They might have taken home the little gold bald dude on Hollywood’s night of nights, but these Oscar-winning movies weren’t perfect…
Titanic (1997) – Rose’s beauty mark
The first big reveal of Kate Winslet’s character Rose comes when her feathery purple hat is lifted and we get our first glimpse of our heroine. The only problem is, the shot was clearly reversed, because if you look carefully, the beauty spot on Winslet’s face is on the left of her lips – all throughout the rest of the film, it’s on the right side of her face.
We’re surprised, because James Cameron was a stickler for detail: when astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson pointed out the star-map was wrong for that time and place, Cameron changed it for the 2012 3D re-release.
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003) – Visible crew members
Several times during the concluding episode of Peter Jackson’s Rings trilogy, crew members can be spotted through the melee of Orcs – if you’re a keen freeze-framer, anyway. Firstly, as Sauron’s army marches upon the Black Gate, immediately after Pippin draws his sword, you can spot two of Peter Jackson’s crew in the background.
Later, as the Orcs advance, you can see another between the gaps over their shoulders. They’re definitely not supposed to be there – one of them is even wearing a hat.
Gladiator (2000) – Hot air
Ridley Scott’s gladiatorial epic has its fair share of goofs and blunders, but you probably didn’t notice them because, as Maximus says, “Are you not entertained?” Still, once you see this oversight, you can’t unsee it: during the Battle of Carthage scene in the Colosseum, one of the chariots falls over, and when it does, you can clearly see a gas canister attached to its undercarriage.
Turns out it wasn’t just sheer horsepower that gave the Romans their oomph.
Forrest Gump (1994) – Convenient shrimp
Forrest manages to luck his way through a potted version of American history in Robert Zemeckis’ Best Picture winner – everything he touches turns to gold (see his accidental investment in “some fruit company” Apple back in the ’70s).
So it is when he starts up the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company with Lieutenant Dan – it’s one thing landing a massive shipment of shrimp where the supply was thought to be dry, but it’s another to catch a gigantic haul of clearly processed shrimp with the heads already removed, practically ready to eat straight out the river.
The Godfather (1972) – Punch drunk
There’s no denying that Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is one of the greatest movies ever made, but it’s by no means flawless. Take the scene in which James Caan’s Sonny takes out his rage on wife-beater Carlo.
It’s a cathartic scene, where Sonny lets loose on the man responsible for abusing his sister Connie, but Caan is blatantly throwing the punches several feet off target – at times you can see the air between fist and face. All the fire hydrant spray in the world can’t distract you from the fake beatdown.
Braveheart (1995) – Revisionist history
Prepare for a factual inaccuracy overload: in real life, William Wallace was not a commoner as claimed but a minor nobleman; Sophie Marceau’s Princess Isabella was 13 and living in France at the time of Wallace’s execution, thus unable to be the mother of his child as insinuated; Scots never sacked the city of York; the King of Scotland died in 1286 not 1280; no Irishmen fought at the Battle of Falkirk; the bagpipes Wallace played would not have been outlawed at the time; Wallace’s father was not killed in a minor scuffle with the British; and the final insult – Scots didn’t even wear kilts until the 17th century.
Mel Gibson, you sit on a throne of LIES.
Saving Private Ryan (1999) – Medic!
Steven Spielberg strived hard to get the details right in his heartstopping World War II drama – many veterans who saw it were blown away by how authentic it was. However, there were a few errors that slipped through the net.
For example, when Giovanni Ribisi’s character Wade the medic is shot, one of his fellow soldiers lifts his shirt to see the wound, but pulls back too far, briefly revealing the ripped top of the ‘chest vest’ prosthetic worn by the actor to simulate injury.
Slumdog Millionaire (2007) – Who wants to cheat a Millionaire?
A fairly obvious plot goof this one, but Danny Boyle’s inspirational drama uses the mechanics of popular TV gameshow Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? as its structure – except it completely changes those mechanics when it suits the story.
As you might expect, on no version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? would the host pose a question and then allow the contestant a bathroom break before answering – for obvious reasons. If that were the case, Millionaire cheat Charles Ingram wouldn’t have had to had quite the coughing fit…
Shakespeare In Love (1999) – Follow that boat!
You can spend a fortune on period costume design, have your actors taught proper historical dialects and have authentic sets designed perfectly for the era – but you can’t control anything happening off the set.
Shakespeare In Love suffers from one such misfortune, albeit a hilariously timed one: when Will Shakespeare yells “Follow that boat!” as he’s chasing Verona, you can see a distinctly modern-day speedboat pootling down the river in the distance. Tis metalwork witchcraft, sire!
Gone With The Wind (1939) – The lady and the lamp
Back in 1939, it was considerably easier to mask continuity errors and anachronisms in films like Gone With The Wind, because audiences weren’t really looking for mistakes back then, and the screens were of such poor quality, you could get away with the odd scruffily dressed extra hidden as a blur in the background.
What you can’t hide in the modern day, with pause and pin-sharp DVDs, is a gas lamp that is quite clearly plugged into the mains, as in this scene with Rhett Butler. We know the chemistry between him and Scarlett O’Hara was electric, but this is ridiculous.