30 Unbelievable Film Mistakes That Made It To The Big Screen

We probably don’t need to convince you that the 1980s gave us some of the greatest films of all time.

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Featuring daring escapades, wonderfully imaginative faraway lands and hilarious characters, these films are some of our favourites, ones that we’ve returned to again and again to watch over and over.

But no matter how many times you may have seen some of your favourite 80s classics, we bet that there’s still some glaring things that you’ve missed…

There’s always something kind of amusing about movie mistakes, because often they are so ‘unbelievable’, it’s impossible to believe that they were not spotted in the editing room!

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Were the editors half asleep or was someone else being rather lazy?

Whatever the reason, the truth is that we don’t really care, because we love to look back on these films and learn about some of the mistakes that really should have been left on the cutting room floor.

In some of the greatest films from the 1980s there are many mistakes, some which you just can’t believe actually made it onto the big screen!

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Below are 30 of the ‘unbelievable’ mistakes, from 30 marvellous classic 80 films.

How many of these mistakes did you spot? And which of the films is your very favourite? Be sure to let us know with a comment.

1) Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice is a rather fantastic 1988 comedy fantasy film film directed by Tim Burton.

It revolves around a recently deceased couple (played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) who become ghosts haunting their former home, and a devious ghost named ‘Betelgeuse’ (played by Michael Keaton) who tries to scare away the house’s new inhabitants.

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We’re sure that many of you have seen this brilliant film multiple times over the years, but did you notice that when Adam and Barbara return to their home after dying, you can see their reflections in the mirror in the hallway to the left of them?

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A couple of shots later we learn that they are not suppose to have reflections. Whoops!

2) Parenthood

Who doesn’t love watching Parenthood?

For those of you who are looking at us blankly right now, Parenthood is a 1989 comedy drama film.

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It has a fantastic cast that includes a large amount of brilliant actors, including Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, Joaquin Phoenix, Keanu Reeves and Dianne Wiest.

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Unfortunately, despite being a brilliant film, like so many others it does contain its fair share of mistakes.

For example, When Helen returns from the carnival from her date with Mr Bowman, she gets out of the car and is wearing tan coloured shoes.

But when you then see her entering her house, she is clearly wearing white shoes!

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3) Poltergeist

Like us we suspect that many of you were traumatised rather badly by watching Poltergeist as a kid.

Despite not featuring any blood and gore like so many of the inferior modern horror films, it still has some unbelievably scary moments.

For example can forget the terrifying scene with the clown?

Certainly not us, as it still gives us nightmares to this very day!

But do you remember the scene at the breakfast table when Robbie’s glass breaks?

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Unfortunately the ‘movie magic’ wears off slightly during one particular shot, when you can clearly see a piece of string attached to the bottom of the glass, pulling the fake bottom off.

What, you mean that there were no real poltergeist involved in the making of this film?

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We don’t know about you but we want our money back now!

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4) Overboard

What do you mean you’ve never seen Overboard?

Featuring the ‘still married to this day’ couple of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Overboard is a rather lovely romantic comedy that you really should check out if you haven’t already.

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The film does feature a rather obvious case of ‘ADR’ (additional dialogue recording) however, when Annie leaves the boy’s classroom, after putting the teacher in her place.

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During this scene we can hear the boys saying “She told her off!” and “Dad never did that!” Yet none of the boys mouths are actually moving.

These days they would have fixed the mistake with CGI no doubt!

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5) Gremlins

Who doesn’t love Gremlins?

It’s one of our very favourite 80s films, featuring a rather ridiculous story about man who receives a strange creature called a ‘mogwai’ as a pet, which brilliantly then creates other creatures who transform into tiny scary little evil monsters!

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We’ve seen this film a ton of times, but we have never spotted the following mistake…

After one of the gremlins is killed in the blender, his legs are clearly seen to be inside the edge of the blender.

However, when the character of Billy comes home, the gremlins legs are clearly sticking out of the blender.

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They clearly needed to employ a person to ensure the ‘Gremlin in a blender’ continuity!

6) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

You’ve all seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, surely?

For the one person who has never gotten round to watching this 80s classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a brilliant 1986 teen comedy film starring Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller, a high-school looser who takes a day off from school.

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This was the first film we had ever seen where the main character ‘breaks the fourth wall’ to explain their inner thoughts, and we absolutely love it to this day!

Like so many of our other favourite films, it does still contain some glaring mistakes however.

For example, after Ferris picks up his girlfriend, Sloane, and starts talking to the camera, you can clearly see the shadow of a crew member moving around at the car door.

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Or maybe that’s just another example of them ‘breaking the fourth wall’?

