Movie goofs that are not

There are fans who painstakingly document all the errors that inevitably creep in when creating such a complicated thing as a film. Via David Pescovitz I was alerted to this Twitter feed by someone named Sean who points out ‘goofs’ that are not. Some of my favorites:

The Wizard of Oz (production error): Although the movie was shot using color film, the first and last parts of the movie were only lit with sepia lights.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (character error): Despite knowing James Bond (Sean Connery) from previous movies in the franchise, M (Bernard Lee), Q (Desmond Llewelyn), and Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) all mistakenly refer to George Lazenby as “James Bond”.

Fight Club (production error): The first and second rules of fight club are identical.

Jesus Christ Superstar (anachronism): Israel in 4 B.C. had no tanks or submachine guns.

2001: A Space Odyssey (factual error): The ape civilization seems to advance from passive plant gatherers to tool-using hunters in a single day. In reality this advance would take millennia.

Planet of the Apes (plot hole): It is never explained how or why the Statue of Liberty was transported from Earth to the planet of the apes.

Spartacus (plot hole): In the scene where the Romans try to locate the rebel leader Spartacus in the captured slave army, most of the other slaves also identify themselves as being named “Spartacus”. The movie never explains this coincidence.

I love this kind of goofy stuff. It is the kind of thing I would do with my children when they were young, much to their exasperation.


  1. blf says

    That Superstar goof-that-isn’t is hilarious. From memory, the very first fecking scene in the 1973 film (which is obviously which production is being referred-to) is a bus transporting people in modern dress and then the props being unloaded — all very clearly obviously 4th C BCE. And the metal scaffolding the priests sing on, or for that matter, Herald’s barge (including piano(!)), eyeglasses, and drinks, are also very clearly obviously 4th C BCE.

    The other ones (that I recognise) are all rather giggle-worthy as well. Some of them, such as Oz, 2001, and Planet of the Apes, seem to be obviousness or very poor visual literacy.

  2. Mano Singham says


    It may not be obvious but Sean, the writer of the tweets, knows that these are not goofs. He is only pretending to be so naive. That’s the joke.

  3. blf says

    Mano@2, Yes. I fully realise that. You even mentioned it in the OP, “Sean […] points out ‘goofs’ that are not.” I was commenting about the silliness of thinking those are goofs. Not about who thinks they are goofs.

    Also, I now see I tpyoed in @1: obviousness → obliviousness

  4. mailliw says

    Ever since seeing 2001 I have kept throwing bones in the air, but so far not one of them has turned into a space ship. I find this very frustrating.

  5. mailliw says

    Surely Spartacus would have been easy to pick out among the other slaves? He’s the only one who looks like Kirk Douglas.

  6. Holms says

    I’m starting to suspect that Monty Python and the Holy Grail did not depict rabbits very accurately.

  7. Andrew Dalke says

    While I knew that the ‘Planet of the Apes’ movie ending meant to imply that it was on the future Earth, I find the ending scene a bit jarring. How does that much of the statue survive 2000 years when there aren’t otherwise ruins from the NYC area? How does it end up on the shore? Where are there cliffs like that near Liberty Island?

    I know it’s a combination of ‘Rule Of Cool’ and budget constraints, which are principles that need to be learned -- even if only vaguely -- to watch most films.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    mailliw @ # 5: … Spartacus … the only one who looks like Kirk Douglas.

    The Howard Fast novel on which Hollywood based that movie repeatedly (I presume citing contemporary documents) mentions Spartacus having a “sheep-like” face. Surely they could have found a major movie star matching that description!

  9. says

    One thing that Twitter has taught me is how many people don’t get humour. So many of the replies to these tweets are attempts to correct them and things like that always amaze me.

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