When you think about the world of cinema, you likely think not only about the actors and actresses and their stellar performances but also about what they wear. You might picture long, flowing ballgowns, cute color-coordinated outfits, clothing that just really helps establish who a character is and what his or her story may be. The wardrobe also sets the scene for the time period the film is supposedly taking place in. However, even in the glamorous Hollywood, fashion can go awry. Read on to learn more about some of the biggest wardrobe blunders in film history, most of them you probably missed.
1. Troy: Umbrellas Hadn’t Been Invented Yet
This 2004 film fared only so-so with critics, although it had considerable success at the box office, grossing almost $500 million against its 175 million budget. Because the film was inspired by Homer’s great Iliad, the film has an epic, “everythinrayg-must-be-big-and-grand” sort of feel to it. It is convincing enough–until one particular scene approaches.
In the scene, Paris (portrayed by Orlando Bloom) enjoys the shade of a pink parasol umbrella. That sentence alone is enough to baffle anyone. Needless to say, Homeric warriors would realistically have to go without such frilly luxuries seeing as umbrellas hadn’t been invented yet.
2. Pulp Fiction: Bullet Holes Appear Before the Shootout
People around the world love the mega-hip 1994 film Pulp Fiction for its non-stop action and all the famous one-liners that have made their way into pop culture. Quentin Tarantino definitely has a knack for moviemaking, but what about film accuracy?
One scene that lovers of the film easily noticed was in the movie’s most famous scene: the shootout scene in which Vincent is reciting bible verses. Viewers with a watchful eye will notice that even before bullets start to flying, the wall behind Jules and Vincent is already covered with bullet holes.
3. Back to the Future: He Plays a Guitar That Didn’t Exist
“Great movie, but–that did not exist back then!” As you already know by now, this trend is incredibly common in movies. And yes, that is sadly a phrase that we must speak when talking about one moment in the 1985 classic Back to the Future.
Marty McFly played a mean guitar, didn’t he? Nobody could have played “Johnny B. Goode” the way he did. The only problem? If the film were to be completely accurate, he would not have been able to get his hands on that wicked Gibson ES-345 guitar all the way back in 1955. Those didn’t come about until 1958. Indeed, he would need to do some serious time traveling.
4. Pretty Woman: A Full Breast Is Exposed
The wardrobe malfunction that leaves Roberts completely exposed in Pretty Woman is a pretty egregious. Before pointing this one out, it is important to note that Julia Roberts over the course of her career has been pretty firmly against nude scenes.
So when one shot reveals her character Vivian in a thin gown that leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination, it would be fair to assume that the part was not written into the script. On top of that, just moments after Roberts is revealed in her gown, viewers can see one of her breasts in clear view.
5. Singin’ in the Rain: Her Dress Isn’t From the ’20s
This 1952 musical film had plenty of heart in it. It currently boasts the elusive score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Indeed, many of the songs featured in the film will likely get even the hardest of hearts humming along. Of course, there is one small thing that keeps this film from being totally perfect.
In the film, Debbie Reynolds played the role of Kathy Selden. Although her performance stunned many, one piece of her wardrobe conflicted with the fashion trends that would have been prevalent in the era in which the film was set, which was some time in the 1920s. Her pink dress, while certainly flattering on her, just would not have jibed with the time period.
6. Forrest Gump: The Iron Keeps Moving
The classic 1994 film Forrest Gump has gone down in history as one of the best films ever made. It’s pure Americana and the innocence of the lead character, Forrest Gump, won over the hearts of viewers and critics alike.
Nonetheless, there are still a few mistakes that really caught the attention of watchful movie buffs. In one of the most emotional scenes, Forrest is reunited once again with the love of his life, Jenny, and meets his son for the first time. Meanwhile, in the background, an iron is seen standing upright on an ironing board, while in the next shot, it is laying flat. How did it move so fast?
