"Fat Bottomed Girls" is being performed on an American tour set prior to 1975. This song was not released until 1978, on the Jazz album, well after the release/recording of (the song) "Bohemian Rhapsody."
The movie shows a Rio gig in 77. In fact, Queen played for the first time in Brazil at Morumbi Stadium, São Paulo, on 20th and 21st March 1981. The audio played in the movie scene is from that concert. Later, Queen played in Rock in Rio 85. Queen never toured South America until the 80s.
When Freddie Mercury is working as baggage handler at Heathrow Airport, a TWA Boeing 747 can be seen clearly with the famous two stripe logo. However the scene took place in 1970 and TWA two stripe logo was not introduced until 1975, which is five years after the scene took place.
Freddie is shown phoning Mary in the 1970s using a "touch tone" DTMF phone (known as MF4 in the UK). DTMF capable exchanges were not installed in the UK until the late 1980s, certainly after "Live Aid" happened. Freddie would have had to enter the number on a rotary dial, or on a Loop Disconnect capable push button phone, such as a "Trimphone".
When showing the gold and silver discs in the EMI office, when the camera pans over a copy of News Of The World it clearly shows the Virgin Records logo on it making it a recent re-issue rather than an original EMI issue.
The film depicts Freddie Mercury meeting Jim Hutton (his future partner) when Hutton worked as a cater-waiter at his house in 1980. But according to Hutton himself, he and Freddie Mercury met in a London nightclub a couple of years after this.
The shot of Munich's skyline introducing Freddie's time there in 1984 clearly shows the Central Tower rising behind the iconic twin domes of the Dom Cathedral. The Central Tower wasn't part of Munich's skyline until it was built in 2002, sixteen years later.
When the band are discussing a possible release of Bohemian Rhapsody as a single, one of them points at a gold disc for Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album. The disc shown has a logo of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), thus making it a gold disc for sales in the US. However, during the 1970s, Pink Floyd's American releases were issued by Columbia Records. Even if it had been a gold disc for UK sales it wouldn't have been the correct one, as Dark Side of the Moon was issued on the Harvest label, a subsidiary of EMI Records at the time.
When John Deacon plays the bass line for "Another One Bites the Dust" for the first time, he is seen playing a music man StingRay bass. Deacon did really play this model at the time, but the film shows a StingRay bass with a trussrod-adjustment wheel at the heel of the neck, which was introduced in 1990, ten years after the scene was supposed to be shot.
John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) is shown playing bass at the first Queen concert in 1970, but in reality he was the fourth bassist they tried and he didn't enter the picture until 1971. He is shown playing "Keep Yourself Alive" at the first show, which was indeed an early original tune in their repertoire.
After Bohemian Rhapsody is recorded, the film shows one of the first live performances of the show with text listed as Edinburgh 1976. There are two dominant errors within this scene. The first error is the overall setting of the performance since the band are depicted in the era when New Of The World from '1977' was released which is confirmed by the outfits matching that specific era. The second error is Edinburgh 1976 was a real concert during the Summer Gigs Tour from 1976 a few months after the A Night At The Opera tour had finished in Australia and a full year before the News Of The World ever occurred.
When Freddie is recording material for his solo album there is a shot of a handful of musicians standing in a recording both. One of them is wielding a keytar (a keyboard that is worn around the neck like a guitar). This particular model, from the Roland AX series, was not in production until the early 1990s.
When Freddie is looking through the telephone directory for Jim Hutton, the text is incorrect for the London directories of the times; furthermore, when Freddie looked down the long list of "Jim Hutton" entries, these would almost certainly be under the full name "James Hutton" .
When Freddie is looking through the London phone book for Jim Hutton's number, it lists phone numbers as starting '01 7946 xxxx', however, back in the 70s/80s, the format would've been 01 xxx xxxx (before the London number change from 01 became 071/081 and then 0171/0181 before finally becoming 020 7/8).
When the band are in the studio for the first time making their first recording, several gold and platinum discs can be seen hanging on the wall. All discs have the EMI label. However, this label wasn't introduced until early 1973, while these recordings took place during (or even before) 1972.
In the rehearsal space scene for "Another one bites the dust", you can clearly see the drum kit sitting on top of a drum-riser made out of aluminium Litedeck. The scene was set 10 years before litedeck was available. Back then it would have been much much heavier steeldeck.
In one scene, an ill Freddie coughs into his right elbow while walking. This "vampire cough" (and similar "vampire sneeze" or "Dracula sneeze") technique of covering your mouth with your elbow did not come into common knowledge and use until the early 2000s, when it was publicized by the Centers for Disease Control and Britain's National Health Service during the Influenza A (H1N1) flu outbreak as a means of shielding others from germ transmission while keeping your hands clean.
At one point we see a New Routemaster, originally referred to as the New Bus for London, driving over Hammersmith Bridge. These buses were introduced from 2011. They are also known as the Boris Bus or Borismaster after the then Mayor of London.
