12 Big Mistakes in Classic Movies That No One Noticed

12 Big Mistakes in Classic Movies That No One Noticed

A fantastic film has the power to immerse you in its universe and the experiences of its characters, captivating your ability to believe in what you see. Yet, occasionally, when your focus shifts away from the plot, you might catch errors that disrupt the flow of the story—minor blunders that the filmmakers either overlooked or hoped would go unnoticed. These imperfections become part of cinematic lore, forever etched into the finished product. Explore below for seven timeless movie mishaps that may have eluded your attention, even after multiple viewings.

1. Gone with the Wind (1939)

In the biggest movie ever, there's a huge mistake from history. When the camera shows the dead and wounded in a Civil War scene, it also shows a street lamp. But back then, they only had gas lamps, not electric ones like what's seen in the movie.

2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

"The Wizard of Oz" is a timeless favorite, but even die-hard fans must admit it's not flawless. One mistake in the film actually takes away from its enchantment: When the Wicked Witch of the West, played by Margaret Hamilton, is about to vanish in a ball of red smoke after causing chaos among the Munchkins, watch closely. You'll see the trap door in the floor, through which Hamilton is supposed to disappear, starts to open before the smoke effects fully hide it.

3. Double Indemnity (1944)

In the classic noir film "Double Indemnity," we follow the story of Walter Neff, an insurance salesman played by Fred MacMurray, who gets tangled in a scheme devised by his alluring client, Phyllis Dietrichson, portrayed by Barbara Stanwyck, to murder her husband. Neff is portrayed as unmarried in the film, which makes him an easy target for the femme fatale. However, keen-eyed viewers may notice a continuity error: MacMurray's real-life wedding ring is visible in numerous scenes, despite his character's supposed bachelor status. At the time, MacMurray was married to Lillian Lamont, a theater and silent film performer.

4. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

In a scene from the iconic Spaghetti Western "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," featuring Clint Eastwood's Blondie and Eli Wallach's Tuco attaching dynamite to a bridge, sharp-eyed viewers might spot a car driving by in the far background, top right corner. This anachronism stands out because the film is set in 1862, long before automobiles were invented in 1886. Additionally, in the following scene, Blondie and Tuco appear completely dry, despite having just emerged from a river.

5. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

In the first Star Wars film, there's a famously well-known movie mistake, likely because fans have watched it countless times. In a scene where stormtroopers are threatening C-3PO and R2-D2 on the Death Star, if you pay close attention, you'll spot one of them accidentally hitting their helmeted head on the top of the door frame as they enter the room.

6. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

In "Raiders of the Lost Ark," Indiana Jones famously faces off against snakes, despite his aversion to them. During the scene where he encounters a hissing, hooded serpent, the snakes were actually kept safely behind glass. However, in the original release of the film (and early VHS versions), viewers could catch a glimpse of the snake's reflection in the glass as Marion Ravenwood (played by Karen Allen) appeared to stare at it from close range. Although this blooper has been removed from the DVD and Blu-ray releases, the legend of the oversight endures.

7. Pretty Woman (1990)

Hopefully, you were too swept up in the romantic sparks between Edward (played by Richard Gere) and Vivian (portrayed by Julia Roberts) in "Pretty Woman" to catch a humorous mistake during their intimate breakfast the morning after their first night together. While Vivian nibbles on a croissant as Edward reads the newspaper, a continuity error slips in: When the camera returns to her, she's suddenly holding a pancake with a single perfect bite taken out of it.

8. North by Northwest (1959)

In the Alfred Hitchcock thriller "North by Northwest," one extra was particularly ready for the scene, maybe a bit too ready. In the background of the sequence where Eva Marie Saint's character, Eve Kendall, fires blanks at Cary Grant's character, Roger Thornhill, in front of a crowd at the Mount Rushmore Visitor Center, observant viewers might notice a young boy sticking his fingers in his ears to block out the noise of the prop gun.

9. Titanic (1997)

Jack Dawson (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) appears visibly flustered when Rose Dewitt Bukater (portrayed by Kate Winslet) requests him to sketch her wearing only the valuable "Heart of the Ocean" necklace, a gift from her wealthy fiancé Cal (performed by Billy Zane) in "Titanic." One significant clue to Jack's nervousness is when he accidentally says, "lie on that bed, uh, I mean couch." This line wasn't scripted; it was a mistake by DiCaprio. However, Director James Cameron appreciated the authenticity it added to the scene, so the slip-up was left in the final cut.

10. The Goonies (1985)

At the conclusion of "Goonies," Data (played by Ke Huy Quan) mentions to a reporter a threat they never actually faced during their adventures. His line "The octopus was really scary!" seems like an exaggeration, but it's not. In a scene that was deleted from the final version of the film, the Goonies are indeed attacked by an octopus. Although the scene was cut, Data's line remained, making it a bit confusing for those not familiar with "Goonies" trivia.

11. The Shining (1980)

In Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's "The Shining," there's a sweeping wide shot of the Overlook Hotel, but if you look closely, you'll notice a small detail missing: there's no sign indicating the hedge maze where the climactic scene unfolds.

12. Pulp Fiction (1994)

In "Pulp Fiction," the bullet holes in the wall behind Vincent (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) during the scene where they retrieve Marcellus' (Ving Rhames) briefcase aren't intentional clues in the nonlinear narrative. They're simply a continuity error. Interestingly, they appear before the characters are even shot at, so you could interpret them as an ominous sign, if you want.