Mistakes from the 50 best movies of all time
Hollywood movie-making takes time, money, cooperation, careful planning, and a painstaking knack for detail. But even the most meticulous preparations sometimes can't spare a film from its share of goofs and mistakes to the delight (or chagrin) of observant viewers.
The majority of these goofs take the form of simple continuity errors. For example, a glass might be full in one shot and empty in the very next. Other mistakes appear by way of historical misfires, major plot holes, visible camera equipment, or crew members getting caught in a shot. And every now and then, the annals of cinema are graced with a goof of epic proportions. For example, white cars can be seen in the background during a battle scene in “Braveheart.”
The much-publicized Starbucks cup in “Game of Thrones” was hardly the most notable example in entertainment, though it shows a simple point: Even with the advent of CGI and advanced editing technology—not to mention fully financed production crews—human error is often unavoidable. You probably could have guessed that Alfred Hitchcock, one of the most legendary filmmakers, appears more than once on this list; but even the “Master of Suspense” fell victim to, well, obvious visual and plot points.
When critically acclaimed films from Francis Ford Coppola (“The Godfather”) or Martin Scorcese (“The Irishman”) exceed three hours in runtime, should we be more forgiving? You be the judge; just know even these directors are not perfect as you’ll see.
Since even the world's greatest films are prone to the occasional flub, Stacker is embracing the imperfections by listing mistakes from the 50 best movies of all time. To determine the rankings, Stacker derived a score based on equally weighted IMDb ratings and Metacritic scores. Only English-language movies released in the United States were considered for the list, and each film needed at least 20,000 votes on IMDb to qualify. If the movie didn't have a Metascore, it was not included.
Check out mistakes in the 50 best movies of all time.
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#50. Marriage Story (2019)
It’s common to toss, turn, and reshuffle in bed during the night. But once we’re awake, untucked, and the bed has been made, things tend to become more fluid for the day. Well, that isn’t the case in a few goofy continuity errors in one scene from “Marriage Story.” Nicole wakes up Henry in bed, but during different shots in the scene, the sheet is both noticeable then hidden, Nicole’s arm goes from in front of her body to behind it when her mother kisses Henry, and Henry goes from being totally tucked into showing his uncovered torso.
#49. The Irishman (2019)
One could suggest that Martin Scorsese's chances of making mistakes would've decreased had he cut some time from his 209-minute “The Irishman.” Take your pick from a lengthy curated list on IMDb: historical inaccuracies, continuity errors, false geography, and unsynced audio/visual moments to name a few. As with carrying out plots and pleasing mob bosses, accurate location, timing, and transportation are the backbone of much of this re-told Jimmy Hoffa story. Yet early in the film, in the 1950s, Frank has already driven the wrong road. He makes a point of taking 476 North, which wasn’t in existence or operation until 1996.
#48. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
One of the most iconic scenes in this holiday favorite finds a bunch of partygoers jumping into a pool. A close look reveals the same character jumping in twice. This one was most likely a continuity error.
#47. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Long before she crossed paths with magic dinnerware, Belle was apparently in possession of a magic front door. In one scene, the door to her home is located atop some stairs and facing a porch. But when she tosses Gaston out in a later scene, the door opens on the ground level and faces a small pool of mud. It also swings outward and inward.
#46. There Will Be Blood (2007)
In the final act of this gripping saga, Eli Sunday (Paul Dano) chugs his first drink and doesn't finish his second. In the next shot, however, both glasses are empty.
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#45. Toy Story 3 (2010)
Much of "Toy Story 3" takes place at a hostile daycare center, where an evil bear named Lotso runs the show. On the toys' first night, there are no trucks patrolling the hallways, and the monkey doesn't sound the alarm when he sees that Buzz escaped. Later, it's revealed that both the trucks and the alarm are routine security measures that operate nightly.
#44. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
This celebrated adventure flick takes place in the year 1191. Yet when one of Robin Hood's merry men dismounts a horse to help a friend, there's a car in the background. Unless that car's a DeLorean, someone has some explaining to do.
#43. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
In the book upon which this 1940 film was based, slow-witted Noah Joad runs away from home after becoming a burden to his family. In the film version, Noah (Frank Sully) spontaneously disappears with no explanation at all and is simply never heard from again.
#42. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Marlon Brando is widely considered one of the greatest film actors of all time, but that doesn't mean he was always the most prepared. During a poker scene in this 1951 drama, Brando's Stanley Kowalski can be seen mimicking Stella's lines with his lips as if trying to recall the script from memory.
#41. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
At the center of this hard-boiled mystery is a priceless statuette known as the Maltese Falcon. Made of precious metal, the falcon would weigh at least 35 to 45 pounds in real life; however, at least two characters in the film pick up the falcon or put it down as if it weighs less than a small sack of flour.
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