The 29 worst mistakes in famous movies, from The Wizard of Oz to Harry Potter

From a mix-up over breakfast in ‘Pretty Woman’ to a modern car in the background of a battle scene in ‘Braveheart’, Charlotte Cripps picks some of the most famous film mistakes ever made

Tuesday 07 May 2024 12:10 BST
Mark Ruffalo in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, Elijah Wood in ‘Lord of the Rings’ and Kate Winslet in ‘Titanic'
Mark Ruffalo in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, Elijah Wood in ‘Lord of the Rings’ and Kate Winslet in ‘Titanic' (Marvel Studios/New Line Cinema/Paramount)

Amid the praise for Quentin Tarantino’s film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, one eagle-eyed celebrity viewer spotted a glaring historical inaccuracy in the blockbuster flick.

The moment occurs towards the end of the film, when Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Rick Dalton is reported to have arrived back in Hollywood from Europe on a Boeing 747. But it was John Travolta, who is a plane enthusiast and trained pilot, who said that this would have been impossible given the film is set in 1969.

“Well, the 747 had its test flight in February 1969, but it went into service in January 1970. They’re nine months off! He would have been on a Boeing 707!” he said.

We can forgive Tarantino for that. But it’s hard to believe that some slip-ups – whether it’s Judy Garland without her ruby red shoes in The Wizard of Oz or Julia Roberts eating a croissant that gets swapped for a pancake in Pretty Woman – actually made it through the editing process.

According to the website Movie Mistakes, Captain Marvelstarring Brie Larson – features no less than 60 errors over its two-hour duration.

Is there a film where somebody hasn’t screwed up?

Here, we list 29 mistakes in films that you might not have caught.

Batman (1989)

Batman 1989: 'Gentleman Let's Broaden Our Minds, Lawrence!'
Batman 1989: 'Gentleman Let's Broaden Our Minds, Lawrence!'

The Tim Burton-directed superhero film has multiple mistakes, but a major one happens when Joker and his crew deface paintings at a museum. One of his gang members slaps a painting with his hands that are covered in red paint, but in the next shot, the handprints have disappeared from the artwork.

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in ‘Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood'
Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in ‘Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood' (Sony)

Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, flies back to Hollywood on a Boeing 747. But it would have been a 707. The film was set in 1969 and the 747 went into service in January 1970.

The Graduate (1967)

(Embassy Pictures)

Dustin Hoffman’s character drives in the wrong direction across the Bay Bridge in San Francisco on his way to Berkeley, California. He is travelling on the top deck of the bridge for traffic going from California to San Francisco.

Pretty Woman (1990)

There is a continuity issue at breakfast when Julia Roberts’s character takes a bite out of a croissant. She’s in the hotel room with her co-star Richard Gere, but when the camera pans back to her, it transforms into a pancake. Then when she takes a second bite out of the pancake, there is only one bite mark in it.

Pretty Woman
Pretty Woman (Rex Features)

North by Northwest (1959)


One of the children playing an extra in Alfred Hitchcock’s film covers his ears a few seconds before Eva Marie Saint’s character unexpectedly fires a gun at Cary Grant’s character in the Mount Rushmore cafeteria.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

(Rex Features)

Bullet holes can be seen in the walls of the apartment where John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson’s characters go to get a briefcase, but it’s before the shoot-out has happened.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

(Warner Bros)

John Connors Cessna’s plane numbers keep changing in the film. When he is in the hanger on the runway it is N3035C, but once it’s flying, the numbers change to N3413F.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz
Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (MGM)

Judy Garland isn’t wearing her iconic ruby red slippers in the scene where the trees pelt Dorothy and the Scarecrow with apples. Instead, she can be seen wearing plain black shoes.

Why do blockbuster movies cost so much to make?

American Sniper (2015)

The baby that Bradley Cooper holds while adapting to civilian life after the Iraqi War is plastic. In fact, it looked so fake, even he admitted it was “nuts”.

