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Ever watched a movie with such laser focus that you spotted a boom mic swinging by, a stuntman tripping, or maybe even a rogue coffee cup casually strolling through the scene? Welcome, eagle-eyed cinephiles, to the fascinating world of movie mistakes! Today, we’re diving headfirst into the blooper bloopers of Hollywood, counting down the Top 10 Movies With The Most Mistakes.
Get ready for a hilarious (and slightly shocking) tour of misplaced props, continuity errors, and gaffes so glaring they’ll make you rewind and say, “Did I just see that?” From Hitchcock’s avian extravaganza to a certain over the rainbow world gone slightly awry, we’ll uncover the hidden blunders that somehow made it past the final cut. So, grab your popcorn and your magnifying glass, because we’re about to celebrate the glorious imperfections that make these films just a little bit more endearing (and, let’s be honest, endlessly entertaining).
Prepare to be surprised, to laugh, and maybe even question your own movie-watching skills. Are you ready to discover the cinematic slip-ups that will leave you saying, “Wow, how did they miss that?” Then buckle up, fellow film fans, because the countdown to the most mistake-ridden movies of all time begins now!
Top 10 Movies With The Most Mistakes
|Number of Mishaps per Minute
|Number of Mishaps
|The Wizard of Oz
|Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
|Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
|Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
|Beauty and the Beast
|Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
1 – Apocalypse Now | 563 mishaps
Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic war film, Apocalypse Now, is celebrated for its immersive storytelling and visually stunning scenes. Yet, it ranks first as movie with the most mishaps of all time with 563 documented mistakes, which averages out to approximately 3.83 errors per minute throughout the movie’s intense journey into the heart of darkness.
One of the most famous mistakes of the movie was getting military details wrong, by using outdated NATO alphabet terms ‘Peter’ and ‘King’ instead of ‘Papa’ and ‘Kilo’ in a radio transmission scene set before the NATO alphabet was updated in 1956.
Apocalypse Now, inspired by Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” plunges us into the heart of the Vietnam War. Captain Willard, a disillusioned officer, is tasked with the seemingly impossible mission of assassinating Colonel Kurtz, a rogue Special Forces leader who has gone mad and established himself as a god-like figure in a remote Cambodian jungle outpost.
Willard’s journey up the river becomes a psychedelic descent into the abyss of war. He witnesses the chaos and devastation firsthand, encountering surfing soldiers, crazed USO entertainers, and brutal warlords. As he gets closer to Kurtz, the lines between sanity and madness blur, forcing Willard to confront his own demons and question the very reason for his mission.
- Helicopter Blades: The infamous blade-stopping scene (where Martin Sheen’s character talks about the smell of napalm) actually shows the helicopter blades stopping and starting inconsistently throughout the shot.
- Uniform Name Tags: Captain Willard’s name tag switches from “Willard” to “Killard” and back again throughout the film.
- Charred Remains: The charred remains of a character change position between shots after a napalm attack.
Visible Props and Crew:
- Coffee Cup: In the French plantation scene, a clearly visible coffee cup appears on a table in the background.
- Boom Mic: A boom mic dips into the frame during Colonel Kurtz’s iconic final monologue.
- Safety Wires: During the Playboy helicopter rescue scene, safety wires are visible holding onto the actors as they dangle from the chopper.
- Cobra Gunships: The film features Cobra gunships, which weren’t deployed in Vietnam until a month after the events depicted.
- Playboy Playmates: Playmates didn’t exist during the Vietnam War, adding an anachronistic element to the USO scene.
- Dates: The film’s timeline doesn’t always line up with real-world events during the war.
Other Interesting “Mistakes”:
- Martin Sheen’s Injury: Sheen famously injured himself during filming and the real blood and bandage are incorporated into the final scene.
- Breathing Head: When Kurtz throws Chef’s severed head at Willard, it appears to breathe despite being obviously detached from the body.
2 – The Birds | 552 mishaps
Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller ‘The Birds‘ is renowned for its suspenseful plot and Hitchcock’s signature directorial style. The film ranks second among movies with the most mishaps of all time, with 552 documented mistakes, averaging approximately 4.64 errors per minute.
You can spot one of the mistakes during the scene where Mitch is boarding up the house. He inexplicably places the last board on top of the bottom one and lightly taps it with a hammer, omitting the use of nails.
The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock’s chilling masterpiece, plunges us into a seaside Californian town thrown into chaos by a seemingly inexplicable phenomenon: a relentless onslaught of violent bird attacks. Melanie Daniels, a socialite, arrives in Bodega Bay to visit Mitch Brenner, a lawyer she met in San Francisco. But their budding romance takes a sinister turn as birds of all kinds – gulls, sparrows, crows – begin flocking in unnatural numbers, targeting people with vicious attacks.
Panic and confusion grip the town as schools, homes, and even the local diner become battlegrounds against the feathered aggressors. The Brenners and their loved ones desperately try to find refuge and understand the cause of this avian apocalypse. Theories swirl – sabotage, environmental imbalance, or even divine retribution – but no answers alleviate the terrifying reality of the attacks.
Visible Crew and Props:
- Boom Mic: In the scene where Melanie and Mitch are caught in the diner attack, a boom mic dips into the frame amidst the chaos.
- Camera Reflection: During the schoolhouse attack, a camera reflection can be seen in a window as the birds swarm.
