20 Movie Mistakes That Actually Made The Final Cut
If you’ve ever taken the time to sit through the full credits of a movie, you’ve no doubt noticed that it can take thousands of people to finish a film—which makes it that much funnier when a glaring mistake manages to sneak its way past all of them. Keep reading to see some of the oddest, funniest, and all-around best movie mistakes that actually made the final cut.
Star Wars head bonk
Director George Lucas didn’t have the biggest budget to work with when he made the original Star Wars, and as a result, he had to make do with a number of shots and situations that ended up being less than ideal. One particularly funny example can be glimpsed during the sequence in which a platoon of Imperial stormtroopers bursts into a Death Star control room—one of whom, unable to see clearly past his helmet visor, bumps his head on the door. Lucas may not have planned the shoot this way, but when putting together his “special edition” edits years later, he didn’t take it out; instead, he added a sound effect to acknowledge the goof.
Elsa’s amazing hair
When you’re a Disney cartoon, you don’t have to obey the laws of physics. Just ask Elsa from Frozen—as she demonstrates during her big musical number, she can not only flawlessly let down her hair, she’s able to send her braid soaring straight through her arm without feeling a thing.
Gotham City has horrible drivers
Even before Bane took over Gotham in The Dark Knight rises, the town had horrible problems with scofflaws—and not just of the superpowered variety. When Selina steals Bruce Wayne’s car during one of the movie’s lighter moments, be amazed at how literally no one on the street is obeying the obvious red light at this intersection.
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we see Cap diving out of a plane into the ocean so he can stage a sneak attack on a ship—and when he climbs out of the water, he’s bone dry, shield and all. Who knew that was one of his powers?
Star-Lord might be illiterate
Guardians of the Galaxy tugs at the heartstrings in this scene that sees Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, reading a farewell letter from his dear old mom. The problem? The words he’s hearing in her voiceover don’t match what’s written on the page. Growing up among space pirates must make it hard to learn to read.
The Dark Knight’s incredible Bat-Punch
It’s easy to forget how much choreography is involved in a movie fight sequence, but there’s a lot more to it than just pretending to throw kicks and punches, and one errant move can mean the difference between a scene that looks like convincing hand-to-hand combat and one that…well, looks like the rooftop fight from The Dark Knight Rises. There’s a lot going on here, including a fateful turn in the relationship between Batman and Catwoman, so most of us didn’t notice that one of Bane’s henchmen takes a dive during the fight, falling down without anyone even laying a hand on him.
The Amazing Spider-Lamp
The best part of having multiple Spider-Man reboots is getting the chance to see Spidey learning how to use his powers all over again, right? Of course not—it’s the most boring part of the story. But in 2002’s Spider-Man, our young hero’s training footage comes with a memorable blooper: he breaks a lamp while testing his webbing, but when Aunt May comes knocking at the door moments later, it’s back on the shelf like nothing ever happened.
Harry Potter and the Visible Cameraman
In this scene from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, a tense battle of wands between Harry and the villainous Draco Malfoy includes an extra bit of magic in the form of the Muggle cameraman who can be glimpsed filming after Harry knocks Draco down.
Eomer’s holy sheath
Éomer makes quite the entrance in his first meeting with Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas during 2002’s Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, but he has an even more memorable exit—you can see his mighty sword slip out of its scabbard as he climbs back on his horse.
The Pie cup
Poor Stifler endured a number of disgusting indignities over the course of the American Pie franchise, but this one ranks among the funniest—and most memorably error-prone. During the infamously disgusting cup scene, said cup changes from blue to clear and back again—a detail most of us failed to notice at the time because we were far too caught up in the contents of the cup Stifler eventually drinks from.
Movie goof connoisseurs savor viewings of Gladiator like a fine meal, given the number of mistakes you can spot in Ridley Scott’s hit swords ‘n’ sandals epic. But our favorite of the bunch is this wide shot from Russell Crowe’s colosseum battle, in which you can see a jeans-sporting cameraman hanging out among the crowd.