7. Titanic: Rose’s Beauty Mark Switches Sides
The 1997 Blockbuster Titanic took the world by storm, breaking world records for films and taking home just about every award manageable. With such a huge budget, one would expect that the makeup team would be top-notch as well, right? Well…
For all their good work, it seems that somebody decided to switch the beauty mark on Rose Dawson’s face around. When Rose Dawson, played by Kate Winslet, is first introduced in the movie, the beauty mark is on the left side of her face, but in all other scenes, it somehow moved to the right. Talk about movie magic!
8. I Dream of Jeannie: The Stand In’s Face is Shown
Jeannie the genie and her mortal husband Tony captivated audiences on the hit show I Dream of Jeannie. Their hijinks made the world laugh in the 1960s. Nonetheless, the observant fans of the show couldn’t help but notice something was off in the episode titled “My Sister, the Homemaker” from Season 5.
In this episode, actress Barbara Eden played both Jeannie and her evil brunette twin sister. A stand in was used so both characters could be on screen at the same time, with the face of the stand in always meant to be hidden in order to keep up the illusion. However, at one point in the episode, the face of the stand-in comes into full view.
9. The Ten Commandments: No Underwire Bras or Turquoise Dresses Existed in Ancient Egypt
Even during Biblical times, a well-fitted bra could come in handy–well, at least for the actress portraying said Biblical character. In the 1956 film The Ten Commandments, Nefretiri (portrayed by Anne Baxter) looks radiant in her lavish jewelry and sheer blue dress.
While most might be transfixed by her beauty, some of the women might have found themselves wishing they could help a fellow lady out and let her know one important thing. That thing? As beautiful as her dress may be in its sheerness, she probably should have chosen a better bra. Her pretty lacy bra can be seen clearly through the dress’s thin material. Oh, and speaking of that dress? As gorgeous as it is, getting the materials needed to achieve that color of turquoise blue would have been nearly impossible during that time period.
10. Raiders of the Lost Ark
Many moviegoers might take extras for granted. The thing is, these humble people that simply live in the backdrop of the film can really contribute to the atmosphere of a film and help establish what point in time it is taking place. In this particular case, one extra seemed to have slipped under the radar.
If you look closely behind Indiana Jones, amidst the tapestry and other extras properly attired for 1936, you will see a man just standing around, chilling in a nice pair of jeans. That extra might have felt right at home in a film set in, say, New York City in the year the film was released (1981). But here, he just looks plain out of place in his plainclothes.
11. Pearl Harbor
When you are making a film set during a specific period of time, little details are everything. They can mean the difference between keeping your audience engrossed in your world, thoroughly convinced that the film is grounded in that exact moment, or disengaging several observant viewers. According to critics, the 2001 film Pearl Harbor had plenty of glaring flaws, be them plot-based or historical. But one wardrobe-related flaw might have gone under many casual viewers’ radars.
Pearl Harbor, obviously, is set during World War II. The exact year of the attack was 1941, a time when women would have been adhering to a rather specific dresscode. If you look here, you will see this lovely group of ladies sporting bare legs. However, the fashion-conscious women of this time period would definitely have been wearing their nylon stockings or at least would have painted on stockings with a line down the back of the legs, since nylon was in short supply.
In this 1989 acclaimed film set during the American Civil War, we witness the return of the time traveling extra–in this case, a soldier who is flaunting a piece of technology that certainly would raise a few eyebrows during that time period, even as war raged all around.
Specifically, you will see one soldier in the foreground with his arm in the air. Around his wrist is nothing other than a shiny digital watch. Needless to say, that actor should have removed his watch before getting to set. Or someone else should have caught that little detail. In any case, there is your little morsel of humor in the middle of a pretty dark film.
We will certainly give credit where credit is due: mastering the fight scenes that make up this 2000 action film cannot possibly be an easy task. Making sure each move looks realistic but still fluid, ensuring that all actors are performing safely? Challenging stuff. However, this one blooper might be a little hard to overlook.
Here, a fallen Russel Crowe flaunts his Lycra shorts. Needless to say, no one would be going around wearing those in ancient Rome, no matter what they wanted to hide beneath their armor–simply because such shorts did not yet exist, sadly.