- Tennis Ball Trickery: To create the illusion of birds attacking the attic window, tennis balls were thrown at it from behind the camera. Some viewers claim to spot the balls momentarily in the shot.
- Melanie’s Scarf: In the Bodega Bay restaurant scene, Melanie’s scarf changes color between shots, going from white to blue.
- The Boat’s Engine: The sound of the engine continues to play even after the boat stops moving in several scenes.
- Missing Birds: In the final scene, the birds are noticeably absent from some shots, raising questions about their sudden disappearance.
- Bird Species: Some bird species depicted in the film, like the common buzzard, weren’t actually present in California during the time period.
- Bird Behavior: The film takes creative liberties with bird behavior, portraying them as more aggressive and coordinated than they are in reality.
Other Interesting “Mistakes”:
- Fake Birds: Many of the birds used in the film were taxidermied or mechanical, adding to the eerie atmosphere.
- Tippi Hedren’s Injuries: Actress Tippi Hedren was actually attacked by the birds during filming, resulting in real scratches and bruises that were incorporated into the film.
3 – The Wizard of Oz | 434 mishaps
The Wizard of Oz holds the third spot among films with the most mistakes, boasting 434 errors at an average rate of approximately 4.25 mistakes per minute. It is a beloved classic due to its timeless story, iconic characters, memorable music, and lasting cultural impact.
In the famous sequence of Dorothy meeting the Scarecrow, there’s a noticeable mistake with Dorothy’s hairstyle. Her pigtails initially appear short (above her shoulders), but as the song unfolds, they inexplicably lengthen (below her shoulders), then shorten, and lengthen once more.
In the dusty heart of Kansas, Dorothy Gale dreams of “going over the rainbow,” yearning for something more than her monotonous farm life. Suddenly, a tornado whisks her house away, landing her in the technicolor world of Oz. Upon arrival, she learns she’s killed the Wicked Witch of the East, freeing the Munchkins who shower her with gratitude and ruby slippers.
Guided by the Good Witch of the North, Dorothy embarks on a quest to reach the Emerald City and seek help from the powerful Wizard of Oz, the only one who can send her home. Along the yellow brick road, she encounters a motley crew of companions: the Scarecrow longing for brains, the Tin Woodman yearning for a heart, and the Cowardly Lion seeking courage.
Together, they face perilous challenges – Munchkins guarding a deadly poppy field, flying monkeys sent by the vengeful Wicked Witch of the West, and even the Wizard’s deceptive tests. Through each obstacle, Dorothy and her friends discover that they already possess the qualities they so desperately desire. The Scarecrow displays wit and cunning, the Tin Woodman reveals compassion and kindness, and the Lion finds bravery within himself.
- Dorothy’s Pigtails: Her pigtails switch from braided to unbraided and back throughout the film, particularly noticeable during the tornado scene.
- Apple Tree Apples: When the apples fall on the Scarecrow, there are suddenly extra black shoes visible alongside his straw feet.
- Horse of a Different Color: In the apple tree scene, the purple horse’s purple dye licks off briefly, revealing its natural brown coat.
Visible Crew and Props:
- Boom Mic Shadow: A faint shadow of the boom mic can be seen on the wall during the scene where Dorothy meets the Wicked Witch in the poppy field.
- Wire Work: When the Tin Woodman falls into the Poppy Field, wires are visible for a moment holding him up.
- Stuntman Stumble: The Winkie who trips Dorothy as she enters the Emerald City is actually a stuntman accidentally stumbling.
- Judy Garland’s Barking Dog: In the Munchkinland dance scene, listen closely for a few high-pitched barks – a playful nod to Judy Garland’s dog Toto, who was notoriously difficult to work with.
- Tin Woodman’s Oil Can Label: Look closely at the Tin Woodman’s oil can – it’s labeled “Warner Bros. Special Blend,” a cheeky shout-out to the film studio.
- Lions and Tigers and… Bears?: During the “If I Only Had a Brain” sequence, the Cowardly Lion briefly roars like a bear – a fun Easter egg for keen-eared viewers.
- Melting Witch and the Trapdoor: When the Wicked Witch melts, the outline of the trapdoor under her dress is briefly visible. Was it intentional or a production oversight?
- Toto’s Mysterious Jump: In the balloon escape scene, the Tin Woodman unties the balloon before seemingly reacting in surprise. Did Toto jump off, prompting the action, or was it another editing quirk?
- Lost Jitterbugs: The Wicked Witch mentions sending “little insects” to weaken Dorothy, hinting at a planned Jitterbug scene that was ultimately cut.
BonusFinder wanted to identify the “Movies with the Most Mishaps of All Time,” and initiated the research by creating a comprehensive list of films known for on-set mishaps, based on IMDb’s list “With Goofs”.
From this list, the experts gathered the following factors:
- Movie Name
- Movie Length (in hours)
- Budget (Estimate)
- Gross Worldwide
- Main Actors
The website MovieMistake was then used to collect the number of mistakes made in each movie.
To find ‘the number of mishaps per minute’, the number of mistakes was divided by the movie length (in minutes).
The ‘% of Budget used by Mishaps’ and ‘Mishaps % of Gross’ were calculated by dividing the budget and gross worldwide by the number of mishaps, and then multiplied by 100 to get the percentage.
The data was collected on 7 September 2023 and is subject to change.
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