Hamish’s rubber axe
Ever wonder how Hollywood action heroes manage to get through epic battle scenes without actually getting injured? We get an amusing peek behind the scenes during this moment from Braveheart, in which the noble Hamish (played by Brendan Gleeson) can be seen charging bravely into battle with his axe at the ready. It’s a rousingly effective scene, but its impact is undercut just a bit by the fact that Hamish’s weapon is clearly flopping around as he runs, exposing it as a harmless rubber prop.
One of the most effective sequences in the original Jurassic Park occurs when the children are trying to outrun velociraptors inside a kitchen. It’s a great scene mixing tension and humor and establishing just how clever these raptors are supposed to be—and it also establishes how poorly balanced they are if you’re watching closely. Pay attention to the raptor in the doorway after it lets itself into the room, and you’ll notice a helping hand resting on its butt just above the tail, keeping it from taking a decidedly undignified tumble.
T2 rubber knife
It isn’t easy to beat people up with dignity while you’re naked, but Arnold Schwarzenegger manages to pull it off during a key sequence from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Of course, this is Hollywood, so he had a little extra help—like facing off against guys who showed up to a cyborg fight with a rubber knife.
The Braveheart car
We definitely don’t mean to pick on Braveheart, but Mel Gibson’s historical war drama might have turned out very differently if the characters in one of its 13th-century battle scenes happened to notice they were skirmishing in front of an automobile. The moment passes very quickly, but watch closely and you can see a white car parked in the background. Imagine if William Wallace had just been able to drive to London and confront the king? The poor guy could have avoided that whole unpleasant business of being hung, drawn, and quartered.
The mysterious hedge maze
If you’ve spent any time delving into the deep mythology surrounding The Shining—or watched the recent documentary Room 237—you know Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the Stephen King bestseller is a masterpiece of steadily mounting horror that makes heavy use of disorientation to create a growing feeling of unease in the viewer. This is reflected in the movie’s setting, the remote Overlook Hotel; as Shining experts have pointed out over the years, the building’s entire floor plan is riddled with spatial impossibilities. The weirdness doesn’t stop at the hotel walls, either: the movie’s climax makes brilliant use of a creepy hedge maze—which is nowhere to be seen during the sweeping aerial shot of the Overlook that opens the movie. Unintentional goof, or twisted Kubrickian genius? You decide.
Doc Brown’s kid is kind of a perv
Granted, none of us were around in the 1800s, but if we were somehow able to travel back in time, it seems unlikely that we’d find small children saying hello to strangers by making potentially obscene gestures, as we see Doc Brown’s youngest son doing in this unintentionally hilarious scene from Back to the Future III.
The little anticipator
One of the greatest goofs in classic cinema occurs in the vintage Hitchcock thriller North by Northwest. During Cary Grant’s argument with Eva Marie Saint, specifically when Saint’s character pulls a gun on Grant—a child actor, who’d evidently gotten a case of nerves after reading the script or suffering through a few too many takes, covers his ears well before his character is supposed to be aware of what’s going on.
Teen Wolf flasher
There’s no shortage of cheesy silliness in the mid-’80s Michael J. Fox cult comedy classic Teen Wolf—it is, after all, about a suburban kid who suddenly realizes he’s the victim of a family curse that turns the men in his family into werewolves. But if you’re watching closely during the movie’s final act, you might get a quick laugh out of the more unfortunate bits of bad timing ever suffered by a background extra.
The moment in question occurs during the big celebration after Fox’s character wins the big game, and a celebration erupts in the stands—evidently surprising one young woman in the crowd, who can be glimpsed cheering with her pants completely unbuttoned. She manages to get them closed up later in the scene, but we’ve always liked to think of her as a long-lost cousin to Fox’s character in the Back to the Future series, Marty McFly.
The Commando Porsche
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Commando is the pinnacle of silly 1980s action. Why is this big Austrian’s name John Matrix? How is Alyssa Milano his daughter? And more than anything, what’s the deal with his magic yellow Porsche?
We’re talking, of course, about the part of the movie that sees Matrix chasing down the bad guy Sully, trashing the Porsche in the process. The poor car seems destined for a few weeks in a body shop…until John gets back behind the wheel, at which point it appears miraculously damage-free.