What is not to love about a film about racing to victory, especially if that film involves pretty horses? The 2003 film Seabiscuit, based on the actual horse and the legacy surrounding him, did pretty well with critics and moviegoers alike. Tobey Maguire also plays a very charming Red Pollard.
As heartwarming as the film may be, however, it is not without its faults. Seabiscuit takes place around the time of The Great Depression. However, the strapped helmets that the jockeys wear in the film did not exist at that time. To be fair, though–better safe than sorry, right?
As great as this 1984 film is, even some of its most devout fans cannot deny that its director took some creative liberties as far as historical accuracies was considered. The film greatly impressed critics, but some still were put off by how Mozart was portrayed as a bit of an imbecile at points.
One historical blip that might have been overlooked by many, however, was how the dancers were wearing outfits with zippers. However, zippers did not exist during Mozart’s lifetime. In fact, even if the composer did happen to live longer, he would not have ever been able to see this often under-appreciated invention because zippers did not hit the market until 1918.
16. Hello, Dolly!
If you are a fan of this 1969 rom-com musical, you likely found much to love about the costumes, dresses glittering and neat and perfect for the film’s time period of 1890 for the most part. But while there is much to admire here, you might have noticed that one gorgeous dress underwent quite the miraculous transformation in a matter of seconds.
What do we mean? In one scene, Cornelius (portrayed by Michael Crawford) enjoys a pleasant dance and music number with a girl beautifully clad in an extravagant red dress. In one scene, it is clear that this dress certainly has its flaws. Because its hem had been trailing the pavement, the bottom part of the dress was considerably dirty. In the very next scene, however, it is as though the girl noticed the mess and quietly sneaked off to change into something tidier–of course impossible in such a short span of time. It may be a tiny detail, but it is an disruption of continuity worth noting for sure.
17. There Will Be Blood
When it comes to this next mistake, you really need a keen eye to pick it out. But when it comes to a film as masterful and as critically acclaimed as the 2008 film There Will Be Blood, you really do have to nitpick if you really want to find anything wrong with the film. So, let’s nitpick.
Take a look at the bottom of character Daniel Plainview’s (portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis) boots. No, you are not looking for gum or anything gross. Just study the pattern of the soles. That pattern, known as waffle soles, was definitely not a thing during the time period in which the film was set, which is 1898.
This 1992 western was a huge success, both critically and commercially. Even though it came into existence on a meager $14 million budget, it grossed over $159 million at the box office. It also fared quite well with the Academy, claiming of nine nominations, four of which it won. One of the awards was for Best Picture.
Still, even an Academy Award-winning film can have its faults, no matter how minuscule they may be. For instance, although Gene Hackman gives an exemplary performance as “Little” Bill Dagget, one part of his wardrobe invites a couple questions. One of the most pressing? Why is his character wearing pants with loop holes? Those definitely were not a thing in 1880, the year in which the film was set.
19. Django Unchained
What is not to love about this 2012 Quentin Tarantino-directed film? It has action, it has suspect, it has–sunglasses? Django Freeman (portrayed by Jamie Foxx) certainly looks quite intense in those shades. The only problem? They would not have existed during this period of time.
The film, as fans know, takes place in 1858, not long before the American Civil War. While these sunglasses would have been a godsend for anyone to shield that scorching Texas sun, Django would have realistically had to have gone without or simply squint through the haze. Still, we will admit once more that Jamie Foxx pulls those glasses off line no other.
This 1995 film was a roaring hit with so much to enjoy about it. Mel Gibson played an amazing William Wallace, that steely Scottish knight. He even sported that kilt proudly. Unfortunately, for historical accuracy’s sake, he and his fellow men probably should have forgone the kilts.
Indeed, when it comes to Scottish stereotypes, there is nothing more Scottish seeming than some lovely kilts. The thing is, the people of Scotland did not just emerge kilt-clad one day. The kilt was not introduced until much later in time, which would not have been in 1280, the year during which the film was set.
21. The Doors
Not only must we point out that something featured in this film did not exist during the film’s time period. We must also again direct your attention to some out-of-place sunglasses, as fashionably as Val Kilmer wears them here as he pulls off a very convincing Jim Morrison.
