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Movies Littered With The Most Ridiculous Mistakes

Movies run on fantasy. Sometimes its as explicit as that of The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, and sometimes it's subtler. The events of The Godfather really do spring from real life, but that doesn't mean audiences aren't getting lost in its world as readily as they are in Middle-Earth. The silver screen removes its devotees from their lives, subjecting them to the triumphs and tribulations of others. A good movie pulls this off with seeming effortlessness. A bad one ... well, a bad one doesn't.

Perhaps the most egregious examples of a movie's failure of fantasy can be found in their outright mistakes. Historical films featuring props from beyond their time, shots that reveal changes of scenery, facts that are simply, glaringly bungled — all of it removes an audience from the story. Just how mistake-ridden can a movie get? With the help of Movie Mistakes, We're here to find out. From major blockbusters to holiday classics, these movies were all littered with ridiculous mistakes.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl has quite a few blunders

The moment Johnny Depp, dread-locked and eyeliner-ed, stepped smoothly off the mast of his sinking ship and onto the dock of Port Royal, the world was changed. Pirate movies had been considered a dead genre for a long time. The Country Bears, another movie based off a Disney park ride, had flopped only a year earlier. But what once had been considered for direct-to-video release ended up as one of the highest-grossing films of 2003. Pirates were back in big, brash, box office-blowout fashion, and suddenly, a movie based on a Disney ride was making mad stacks.

But a revisit of the famous first film of the trilogy reveals a cavalcade of mistakes. Visible crew members and equipment litter the movie, like the man in a tan cowboy hat and a white t-shirt standing behind Jack Sparrow as he commands his crew to get "on deck, you scabrous dogs." Then there's director Gore Verbinski wielding a megaphone behind Elizabeth Swann on the deck of the Interceptor, and the imprints of very modern sneakers are visible in the foreground of a shot of a dusty workshop floor. Moreover, the movie's grasp of the 18th century is tenuous at best. Soldiers shoot multiple times with guns that were invented nearly a century later. Captain Norrington is promoted to commodore, despite the fact that "commodore" was a posting and not a rank. Pirates might've blown audiences away with its verve and humor, but it sure didn't win any awards for precision.

Twister isn't all that accurate when it comes to the weather

The archetypal disaster movie, Twister dazzled audiences with its up-close portrayal of nature's destructive streak and the people who chronicle it. Tornadoes don't just rip apart the landscape in Twister — they suck people into their murky vortices, grow more than a mile wide, and skewer bystanders with flying shards of metal. By the end of the movie, tornadoes seem less like acts of god and more like gods themselves. They're life-changingly powerful and impossible to understand, let alone control.

Natural disasters really do upend lives and landscapes, of course. But Twister played fast and loose with the actual science of tornadoes in order to ramp up the spectacle. It begins with the tornado that opens the movie being described as an "F5" according to the Fujita Scale ... which didn't exist in the year the scene is set. Later, when a burgeoning tornado is described by its Fujita ranking, Twister ignores the fact that the rating can't be determined until the tornado is gone. 

But the climax of the film takes the cake. Our heroes send a car hurtling into a tornado and book it through a cornfield like it's a meadow and not full of sturdy stalks that should've slowed them massively. The belts they use to lash themselves to pipes manage to keep them safe (and relatively unscathed) while the tornado passes directly over them. The storm, it seems, has a sense of drama. It sends some cows hurtling through the air, but it leaves the leads alone.

Grease is musical littered with mistakes

Nobody's hailing Grease as a rigorously realistic film. It ends with a car flying off into the sunset, after all, and passes off actors in their 30s as fresh-faced teenagers. But there's a difference between flights of fancy and a cast getting long in the tooth and, well, outright mistakes. And oh boy, does Grease have quite a lot of mistakes.

Look too close at any of the dance numbers, and you'll notice characters mysteriously changing places from shot to shot, like Frenchy, who somehow switches sides with Doody during "We Go Together." Focus on the props, and you'll notice things like Sandy's new student forms, the topmost of which is a blank sheet of paper. Peer at the scenery, and you'll catch the soda shop waitress who turns the light switch off with her elbow ... despite the fact that she swipes at a bare patch of wall below the very visible switch. 

No, Grease isn't beloved for being a ruthlessly honest portrayal of mid-century life, but the eagle-eyed viewer will realize that it's sloppier than even the frothiest teen flick really has a right to be.