Independence Day (1996)

(Claudette Barius/20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock)

When computer expert David Levinson, played by Jeff Goldblum, is throwing a tantrum in the hanger housing the captured alien craft, he knocks over a bin that is labelled “Art Dept”. Clearly, a set designer left it there by mistake.

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

(Univeral Pictures)

In a scene when Jesse and Tran race, Tran is wearing a shirt with sleeves, but in the next shot he’s in a tank top. Didn’t anybody notice when they edited it?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)

(Warner Bros)

We were always told that Harry Potter had his mother’s blue eyes. But when we see Lily Potter as a child, she has brown eyes.

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford in 'Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope' in 1977
Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford in 'Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope' in 1977 (Rex Features)

As a group of stormtroopers enter a control room, one of them accidentally bangs his head on a door. The actor responsible, Laurie Good, couldn’t believe it made it into the final film.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

(Rex Features)

There is a crew member wearing a cowboy hat and looking out to sea behind Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow on the pirate ship.

Quantum of Solace (2008)

(Rex Features)

A street cleaner behind Daniel Craig’s James Bond is pretending to sweep the road but is holding his broom several inches off the ground.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

(Buena Vista Pictures)

When Bianca accidentally shoots a gym teacher with an arrow, an extra, who is playing a student, runs off to get urgent help – but once she thinks she is out of shot, she stops and looks back at the camera.

Braveheart (1995)

(Rex Features)

There is a modern car in the background of a big battle scene. Considering the film is set in the 13th century, it’s hard to imagine how it stayed in the final cut.

Django Unchained (2012)


Leonardo DiCaprio accidentally cut his hand while filming a scene in which he slams his hand on the table and breaks a glass. But rather than shout “cut”, he carried on in character. Tarantino liked it so much that he kept it in the film.

Captain Marvel (2019)


Many of the mistakes are related to the film’s 1990s time period. These include computers using a wrongly dated version of Windows and Carol Danvers’s memories being jogged by a Nirvana song that wasn’t out until after she left Earth.

Spider-Man (2002)


Toby McGuire’s Spider-Man saves Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane from a group of attackers. He throws them through a set of windows before he kisses her upside down in the rain. But during their romantic embrace, the windows behind her are perfectly intact.

Halloween (1978)


John Carpenter’s slasher film starring Jamie Lee Curtis was set in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois, but all the cars have Californian number plates and there are shots of palm trees, as the film was shot in Southern California.

The Goonies (1985)

(Rex Features)

At the end of the cult film, Data tells news reporters that the octopus was really scary, but this actually refers to a deleted scene. It was only added back in for the Disney Channel version.

Avengers: Endgame (2019)


Eagle-eyed fans have noted that Ant-Man can be seen in two places at once during the final battle scene – in the van, and in his giant form, fighting alongside the other Avengers.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)


Merry and Pippin are captured by the Orcs at the start of the film, and Pippin is seen in handcuffs. But he doesn’t have them anymore in the fight scene. And then they reappear on his wrists a few moments later.

Gladiator (1999)


Ridley Scott’s epic film took place many centuries before fuel-powered vehicles. But during the Battle of Carthage, a gas canister can be seen on the back of a chariot when it flips over.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)


There is a mix up over whether it is day or night at the beginning of the stock market heist scene in Christopher Nolan’s film. It is clearly daylight, but suddenly, after the police chase, it’s pitch black.

Titantic (1997)


When Jack (Leonardi DiCaprio) is painting a naked Rose (Kate Winslet) and tells her to go over by the bed, and then says he means the couch, it was DiCaprio flubbing his lines. But James Cameron kept it in the film because it was funny.

Jurassic World (2015)


The blockbuster featured about 33 mistakes, including a scene in which lead actor Chris Pratt talks to co-star Bryce Dallas Howard without his mouth moving. In another scene, a phone’s broken screen suddenly appears fixed.

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