This film, based on the life of the great Jim Morrison and his timeless band The Doors, was released in 1991. The particular model of Ray Ban sunglasses Jim Morrison is sporting in the movie were not released until the ’80s, more than a decade after Jim Morrison died in the ’70s. But even if we were to stretch time just a little bit, most of the film was grounded in the ’60s. Then again, it is kind of impressive that these different decades managed to be crammed into one film.
22. The Notebook
Who can overlook The Notebook? That 2004 romance film that makes girls swoon and their significant others either balk in honor or cuddle closer for a nice movie date. But even this romantic classic is not without its little faults., despite its overall commercial success and devout fanbase.
Although many watch the film to be inspired by the passionate love that Noah and Allie share, some might be drawn to the rather suave and wealthy Lon Hammond, Jr. As great as he looks, you might have noticed that his hair has a–special power that might put sparkling vampires to shame? From shot to shot, his hair color goes from black to brown, interchangeably. But if you can overlook that, carry on and have yourself a nice emotional cry as you watch this saccharine but endearing classic.
23. Sense and Sensibility
Once again, a Jane Austen novel hits the big screen, and the film is a masterpiece in many respects. Still, this 1995 film has one historical error that just cannot be ignored by the relentless nitpickers among us. So here we go.
In one scene, we see an adorable baby, all swaddled up and pure. Nothing is glaringly wrong–until you get to realize something absolutely horrifying: the baby is wearing a modern diaper. Such a luxury certainly clashes with the 19th-century atmosphere the film otherwise successfully creates.
24. The Last Samurai
Released in 2006, The Last Samurai fared pretty well critics and performed decently at the box office. Overall, the movie is well put together and avoids most glaring errors. However, there is one small technicality overlooked that had some of the more observant and knowledgeable viewers put off.
In the film, Tom Cruise’s character Captain Nathan Algren sports the sort of intricate samurai gear you would expect to see a samurai wearing. While his armor is aesthetically pleasing to look at and does not veer into offensively wrong territory, the time period during which such a style of armor would be prevalent is off. The film is set in 1876, and the armor dates back to 1600. Therefore, that armor would technically be obsolete by a true samurai’s standard.
25. Captain America: The First Avenger
When it comes to superhero films, it is hard to imagine paying much attention to anything other than the action and grand special effects. However, one detail in this 2011 film is so jarring, that it took some viewers out the moment. As has already been firmly established, that is never good.
So, what is this error? Soldier Jim Morita (portrayed by Kenneth Choi) is wearing a pretty newfangled piece of technology, specifically an earpiece. While such technology would likely be commonplace in today’s constantly evolving military, it would not have existed during World War II, when this particular scene takes place.
26. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
In 1991, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves hit theaters. The film was not a grand critical success, as reviews were generally mixed. However, it did rake in a nice stash of money at the box office, $390.5 million to be precise. The film came into existence on a budget of $390.5 million.
However, one small detail had some observers scratching their heads. In one scene, Robin Hood’s buddy is quite fascinated by a telescope. He shows Robin Hood with a certain glean in his eye. As charming as the scene was, it is not historically accurate. The telescope would not have been around during the time period in which the story is set, year 1194. The nifty device did not come to be until the 17th century.
27. Saving Private Ryan
To many, the 1998 film Saving Private Ryan is a quintessential World War II film. It is gritty, moving, and has so many masterful scenes. This is certainly reflected in the 11 Academy Awards for which the film was nominated, several of which it claimed. But while the film gets considerably more right than most films of ilk, there is one small detail that raised some eyebrows.
As a World War II film, Saving Private Ryan contains many scenes with rugged, frenzied soldiers just doing their jobs. As a result, this error might be a little harder to overlook than others, if you are able to catch on to it in the first place. So, what is this error? The soldiers sport black boots, while a more likely color for the time period would have been brown.
28. I Know What You Did Last Summer
Horror film fans likely overlooked this wardrobe malfunction if they were more into the next moment of gore. Still, while brief in the grand scheme of things, the scene endured long enough to raise some eyebrows and maybe get some curious eyes trying to get a closer look (tsk tsk).
