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Anachronisms and Slip-Ups


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I remember reading long ago that in the film "The Virgin Queen" there is an extra wearing a wrist watch. I always mean to look for it but get involved in the movie and forget. But there is nothing I love more than seeing something that does not belong in the scene like a boom mike or shadows, which I relish.

 

To this day I keep trying to figure out why the curtains keep moving in Scotty's apartment in "Vertigo" but it is still a mystery.

 

It is fun to spot things like this in films you've seen many times, since you can ignore the frontal action and watch for silly mistakes, either of incorrect time period stuff or out and out goofs.

 

I loved the scene, in I think "Amelie" with the fly on the window behind the movie. It is always enjoyable to see such true to life moments.

 

Things which are anachronisms might be the most delectable, since the makers of the film surely had lots of time to find out if there were telephone poles in London when the film was set or it the Maserati in a scene is of the right vintage. But for whatever reason many mistakes seem to get by.

 

If you have some you cherish, please share!

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My favorite is an early street scene in Brian De Palma's 1983 remake of "Scarface." After a prologue about the 1980 Mariel boatlift that allowed more than 125,000 Cubans to emigrate to America, a USA Today box can be spotted. The Nation's Newspaper didn't begin publishing until September 1982. 

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Oh, geeez;  OK, my four favorite technical slip-ups:

 

"Julie" (1956), starring Doris Day and Louis Jourdan: Holds the record for the number of times the boom mike Shadow appears in the frame (I quit counting after ten, LOL).

 

"The Big Fisherman" (1959), starring Howard Keel: Holds the record for the number of times the boom mike itself appears in a film.

 

"North by Northwest" (1959)--A little boy holds his ears Before a gunshot sounds.

 

"Body Double" (1984)-- As Melanie Griffith and Craig Wasson are being filmed in a bar, the cameramen and director Brian De Palma are briefly shown in a full length mirror opposite the two stars.

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My favorite is an early street scene in Brian De Palma's 1983 remake of "Scarface." After a prologue about the 1980 Mariel boatlift that allowed more than 125,000 Cubans to emigrate to America, a USA Today box can be spotted. The Nation's Newspaper didn't begin publishing until September 1982. 

Love it!

Thanks, Jakeem!

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Oh, geeez;  OK, my four favorite technical slip-ups:

 

"Julie" (1956), starring Doris Day and Louis Jourdan: Holds the record for the number of times the boom mike Shadow appears in the frame (I quit counting after ten, LOL).

 

"The Big Fisherman" (1959), starring Howard Keel: Holds the record for the number of times the boom mike itself appears in a film.

 

"North by Northwest" (1959)--A little boy holds his ears Before a gunshot sounds.

 

"Body Double" (1984)-- As Melanie Griffith and Craig Wasson are being filmed in a bar, the cameramen and director Brian De Palma are briefly shown in a full length mirror opposite the two stars.

I knew the third one but was not aware of the others, but now I shall add them to my list to watch for, Film Lover!

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Cars must be a period film makers nightmare - aside from having to ensure that the vehicle, it's registration plates & accessories are correct for the time portrayed, there's all that lovely brightwork, glass and other reflective surfaces to give you unintended glimpses of off camera crew & equipment.

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escape170708_450x364.jpg

 

The WWII German Army didn't ride(and so McQueen couldn't have stolen) the British-built Triumph motorcycle seen here in order to jump this barbwire fence.

 

However there's a story to this...

 

After McQueen talked THE GREAT ESCAPE 's director John Sturges into including this sequence into the film, due to concerns about the lead actor's safety, McQueen was denied the chance to perform this stunt. And so, McQueen called his friend and fellow motorcycle racer Bud Ekins in California to ask if he'd attempt it. When Ekins arrived to survey the situation, he reportedly said that there was no way he'd attempt this stunt on a heavier BWM motorcycle and the appropriate brand the German Army of that era would have ridden.

 

A Triumph motorcycle was then found and fitted to resemble as much as possible something more resembling what the Wehrmacht would have used during this war.

 

(...btw...the "barbwire" was actually plain wire draped with rubber bands...still a very impressive stunt for the times, however)

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In the original version of The Manchurian Candidate, glimpses of what the Korean war POWS were brainwashed into believing was happening vs. actually happening start appearing in nightmares for both Frank Sinatra and his African American fellow officer.

 

In Sinatra's dreams, all the "women"  and extras were white.  The only black person in the room was his fellow officer.

 

But when the African American (sorry, the name of the actor escapes me right now) is dreaming, all the "women" are black.  However, there is one white extra who can be seen in the seen. Apparently, no one on the set realized this.

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"The Big Fisherman" (1959), starring Howard Keel: Holds the record for the number of times the boom mike itself appears in a film.

 

I believe TV framing shows more at the top of the screen than theatrical projection. Often boom mikes can be seen when you watch on TV which were not visible when the film was shown theatrically

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Cars must be a period film makers nightmare - aside from having to ensure that the vehicle, it's registration plates & accessories are correct for the time portrayed, there's all that lovely brightwork, glass and other reflective surfaces to give you unintended glimpses of off camera crew & equipment.

And when the detective, like Sam Spade has to put a watch under someone's tire to show when they left the scene of the crime, even the watch must be accurate to the time period. So true so true, Limey!

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escape170708_450x364.jpg

 

The WWII German Army didn't ride(and so McQueen couldn't have stolen) the British-built Triumph motorcycle seen here in order to jump this barbwire fence.

 

However there's a story to this...