The Phantom of the Opera has some obvious errors

Nothing is subtle in the world of The Phantom of the Opera. Beds are shaped like enormous swans. Candles number in the hundreds. Velvet is the fabric of choice. This isn't a movie interested in doing anything by halves.

Unfortunately, that happens to be the case with the film's missteps as well. Some are accidentally hilarious, as when Raoul is trapped in a chamber of water with a slowly lowering grating, and then bubbles suddenly float downwards — a dead giveaway that the film was reversed. Some are simply confusing, like Meg Giry's pants. When she enters the Phantom's lair, she wades through water, yet one shot later, she's completely bone-dry. But the most noticeable mistake of all has to do with the Phantom's deformity. 

No, we're not talking about the fact that the movie downgraded the horrifying malformation of the book and stage musical to something like a bad sunburn. We're talking about the fact that it changes over the course of its reveal. When Christine first rips the mask off, the disfigurement doesn't extend much beyond his jawline, only for CG to be added moments later, taking it to his ear, neck, and beyond. Moreover, while the Phantom's deformity is luridly pink when first seen, it's almost sallow when glimpsed later in his lair. For being the thing that doomed him to a life in the Parisian sewers, the Phantom's terrible face sure is subject to change.

The Dark Knight has some ridiculous continuity mistakes

In the age of the omnipresent superhero, The Dark Knight still stands as a high-water mark of the genre. When the film hit theaters back in 2008, Batman fans and newbies alike thrilled to the growl of Christian Bale's voice, Heath Ledger's grimy vision of chaos, and a Gotham City as sleek and modern as it was crippled by violence. It was exciting, honestly groundbreaking, and one of the most celebrated movies of the 2000s.

Yet there's no level of adulation that can keep audiences from noticing all the little continuity flubs that litter The Dark Knight. Props and actors have a habit of changing position between shots. For example, when the Joker is interrogated, his hands switch back and forth between gripping Batman's arms from above and below. Plus, the cracks in the wall of the interrogation room shrink and expand, from covering the surface to barely indenting it. And then, during the thrilling car chase, the Tumbler loses a tire when it drives across a concrete barrier, but then it's mysteriously reattached between shots. The movie is so packed with action that it's easy to miss these odd missteps, but return to the steely streets of Gotham City often enough and even the most ardent Bat-fan will be able to pick them out.

Gangs of New York features some pretty big historical inaccuracies

Directed by Martin Scorsese, the 2002 epic Gangs of New York chronicled the world of 19th-century Five Points, a New York City neighborhood as vibrant as it was deadly. Gangs vied for power, people fought and died, and the winds of change never stopped blowing, bringing immigrants, freed slaves, pickpockets, and all other manner of misfits and dreamers into the mix. Led by Leonardo DiCaprio and the ever-electrifying Daniel Day-Lewis, the film garnered positive reviews and ten Oscar nominations. Another Scorsese classic, another American fable.

Like any historical drama, however, Gangs of New York managed to foul up quite a lot of its details. Bill the Butcher might growl about who will do dirty deeds for a nickel, but he's missing the fact that he was living at least three years before the coining of the first nickel. A man is sent sprawling across a market floor, bringing the bananas that weren't yet traded in the US down with him. Flags featuring 50 stars drape a stage, roughly a century before the US would, in fact, have 50 states. This might have been a story about an era long past, but its mistakes were utterly modern.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban gets in trouble with time travel

The flexible nature of magic in the world of Harry Potter allowed filmmakers a large degree of freedom. Apparition allowed instant travel. Souls could be fractured, implanted, and linked. Everything from fire to bubbles could be produced by the magic wands every major character carried on their person. It was big, it was wild, and its possibilities were thoroughly explored.

Time travel, however, makes fools of even the most dedicated director. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban features it heavily, and the movie is accordingly pocked with mistakes and confusingly divergent shots, lines, and scenery. When Hermione punches Malfoy, for example, she's first seen turning away from him before she swings. Yet when Harry and Hermione watch her do it after going back in time, she faces him head-on from the very beginning and throws a markedly different punch. This is to say nothing of how confusing it is that, immediately after turning back time, Hermione claims it to be 7:30, despite the fact that a bell is audibly ringing out that it's, in fact, 7:00. 

Most frustratingly, when Hermione throws a stone through Hagrid's window, it's first seen sailing past a windowsill with a birdcage and wooden planter ... both of which are nowhere to be found when the moment is revisited. You might be able to fit time travel into the plot, but you can't guarantee that everything makes sense the second time around.