In one scene, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character Helen is frantically climbing a rope. An innocent enough scene, until you get into the perspective of the camera man and note the–interesting creative liberties he took (intentional or otherwise). As Gellar reaches for that rope, her poorly fitted dress gives way and offers the audience a look at exactly what that dress is supposed to be hiding.
29. The Terminator
Believe it or not, even the former Governor of California had a pretty bad case of wardrobe malfunction of his own. In one of the scenes of this 1984 classic, the Governator is walking up to a bunch of punks completely naked.
Though the scene is shot from afar, it’s pretty safe to say you get to see more of Arnie than you originally pictured.Back in the 80s, the quality of film wasn’t great and you could barely see anything. If you aquire the remastered, blu-ray vision, however, let’s just say you’re in for a surprise.
30. Gangs of New York
Released in 2002, this critically acclaimed film has plenty of big names behind it: Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Cameron Diaz, just to name a few. The film takes a nuanced look at the New York Draft Riots, which erupted in 1863. Of course, a year-specific setting requires year-specific background details.
For the most part, Gangs of New York is a successful film in that respect. However, there is one small detail that was overlooked. The firemen featured wear uniforms that do not look much different than what firemen wear today. However, the firefighter uniforms of 1863 would have realistically looked much different.
More bra malfunctions? You don’t say! But in this 2004 star-powered film, Natalie Portman’s character has a little trouble in that department. And although the film entered risky territory by having Portman play a stripper, the young actress never showed so much a little flash of belly or some meek cleavage–at least intentionally.
As far as unintentional glimpses into what should have been unseen, that is quite another story. In one scene, she is simply holding a casual conversation, when her bra decides to go on strike once and for all. Needless to say, more was shown than either actress or director wished would have been seen.
32. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
This 1989 film was a fine addition to a quality, action-packed franchise. Critics for them most part adored it. Fans clamored to see it in theaters, bringing in over $474 million at the box office even though the film itself was created on a budget slightly shy of $50 million. Even so, one historical hiccup begs our attention.
The Nazis featured in the film have pretty convincing uniforms overall. One accessory, however, just does not belong, historically speaking. That accessory is of course the medals pinned to their chests. The Nazis would not see those trinkets until the end of the war, but the film takes place right in the middle of much of the action.
33. Vanilla Sky: There’s a Noticeable Nip Slip
In this 2001 sci-fi thriller, there is plenty of action to keep the viewer engaged. In one notable scene, character David (portrayed by Tom Cruise) has captured Julie (portrayed by Cameron Diaz) and neatly tied her to the bed. She is scantily dressed, wearing little more than a sheer gown.
As she moves about, the top of the gown slips and briefly reveals Diaz’s breast. She seemed to catch on quickly enough, in that she shrugged the gown back into place. However, the scene seemed to make it past several pairs of eyes and right into the theater.
34. Pirates of the Caribbean III: Singapore Didn’t Exist
When the first Pirates of the Carribean film came out in 2003, viewers were hooked and a successful franchise was launched. The third film in the series was 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. The entire film revolves around the Black Pearl crew heading to Singapore in the 1700s.
But history buffs will notice one huge mistake: the region was not called Singapore until 1819 when the British established a trading post there. At the time when this movie would have taken place, the region was under rule of the Johor Sultanate, which was made up of parts of modern Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
35. Pride and Prejudice
Released in 2005, the film Pride and Prejudice is, of course, based on the famous Jane Austen novel of the same name. And while the film might have taken some creative liberties that worked, even if that meant straying away from some of the novel’s finer details, historical inaccuracies are a bit harder to justify.
You might remember those fashionable rubber boots Lizzie (portrayed by Keira Knightley) wore in the film. Sadly, those did not exist in Jane Austen’s time. Jane Austen died in 1817, but the first rubber boots weren’t invented until 1852. Fortunately, this one is relatively minor and if bothers you to know it is there, you can always take comfort in knowing that they are, for the most part, hidden beneath Lizzie’s long dress.
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