Wardrobe Mistakes And Other Similar Gaffes In Hollywood Movies
This 2004 epic war drama that’s loosely based on Homer’s Illiad got nominated for an Oscar for Best Costume Design. So, what the hell is it doing in this list, you ask? Well, like we mentioned, Hollywood, to a huge degree, doesn’t always get it right. And Troy, despite the aforementioned Oscar nomination, made a few blunders here and there, particularly in its use of modern umbrellas for certain scenes.
For one scene, Orlando Bloom’s character Paris can be seen riding a frilly carriage while being sheltered from the sun with what seems to be a pink, modern, steel-ribbed umbrella. The problem, however, is that this particular umbrella design hadn’t been invented until 1852.
The fine acting and believable dialogue made this one of the best films that’s come out of the 90s. Hell, more than 25 years on, and it’s still regarded as one of the best movies ever made. This has probably given hefty cash to the actors participating on this project, giving them enough chance to avoid bankruptcy. So, while it gives us absolutely no pleasure to talk smack about this icon of cinema, the fact is that a few mistakes were made, and since this post is about movie mistakes, it’s only fair that we highlight one from Tarantino’s best.
In one of the film’s most recognizable scenes—you know, where Jules goes existential and recites Ezekiel 25:17—scrupulous viewers have noticed that the wall had already been peppered with bullet holes before any guns were even fired.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
This 1985 classic had many scenes that were, how shall we say, nowhere near believable. It’s a movie about a teenager who was able to travel back in time in a DeLorean, after all. But setting aside the implausibility of time travel because of all the concomitant paradoxes for a moment, one might be interested to know that there was another, lesser known mistake that only the guitar-obsessed fans of the show were able to notice.
When Marty was blowing everyone’s minds and splaying their bodies with electricity playing Johnny B. Goode, he was using a model of electric guitar (a Gibson ES-345, to be exact) that wasn’t introduced until 3 years after the film was set.
This 1990 romantic comedy by Gerry Marshall was a huge success at the box office, establishing Julia Roberts as a leading lady and a true Hollywood A-lister. In all fairness she should be given credit for perfectly carrying this film, which was about a rich man who fell head-over-heels for a prostitute. It was a relatively tame rom-com, but there was one scene—when the beautiful couple first make love—where viewers caught a brief glimpse of Robert’s breasts.
Granted, it happened so quickly and was easy to miss. But those with superhuman vision and an inordinate amount of lust for Roberts would have definitely noticed it.
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN
This 1952 musical-comedy film is one of the few films on review-aggregator Rotten Tomatoes that has a score of 100%. This plus the fact that it’s been able to cop so many awards —- which is an enough that a lot of effort had been put into its production. Credits to the hardworking people behind it.
Of course, there is one thing viewers noticed that is keeping this film from being perfect; it is the fact that Kathy Selden, who was played by Debbie Reynolds, can be seen making fashion choices that would have only been possible during the fifties, given the clothing trends at the time, despite the fact that the film was set in the roaring twenties.
This classic 1994 film—and the film Philadelphia, to a lesser degree—is what changed how people perceived Tom Hanks as an actor. Prior to Forrest Gump, he was always the comedian who can act. After playing the clean-cut man with an abysmally low IQ, however, he’s been regarded as one of the best thespians in Hollywood ever since.
The film was, needless to say close to perfect. But there was one glaring mistake; in the scene where Forrest is introduced to his son, an ironing board can be seen standing in the background. Moments later, it can be seen lying flat, with nobody around who could have possibly touched it in the few seconds between.
This 1997 film, which was loosely based on the sinking of a British passenger liner of the same name, is one of the biggest blockbusters in Hollywood history. Indeed, this ill-fated love story made so much money at the box office that, after more than 20 years, it’s still ranked as one of the highest grossing films of all time.
There were a handful of mistakes, but one of them in particular was so silly and egregious. When Rose was introduced to the audience, she had a beauty mark on her left cheek, but for each of her scenes thereafter, it appears on the opposite side. Who would have thought that a blockbuster movie who got huge credits and appreciation was actually this hilarious?