Now that would have been really, really clever.

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7) First Blood

You may not have known that the first of the Rambo films was simply called ‘First Blood’, and it was released in 1982.

First Blood was based on a 1972 novel by David Morrell, and saw John Rambo rely on his combat and survival senses against the nasty law enforcement terrorising a small town.

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But we’re sad to report that Rambo doesn’t really exist, which is only too evident when the character jumps onto the back of the army truck.

During this scene, a landing pad can be clearly seen underneath the canvas, spoiling any illusions we once might have had about this fantastic film.

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8) National Lampoon’s Vacation

National Lampoon’s Vacation is the first of a series of six comedy films which was (at least initially) based on John Hughes’ short story ‘Vacation ’58’ which was originally published by ‘National Lampoon’ magazine.

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We’ll all have our favourite National Lampoon film, but there’s no argument which of the films features mistakes, because it’s all of them!

Sadly, the first film falls into a trap that so many others have fallen into before and since, when it comes to stunt men and women looking absolutely nothing like the actors they are supposed to be filling in for.

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Because in this film it is very obviously a stunt driver pretending to be Clark asleep at the wheel before they arrive at the first hotel.

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9) Rocky

We all have our favourite Rocky opponent.

Whether it’s Mr. T’s Clubber Lang in Rocky III, Apollo Creed, or Hulk Hogan himself as Thunderlips, we enjoy Rocky being tested to the limits throughout the popular series of films.

But as much as we wanted to believe that the fights going on before us were real, that clearly wasn’t the case in a number of shots.

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One example is when Rocky is getting his eyelid cut open, because if you look closely you can clearly see that the man cutting it is actually squeezing a tube of fake blood onto Rocky’s eye.

“Cut me Mick!”

10) Flight Of The Navigator

If there’s one film that captured our imagination over any other film when we were a child, it was Flight of the Navigator.

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Flight of the Navigator stars Joey Cramer as David Freeman, a 12 year old boy who is abducted by an alien spaceship and finds himself caught in a world that has changed around him.

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However, when the character of Jeff jumps out of a tree in the dark woods to frighten his big brother, the aforementioned David, you can clearly see the camera lights reflecting in his glasses.

So it really was just a film after all then, what a shame, and thanks for ruining our childhood.

11) National Lampoon’s European Vacation

National Lampoon’s European Vacation was released in 1985 and is the second film in the ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’ film series.

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As with the first film, it stars Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, but Dana Hill and Jason Lively replaced Dana Barron and Anthony Michael Hall as the children Audrey and Rusty.

This was because Anthony Michael Hall decided to star in (the rather brilliant) Weird Science rather than in this sequel, and for some reason the film’s producers decided to recast both of the children rather than just him.

This film contains a piece of premature pain that you many never have noticed before.

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When Clark Griswold accidentally hits Eric Idle’s character’s leg in the revolving door, Idle screams in pain well before the door makes any kind of contact with him.

12) Honey I Shrunk The Kids

Who doesn’t love Honey I Shrunk The Kids?

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I remember being transfixed as a child by the amazing special effects, although I’m sure if I saw it again now the effects would look rather poor compared to modern films such as Ant Man!

Did you ever notice in this film that when the kids are riding the ant, two members of the crew can be seen walking in front of them?

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13) Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters is one of the best films of the 1980s, and as you know doubt will know, it features a brilliant performance from Sigourney Weaver.

When told during her audition that the character she was to play would be possessed, apparently Weaver began growling and barking like a dog, as well as getting down on all fours!

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Director Ivan Reitman was so impressed with this bit of animal play that he immediately cast her in the film.

But despite this being a brilliant film with some excellent performances, it’s certainly not without its mistakes.

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For example, the first time that Peter goes into Dana’s apartment, the piano cover goes from being closed to open, to closed to open again.

Who you gonna call when you need some continuity?

Not these guys!

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14) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Yes, we’re back with National Lampoon again, this time on his Christmas Vacation.

This was the third film in the ‘National Lampoon’ series of films, and for many of us it’s the best, and something of a Christmas classic!

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We’re sure some of you will have seen this film every Christmas for many years, but have you ever noticed a rather obvious mistake?

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Because during the aerial shot when we first see the house lit up with thousands of beautiful Christmas lights, we see an RV parked in the driveway.

That may not be too strange you may think, until you realise that Catherine and Eddie, who the RV belongs to, haven’t even arrived at the house yet!

15) Uncle Buck

Uncle Buck was the very first ’12’ rated film I ever saw in the cinema, so even though it’s far from being a classic, it still definitely holds a very special place in my heart.

