofs

Revealing mistakes 

The magazines in the Wheelers' living room, and Frank's Berlitz guidebook, are dog-eared and browned. They're probably from 1955, but they look like they're 50 or 60 years old.
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Jump to: Anachronisms (17) | Continuity (7) | Errors in geography (1) | Factual errors (1) | Revealing mistakes (1)

Anachronisms 

April smokes Marlboro Lights, which were introduced in 1977.
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The kitchen has a 3-prong electrical outlet. In the 1950s, American homes had 2-prong outlets.
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Near the beginning, when Frank and April are standing alongside their parked car on the side of the road, a 1958 Buick passes by.
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At lunch, a co-worker tells Frank he will be "sorely missed in the old cubicle." Cubicles were introduced in the mid-1960s by Herman Miller Inc., a manufacturer of office furniture.
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During the opening sequence, an establishing shot shows the Manhattan Bridge. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge is far in the background, even though it was completed in November 1964.
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When April explains that she can't pick up her children until that evening, the telephone handset has a modular phone jack, which was invented in the 1970s.
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The house on Revolutionary Road has a modern security light outside.
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The hallway of the school where April's play was performed, and clinic waiting room, have suspended ceilings that did not exist in 1955.
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When Frank goes to work, a 1956 Buick is parked on the street, in the foreground. The film is set in spring and early summer 1955, so the 1956 Buick wouldn't have been on sale yet.
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The guitarist at the roadhouse plays a Gibson ES-335, which was introduced in 1958.
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A "Fallout Shelter" sign, with its distinctive upside-down triangle, is clearly visible backstage at the high school theater. According to the Civil Defense Museum, that sign was introduced in 1961.
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April is seen peeling Yukon Gold potatoes. Yukon Gold potatoes did not exist until 1966, and were not available on the market until 1980.
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The parabolic-lensed fluorescent fixtures seen near the beginning of the film were not in use in the 1950s.
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When April walks out of the school after the play, the hallway ceiling is lined with smoke detectors that did not exist in 1955.
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The wall phone in the kitchen is a Western Electric 554, which was introduced in 1956. Its switch hook was chrome, not plastic.
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In one scene, a modern dryer vent is at the base of one house's foundation.
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The light switches are post 1970s.
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Continuity 

The morning after Frank and April decide to move to Paris, Frank leaves the house wearing a dark red tie. He wears the same tie in the office, when he tells the boys he's moving. Frank's tie is light yellow at lunch; in fact, everyone's tie is different. When he gets back to the office, his tie is red.
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After Frank leaves the hospital, he runs past the same 1955 Packard Constellation three times.
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After John Givings' tirade to April and Frank Wheeler, Frank angrily walks from the dinner table to the opposite corner of the room. In the next shot, he is standing in the corner diagonally across of the room, sipping his drink.
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When Frank eats lunch with Maureen, the olive and the amount of liquid in Maureen's martini glass fluctuate throughout the scene.
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After the Wheelers tell the Campbells they are moving, Milly reaches for a melon ball. In the next shot, she reaches for the same melon ball again.
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When Frank and Mr. Pollock are having lunch in the restaurant, the arrangement of the food on Mr. Pollock's plate changes in each shot.
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When April comes down the stairs at the end, she is wearing stockings. When she is standing looking out the window and she looks down at the blood, her feet are bare.
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Errors in geography 

When April shows Paris on the globe, the borders of the European countries are current. Most notably, the reunified Germany is visible, with the borders it did not have until 1990.
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Factual errors 

Grand Central Station has only allowed electric locomotives since long before the 1950s. The train Frank takes to work is pulled by an Alco RS-3 diesel locomotive, which does not have dual diesel/electric power capability.
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Revealing mistakes 

The masses of male commuters shown at the beginning all wear hats. In reality more than half of them would have been bareheaded. Ads by hat makers in the mid 1950s (see old Life magazine online, for example) were desperately pleading with men to go back to the custom of wearing a hat; I can also testify from personal memory that at that time in downtown Manhattan most men who worked in offices went about hatless. Had the scenes been set in winter, the men in overcoats etc, a few more head coverings would have been realistic. But not many. The mid-fifties, between the age of the hat and the age of the baseball cap, were the great age of bare-headedness. The depiction of Grand Central station packed with uniform masses of office workers was itself unrealistic. Even during rush hour, any snapshot of the crowd there would have included a more heterogeneous crowd of people, different ages, different occupations, male and female.
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See also

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

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