After I watched Top Gun: Maverick, I called a Navy Pilot friend to ask what he thought about the movie. His response:
“At the end of the film, there’s no way the F14 could have gotten airborne with such a short run. Without a catapult, it needs about half a mile (2500 feet) to take off.”
The Navy Pilot was unmasking a movie mistake. Or at least I think it was a mistake. This simulation suggests it might theoretically be possible.
Over the years, my friends and I have debated many movie mistakes. The most common are continuity mistakes; something appears in one scene but then disappears in the next. For example, in Home Alone, Kevin buys Tide detergent at the grocery store. However, when the two grocery bags break while he’s walking home, no Tide detergent falls out.
Sometimes the mistake is based on a factual error, like the F14 takeoff mentioned above. One of the most famous ones is when a Roman gladiator wore a wristwatch in the movie Ben Hur. Wonder where he got replacement batteries? 😊
My favorite movie mistake is a blooper: During Star Wars, a stormtrooper bangs his head on a doorway:
Eagle-eyed Star Wars fans have spotted lots of mistakes in the series; these are 10 of the best.
Another one worth smiling about happens in the Pirates of the Caribbean. On the left edge of the screen, just over Jack’s shoulder, is a crew member wearing a tan cowboy hat, a white short-sleeve T-shirt, and sunglasses. A modern pirate, perhaps.
My friends and I were pretty proud of the couple of dozens mistakes we had catalogued over the years until one of them stumbled upon www.moviemistakes.com. It unmasks thousands of movie mistakes including a jaw-dropping 563 of them in Apocalypse Now.