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It received mixed reviews from critics when it was released in 1989, but it still earned $8.8 million during its opening weekend, taking it to No. 1 at the box office.

The film does feature a rather strange case of disappearing crayons however.

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In the classroom scene when Maisy raises her hand to answer the teacher’s question, a girl in the background can be seen with a box of crayons and a book on her desk.

In the next shot, the box of crayons and book have completely disappeared!

16) Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Remember Planes, Trains and Automobiles?

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It’s the film in which Steve Martin and John Candy share a 3 day journey where they’re trying to get home to Chicago from New York City in time for Thanksgiving, and it’s considered by many to be one of the best comedy films of the 80s, a view that we definitely wouldn’t argue with.

But, yes you’ve guessed it, it does also feature some rather glaring mistakes!

An example would be when Neal Page is dropped off at the car rental parking lot and searches for his parking space.

Whilst he is busy looking, we can clearly see a camera reflected on the back of one of the cars!

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17) The Great Outdoors

What do you mean you’ve never heard of The Great Outdoors, it’s absolutely brilliant!

It’s a comedy film released in 1988 that was written and produced by the prolific John Hughes. It stars Dan Aykroyd and John Candy, and follows two families as they spend time on holiday.

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However, during the ‘catching the bat’ scene in the cabin, the painting on the mantelpiece above the fireplace magically disappears and reappears!

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18) Labyrinth

Labyrinth is a classic musical fantasy film that we absolutely love, but did you know that it could have starred a muscian who was arguably even more famous than David Bowie?

Yes, the search for someone who had both the acting and singing talents required to play Jareth meant that the choice was eventually narrowed down to either Michael Jackson or Bowie.

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We suspect that this film was a rather extreme technical challenge, so it’s no shock that it does contain some rather glaring mistakes.

For example, as Sarah falls from the dream to the junkyard, the wire lowering her down can clearly be seen.

These days that mistake would have been fixed by the technical wiz-kids tinkering on their computers rather easily we suspect.

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19) Stand By Me

We recently rated Stand By Me as the 3rd greatest ever Stephen King Adaptation, but whatever you think about its position in our Top 10, there’s not doubting that it’s absolutely brilliant.

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We’re sure that many of you will have seen this classic 80s film a number of times, but have you ever spotted any of the errors it contains?

One prime example would be when the boys are in the clubhouse.

Chris Chambers has a pack of cigarettes tucked up his sleeve, which throughout the scene manage to disappear and reappear!

20) E.T.

E.T. is the highest grossing film of the entire 1980s, which is hardly a surprise now is it?

It was released in the US on 11th June 1982, opening at number 1 with a gross of $11 million, and stayed at the top of the box office for 6 weeks.

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By the end of its theatrical run it had grossed $359 million in North America and $619 million worldwide, with Spielberg earning $500,000 a day from his share of the profits!

But even the most successful film of the 1980s has its mistakes.

Because when the family are having dinner together, the Mum clearly addresses the character of Gertie as Drew, of course referring to Drew Barrymore, the actress playing her!

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21) Blade Runner

Have you watched the recently released Blade Runner 2049?

Some (including myself) would claim that it’s as good as Ridley Scott’s 1982 masterpiece, but there’s no doubting how important the first film was, even if it did contain some rather glaring (and famous) errors.

You may have seen the 1982 film a number of times, but did you know that one scene shows actress Daryl Hannah seriously damaging her elbow?

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During the scene where Hannah’s character Pris meets genetic designer J.F. Sebastian, she slips on the pavement and smashes her elbow through a car window.

Hannah’s slip was a genuine mistake and the car window was made of real glass, not the fake film stuff.

This meant that Hannah chipped her elbow in eight places, ouch!

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21) Jurassic Park

For many of us Children of the 1980s, Jurassic Park was one of the most memorable cinema experiences of our entire youth.

Realistic dinosaurs are now extremely common, even on TV shows, but at the time we had never seen anything like it before!

Personally I was obsessed with the film, watching it 4 times in the cinema, many more times on VHS, DVD and on TV, and even at my friend’s house on a dodgy video recording that someone had filmed with their camcorder (yes, at the cinema)!

But even with all these multiple viewings I was shocked at how many details I had missed from the film…

One of the most famous mistakes in Jurassic Park is during the shot where the T-Rex rears his head to swallow the goat it has just been fed.

Because during the scene, you can clearly see one of the sprinklers that are giving the scene its rain effect!

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22) Back To The Future

The Back to the Future trilogy is another film that was big part of our youth.

From the classic original film, to the futuristic antics of the sequel, culminating with a wild ride in the third and final film, Marty and Doc’s antics thrilled us from start to finish.

