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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (6) | Character error (1) | Continuity (5) | Factual errors (5) | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (4) | Plot holes (3) | Spoilers (5)

Anachronisms 

At the climax, the characters escape by climbing the anchor's chain as it is being pulled up. Yet, during the age of sail, thick hemp cables covered in tar were used. Chains were too heavy and would rust easily and therefore snap because iron manufacturing was still too primitive, and were not used for hoisting anchors until after the Second Industrial Revolution (after 1850), when iron had been perfected and steam machinery was in use.
Carina Smyth's trial and conviction for witchcraft is not realistic of the time period. The last execution for witchcraft in England was in 1716, with the Witchcraft Act of 1738 completely abolishing the practice in 1736 all over the British Empire. The movie is set in 1755.
As Jack is mentioned the guillotine as a form of execution, he says it is French and mentions that they also invented the mayonnaise. While he is right, the guillotine was given its name and current appearance by Dr. Joseph Guillotin in 1789. While another version was already available in England at the time the movie is set (1750's), it was called the "maiden". As well, mayonnaise sauce, though previous versions were known, was not given that name until 1806.
There is no way that Carina Smyth would carry a pocket chronometer. Maritime chronometers were invented around 1761 though earlier attempts were made. But no chronometer could be carried in a hand. They were large instruments in a gimbal mount in a wooden box.
When Carina Smyth uses the telescope and the stewart says: "No woman has ever handled my herschel". Wilhelm Herschel would have been 17 years of age in 1755. Wilhelm Herschel is famous for a new type of reflector, called herschel telescope, but visible telescope is a refractor.
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Gunlocks, or flintlock firing mechanisms, are visible on the cannons of the British ship as an officer cocks them. These devices were rare since only could be adapted to new guns, and only became a standard issue in the British Navy around the 1800's, fifty years after the movie is set.

Character error 

Captain Salazar and his men are Spanish. Yet they sometimes speak among themselves in English.

Continuity 

In one scene where Carina is running away from the guards her iron shackles are still visible, when she is next seen in the clock makers shop her iron shackles are gone and then reappear in the next scene.
When the crew leave Jack after the safe escapade they walk along the beach in front of the docked ship where there is an island visible in the background yet when they release the ship into the sea later there is nothing but open blue ocean expanse surrounding them and no island.
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When the bank is being pulled through the town by the horse team there is a moment near the bridge where the horses are missing.
The distance between Henry and Corina changes considerably several times after she's slaps his face.
At the very beginning of the movie when young Henry Turner rows out to where the Flying Dutchman is underwater he loops a rope around his right ankle and tosses a bag of rocks over the side of the boat to sink himself. However after being turned away by his father Will Turner cuts the rope in half and the loop is now around the left ankle.

Factual errors 

The British commander demands a witch to interpret Carina's calculations on the prison cell wall. In reality, a naval commander of the XVIII century -or any educated person at the time, in fact- would have been quite familiarized with such drawings. Actually, Carina's abilities shouldn't have been surprising to anyone, less alone a sailor, as astronomy was a proven science and the British in particular very keen on its study. In fact. by the time the movie is set, the Greenwich Naval Observatory was over a century old. At the most, Carine would have been considered eccentric or a little odd, but never a witch.
The pulling ability of a team of large horses is nowhere near the force required to pull a building along dry ground.
Carina says she is named after "the brightest star of the North". This is wrong for several reasons. First, Carina is not a star, but a constellation. Secondly, it is a southern constellation, in fact it can't even be seen in most of the Northern hemisphere. Finally, the movie takes place in 1755, and Carina didn't exist until 1763, having been an integral part of the larger Argo Navis constellation.
The first scenes take place on the island of Saint Martin that appears to be under English rule. This is historically inaccurate for Saint Martin has been under Dutch and French rule since the mid 17th century. This movie is set in the mid 18th century.
When Jack is about to go to the guillotine, he mentions mayonnaise. However, in truth, Mayonnaise wouldn't be invented until the 19th century, by both the French and Spanish. Far from the 18th century settling.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Sharks do not have rib cages. When Captain Salazar releases the dead sharks to attack Jack and Henry their decaying condition allows you to see inside them. At least two of the shark are shown to have ribs. Sharks are cartilaginous fish which have no bones except for the upper and lower jaws. However, sharks do have skeletons, albeit, indeed, made from reinforced cartilage. While they don't have rib-cages per se, the branchial arches that support the gill structures are, visually, very similar to ribs, especially in large specimens. While this has been accentuated for dramatic purposes in the film, given its fantastic nature and the state of decay of the ghost animals, the final result isn't that far-fetched.
Some may think that Miss Elizabeth Swann should be introduced as Mrs. William Turner. She and Will were married by Captain Barbossa at the height of the sea battle with Davy Jones. In fact, Barbossa greets her as Mrs. Turner. However, it is a commonly mistaken belief that ships' captains may legally marry couples. They cannot, legally. It is obviously Barbossa's joke to call her "Mrs Turner."
As Carina's origin is discovered, Jack taunts Barbossa by saying "Smyth is not a common name". Actually, Smyth is just the XVIII century equivalent of Smith, the most popular surname in the English language. But Jack is obviously being sarcastic.
Jack still refers to Will as a eunuch. Of course Will is not a eunuch, if only because he managed to father a child. Jack referring to Will as eunuch is a recurring joke from the first movie, not to be taken seriously.
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Plot holes 

This film shows the compass being given to Jack by a captain he worked for in his youth as that captain is dying, previously Tia Dalma said he bartered the compass from her.
It is said that Salazar leaves one man alive to tell the tale, but during the first battle he kills the captain of the ship and only finds out there is Turner below the deck when he trips over a bucket. Which means Salazar didn't know anyone else were below deck yet he killed the Captain which according to Salazar should've been the last man.
Salazar tells Barbossa that he and his crew hunt and destroy only Pirate ships. Yet they also attack and destroy British naval ships as well.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

When Carina is being rescued from her execution by hanging, there is a pirate and a guard fighting near the lever to release the trapdoor. Carina could simply have walked away from the trapdoor and removed the risk of the lever being pulled in error as the noose was long enough to allow this.
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In the post-credits scene, when Davy Jones' claw rises up, it seems to be on his right arm due to Jones not being visible behind it. However, the claw has been on Jones' left arm; if that were the case in this scene, Jones would be visible behind his arm.

Continuity 

The bottle that the black pearl is in is a different bottle than the bottle it was in previously (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides).
When Jack is in the guillotine stocks, his dreads go from being caught in the stocks to hanging freely.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The destruction of the Trident at the end of the film broke all the curses of the sea, which meant that Will Turner is no longer bound to the Flying Dutchman. However, at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, his heart was cut out and put into the Dead Man's Chest. Therefore, when the curse broke, he should have dropped dead. The same applies to Salazar and his crew, as it shown they all died during the explosion of their ship. Evidently, the Trident doesn't merely break the curse, but also restores the cursed to their original form. This can also explain the appearance of Davy Jones, whose heart was not only cut out, but stabbed.

See also

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

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