Worst continuity gaffe?

My wife has asked me to start an IMHO thread for her:

What is the worst continuity gaffe from a movie?

(One notable example, but far from the worst, is Anthony Hopkins’ facial hair in The Edge. In the course of a conversation, successive camera cuts to his face show him having very, very noticably different degrees of stubble. I imagine the worst gaffe of all time probably comes from Pretty Woman.)


According to the Medved Brothers’ “The Golden Turkey Awards,” the worst continuity gaffe happened in the Moonie-sponsored flick, “Inchon.”

In one sequence, actor Richard (Shaft) Roundtree is driving a Jeep. The Jeep runs over a mine and is totally wrecked (IIRC, it flips). Next shot, Roundtree’s pulling up to headquarters in the same Jeep–unscathed. Not only that, but he’s reportedly undergone something like seven uniform changes during the course of the Jeep ride.

BTW, you mentioned “Pretty Woman,” but failed to mention the continuity gaffe. So…?

I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard that it’s notorious for being full of gaffes. The only one I remember is that Julia Roberts’ character’s breakfast changes several times during the course of a scene, from eggs to pancakes and back.


One of the worst ones I’ve seen was in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.
Spoiler Space

A character in the film buys a gun to go and save the others from the killer. Once he gets there he realizes that he forgot to buy bullets and is killed.
At the very end of the film, the killer is just about to get the main character when he is shot. There is no explanation at all for where the bullets came from.

During the course of “Escape From New York,” Kurt Russell’s hair gets a little shorter, longer, shorter, greasy, washed, greasy, etc.

Spock and McCoy exchange jackets (armband color is giveaway) during a very brief cutaway at the end of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”

And no one in the whole wide world, except for me, Sir Rhosis, has noticed this… but there are a couple of small bloopers in almost all of Ed Wood’s movies.

The biggest gaffe, not necessarily continuity-based, that I’m aware of is from “Citizen Kane,” i. e., who the hell was in the room to hear Charles Foster Kane’s famous final utterance…“Rosebud”?


Speaking of Star Trek, there’s the gaffe from “The Undiscovered Country” in which the movie starts with the Excelsior being on a mission to map gaseous anomalies, and at the end a significant plot point is made of the fact that the Enterprise mapping gaseous anomalies. While technically it could be the case that they are both doing the same thing, it is, at the very least, a rather clumsy sort of foreshadowing. (Why have the Excelsior be on such a mission if it’s irrelevant to the Enterprise’s mission? Why not mention that they are on a joint mission, or that the Federation is undertaking a large-scale mapping project?)


Ben, IIRC, Uhura’s line refers to the torpedos or some such that they had on board the Enterprise for mapping gaseous anomalies, i. e. they’re there if needed, not that the Enterprise was necessarily out there just for that purpose.

I’m sure all the Trek movies are chockful of bloopers though. Spock’s eyebrows in The Final Frontier are shaved way smaller than normal, for example.


I don’t remember the movie, but I once read about an interesting repair of a continuity gaffe. The director was examining the film and noticed that a woman in a white dress had an inexplicable green glow around her. So, instead of reshooting the scene, he added a scene where a spotlight operator shines a green spotlight on her.

THe one that has always bugged me the most is from Jurassic Park. Two, really, both involving the T. Rex.

First, when the cars first pass by the T. Rex compound, it is to their left. They are on a tour in which the cars are on a track. LAter, when the T. Rex gets loose, they are going back by the compound and it is on their right. How did the cars turn around if they are on a track?

But more importantly, we see the T. Rex eat the goat, walk over a few yards, break the fence, and walk out between the cars. Then, moments later, when he attacks the lead car with the children (which was directly across from the goat he ate), there is a sheer wall and a hundred-foot drop. How the hell did the Rex walk over and out through the fence if there’s a drop there?

One I never noticed until I listened to the director’s comments on the DVD. In The Usual Suspects watch the scene where the jewel dealer’s plane is landing. We see a front shot where the plane has four engines. However, in the next show showing the rear of the plane, two of the engines have mysteriously dissappeared.

In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Scotty’s nephew dies and leaves a big blood stain on Kirk’s uniform. Throughout the next couple of scenes, the stain changes shape, moves, etc. It’s annoying since he could have just buttoned his uniform up and avoided all of the costuming problems.