But all three films in the trilogy feature a number of rather obvious mistakes…

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The first film features a number of rather lazy reflection based mistakes, including one right at the very end where a crew member is clearly visible in the reflection on the rear of the Delorean!

23) Back To The Future Part II

Things didn’t improve much in the second part of this classic trilogy either sadly.

Back To The Future Part II was made on a $40 million budget and was filmed back to back with its sequel, Part III.

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Maybe this multitasking contributed to some rather glaring mistakes that it contained…

Because one shot in the second film clearly shows the stunt wheel underneath the futuristic ‘hovering’ Delorean.

“Great Scott!”

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24) Top Gun

Top Gun is one of the defining films of the 1980s, forever giving us a need for speed, and also a life long love for Tom Cruise in his Navy uniform!

We’re certain that some of you will have seen it many times, but how much were you paying attention?

Because Maverick doesn’t actually know how to fly his plane properly…

Anytime Maverick puts on the brakes in the film he pushes the ‘throttle quadrant’ forward and pulls back on the ‘stick’, which in reality would actually have put him into a full climb.

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Basically he got the controls completely wrong!

25) Aliens

There’s often a debate as to whether ‘Alien’, or its sequel ‘Aliens’, is the better film.

To be honest it’s like comparing chalk with cheese, as they might be from the same franchise but they couldn’t be more different, with the first a horror film and the second an action film.

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But despite it being an undisputed classic, it does have some rather obvious errors…

One example near the end of the film is when Bishop is sliced in half by the Alien queen.

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Because if you look carefully, you can just about spot the lower half of Lance Henrickson’s body disappearing through a cleverly disguised hole in the floor!

26) RoboCop

In case you didn’t know, RoboCop is a brilliant 1987 American cyberpunk action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Peter Weller.

Set in a crime-ridden Detroit, Michigan, in the near future, RoboCop focuses on police officer Alex Murphy (Weller) who is murdered by a gang of criminals and later revived by the megacorporation Omni Consumer Products as a superhuman cyborg law enforcer known as RoboCop.

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It’s a brilliant film, but it does have it’s share of rather hilarious errors…

Because if  you look very carefully you can sometimes spot crew members visible in the background of shots. Cameras are also sometimes visible, reflected in car doors or windows, whoops!

27) Dirty Dancing

I’m sure there are thousands of you who would name Dirty Dancing as one of their favourite ever film from the 1980s.

It’s the kind of  film that you could watch on a rainy day, and immediately be swept away into the romantic and sensual arms of Johnny and Baby.

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It may (quite rightly) be considered a classic, but rather sadly it does have some rather obvious costume changes…

Because if you were paying close attention you will have seen that, whilst the colour of Jennifer Grey‘s outfits are similar, some are much darker than the others!

28) Pretty Woman

If we were to ask you what your favourite romantic comedy of all time was, we’d bet that a large number of you would come back to us and say ‘Pretty Woman’.

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The film is a brilliant tale of a Hollywood prostitute being hired by a wealthy businessman, it is still loved by many today, and we would bet money that many of you have seen it many times.

But were you really paying attention?

If so then you may have spotted a rather funny mistake during the scene when Vivian is eating a hotel breakfast in her dressing gown.

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Because her breakfast changes from a Croissant to a Pancake in an extremely short space of time!

29) Terminator 2: Judgement Day

As you may know, Judgement Day was on 29th August 1997, when 3 billion human lives ended.

Thankfully this was only make believe, resulting in the fictional survivors of the nuclear fire facing a new nightmare; the war against the machines!

But as serious as we may have taken this film at times, it does have some quite famous and glaring mistakes…

The recent 3D release of the film featured just one change, as confirmed by director James Cameron himself.

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This was a change to the windshields that come off the truck chasing after John Connor.

This caused is a continuity problem, as the windshield is later shown intact and then shattered, something which Cameron said had annoyed him for many years.

So, a rare example of a mistake being fixed at a later date!

30) Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

Everyone’s favourite archaeologist Indiana Jones’ 2nd outing accumulated a record-breaking $45.7 million in its first week.

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The film went on to gross $333.1 million worldwide, with $180 million in North America and $153.1 million in other markets, becoming the 10th highest grossing film of the entire 1980s!

However, during the mine cart chase, when Short Round’s arms are being pulled by the Thuggees while Indy’s hanging onto him, in the wide shot you can see the black safety strap around Shorty’s hips, over his trousers!

Yes film mistakes can be so amusing!

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They are always fun to spot!

It sure makes you wonder, who on earth is doing the editing in Hollywood?

Be sure to share this post with your fellow 80s kids, so they too can take a nostalgic look back at the quality films of our youth.