 

After McQueen talked THE GREAT ESCAPE 's director John Sturges into including this sequence into the film, due to concerns about the lead actor's safety, McQueen was denied the chance to perform this stunt. And so, McQueen called his friend and fellow motorcycle racer Bud Ekins in California to ask if he'd attempt it. When Ekins arrived to survey the situation, he reportedly said that there was no way he'd attempt this stunt on a heavier BWM motorcycle and the appropriate brand the German Army of that era would have ridden.

 

A Triumph motorcycle was then found and fitted to resemble as much as possible something more resembling what the Wehrmacht would have used during this war.

 

(...btw...the "barbwire" was actually plain wire draped with rubber bands...still a very impressive stunt for the times, however)

Wow, this is mind boggling, Dargo! Good to hear that Steve got his way since I think it was George Cukor maybe who would not let W.C. Fields add a pool scene to the bit when he played Mister Micawber in "David Copperfield", since it was not originally in the Dickens novel.

 

What a loss!

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I believe TV framing shows more at the top of the screen than theatrical projection. Often boom mikes can be seen when you watch on TV which were not visible when the film was shown theatrically

I knew you never killed your wife, Richard!

 

I bet that Sam Sheppard did it!

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In the original version of The Manchurian Candidate, glimpses of what the Korean war POWS were brainwashed into believing was happening vs. actually happening start appearing in nightmares for both Frank Sinatra and his African American fellow officer.

 

In Sinatra's dreams, all the "women"  and extras were white.  The only black person in the room was his fellow officer.

 

But when the African American (sorry, the name of the actor escapes me right now) is dreaming, all the "women" are black.  However, there is one white extra who can be seen in the seen. Apparently, no one on the set realized this.

 

I believe you're referring to the great James Edwards, the noteworthy African-American actor who earned a reputation for playing non-stereotyped black characters in such films as "Home of the Brave" (1949) and "Battle Hymn" (1957), as well as "The Manchurian Candidate." His final screen appearance  was in "Patton" (1970) as the colorful Army general's personal aide, Sgt. William George Meeks. Edwards died of a heart attack on January 4, 1970 -- four months before the release of "Patton."

 

5157-12146-0.jpg  

Edwards as Cpl. Melvin in "Candidate"

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I believe you're referring to the great James Edwards, the noteworthy African-American actor who earned a reputation for playing non-stereotyped black characters in such films as "Home of the Brave" (1949) and "Battle Hymn" (1957), as well as "The Manchurian Candidate." His final screen appearance  was in "Patton" (1970) as the bombastic Army general's personal aide, Sgt. William George Meeks. Edwards died of a heart attack on January 4, 1970 -- four months before the release of "Patton."

 

5157-12146-0.jpg  

Edwards as Corporal Melvin

Yes, thank-you.  I knew someone would come up with his name for me.

 

Edwards is an actor I love to watch.  I love that he would appear in on-stereotyped roles.

 

This movie was also the first time that an African American actor appeared in a role where his race is never mentioned -the psychiatrist who is part of the panel studying Sinatra.

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In the recently broadcast THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM, the segment THE DANCING PRINCESS is set during a rather fancifully depicted Middle Ages. However, the royal palace in which the titular character (Yvette Mimieux) lives is none other than the illustrious Castle of Neuschwanstein, which was built in 1869-1892.

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...the titular character (Yvette Mimieux) ...

 

Oh, I dunno about THAT, Palmerin.

 

Those puppies never looked all that overly impressive to ME, anyway...

600full-yvette-mimieux.jpg

 

(...sorry, just couldn't resist...yeah yeah, I know...pretty "Junior High" level of "comedy" here, huh...I've probably just been watchin' too many of those so-called "debates" lately, and those clowns are rubbin' off on me!!!) ;)

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Both IMDB & TCM's own article on Remains of the Day, refer to a contemporary National Westminster Bank sign (the Bank of that name not being formed by a merger until after the timeframe of the film) appearing in the background when Hopkins is taking his cases from the back of the Daimler to go into the hotel - however, I've never actually been able to find that particular anachronism, despite repeated viewings (perhaps digitally edited out, or just my eyesight going south from too long spent trying find the DVR remote?).

 

Despite this, you can see the reflection of several modern cars in the Daimler's side window when the camera moves left to the car's rear to show Hopkins removing the aforementioned cases from it's boot/trunk. Later on, the bus that Thompson leaves on, shows a destination blind for a local route in a different town (St. Leonards via Mount Radford, which would be in Exeter - for the true nerds, the bus is preserved Exeter Corporation registration EFJ 666 & appears earlier in the movie following Hopkins' Daimler just before he gets to the hotel).

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This never made it on the screen, but sorta fits here. A story involving Columbia mogul Harry Cohn had him berating the writers of a proposed script for an epic taking place in the middle ages. He took exceptione to phrases like "Yes Sire", and said something like, "What is all this crap about 'Yes sir-ee!' Nobody talked like that back then!" He obviously thought he was preventing anachronisms in the dialogue.

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This never made it on the screen, but sorta fits here. A story involving Columbia mogul Harry Cohn had him berating the writers of a proposed script for an epic taking place in the middle ages. He took exceptione to phrases like "Yes Sire", and said something like, "What is all this crap about 'Yes sir-ee!' Nobody talked like that back then!" He obviously thought he was preventing anachronisms in the dialogue.

 

Are you sure that wasn't Samuel Goldwyn, who was the king of Hollywood malaprops and misstatements?

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Arturo- on a similar vein,  Don Juan has been portrayed often on screen.

 

In the poem written by Lord Byron, you can tell by the rhyme scheme that Byron thought the name was pronounced 'Don Jew-In"

 

By the way, what is the source of your avatar?

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  • 1 month later...

here's a recent slip up:

 

why did tcm place this morning's movie 'the shiralee' under the genre of 'musical'?      

 

it was for this reason i did not bother to tune in; i'm glad i double checked.

 

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