I DREAM OF JEANIE
This Fantasy sitcom about a 2,000-year old genie who falls in love with her astronaut master had Americans laughing during the sixties. Sure, it was a show that propagated all kinds of sexist stereotypes, but this was the sixties, when practically all sitcoms did that to one degree or another. Fans were quick to notice one memorable gaffe, however, during season five’s episode “My Sister, the Homemaker.”
They got a stand-in for Barbara Eden (Jeanie) so Jeanie can share the screen with her evil twin sister. The stand-in’s face, however, was captured by the camera by mistake, ruining the illusion for that brief moment.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
This 1958 epic drama film was produced and directed by Cecile B. DeMille, a man who is largely considered to be the founding father of American Cinema. Indeed, The Ten Commandments was DeMille’s most successful work. The film, however, was a conglomeration of errors and inaccuracies, the most egregious of which was how the characters were dressed. Too bad for the investors, there had probably been some problems with money management in this projet.
Nefretiri (played by Anne Baxter) for instance, can be briefly seen wearing a lacy bra, more than 3,000 years before they were invented. What’s more, all the characters had 1950s-style haircuts! Even the garments they wore were questionable.
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
Viewers don’t give extras much credit these days—or ever since the beginning of filmmaking, for that matter. But extras do have an important part to play, so when they screw it up, well, we get lists like this pointing out and laughing at the fact. Raiders of the Lost Ark, in particular, was a film that required many extras—it was set in the 1930s after all, so people walking in the background had to look the part.
For one scene, however, one incorrigible extra wore something that made him stick out like a sore thumb. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, something you won’t see people wearing around Egypt in the 1930s.
This epic, romantic war drama starring Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale was directed by the indefatigable Michael Bay, a man known for his ‘shock and awe’ directing style. Although the film garnered quite a lot of negative reviews, it did very well in the box office, raking in $450 million worldwide. In any case, the film was released to the dismay of history buffs the world over, who were quick to point out its many historical and factual errors.
For more than one scene, women around the military base were shown to be wearing skirts, showing their bare legs. This would have been regarded as unacceptable during that time. The degree of this error was hilarious in the perspectives of the History buffs.
This 1989 war film that’s loosely based on the heroic actions of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment during the American civil war was directed by Edward Zwick. It also starred such Hollywood luminaries such as Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Matthew Broderick.
Well, actually, Broderick, of Ferris Bueller fame, can hardly be considered a Hollywood luminary. But that mistake aside, here’s another mistake that viewers saw to their chagrin: in one particular scene of the film, a slave child in the background—one absolutely recidivous extra—deigned to wear what seemed to be a modern digital watch. It’s like someone thought that a slave child wearing a watch wasn’t impossible enough, so they decidedly had him wear a digital one. This is too hilarious unless the audience can think of the child getting some loans to pay for the said watch.
This epic historical drama that was directed by Ridley Scott (of Blade Runner and Alien fame) starred Russel Crowe, Joaquin Pheonix and the lovely Connie Nielsen. It was, needless to say, set in ancient Rome, when Gladiators were a thing (and lawyers were not). So, we really don’t care how rich some of the characters must have been—within the fictional world of the movie, of course—because what we’re certain of is that nobody in ancient Rome was moneyed enough to own a pair of lycra shorts.
Apparently, however, Hispano-Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius (played by Crowe) did own a pair of lycra shorts. And viewers masochistic enough to have been glinting throughout the show would have found him wearing one under his armor for one scene.
No, it’s not a film about sea-dwelling, flour-based, food products. It’s an equestrian sports film that was directed by Gary Ross. It also starred Peter Parker.. er, we mean, Toby Maguire. It’s a film about a famous racehorse champion that was insanely popular during the Great Depression. A racehorse rising to that level of popularity at a time when people were living in the most abject conditions actually makes the Great Depression sound even more depressing, but we digress.
Speaking of the Great Depression, one wardrobe mistake in the film were those helmets being worn by the jockeys—those style of helmets, with the chin strap, became available long after the great depression. The production team could have done better in making investment on thorough research.
This biographical drama that was directed by Milos Foreman was about the life and work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It received widespread critical acclaim. Hell, it was nominated for 50 awards, of which it won 40, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. So, you’re probably thinking, “well, what could have possibly gone wrong?” The answer, of course, is that the costume designer got something wrong. It won’t take anyone to have a degree in fashion to pinpoint this huge mistake.
