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Cadillac Records (2008) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

In one of the "stock" black and white shots of 45's in a record store, one record to the right has the Star Wars Theme.
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Jump to: Anachronisms (16) | Continuity (1) | Factual errors (4) | Revealing mistakes (3)

Anachronisms 

Everyone at Chess Records drives a '57 Cadillac, in 1955.
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Chuck Berry is depicted as angrily pointing out the resemblance between the Beach Boys' "Surfin' U.S.A." and his own "Sweet Little Sixteen" at the time of his arrest for violating the Mann Act. Berry was in fact arrested on this charge in December 1959, and ultimately (after two trials and a failed appeal) sent to prison from February 1962 to October 1963. "Surfin' U.S.A." was released in March 1963, when Berry was still in prison.
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In the film, Leonard Chess opens Chess Studios in 1954 or 1955. It actually opened in 1957. Before that, Chess recorded exclusively at Universal Recording.
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Many scenes in 1952 in Chess's recording studio. Ampex 350 machines weren't introduced until 1956.
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The opening scenes, set in 1941-47, include many cars from 1953-56.
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Several guitars in the studio are much later models than would have been available at the time. A Gibson ES-335, introduced in 1958, is clearly visible in one scene set in 1955. A Gibson ES-175 in the same scene (and some set earlier) has humbucking pickups, which were introduced in 1957.
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In one of the "stock" black and white shots of 45's in a records store, part of the logo for the Electric Light Orchestra can be seen at the bottom right.
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In the film, Leonard Chess dies, then Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon go to Europe to perform in 1967. Leonard Chess died October 16, 1969.
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As Walter quits the band, the view behind Muddy's shoulder shows a door with an intercom panel of 1970s or 1980s vintage.
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Cigarettes didn't have filters in the 1940s and 1950s.
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Alan Freed introduces "Surfin' USA." The song came out in 1963, when Freed was out of the radio business.
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When Chuck Berry enters the picture in the mid 1950s, most of his songs that you hear are from 1964 ("No Particular Place", "Nadine", "Promised Land", etc).
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A 45 rpm record insert known as a 'spider' is shown as a part of the Chess Records sign hanging in front of the studio. The 'spider' was introduced in the 1960's, years after Chess Records opened in 1950.
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The 45 RPM record was not widely used during the time the film was set. Until the late 1950s, 78 RPM records were the state-of-the-art at home and on the radio. Studios were pressing mostly 78's when Chess Records started, but they don't appear anywhere in the film.
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The Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA" (1963) and the Rolling Stones' first visit to the USA (1964) appear before Elvis Presley's early performances and his entry into the army (1956-1958).
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Recording studio scene. In different shots, both 3 track and 4 track machines were shown. 3 track machines introduced about 1958, 4 track later.
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Continuity 

During the scene where Etta James is singing "I'd Rather Go Blind", she is seen with the microphone in her hand at the beginning of the second verse of the song. The camera then shows her from behind so Adrien Brody's character can be seen exiting the studio and the microphone can be seen clearly over her shoulder still on its stand. A second later the camera cuts to he face again and she is somehow still holding the microphone.
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Factual errors 

Little Walter died at his girlfriend's home, not at Muddy Waters' home, and not in the arms of Muddy's wife.
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Etta James is portrayed as never having recorded before she signed with Chess, but an earlier insert shot showing a Chess record moving up the charts includes her hit "Wallflower," recorded for Modern Records in 1955, five years before she started recording for Chess.
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Etta James and Rudolf Wanderone Jr. are shown meeting in the early 1960s. According to James' autobiography, the two did not meet until 1987.
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Every time a 45 rpm record is shown being played in the movie, it is actually rotating at 78 rpm.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Muddy Waters crosses the hands of dead Little Walter, Walter's thumb moves slightly.
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When Leonard Chess drives away from the studio for the last time, he looks into the rear-view mirror. The Chess sign, which should be reversed, is not.
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When the animated sequence shows "Maybelline" breaking into the pop charts and climbing up to number 5, the number 4 hit "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" is misspelled "Spendored".
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See also

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

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