Making a movie is a strenuous task that can take a toll on even the greatest of filmmakers. Sometimes, a director will spend years working on a project, overseeing everything from the earliest stages of pre-production to the final moments of post. After pouring over hours upon hours of footage and overanalyzing each frame, they’re happy to finally share their film with the world.
But sometimes, filmmakers wish they had taken one more look before locking the picture. Despite the large amounts of money and star talent, Hollywood productions are not perfect and are no stranger to some puzzling errors that fans notice. Here are Screen Rant’s 10 Continuity Fails in Movies.
When Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is bitten by a radioactive spider, his body undergoes a tremendous physical transformation. He has super-human speed, strength, and the tantalizing ability to spin webs from his hands. He spends his days testing out his new powers within the privacy of his bedroom, and it takes him some time to master them. When trying out his web slinging, Peter accidentally makes his lamp crash into a wall.
Understandably, Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) comes to investigate the noise, but was there really anything to worry about? After Peter assures his aunt that he’s just exercising and closes the door, a shot clearly shows the same lamp fully intact and in place on Peter’s dresser. Since director Sam Raimi had just depicted it being destroyed, you’d think he’d be more careful.
The plan to bring Earth’s Mightiest heroes together nearly falls apart when S.H.I.E.L.D.’s helicarrier is attacked by a brainwashed Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who is under the mind control of Loki (Tom Hiddleston). It’s a thrilling set piece that set the stage for the grand finale in New York, and even gravity had trouble handling all the excitement. When the helicarrier’s engine fails, the ship begins to lose altitude. A shot of Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey, Jr.) display indicates that it is at 15,000 feet.
Several minutes later, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) looks at his own monitor to track progress. This screen says that the helicarrier is currently flying at 18,000 feet. This should be impossible, since the helicarrier has been slowly descending for an extended period of time. There’s no way it gained 3,000 feet in altitude with a faulty engine, especially since Iron Man had not made the necessary repairs yet.
The Dark Knight Rises
Bane (Tom Hardy) decides to hit Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) where it hurts the most: his bank account. The villain and his henchmen drain Wayne’s fortune by forging questionable stock trades using Bruce’s stolen fingerprints. When they arrive at the Gotham Stock Exchange building, it is clearly light outside and probably midday. It’s determined that they need around 10 minutes for the program to complete its task, but the group has to go mobile to avoid police capture.
They take hostages and ride out of the building on their bikes, and as Bruce lost all his money, Gotham City went through the craziest version of daylight savings time imaginable. As Bane and his associates escape, the conditions outside obviously turn from the middle of the day to night. It’s true that Batman action looks cooler in the dark, but a director as accomplished as Christopher Nolan should have made sure the lighting lined up when shooting the scenes.
Audiences will always remember the first time they saw the Death Star trench run in the original Star Wars – a sequence that is still as cutting edge today as it was in 1977. One of its most tense moments comes towards the end, when Darth Vader (David Prowse) thinks he has Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) dead to rights. Firing at Luke’s X-wing, Vader actually hits R2-D2, who lets out a scream as his head is nearly blasted off. Seems like the droid should be out for the count, but R2 somehow blocked the attack.
Immediately after the hit, Luke exclaims, “I’ve lost R2!”, but the image of R2 shown on the screen is one of the little droid happy as can be, without any signs of damage. It’s not until Luke lands back on Yavin do audiences see the effects of what happened, as R2 is covered in oil that has leaked from his dome. ILM was running tight on their special effects budget, so maybe they just didn’t have time to get a new shot.
Back to the Future
Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) has to make sure his parents get together at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance or else he could be erased from existence. To see how much time he has left, he uses a picture of him and his two siblings. Marty knows things have become dire when he starts to fade from the photograph. During the film’s fateful finale as Marty plays with the band, he keeps the picture in his guitar neck, but it keeps falling out.
When Marty is shown in a long shot with the guitar, the picture is not visible. It is only shown during closeups of Marty playing. Since it was such an important item to the plot, it would have been better if director Robert Zemeckis had kept track of it and made sure it was there throughout the sequence. That’s the danger of splicing takes together to craft a scene.