More specifically, the dancers in the background wore frilly clothing that had zippers on them. Considering zippers weren’t invented until a hundred years after Mozart was well under 6 feet of terra firma, we’d say this was a pretty egregious mistake.
This 1964 Musical by Jerry Herman is said to be one of the most enduring musicals on broadway. It’s about Dolly Gallagher Levi, an eccentric matchmaker who goes to New York to find a match for “unmarried half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder. It’s a film from 1964, so the tiny mistake we’re about to bring up would probably be excusable if it were not for the fact that it was one out of a dozen other mistakes and continuity errors. Apparently, the production team had not been careful to a certain degree.
In any case, in one scene, Irene’s full-length dress had its hem sweeping the pavement, getting dirtier by the minute as she walked to Harmonia Gardens; a few seconds later—actually, literally a moment later—it looks all cleaned up.
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
This 2007 epic drama which was written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson starred the consummate method actor Daniel Day Lewis. And, boy, all credit to Daniel Day Lewis here for giving such a magnificent portrayal of a 19th century miner-turned oil magnate. From the cinematography, direction and screenplay, there was much to love about this film—indeed, it’s a film one would readily find in lists that ranked the greatest films of the 21st century.
And while it’s difficult to find any fault in this film, the fact is that we are relentless nitpickers who love to nitpick, so we’ve managed to find one: for a few of the scenes, Daniel Day Lewis’s character wears boots with waffle soles, which had only been introduced in the seventies, more than 70 years after the film was set.
This 1992 western flick was produced and directed by Clint Eastwood. And, yeah, he starred in it, too. It was about an aging outlaw who was hired by a prostitute to kill the cowboys who had disfigured her. Of course, he ends up killing not just the cowboys, but a whole lot of other people, too— including some lawyers. It had a moderately low-budget, but ended up making over $159 million at the box office.
Not to mention, it won more than a few awards, among which was an Oscar for Best Picture. Nevertheless, there was one glaring mistake. For all Gene Hackman’s thespianic prowess, his outfit was not, how shall we say, fit for the times. His pants had belt loops, after all, which hadn’t been introduced until the 1920s.
This was another American western revisionist film—this time by Quentin Tarantino. It stars Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and the inimitable Christopher Waltz. It performed wonderfully at the box office, becoming Tarantino’s highest-grossing film to date. The film, as anyone who’s watched it will know, takes place in the old west, sometime during the mid 1800s.
Which is why quite a few nitpicking, wannabe history-buffs were aghast upon seeing Jamie Fox’s character sporting sunglasses, a contraption that hadn’t been invented until 1929. It wasn’t a slight oversight, either, as Foxx’s character wears it pretty much all throughout the movie! It was a great movie, but it could have been done better if there were more time investment spent on research.
“Freeeedom!” Shouts William Wallace, the kilt-wearing, steely knight played by Mel Gibson, an actor who’s had more than a few scandalous and unfortunate entanglements with his ex-wife, her lawyers, and with the media, of late. In any case, Braveheart was an excellent film, winning a whole host of awards, among which was an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Despite all those accolades, this film is widely considered to be one of the most historically inaccurate films ever created. Indeed, the film is said to have gotten pretty much everything wrong. One thing it also got wrong were the kilts; the Scottish kilt Gibson can be seen wearing was introduced 300 years after the film was set.
This 1991 biographical film about a rock band of the same name had Val Kilmer masterfully channeling Jim Morrison to the delight of boomers everywhere. It was directed by Oliver Stone, of Platoon fame, and starred Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, and a bunch of other people whose names won’t ring a bell.
Despite that the film bombed at the box office, and despite that Morrison’s family and friends hated it for portraying ol’ Jim in a bad light, it was, to some degree, able to garner somewhat of a cult following during the years following its release. In any case, here’s the gaffe: one scene has Morrison wearing a particular model of Ray Bans that were introduced more than 10 years after Morrison’s death.
This 2004 romantic drama film had people bawling their eyes out in theaters all over the US. The film stars Ryan Gossling and Rachel McAdams, and it was about a couple who fall madly in love with each other but are soon separated by their social differences. It did very well in the box office and won a couple of less-than-serious awards—of course by ‘less-than-serious,’ we mean a Teen Choice Award and an MTV Award.