Freddie's Rolls Royce has a P registration suffix but uses black and silver registration plates. This would have been illegal in period as reflective plates became compulsory on new cars from P onward.
At 31:08 Freddie switches on the Garrard 401 turntable in the office of Ray Foster and "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" from Bizet's "Carmen" begins to play. At 31:50 he turns a knob on the turntable anticlockwise and the sound diminishes in volume. Trouble is, that centre knob on the Garrard 401 is the fine speed control, so the sound would have slowed and dropped in pitch but remained at essentially the same volume.
While Freddie plays Bohemian Rhapsody at Live Aid, on the first chord he plays the G key octave (G is a white key) with his left hand. However, on that part the song is in B flat chord (B flat is a black key).
In Beach's office, Freddie makes a remark about "Not bad for four aging queens," and seemingly reaches over to smack Brian's foot or leg, in jest. You can hear the impact, but Brian's actually sitting too far away for Freddie's hand to have reached him.
When Mary is driven away from Freddie's Munich house, the car is a Mercedes Benz (W-123) 240D or 300D, very common at the time. The engine sound is distinctly that of a Spark Ignition Gasoline motor, rather than the Compression Ignition Diesel motor used by almost all Taxis at that time.
When Freddie reconciles with the rest of Queen prior to Live Aid in 1985, John Deacon states that from that point on, all future songwriting credits will go to the band collectively instead of just one member. In reality, the band's 1986 album A Kind of Magic still had individual songwriting credits and it was only in 1989's The Miracle and 1991's Innuendo that all songs were credited to the band as a whole.
At one point in the 80s it's stated that the members of Queen "haven't recorded together in years." This isn't true. In the years the film covers, the band put out two albums in 80, one in 82, and one in 84. They wouldn't have been apart more than a year or so at any given time.
When changing the wheel on the van, one of the band offers the suggestion that the bolt needs to be removed "Counter Clockwise". This is an Americanism and is never said by native English speakers, which the whole band would be, where the correct term would be "Anti-Clockwise" or even "Widdershins".
During the Live Aid concert, the Front-Of-House engineer is wearing headphones that cover both of his ears. As his sole duty is to make the concert sound good for the audience attending the event, there is no way he could do this with covered ears. He should either have had a headset that covers only one of his ears, but majority of sound engineers have both their ears free.
Freddie Mercury had quite a hairy chest. This was not consistently duplicated in the film, most glaringly showing Freddie with little to no chest hair. The only times it appears authentic is when Freddie is wearing a "wife beater" undershirt.
Roger's hairstyle at Live Aid was very different from what was portrayed in the film. In reality, his hairstyle was a bit more "late 80s"; shorter, more blow-waved. In the film, presumably, because it was among the first scenes shot, the actor's hair was significantly longer. This is easily seen by looking at any number of the videos on YouTube comparing the original performance and the movie's depiction of it.
During the Live Aid scenes, there are some close-ups of Mary, Jim and David watching the performance from behind Freddie's piano. However when Freddie is dancing on stage, there are some long shots in which they don't appear at all.
They were documenting the 1975 tour and album then it said 5 years later being 1980 and the first scene of the recording studio is when Brian May came up with we will rock you - which was recorded in 76 and released in 77 -
When Freddie goes on stage at Live Aid the second time at the end of the film, the people coming down the stairs and all around him are different to the beginning of the film. He also moves differently, jumping more shallow in the second clip. However, these clips are meant to be the identical few seconds of him going onstage and should not be different at all.
Roger gets angry with John and Brian at breakfast. He goes to grab the coffee maker, at which point the counter is covered in plates, food, etc. But when he turns back ready to smash the coffee maker, the counter is clear.
Freddie is shown approaching the Live Aid stage from upstage right, behind the piano, in the two non-identical scenes at the very start of the film and prior to the Live Aid sequence. However, the long shot shows him entering from stage left and crossing to the piano.
In the phone conversation between Prenter and Beach about Live Aid, Prenter is sitting beneath a staircase on a red phone except for one shot, where he is in the control room on an off-white phone (immediately before Beach says, "Sure you will").
Several times in the film characters reinforce their point by ending the sentence 'period!'. That's an Americanism. In Britain a period is a full stop so people say 'I'm not doing it, full stop'. Also, someone refers to a drink as a beverage! Another Americanism that doesn't exist in England.
The Queen tour bus in shown driving down the road on the band's first American tour. The scene has MIDWEST USA across the screen but a road sign can be clearly seen identifying the road as a state route in Georgia. Georgia is in the Southeastern USA and not in the Midwest.
The film indicates that the band's manager Jim Beach was trying to get them onto the list of acts to play the Wembley Live Aid concert. In reality, Bob Geldof had held a press conference in early 1985 to announce the concert and named Queen as one of the acts who had agreed to play. Geldof had not spoken to any of the acts beforehand so this was the first any of them had heard about it. However as nobody wanted to look like the party pooper and back out, almost all the acts Geldof name-checked played at the concert, including the band Dire Straits (who had sold out a concert at nearby Wembley Arena on the night of the Live Aid concert so had to play two gigs in one day).
