In the collaborative art of motion pictures, it’s no wonder errors happen—the camera accidentally capturing a crew member, a 1950s car appearing in the background of a 1920s-set movie or a drinking glass that’s empty in one shot and magically refilled in the next. We tiptoed through the “goofs” section of imdb.com and found compelling evidence that, even in films considered the greatest ever made, mistakes abound. Here are 25 of them.
High Noon (1952)
In the crane shot when Kane (Gary Cooper) is alone in the town square just before the final shootout, modern day Los Angeles is clearly visible in the skyline.
Double Indemnity (1944)
The door to Neff's (Fred MacMurray’s) apartment opens away from, rather than toward, his apartment, a violation of the Los Angeles Fire Code. The configuration was needed, however, for a key scene where Phyllis (Barbara Stanwyck) hides behind the door in the hallway.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
When Smith (James Stewart) arrives in Washington on the train, he's seen walking towards the exit with a porter behind him carrying his bags. The next shot shows the same porter coming into the station carrying someone else's bags.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
When Nicholson (Alec Guinness) falls on the dynamite plunger, the charges on the bridge are set off several seconds apart. Being on a single wire, with a single plunger, both charges should have gone off at the same time. Two separate charges would require two separate plungers and two separate wires.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
As George (James Stewart), Bert (Ward Bond) and Ernie (Frank Faylen) eye Violet (Gloria Grahame) as she walks down the street, the same woman in a print dress, holding the brim of her hat, walks by five times in 30 seconds.
The Sound of Music (1965)
When the Nazis are searching for the family on the roof of the abbey, one of the actors shines his flashlight accidentally toward the mountains, throwing a beam of light on the painted wall and exposing the Alpine scenery as a mere backdrop.
When Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt) gets shot while talking to a phone operator, the telephone cord between the phone and the handset is not connected.
When Norman (Anthony Perkins) drags Marion (Janet Leigh) from the bathroom to wrap her in the shower curtain, you can see that she is wearing panties.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
During the twister, a hanging flower pot on the porch barely moves.
The Graduate (1967)
In the scene in which Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) and Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) meet at the hotel bar, Benjamin unsuccessfully attempts to draw the attention of a passing waiter. In the glass wall behind them, the waiter can be seen to stop as he leaves the frame and wait for his cue to re-enter.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
When Joe Gillis (William Holden) gets out of the pool and Norma (Gloria Swanson) dries him off, several crewmembers, as well as lighting, microphones and other equipment, are reflected in Norma's sunglasses.
The Godfather (1972)
The Thoroughbred racehorse in the first horse scene has a white marking on its forehead. In the scene with the horse head in the bed, there is no white marking.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
When Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) and Junior are talking on the telephone, Sugar's eyes are clearly following lines on a cue card.
Gone With the Wind (1939)
Just after the burning of Atlanta, Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) and Rhett (Clark Gable) pause to observe the soldiers fleeing the city. An extra playing a soldier looks right into the camera.
As the camera moves away from Scottie (James Stewart) standing at the edge of the tower, the shadow of the camera can be seen for a second on the outer wall of the tower.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
To come up with a convincing effect for the floating pen in the shuttle sequence, Kubrick decided to simply use a pen that was taped to a sheet of glass suspended in front of the camera (the shuttle attendant can be seen to pull the pen off the glass when she takes hold of it). Just before she catches the pen, you can see the glass briefly reflecting light. On the BluRay release, a palm print and other marks can be seen on the glass.
Citizen Kane (1941)
During the picnic scene towards the end, Welles had to shoot against a back-projection because a location shoot was too costly and time-consuming. The stock footage used for the exterior was taken from King Kong (1933); the birds flying in the background are pterodactyls.
Annie Hall (1977)
During the Lobster scene in the beach house, the refrigerator is placed so close to the oven that it would be impossible to open the oven door.
All About Eve (1950)
While Phoebe (Barbara Bates) is looking at herself in the mirror during the final scene, a crew member sitting on a crane is visible for a few seconds at the top of the shot.
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
When Peggy (Teresa Wright) and Marie (Virginia Mayo) are in the ladies room at the restaurant, the cameraman's left arm is visible in one of the mirrors.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
When Spade (Humphrey Bogart) is talking to Det. Tom Polhaus (Ward Bond) about the Webley, the sound stage ceiling can be clearly seen above the tops of the buildings.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
When Scout (Mary Badham) and Jem (Phillip Alford) are discussing Jem going back to retrieve his trousers from Boo Radley's, Scout can be seen mouthing Jem's lines. In another scene, Scout mouths Atticus's (Gregory Peck's) next lines when begging her father to take her to visit Tom Robinson's family.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
When Casy (John Carradine) and Tom (Henry Fonda) are walking along the road towards the Joads' old farm, their shadows can be seen on the painted backdrop behind them.
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
As Kathy (Debbie Reynolds) takes Don (Gene Kelly) to Sunset and Camden, 1950s-era cars can be seen passing in the background.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
When the Doc removes the bed cover from Snow White while she is sleeping on the dwarfs' beds, you can briefly glimpse the outline of Doc's hand, drawn in the wrong place.