Titanic has mistakes of blockbuster proportions

Is there any movie that says "Hollywood" more than Titanic? From its legendary profits to the fact that, 20 years later, people are still making jokes about being "drawn like one of your French girls," it was as big, bold, and glitzy as the movie industry itself. It's impossible to imagine the world without Titanic, so huge was its impact. It wasn't just an icon of the 1990s, love stories, or any featured actor's career — it's just an icon, period.

Yet Titanic is as riddled with mistakes as any movie. Rose comments on Sigmund Freud's theories on "the male preoccupation with size," despite the fact that Freud wouldn't publish material on that subject until 1920. Jack runs to catch the ship while sporting a modern Swedish Army rucksack, commonly available in Army surplus stores today and very much unavailable in his own time. The "unsinkable" Margaret Brown, played to perfection by Kathy Bates, refers to herself as Molly, a nickname the actual woman never used until after the sinking of the Titanic. So it goes in the world of blockbuster films, where sweeping audiences away requires the work of thousands. As a result, sometimes you make a hit the likes of which the world has seldom seem, but you still probably get a few things wrong.

A Christmas Story is almost perfect ... almost

For many, the Christmas season isn't complete without a screening or two of the 1983 classic, A Christmas Story. Ralphie's pink bunny suit is childhood mortification personified, the leg lamp can be purchased from a variety of retailers, and even those who've never heard of comic strip hero Red Ryder could likely tell you of his famous BB gun.

But once one hits their hundredth screening of the holiday tale, it becomes hard not to notice its cut corners and misplaced scenery. The Parker home is so subject to teleporting objects that it might as well be in the world of Harry Potter. A Christmas bow appears and disappears from a lampshade over the course of the scene in which the dogs steal the turkey. The leg lamp, when first lifted from the box, has no light fixture on which to place a shade, then gains one when it comes time to light it. And then, a jar of pickles sits on the kitchen table before a scene in which Ralphie's mom comes up from the basement with the jar, placing it on the table. Time travel? Teleportation? Outright magic? Nope, just the nature of filmmaking, in which props get switched out, bows fall off, and no one can remember when a jar was retrieved from where.

Spider-Man 2 is a superhero film that plays fast and loose with science

Two other Spider-Men have inhabited the legendary blue and red suit since Tobey Maguire brought the webslinger to cinematic life, but Spider-Man 2 still stands as a joyous monument of superhero cinema. The action! The romance! The tragedy! And what a cast, bringing it all to life, styled to embody their comic counterparts with almost surreal perfection. Mad science drives a man insane, altruism brings a young man with astonishing powers to the brink of death, and a moral emerges from the chaos, as shining as the city Spider-Man protects: Doing good is the duty of all who are capable.

Something less shining, however, is what the movie gets wrong. Remember the scene when Otto Octavius' fusion experiment goes horribly awry? Octavius warns the onlookers that what they're about to see is dangerous and then arms himself with special goggles. Yet mere feet away, the onlookers are apparently totally okay without them. And how about tritium, the substance that's so rare that Octavius claims there are only 25 pounds of it on Earth? He's not entirely wrong, as tritium is, in fact, quite rarely found in nature. But it can be produced through man-made nuclear reactions of the sort a world-famous scientist like Octavius would doubtlessly have access to. So goes the ways of Hollywood super-science — ever-changing, always fantastic, and extraordinarily easy to screw up.

17 Again features Zac Efron ... and some pretty glaring mistakes

Zac Efron has gained critical acclaim from playing roles as complex and varied as infamous serial killers and 19th-century playwrights, but before them, he was one of the most well-known teen heartthrobs of the 2000s. The star of High School Musical — the TV movie that spawned a culture-consuming, tween-driven, megawatt franchise — he rocketed to teen idol status and stayed there through the 2010s. He is, of course, best known for occupying that perch as the singing, soulful Troy Bolton, but that was only one of his many swoon-worthy roles. Enter 17 Again, in which Efron plays Mike, a stagnating 37-year-old flung back into his suave 17-year-old body.

Did Efron shine in the lead? Absolutely. But for all his charm, he can't distract from the goofs that pop up throughout the movie's runtime. Mike's wedding ring switches hands from shot to shot. Close-ups of the crowd at Mike's 1989 basketball game reveal someone wearing a shirt featuring Paramore, a band of the 2000s. A fight between Mike and his daughter's aggressive boyfriend reveals the padded protective gear the former wears under his costume. Magic sent Mike into the past, but it sure wasn't around to protect his movie from mistakes.