The film makes it appear that the band left their label, EMI Records, in the mid 70s because the company's chief exec wouldn't release Bohemian Rhapsody as a single. In actual fact, Queen stayed with EMI throughout their career and for over 20 years after Freddie Mercury's death.
In reality, Freddie Mercury was not the only Queen member to record a solo project. Before Mercury's 1984 Mr. Bad Guy album, drummer Roger Taylor recorded his first solo album Fun in Space in 1981 and Brian May collaborated with several musicians to release the Star Fleet Project EP in 1983.
The movie implies that Jim Hutton and Mary Austin were friendly, after Freddie introduced them. Whatever their relationship was during Freddie's lifetime, it deteriorated drastically. Freddie and Jim lived at 1 Logan Place, Kensington. However Freddie did not leave the house to Jim, he left it to Mary, and upon Freddie's death Mary booted Jim out of the house and denied him access to Freddie's ashes. This has been confirmed in interviews with Brian May, Roger Taylor, and Freddie's sister Kashmira.
The film makes Freddie Mercury seem like he came from nowhere when he joined Smile, like it was a secret he could sing. But he had been in bands since high school. In 1969 he joined the Liverpool-based band Ibex, later renamed Wreckage. When this band failed to take off, he joined a second band called Sour Milk Sea. However, by early 1970 this group had broken up as well.
The film depicts Mercury's going solo as breaking up the band and shows his time in Munich as if he were isolated from the others. In fact, all band members were working on solo projects between 1982 and 1985, even as the band recorded and toured together. Roger Taylor was recording his album "Strange Frontier" at the same Munich studio and at the same time Mercury was working on "Mr. Bad Guy." Mercury (as well as May and Deacon) even played on Taylor's album.
When they mention that Queen played for "the largest ever paying audience", they make it look like this happened at "Rock in Rio". It did not. Rock in Rio was in 1985 and even though it was big, Queen performed with 30 other bands. In the 1981 South America tour, yes they became the single band that played for the largest ever paying audience. 5 shows in Argentina and 2 in Brazil. Over half a million people paid to see them.
When showing the band doing studio backing vocals, the microphone in the movie is an EV RE20, which is not only the incorrect model/type (and is quite different visually from the Neumann U87 shown in all the band's photos, which is smooth-sided bright metal, as opposed dark with vents) it is also set up entirely incorrectly, being an end addressed mic, yet is shown in a side-addressed configuration: with its pickup pattern meaning it would be recording the ceiling.
The cameraman on the left side of the Live Aid stage grabs the focus ring from below like a photographer when shouldering the camera. A TV-cameraman would never do this - in fact the BBC-cameraman on the footage of the real concert grabs it from the side.
Freddie often wears very reflective sunglasses in the film and many shots have used VFX to remove equipment or crew. However, at one point in the film Freddie places them down on a glass table and the reflection Freddie sees of himself in the lenses is the same way up in the mirroring from the glass table where it should be inverted.
In those scenes where they record the album one of the spinning tapes displays logo of "Emtec". But at the time they were actually produced by BASF. BASF sold their magnetic tapes business incl. the logo to "Emtec Magnetics" in 1997.
At the beginning of the film, when Freddy Mercury goes to the stage and arrives at it, you can see the band that just ended up going down a ramp. In the concert Live Aid, the group that acted before Queen was Dire Straits, none of whose members were dressed or even resemble those seen in the film.
Kash, Freddie's sister, is shown at home with their parents in 1985. While it is possible she was there for a visit, if Freddie's visit was spontaneous, it's not likely she would have been there. She got married in 1972 and would likely have been at home with her own family.
The tail number of the 747 Freddie is unloading is N88892, which is a fictitious registration number used by Hollywood. Also known for the 747 in Casino Royale, the aircraft in Dustin Hoffman's "Hero" and several other movies. This registration number was issued by the FAA to the film industry for filming purposes.
Just before the Live Aid performance the Queen song 'Who Wants to Live Forever' is heard being played. That particular song was part of the 'A Kind of Magic' album which Queen recorded after Live Aid. The classic misconception: The song is nowhere part of the plot, but solely serves for decorative purposes. Actually, the character doesn't listen to it, only the audience does.
Seems to be a small visual effect error in the aerial shot presenting the concert at Wembley. There's a red hair or blond man from the Live Aid staff who is walking close to the stage from right to left. At some point there's a two, maybe three frames flicker down that makes him almost disappear.
The goof items below may give away important plot points.
Freddie is shown to have gone to a clinic and been diagnosed with AIDS weeks before Live Aid in 1985, giving him extra incentive to do the performance. In truth, he was never officially diagnosed until 1987.
Before playing on Live Aid, Roger says it's been years since the last time the band played together. In fact, the last concert of Queen before Live Aid (13 July 1985) was on 15 May 1985, at the end of The Works Tour, less than two months prior to the charity concert.