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Doubt (2008) Poster

(I) (2008)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (9)  | Boom mic visible (1)  | Character error (3)  | Continuity (8)  | Factual errors (3)  | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (2)  | Revealing mistakes (6)

Anachronisms 

Sister Aloysius Beauvier wants to hang a portrait of Pope Pius XII in the classroom. Sister James says that Pope died "last year" (1963). Pius XII died in 1958. Pope John XXIII died in 1963.
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As Sister Aloysius walks Mrs. Miller to work, they pass an outdoor basketball court with a 3-point line. The ABA introduced the 3-point line in 1971.
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The film is set in 1964. The "Ubi Caritas" sung by the choir during one of Fr. Flynn's sermons was written in 1979 by Jacques Berthier for the Taize community.
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When Fr. Flynn and Sister James are on the bench outside the school, Fr. Flynn opens his breviary. It's an English "Liturgy of the Hours," introduced in 1970, not the Latin "Breviarium Romanum" used in 1964.
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The film is set 1964, but a Wurlitzer electric piano model 200 (introduced in 1968) or 200A (introduced in 1975) appears in the dance class and the Christmas pageant rehearsal.
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When Sr. Aloysius and Mrs. Miller are walking through Parkchester, the apartment windows have air conditioners and awnings. In 1964, no Parkchester windows had air conditioners or awnings. Air conditioners weren't allowed in Parkchester windows until 1998.
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Father Flynn turns during the basketball scene in the gym, showing the backs of his Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars. They have a white heel tag with black writing. In 1964, they would've had a black heel tag with white writing.
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The Mass vestments are not the type worn in 1964.
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When Viola Davis walks away from Meryl Streep, cable TV amplifiers are clearly mounted on the outside building wall. In 1964, cable television service was only available in Manhattan. New York's outer boroughs got cable TV in 1986.
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Boom mic visible 

During the final conflict between Sister Aloysius and Father Flynn, the camera pans down and to the left, and the boom microphone appears briefly.
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Character error 

Sister Aloysius says the people of ancient Sparta resolved issues by who shouted the loudest. It was actually the ancient Athenians who did that.
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(at around 25 mins) During the Consecration, Miller, an altar boy, should've raised the bottom of the priest's chasuble while the other altar boy was ringing the bells.
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After Sister James asks the children to turn to page 683, the books on the children's desks are different pages. Students don't necessarily pay attention or turn to the right pages.
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Continuity 

When Sister Aloysius talks to Mrs. Miller, the nun's umbrella handle moves from her left to right hand several times. At one point, it hangs from the nun's arm.
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During the conference in the Principal's office, the door is left open. The amount of space between the door and the door jamb varies from shot to shot.
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When Father Flynn sits down on the bench outside next to Sister James, he shows her flowers in his book. He puts the yellow ribbon bookmark in between 2 pages. In the next camera shot, the bookmark is crossing one of the pages.
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As Father Flynn sits alone in Sister Aloysius' office after their final confrontation, he handles his breviary and arranges two pressed flowers on its cover. His notoriously long fingernails are suddenly short.
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(at around 1h 29 mins) When Sister Aloysius leaves Father Flynn in her office, the lighting, Flynn's facial expression, and the position of Flynn's coat change dramatically after she closes the door.
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Sister Aloysius picks up a ballpoint pen. Sister James says she doesn't let the children use them. Sister Aloyisus says "And yet, here one is." In the next shot, she walks and speaks a few feet away from where she was already standing, with her line of dialogue starting in the previous take, but her lips aren't moving.
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When Fr. Flynn and Sister James walk into Sister Aloysius's office, the lamp behind the principal's desk is on. Eight minutes later, the light is off, even though no one touched the lamp.
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The choir sings at the beginning of the movie. The film shows an outdoor scene, then an empty choir loft (while choir is still singing the same song), then the boys singing in the choir loft.
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Factual errors 

During Mass, a song is sung before and after the Homily (sermon). In a Catholic Mass, the Gospel reading is right before the Homily, and the Profession of Faith (Nicene Creed) is immediately afterward. The bit at the end of Gospel and right before the Creed may be sung or chanted, but they would not sing a hymn.
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(at around 3 mins) In the beginning, an altar boy "fires up" the thurible (incense burner) in the sacristy before Mass. Incense would only be used at a solemn High Mass, not the Low Mass shown.
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During the sermon, the burse (the rectangular object on top of the chalice veil on the altar) is incorrectly placed. At a Low Mass in 1964, the burse would have been removed from the chalice at the beginning, and placed to the left of the chalice, leaning upright.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Sister Aloyisius confronts a student about earphones in class. Stereo earbuds didn't exist in 1964, but the monaural version she confiscates did (they were also used in hearing aids).
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(at around 23 mins) In 1964 free throws were often, but not always, shot underhand.
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Revealing mistakes 

(at around 1h 35 mins) In the final scene, Sister James walks up to the seated Sister Aloysius. When the camera zooms out at the very end, there are no footprints in the snow on the sidewalk. The snow was added in post-production.
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In the movie, the street signs have black letters on a white background, without cross-streets. In 1964, NYC street signs had white letters on blue enamel backgrounds, with the cross-streets printed in smaller letters above.
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The classroom door opens inward. Ever since the 1908 Collinwood school fire in Cleveland, laws have required classroom doors to open outward. It was initially believed that the panicking children pushed against the doors, which prevented escape from the fire and resulted in 172 deaths. However, later investigations proved that the doors did in fact open outward. The school was rebuilt and renamed Memorial school. It's surrounded by gardens in memory of the children who died there.
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A boy is caught listening to a World Series Game. The leaves had fallen off the trees, which generally doesn't happen until mid-to-late November. The 1964 World Series took place in early October.
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(at around 18 mins) William is sent home for having a bloody nose. He walks through an intersection with crosswalk indicators. The traffic signal changes from red to green, but the crosswalk indicators don't change.
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When Sister James talks to Donald after he visits the rectory, the young actor is not Joseph Foster. Neither actor's face is visible, but the student's hand is white. Donald is the schools' only black student.
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Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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