Despite the galactic devotion this film elicited from fans everywhere, it wasn’t without its faults. Indeed, there was one particularly glaring continuity error, when Lon Hammond Jr.’s hair changed, seemingly like magic, from black to brown from one scene to the next. In any case, it’s a film that is, to some degree, on everyone’s short list of ‘most romantic films ever,’ so perhaps we can give it a pass.
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
This 1995 period drama that was based on Jane Austen’s novel of the same name was directed by Ang Lee, of Brokeback Mountain fame. It starred such Hollywood luminaries such as Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Kate Winslet. It did very well at the box office, and won its fair share of awards. Many even argue that this film greatly contributed to the resurgence of interest in Jane Austen’s novels.
Whatever the case may be, and however wonderful the film might be, one thing of which we are certain is that diapers didn’t exist in the 1800s, making that scene with the baby in a diaper a particularly egregious wardrobe mistake. Indeed, a good money management in a movie is vital to its entire success. A little amount of budget for research could have been very helpful.
THE LAST SAMURAI
This 2003 period action drama film that was directed by Edward Zwick starred Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe. It was, to some degree, about an American military man who gets captured by a bunch of Samurai warriors, only to become afflicted with a severe case of Stockholm syndrome. It was well-received in both the US and Japan—the latter being where the film was set.
But despite that Japanese film critic Tomomi Katsuta of The Mainichi Shinbun wrote that the film “had researched Japanese history, cast well-known Japanese actors and consulted dialogue coaches to make sure [they] didn’t confuse the casual and formal categories of Japanese speech,” viewers were still able to point out one wardrobe mistake: Cruise’s samurai armor was introduced some 250 years before the events of the film, which would make it look outdated to even the samurai warriors around him.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
This 2011 superhero film based on Captain America made a few critics change their perception of Chris Evans as an actor. Indeed, whereas he was once seen, to some degree, to be nothing more than a hunk of meat that can recite a few lines in front of a camera, he is now seen as a serious actor. To be sure, he’s nowhere near the level of someone like Daniel Day Lewis, but he’s at least largely considered to be more serious than, say, someone like Jaden Smith, who’s quite insufferable onscreen.
In any case, one error that was jarring to our sensibilities was the earpiece of Soldier Jim Morita; this was World War 2, after all, a time when such gadgetry had yet to be invented. On second thought, in a world of ‘super-soldier serums,’ maybe it isn’t all that far-fetched.
ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES
This 1991 action-adventure film based on Robin Hood, the legendary bow-wielding outlaw of English folklore, was directed by Kevin Reynolds. It also had an all-star cast, with the likes of Kevin Costner, Alan Rickman and Morgan Freeman. One could reasonably argue that this film was somewhat of a period piece, given that tales of the skilled archer and swordsman were generally set in the 12th century, the time of the Crusades.
Which was why, despite that the film deserved credit for much of its costume design, it was so baffling to see one of Hood’s buddies whipping out a telescope for one scene to have a closer look at the evil forces in the distance. Telescopes, after all, hadn’t been invented until more than 500 years later.
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
Steven Spielberg is clearly one of the best directors in the history of filmmaking. Indeed, his films will be remembered long after we’ve been able to colonize Mars. It wouldn’t even be surprising if our Martian descendants put a bronze sculpture of his bust in front of each film school of the future. But despite all of Spielberg’s glorious contributions to the art of cinema, he was still a human, and humans, to one degree or another, always make mistakes.
One such Spielbergian mistake were the boots the soldiers wore for the epic war film Saving Private Ryan; they were all black, despite that the standard uniform of American soldiers during World War II included brown boots.
I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
This 1997 slasher flick was, to some degree, a sleeper hit among teenagers of the 90s. The film was about a hook-wielding murderer who’s stalking a group of friends for sport. While it was clearly a hollowly conceived, blood-drenched, teenage-crowd pleaser, it still did well in the box office, in no small part because of its cast, who were—surprise!—all impossibly good-looking.
During one scene, however, viewers got an eye-full; as Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character was hysterically climbing a rope to safety—wearing a gown with a plunging neckline, no less—the camera from above was able to catch a brief glimpse of her.. uh.. assets.
