Top 10: Best Movie Mistakes

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In honor of the now infamous Starbucks coffee cup gaffe on the set of “Game of Thrones,” we are taking a look at a few particularly memorable mistakes in film. Read on for a list of some historical inaccuracies, wild mishaps, and even the occasional deliberate anachronism thrown into film. Sometimes, these accidents can feel a bit ridiculous – but that’s what makes them fun. They may even spark something new and interesting on-set or make a scene more memorable. 

“Braveheart” (1995)
dir. Mel Gibson

An epic tale of woe and war, “Braveheart” is one of cinema’s classics. Although some history buffs will have a gripe with one specific piece of fashion worn in the film: the Scottish kilt. Many would be quick to point out that despite the film being set in the 13th century, the kilt wasn’t invented until the 16th. Let’s call it a creative liberty, shall we? 

“The Shining” (1980)
dir. Stanley Kubrick

The most stunning image in a film filled with beautiful camera work and composition is the final labyrinth scene. But in one particular aerial shot of The Stanley Hotel, the famous labyrinth is puzzlingly missing. It may not be the most outlandish of the mistakes on this list, but it is still poignant, considering how meticulous Stanley Kubrick was.

“Django Unchained” (2012)
dir. Quentin Tarantino

Leonardo DiCaprio definitely suffered for his art on the set of “Django Unchained.” In one brutal dinner table scene, his character is banging on the table and DiCaprio accidentally breaks a crystal glass, causing blood to gush from his hand. Miraculously, he continued to do the scene in character.

“Pretty Woman” (1990)
dir. Garry Marshall

In the iconic Julia Roberts and Richard Gere rom-com, there is a certain scene that stands out less for romance and more because of its croissants or lack thereof. Lounging over breakfast in a swanky hotel, Julia Roberts begins eating a flaky croissant. But in the next shot, she is inexplicably eating a pancake. Both are great breakfast foods, but they’re definitely not interchangeable.

“Bad Boys” (1983)
dir. Rick Rosenthal

Maybe there was just too much going on in the shot to notice. In one particularly dynamic fight scene in the version of “Bad Boys” with Sean Penn, there is a cameraman very visibly crouching down to get a close-up shot of two men fighting. The camera guy may have been zeroing in on detail, but the editor seems to have missed that.

“Quadrophenia” (1979)
dir. by Franc Roddam

Although riddled with historical inaccuracies, The Who vehicle is still a cult classic. Or maybe it has earned the cult status precisely because of these inaccuracies. The film, which is based on the album of the same name, was released in 1979. However, it is set in 1965. That’s why it is strange to see a marquee advertising “Heaven Can Wait” and “Grease,” films which were both released in 1978, thirteen years after the film supposedly takes place. 

“The Great Gatsby” (2013)
dir. Baz Luhrmann

Critics and moviegoers were taken aback by Luhrmann’s soundtrack in this remake. As viewers watch a film about American decadence in the ‘20s, rap and hip-hop from artists like Jay-Z emanate. In this bold and decisive move, Luhrmann recreates a feeling of what the high-life of the ‘20s were like. And he uses contemporary music to do that, allowing the music to feel fresh rather than faithful to the era. He is deliberately avoiding nostalgia.

“North by Northwest” (1959)
dir. Alfred Hitchcock

One particularly infamous gaffe comes from one of the masters of American cinema, who continues to inspire filmmakers, cinephiles and film critics everywhere: Hitchcock. A filmmaker known for his pioneering psychoanalytical thrillers did make a blunder, though, with his seminal film, “North by Northwest.” In one scene at the Mount Rushmore cafeteria, a little boy in the background covers his ear in anticipation of a gun firing – problem is, Eva Marie Saint’s character hadn’t fired yet.

“American Sniper” (2014)
dir. Clint Eastwood

Bradley Cooper delivers a sombre, nuanced performance throughout the majority of this film. Except for this one scene, in which Cooper is cradling a fake baby, since the real one became sick with a fever. Unfortunately for Eastwood, viewers can definitely tell that Cooper is pulling a string to make it appear as though a real baby is moving its hand.

“Marie Antoinette” (2006)
dir. Sofia Coppola

Marie Antoinette’s closet is meant to be indulgent. She lives a life of almost unimaginable luxury. The Queen has gowns upon immaculate costumes filling her enormous closet, which feels like an elegant maw – consuming the best of fabrics, the latest trends, whatever The French Queen fancies. Sofia Coppola purposefully adds an anachronistic touch to the scene, with an iconic Converse high-top sneaker peeking out of the frame, next to the 18th century garments. The sneaker is a nod to what Coppola hopes viewers see when watching Marie Antoinette, particularly in the earlier parts of the movie: that she is, in fact, just a young girl. She is enjoying the gilded fruits of a life that was forced upon her, away from her home and everything familiar.

What’s Your Favorite Movie Mistake? Let Us Know in the Comments Below! 

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