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Common Mistakes In The Movies

Updated on May 26, 2012
Laurel and Hardy
Laurel and Hardy | Source

There have been many mistakes made in the movies. Some mistakes are glaring, some are subtle, while there are even some mistakes that are intentionally put in to enhance the entertainment value of the movie. I have listed below some of the more common mistakes that the movie makers make.

I remember scenes of Rambo clutching a grenade in one hand and pulling out the safety pin with his teeth. In fact, when the enemies are coming thick and fast, he might actually have done 2 pins at a time. I wonder if that is why he talks funny - he must have lost all his front teeth pulling out those pins.

I have first hand experience at pulling out the safety pin of a grenade, and it is definitely not something that you can do with your teeth. You first hold the grenade firmly in your throwing hand, with your thumb pressing firmly on the safety lever. With the index finger of your other hand, you pull out the safety pin. You will need to use all your strength, and you will need to apply a twisting motion before the pin will slowly come out. It took me a good 10 seconds to get the pin out, and for a second, I was worried that I might not have the strength to pull the pin out.

Starting A Stolen Car
The hero/villain will smash the car windows with his fist or elbow, enter the car and fiddle around under the dashboard. He will pull out 2 wires, strip them with his teeth, short them together and start the car.

I don't know about how easy it is to break a car's windows with your hand so I will not talk about that but I suspect that it is easier for you to end up with a broken hand than broken car windows.

But I do know that it is difficult to know which wires are used to start the car as it differs between the car manufacturers. So, unless the villain is a car mechanic, knowing which 2 wires start the car would pose a problem. And the wires are securely attached so it will take more than a strong tug to pull them loose. And don't even think that it is possible to strip wires with your teeth.

Electronic Locks And Passwords
There are so many movies in which there is an electronic lock that needs to be broken into. The lock will come with, say, a 10-digit combination. And usually, the device used to break into the lock, or figure out the combination, will have a display with 10 digits. Initially, all the 10 digits will be running. As the device finds out the correct digits, one by one, the running digits will stop and show the correct number, until the complete 10 digit combination is displayed. This "technique" is also used when breaking into a password protected computer, website or computer program.

As an electronics engineer who have written many software programs, I have to say that the technique illustrated in the movies is total nonsense. You might be able to break into a system by using the brute force method of trying as many combinations as the system will allow you, but the system will only tell you if the combination entered is right or wrong, and will definitely not tell you which digit is right or wrong - the script writers must have played one too many games of Mastermind. And the brute force method can be easily defeated if the system imposes a limit to the number of erroneous entries.

Underwater Scenes
Have you wondered at the prodigious lung capacity of the actors and actresses in underwater scenes? They can stay underwater for minutes, looking for a way out, lugging heavy stuff like guns, fighting aliens, dodging bullets, and almost, but never quite, running out of air. And have you wondered how their eyes can function in the dirty water, as they most certainly will be stinging and want to remain resolutely shut. And don't get me started about how the eyes can even see in the low light conditions.

You can try a simple simulation yourself. Visit your local swimming pool and try swimming the breadth of it without coming up for air. Most of us would not be able to do even that. Imagine doing that after running a few laps around the pool, dressed in your street clothes, without your goggles, and with something heavy around your neck.

The Exploding Car
In the movies, it seems that in practically every car crash, the car will explode. And, many a time, somebody will be pulled from the wreck of a burning car just before it explodes into a flaming fireball.

Rather than try to explain why cars do not explode, just think from your personal experience. Just think of the pileups on the highways, or car crashes which you have driven past, or news reports you have seen, how many involved an exploding or even a flaming car?

Other Sites About Mistakes In The Movies

1. Top 15 Movie Mistakes2. Stupid Movie Mistakes


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    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 7 years ago from Singapore

      That's right, omcj1234. :)

    • omcj1234 profile image

      omcj1234 7 years ago

      Good Hub. I knew it didn't make sense that grenade pins could come out so easily. They're freaking grenades!

    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 7 years ago from Singapore

      Really? I have never heard that one before. Gotta try that one. Thanks Shinkicker. :)

    • Shinkicker profile image

      Shinkicker 7 years ago from Scotland

      Great Hub wandererh :-)

      My mate told me another one...apparently cigarette ends can't ignite petrol spills, not enough heat.


    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 7 years ago from Singapore

      Wow, explodium. That explains a lot of things. :)

      But actually I don't mind the exploding cars - very entertaining.

    • satomko profile image

      Seth Tomko 7 years ago from Macon, GA

      I do have to point out that cars in movies and tv shows aren't made like regular automobiles but are instead made of a substance called "explodium" which means that even an incorrect parallel parking job can cause the car to violently explode. I'm kidding of course; thanks for the hub.

    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 7 years ago from Singapore

      Reality tv is scripted?!?! Arrrggghh!!!!

      But that probably explains why the villians are really bad. So, are you saying that the winners of Survivor didn't get their million dollars, but only get paid per episode?

    • bonnebartron profile image

      bonnebartron 7 years ago from never one place for too long

      Nice, I say you track down the scripty on each of these films and tell them to pay closer attention to their jobs! Then, I think you should start a letter writing campaign to tell producers that films must be closer to fact! Oh and is this a bad time to tell you that reality tv is scripted? I don't want to burst any bubbles here! lol