Movie Mistakes : Hollywood's Biggest Fails


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It Even Happens To The Experts

From Titanic and Troy to Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter - from famous Hollywood classics such as The Invisible Third to popular animated films such as Frozen. Embarrassing bloopers are part of the everyday business in Hollywood. I mean, we all make mistakes, and not even filmmakers are infallible, whether it’s a crew member sneaking into the frame or objects magically changing their position.

Such mishaps occur not only in summer blockbusters but also in Oscar-winning Hollywood productions targeted at a mass audience. Mistakes that, let’s be honest - one can hardly imagine that they were approved by the makers. In this blog, Hollywood Branded explains the phenomenon of movie mistakes and presents a few goofy examples you may or may not have seen before.

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Types of Movie-Mistakes

We speak of a movie mistake or “goofs” when a striking detail is noticed during the course of a film that smuggled itself in during the shooting. Such details can be irritating or disruptive but also amusing for some viewers. At some point, I’m sure each of us has noticed such a mistake.

Continuity Errors

The classic one appears as a continuity error: maybe the almost empty champagne glass that is suddenly full again or a supposedly dead person whose head is found three episodes later as a different victim. Sometimes part of the film equipment is visible- the microphone appears in the frame, or you can spot the camera and crew in a reflection. Some rather more “advanced” kinds of mistakes are the so-called anachronisms: logical mistakes in action, wrong facts, names or places, which can be a more drastic and embarrassing mistake than a simple camera reflection in an actor’s eye.

Continuing Issues

The most common mistake occurring is a continuing issue: A scene is recorded in various settings and only put together into the actual scene during editing. Sometimes there are several hours or even days between these two related shots. The larger the set and the more extensive the props in a scene are, the more details there are to ensure continuity in order to avoid possible connection errors.

Just imagine a candlelit dinner scene—two actors are costumed, hairstyled, and possibly given special makeup. Even these few details are enough to create bloopers; the drink is sipped, another bite in the food, and the candle burns down inexorably. One example: Peter in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is wearing a jacket in Lara Jean’s kitchen. After shaking her father’s hand after he arrived home, there is one shot of him wearing just a plain short sleeve top. Angle changes again, and the jacket is back…mysterious.

Technical Errors

Mistakes that can be even more disruptive are technical errors. These kinds of bloopers may literally tear us out of the illusion that a film is trying to create for the viewer. The details that reflect the medium of the film and its creation are visible here, speaking of a microphone that appears at the top edge of the picture, parts of the equipment becoming visible, or even crew members seen in the picture (yes- this actually happens!) One example: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)—just as Eddie rides his motorcycle down from the lab’s upper level, set equipment and a few crew members are seen gathered at the top right of the screen, just before the shot cuts away.

'Game of Thrones' Starbucks coffee cup scandal

Photo Credit: Courtesy of HBO

Content Mistakes

A little less dramatic, but probably more annoying, are content mistakes.
Details that simply contradict the plot of the film and thus raise questions of understanding. This could be about scientific achievements that anticipate their invention or maybe historical facts that are used and presented in the wrong context—not the most exciting or funny bloopers, but definitely worth avoiding.

Logical Mistakes

Perceived as the worst mistakes to happen are logical ones. In contrast to the bloopers already mentioned, logical mistakes can turn the entire movie plot unbelievable. Here, details are being revealed (for example, by a prequel or a sequel) that stand in absolute contrast to the already known plot or experiences made. At this point, it is either an unclear script or a bad organization to be blamed, I guess.


Contrary to this, anachronisms—describing temporal and dramaturgical inconsistencies—are usually considered as a fun little movie fail. A child with braces in the Middle Ages, a phone in the pocket of a man in ancient times, or maybe even a “Calvin Klein” logo shining through the boxers of a pirate- small bloopers that may not put a smile on the producers face, but definitely on ours. Check out some of my favorite movie mistakes in the list below.

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1. Ridley Scott’s Gladiator - A Movie Ahead Of Its Time

Let’s get into this with a big fish—Ridley Scott’s 2000 Oscar-winning Gladiator. Admittedly, this was quite a large project involving hundreds of people in front of and behind the camera. Imagine the chaos present on set. Nevertheless, there aren’t only a few small connection errors that got lost in the cut; no, they literally were ahead of their time (pun alert). A gas cylinder, not being invented until many centuries after 180, is seen falling off an overturning chariot during the battle of Carthage in the Colosseum.

Unfortunately, that’s only the beginning. Another scene in the battle arena literally shows someone in the audience wearing JEANS. We are speaking of a historical drama taking place around the year 180, and Jeans were not invented until almost 1700 years later: in 1873, to be precise (important knowledge conveyed by HB… you’re welcome). You can spot the woman on the left side of the picture below (I was speechless).

And as if this isn’t bad enough, this mistake happens another time when Maximus feeds an apple to a horse and a man wearing jeans walks through the frame in the background. If we take away one thing from this example, it is that the jeans woman is a living legend.

Gladiator Jeans Woman

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Universal & Dreamworks

2. Even The James Bond Chronicles Are Guilty

Of course, even a successful movie series like the one about James Bond cannot avoid a little mistake here and there. A rather innocent but still funny example appears in Quantum of Solace. Apart from the fact that there is also a car with two different license plates, the funniest scene is probably the one starring the pantomimic street sweeper. While Daniel Craig is trying to fulfill his Majesty’s order in the foreground (where else?), the street sweeper on the right is stealing the show—he is not sweeping the street but the air. Maybe the actor wanted to be considerate of unpleasing noises that’d have disturbed the scene, but the opposite of good is well meant. The outcome just looks silly.

James Bond Movie Fail - Screenrant

Photo Credit: Courtesy of

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3. Gandalf The Time Traveller

Gandalf (Ian McKellen) is probably our favorite wizard. He’s proven his greatness over and over again in the course of the trilogy. Apparently, he’s even powerful enough to travel in time - even if this is somehow suppressed in the story. In fact, during a battle scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Gandalf is wearing a souvenir from one of these time travels—a snazzy wristwatch that not only tells him that the hour has struck in battle.

Gandalf wearing a watch

Photo Credit: Courtesy of New Line Cinema

Take It With Humor

Elsa’s hair magically crossing through her arm, Stormtroopers hitting their head on the door frame, Shrek’s door opening outwards and another time backward, or my personal favorite—a Starbucks cup in the scene of Game of Thrones!

What may be annoying for the filmmaker seems to be associated with great amusement for some film freaks since there is a fan base worldwide that sifts through any current or classic film for any kind of goofs. What a hobby, right? Freshly discovered movie bugs spread like wildfires on various online platforms that are even frequented by the film studios themselves in order to digitally correct said errors in the secondary exploitation on BluRay and DVD. Reason enough to deal with this topic a little more closely (without taking it too seriously though).

We’ve all seen it - clothes drying within seconds, disappearing scars, shirts butting themselves up, and so on… bloopers have always been there, so let’s all relax about it and think: well… sh*t happens!

Eager To Learn More?

Loved learning all about the different types of movie mistakes? Want to learn more about the fateful Game of Thrones Starbucks cup or what brand of watch Ian McKellan was wearing in LOTR? Then check out the following Hollywood Branded blogs to learn more about leveraging Hollywood movies for your brand: 

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