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Mississippi Burning (1988) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (4)  | Boom mic visible (1)  | Character error (1)  | Continuity (7)  | Miscellaneous (1)  | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (1)  | Revealing mistakes (4)  | Spoilers (1)

Anachronisms 

When the agents visit deputy Pell's house in the evening, he is watching baseball on television. In 1964, only afternoon games were televised on Saturday.
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The street signs are green with white writing. In the 60's they would have been white with black writing.
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When Mrs. Pell is in her living room watching the television game show 'To Tell the Truth', it appears to be well after dark outside. From 1959 until 1966, this half-hour program aired on CBS at 7:30 PM ET/6:30PM CT. During the summertime in Mississippi (when the film is set), it would still have been broad daylight outside while this program was being telecast.
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At the end of the movie, when people are gathered around the tomb marked 1964 and the black woman is singing, one blonde child is wearing ceramic brackets. On the time depicted that type of orthodontic technology was not developed yet.
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Boom mic visible 

In the barbershop when Agent Anderson is beating up Deputy Pell, the boom mic is clearly visible.
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Character error 

In the first barber shop scene, agent Anderson (Gene Hackman) says he's from Thornton, Mississipi, "Just a spit" from Tennessee. Thornton MS is nearly 130 miles from Tennessee.
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Continuity 

While the mayor is being shaved in the barbershop, the barber removes all of the shaving cream except for his chin. In a subsequent shot there is shaving cream covering the front of his neck.
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While interrogating Lester in a moving car, the background scenery suddenly indicates that the car is going backwards. This is evident as Lester looks over his shoulder and out the rear window.
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When agents Anderson and Ward first arrive in town, the air in the street in front of the courthouse is full of dust clouds. However, when they park and leave their car, the air is clear.
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When Baines is trying to escape, Anderson blocks him at the doorway holding up a set of handcuffs with the thumb and forefinger of his left hand. In the next closer shot, he is dangling the handcuffs from his index finger.
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When Agents Ward and Anderson are fighting outside the hospital where Mrs. Pell is after being beaten by her husband, Ward pulls a gun on Anderson. We hear Ward cock his revolver. In a subsequent shot, while Ward still has his gun pointed at Anderson, we can see the hammer has not been pulled back as the sound effect would have indicated.
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During the opening chase, the flashing light on the roof of the police car disappears and reappears several times.
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When the Choctaw man leads the FBI agents through the swamp, the water level never goes much deeper than their knees. But his clothes are suddenly wet above his waist, most likely from multiple takes in different water levels.
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Miscellaneous 

At the burned-down church that Ward and Anderson visit, there's a tree standing within ten feet of it with no scorch marks on it.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The movie is set in "Jessup County", Mississippi. The events on which the film is based occurred in Neshoba County, but it is likely that the producers deliberately altered the setting to dispel perceptions that the film is a true documentary.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Anderson throws Pell into the chairs at the barbershop, the stuntman has a different hairstyle (balding, with a comb-over) than Pell.
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When the deputy is beating his wife in the living room and he throws her on the couch, you can see when he pulls her off the couch that he is beating a dummy.
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When Rupert and Ward are in the motel room and the shotgun blast occurs, the mirror on the wall cracks a split second before the window and blinds shatter.
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In one shot during the attempted lynching of Vertis Williams, the "noose" becomes detached on one side and flops from his neck while he is suspended in the air.
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Spoilers

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Revealing mistakes 

When Mayor Tilman's body is cut down after he hangs himself, you can briefly see ropes running down his back to a support around his waist.
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See also

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

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