In one of my favorite 80s movies, Wall Street: In the scene at the end, when Michael Douglas is confronting Charlie Sheen’s character, his raincoat is wet. Then, suddenly, it’s dry. Then, a moment later, it’s wet again.

The wet/dry thing makes me crazy - and this usually applies to the women - when they come in from the rain or out of the pool or shower, and in seconds, their skin is dry and their hair is barely damp or completely dry. It annoys me even more because I now look for it.

I also look for liquid levels in glasses or food on plates and in hands - quantities change rapidly from head-on to over-the-shoulder shots…

During the attack runs on the exhaust port in Star Wars, the number of ships in each formation (rebel alliance and tie fighters) changes from shot to shot. In other words, when you look back through the rebel fighters at the Tie fighters, you see 3 rebel ships and 2 tie fighters. When you look forward past the Ties at the rebels, there are 2 rebel ships and 3 tie fighters.

Not really a continuity error, but…

In North by Northwest when Eva Marie Saint shoots Cary Grant in a cafeteria, seconds before a small boy in the background can be seen plugging his ears to prepare for the upcoming gunshots.

In the movie “The Money Pit” Tom Hanks character is filling a tub with water from a bucket. When he has the tub about halfway full he says to Shelly Long’s character that he doesn’t have the energy to do it again and that they’d share the tub. As he pours the last bucket in, the tub falls through the floor.

Scene cuts to lower floor to see tub shatter with no water into a thosand pieces.

…but what the heck. I posted this to another thread about a month ago, but the thread died and I don’t know if anyone saw it. :smiley:

In one of the first seasons of The X-Files, there was an episode called Ice, in which Mulder and Scully were called to a remote research camp near the Artic Circle where all of the staff had mysteriously lost contact with their base. Upon arriving, they discovered that one of the scientists had unearthed a parasitic worm from an ice core that could infect animals by invading the brain stem and cause excessively agressive behavior. The scientists had become infected and had all killed each other.

Chaos ensues, some of the investigating team get infected, it’s discovered that you can’t pull this worm out or the host will die. Scully discovers while looking at the worm under a microscope that two worms in proximity will kill each other. They test this theory by putting another worm into an already infected dog. The dog whimpers a little and passes out. They keep the dog under observation to see if the “cure” worked.

Here’s the sticker for me: one of the scientists comes out of the room where the dog is under observation and declares “It worked…[dog’s name] passed the worms in his stool.”

Ummmm…worms are latched to the brain stem. Worms fight and die, presumably still in the brain. Dead worms now somehow magically transport themselves into the dog’s digestive system (which is completely closed…only way to get in is at one end or the other) and are pooped out.

Huh?? That fact ruined an otherwise really cool show for me. <sigh>

I look for it, too. Kinda ruins the movie experience when you’re looking for mistakes you KNOW are coming. Also, as Sparklo mentioned, stains on clothes. The stain will often change shape, size and location. Look at women’s bangs, too. They often change from all in front to bent to one side and back again.

Wizard of Oz. During Dorothy’s bit when she meets the Scarecrow, her braids go from long to short to long…and so on.
Maybe not a continuity error, but also in Oz, when they sing “We’re Off To See The Wizard” it’s Buddy Ebsen’s voice you hear. The movie was so over budget when he had to drop out and was replaced by Jack Haley that they decided not to re-record the song. Ebsen has a pretty distinctive voice and it’s easy to hear him.

The Rock. Nicolas Cage is chasing Sean Connery on the city streets (in the beginning) in a borrowed sports car and smashes through a line of parking meters, making huge dents in the car and breaking the windshield. Moments later, after he stops, the car is fine.

I have always suspected Sean Connery is left-handed, although James Bond has to be shown as right-handed to keep the image.

In DR NO, when he's fighting the fake chaffeur, Connery draws his right fist way back, the camera angle changes and he throws a snappy left hook that drops the spy.

Watch his Bond movies and notice how many things he does left-handed.

 Also, in GOLDFINGER, did anyone wonder how Oddjob could paint Jill Masterson completely in gold paint and drop her on the bed, without spilling a drop of paint anywhere? The guy does nice work.

Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” of course, contains thousands of gaffes but the most frequent continuity error seems to be that of day instantly changing to night and back again (example: cops leave station to drive to crime scene two miles away. Shot of them leaving the station is in bright daylight. Cut to them arriving at the crime scene in the middle of the night).

Also, Robert DeNiro’s hair length grows and rescinds noticeably throughout “Taxi Driver.”