Even the Governator of California has his own wardrobe malfunction story to tell. During that iconic scene where Governor Arnie walks—completely naked—toward a bunch of bright-haired punks on the street, there was a brief moment where little Arnie, in all his glory, made an appearance. The scene was, to some degree, disturbing.
Granted, the quality of the film back then was abysmal, and it pretty much assured that not many would have noticed little Arnie rearing its ugly head. But if one went through the same scene in the remastered, blu-ray version, then, well.. you get the “point.”
GANGS OF NEW YORK
This 2002 epic period drama was directed by the esteemed Martin Scorsese, and it starred two of the best thespians of our generation, namely: Daniel Day Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio. Also, some chick from Charlie’s Angels had a small role in it, too. It was set in the 19th century, and rumor has it that the costume designer painstakingly researched the period in which the film was set, so that all the characters would be in historically accurate attire.
But I suppose she didn’t do a good enough job because the firefighters in one scene looked like they came from modern New York; their 19th century counterparts would have dressed much differently. Yes, it so great to be so updated with fashion with all the online classes around, but it would be a whole lot better to be well-informed with demographics and history.
This 2004 romantic drama film was a star-studded production. Indeed, with names like Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, Julia Roberts and Jude Law, you can bet your bottom drawers that this didn’t go straight to DVD. The film was about two monogamously-challenged couples who engaged in a bit of partner-swapping. Of course, as anyone would have expected, complications arose and jealousy ensued.
Natalie Portman, who plays a stripper, does the unexpected and stays clothed (to some degree) for most of her scenes, but there was one scene where a wardrobe malfunction gave the audience an eye full. In one scene, Portman does a little leg-crossing to seduce Clive Owen’s character, and her bra slips a few inches too far, allowing the audience to catch a glimpse of what she was hiding underneath.
INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE
Here’s another one from the Indiana Jones franchise. This was the franchise’s third installment and was directed by Steven Spielberg. And, just like every other Indiana Jones movie that came before it, it was a huge commercial success, raking in $474.2 million at the box office—not too shabby for a film that was produced on a $50 million budget.
Nevertheless, mistakes were made, and here we are to report on them, like the feckless, hyper-critical people that we are. In particular: some Nazis in the film can be seen wearing World War 2 medals, despite the film was set long before World War 2 began. That $50 million budget could have been maximized more if there was a better money management that took place. A dependable research team could have given so much help.
Get ready for more stories of nip slips. Because in this 2001 science fiction psychological thriller, we get just that, and from Cameron Diaz, no less—you know, that girl from Charlie’s Angels and.. well, some other movie! There was one scene where Tom Cruise’s character ties Julie (Diaz) to the bed, and she tries to free herself by flipping herself over.
Well, she succeeded instead in shaking her top garment away, revealing her headlights for a few nano-seconds. We’re pretty sure she didn’t mean for it to happen, given how she frantically fixed her gown mid-scene, with full cognizance of what had just occurred. But I guess the director thought that it was, to some degree, just fine, considering it was decidedly left in the final cut.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END
This swashbuckling pirate fantasy film was the third installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. It was directed by Gore Verbinski and starred the very eccentric and weird Johnny Depp. Just like every other previous installment, it raked in millions of dollars—this one in particular was the highest-grossing film of 2007—and made Depp richer than he already is.
While everyone involved in the film deserves credit for this fun addition to the franchise, one weird thing about the plot was that it revolved around our favorite swashbucklers heading to Singapore. But someone should have reminded them that they’re living in the 1700s, which means that all their exploits to get to Singapore predates the existence of the place by a hundred years.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
This was a 2005 romantic film that was directed by Joe Wright and was based on Jane Austen’s novel of the same name. Keira Knightly played Elizabeth Bennet, the lead character of both the film and the novel. To some degree, creative liberties were taken that made the film slightly different from the novel, but the plot was nearly the same.
It was about five sisters whose lives made a dramatic turn when a wealthy bachelor took up residence in their neighborhood. Alas, despite the film’s almost universal acclaim, the rubber boots we see Lizzie strutting in didn’t exist until more than 50 years after the film was set. It was a slight oversight, to be sure, but an oversight nonetheless.