Moviegoers, and even raptor whisperer Owen (Chris Pratt), made fun of the “ridiculous” high heels that Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) wears throughout Jurassic World. Even though she’s constantly on the run from dinosaurs, she keeps the shoes on. Amidst all the chaos, she even found time to go to the store and purchase a new pair.
As the film progresses, Claire’s shoes obviously get dirty and scuffed up, but when she arrives to the t-rex paddock to unleash the original t-rex from the first Jurassic Park, the shoes are actually clean. As she leads the predator to the Indominus rex for the big fight, the footwear is dirty once again. Since the screenwriters went so far to dedicate a line of dialogue to the high heels (drawing more attention to them), somebody should have been paying more attention to their condition.
Star Trek Into Darkness
After violating the Prime Directive and letting a primitive species see the U.S.S. Enterprise, James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) has the ship taken away from him. Understandably so, he becomes depressed and goes to a bar to drink his troubles away. As it turns out, he ordered quite a few rounds, since the amount of alcohol in his glass changes depending on the shot.
During his conversation with Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood), Kirk’s glass is either full or nearly empty. The most egregious example of this comes when Kirk gives himself a refill while reminiscing about his bar fight in the first film. When he lifts the glass in front of the camera, it is clearly full. In the next shot when he takes a sip from it, the glass is nearly empty again. Kirk liked to party, but not that hard, and since the glass was in the foreground of the shot, it would have been nice if the levels were consistent.
The fateful moment in Ben Affleck’s Best Picture winner comes when Tony Mendez (Affleck) and his Hollywood friends are on the hunt for the right script to make their fake movie. Going through hundreds of scripts, Mendez comes across one in a very distinctive black vinyl cover with gold lettering aptly called Argo. Skimming through it, he determines that this is the right one that fits the CIA’s needs for their refugee rescue mission.
Mendez brings it out to the patio, reading the first page that sets up a space adventure taking place in a location with a “Middle Eastern vibe.” And in the process, Mendez tore the professional cover right off. As he walks back outside to share the script, he’s holding a bunch of white pages bounded together. The vinyl is obviously missing. We can’t be certain, but this might have been what cost Affleck his infamous Best Director snub at the Oscars that year. There’s no way he should have missed something that recognizable.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Setting out to Mordor as a group of nine companions, it becomes clear that the Fellowship was not meant to complete the journey together. As it splinters, Frodo (Elijah Wood) decides everyone would be better off if he went to Mt. Doom on his own. But his loyal friend Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) doesn’t agree. As Frodo begins to paddle away and venture off alone, Sam – who can’t swim – runs into the water after him. Frodo watches in horror as Sam sinks to the bottom.
Having no choice but to save his companion from drowning and bring him along, Frodo pulls Sam out of the water and into his boat. Sam should obviously be soaking wet, but his outfit must have been blessed with some elf magic. Despite just coming out of the lake, Sam’s clothes appear dry as he reiterates the promise he made to Gandalf (Ian McKellen) before the Hobbits left the Shire. Viewers were caught up in the emotions of the moment to notice, but now it’ll be hard to miss.
When James Bond (Daniel Craig) enters the high stakes poker game at Casino Royale, he needs to set up a bank account so he can transfer his winnings. It requires him to enter a password for security purposes. Towards the end of the movie, he reveals to Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) that the password is in fact “Vesper.” It’s a touching moment that illustrates the relationship between the two characters, but 007 must have changed his password as the tournament went along.
When Bond first creates the account, a close-up of his hand shows his fingers striking various keys. One of the ones he hits is the number 5, which typically has the letters J, K, and L. You don’t need to be an English major to know that the word “Vesper” does not include any of those, meaning that Bond entered something completely different initially. Whatever it is will be a mystery forever.
No matter how attentive to detail a director is, small continuity errors are inevitable in a movie. There are so many angles and takes to sort through, that when piecing a scene together, something will go unnoticed. Some mishaps are more obvious than others, but for the most part they’re insignificant enough that they don’t have a great impact on how moviegoers enjoy a film’s story.
As always, our list is not meant to be all-inclusive, so be sure to share some of your picks in the comments section below! And subscribe to our YouTube channel to check out more fun videos.