Making a movie can be difficult, and mistakes are frequently made. Especially with costumes. Whether it was a wardrobe malfunction, a modern piece of clothing revealed in a period piece, or an outfit that’s just plain wrong, there have been several screw-ups that have been left in movies. Did your favorite clothing mishap make the list?
Titanic: Rose’s Beauty Mark Changes Sides
James Cameron’s Titanic is one of the most successful films of all time, making over $2 billion worldwide. Yet there was a noticeable mistake within the film’s 3+ hour run time. While the costumes were by accounts period-perfect, there was an imperfection regarding Kate Winslet’s beauty mark.
When Rose (Winslet) first arrives on the Titanic, she has a beauty mark on her left cheek. However, in the rest of the film, her beauty mark apparently jumped over to the right side of her face. Bet you were so engaged in the movie that you never noticed, did you?
The Ten Commandments: Historically Wrong Costumes
The Ten Commandments is one of the most celebrated biblical epics on film, but even this award winner had some errors. In this case, the mistake is in a costume worn by Anne Baxter, who played the Egyptian queen Nefretiri.
The style of dress was fine, but there is an issue with the color. In 1350 B.C., garments could only be dyed using natural colorings. This made Nefretiri’s aqua blue dress historically impossible due to its hue. On top of that, Baxter wore an underwire bra underneath the dress, which also made it historically inaccurate.
Pride and Prejudice: Rubber Boots Didn’t Exist
This error went unnoticed for a long time until hardcore history buffs pointed it out. The film Pride & Prejudice takes place in 1813, wherein Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightly) gets into a romance with the gentleman caller Mr. Darcy. Everything about the film seems fitting unless you looked at Bennet’s feet.
In various parts of the movie, Knightly can be seen wearing wellies, a type of rubber boot. Rubber boots wouldn’t be invented until 40 years after the film takes place! Fortunately, most audiences didn’t quite notice this issue given that the focus is on the garments rather than the footwear of the actors.
Glory: Digital Watch…In The Civil War?
The 1989 film Glory featured wonderful performances by Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick. There’s a reason why it was nominated for so many awards. The film focused on the American Civil War, particularly on a regime of black soldiers fighting on behalf of the North. Unfortunately, a mistake made by an extra also came into focus.
One of the extras forgot to remove his digital watch from his wrist when dressing up as a Civil War soldier. It’s not only odd that someone didn’t catch him wearing his modern timepiece during the scene, but that an editor missed this flub when putting the movie together.
Gladiator: Battle of Spandex Shorts
Russell Crowe showed off both his acting skills and fighting prowess in 2000’s Gladiator. The movie made Crowe a household name and won Best Picture at the Oscars. But wearing Roman battle armor can be uncomfortable, so Crowe wore undergarments to help wick sweat and prevent chafing.
Unfortunately, Crowe or the costume department decided to give him lycra shorts underneath his outer gear. As you have already figured out, ancient Rome didn’t have bicycle shops that provided spandex shorts. There are several scenes in the movie where you can see Crowe’s lycra shorts. See if you can spot them the next time you watch!
Seabiscuit: A Chin Strap Too Early
Seabiscuit follows Tobey McGuire, Jeff Bridges, and Chris Cooper as three men that invest in a championship horse, the titular Seabiscuit. While the horse and the movie came up a winner, there was still a nagging problem. That problem was with the helmets the film’s jockeys were wearing.
While jockeys wore helmets and racing caps since the late 17th century, they didn’t always have a chinstrap. In fact, jockey helmets didn’t have a chinstrap until it was invented in the 1950s. The movie takes place during the Great Depression, around 20 years prior to the chinstrap’s debut.
Amadeus: Mozart’s Zipper
1984’s Amadeus was an award-winning film, in spite of it being historically inaccurate regarding the relationship between Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) and Mozart (Tom Hulce). While the two composers competed in real life, they saw each other as colleagues and friends unlike in the movie. The inaccuracies didn’t end with just the plot.
During the ballet dance scene, several of the performers, and even Mozart himself, wore clothing adorned with zippers. Zippers were not patented until 1917, over 100 years after Mozart died! This didn’t hurt the movie much, as it won eight Academy Awards and is still widely praised among critics.
There Will Be Blood: Boots Mishap
Actor Daniel Day-Lewis is a performer that is all about the details. There have been several stories around his methods to get into character, including for his role of Daniel Planview in There Will Be Blood. However, you would figure that a trained shoe repairman like Day-Lewis would have noticed the problem with his footwear.
At the bottom of Plainview’s boots, you will notice that the soles have a criss-cross waffle pattern. While these soles are great for treading through terrain, they didn’t exist during the movie’s time period between the 19th and 20th century. Waffle soles wouldn’t be introduced until the 1970s.
Unforgiven: Major Pants Error
Clint Eastwood’s lauded western Unforgiven is considered one of the best films of all time, not just in its genre. The story of a retired outlaw picking up his six-shooters again is definitely worth your time. However, mistakes were made, just like with any other film.
One error was Little Bill Dagget’s (Gene Hackman) pants. Dagget’s pants required him to wear a belt around his waist. While belts were common in the Old West, the problem was the belt loops around Dagget’s pants. Prior to the 1920s, belts were considered to be more decorative than functional. Most trousers didn’t have belt loops until much later.
Django Unchained: Sunglasses Weren’t Invented
The events of the revisionist western Django Unchained took place in 1858. The story is focused on a slave-turned-bounty hunter on a mission to be reunited with his wife. While there were some historical liberties taken for the movie, the most obvious one is on Jamie Foxx’s face.
While sunglasses definitely look cool when paired with a cowboy hat, they certainly weren’t a fashion combination in the 1850s. Modern-styled sunglasses like those wouldn’t be introduced until the 1920s at the earliest. Did you notice this issue, or did it slip your mind as you watched the movie?
Braveheart: Inaccurate Kilts
As a movie, Braveheart is widely considered one of the best. The massive battle scenes and stellar performances by the cast made it a film to remember. However, as a historical piece, the movie is filled with inaccuracies. The most glaring one being the kilts.
Throughout the movie, the majority of the Scottish men were clad in kilts, both as casual wear and in battle. However, kilts weren’t really a thing William Wallace would have worn back then. Kilts didn’t become a part of Scottish fashion until 500 years after the events of Braveheart.
The Doors: 1980’s Ray Bans In The 60’s
Val Kilmer’s depiction of Jim Morrison in 1991’s The Doors is celebrated, even though the film itself got mixed reviews. Kilmer seemed to fully encapsulate the cadence and singing ability of Morrison, but there was something off about the fashion, particularly the sunglasses.
The particular brand of Ray Ban sunglasses that Morrison sports in the movie were not released until the 1980s. In other words, the sunglasses didn’t exist until about a decade after the real Jim Morrison had died and the film primarily took place in the 1960s. Could you have spotted this mistake?
Sense and Sensibility: 18th Century Pampers
The 1995 adaptation of the Jane Austen book features an all-star cast with Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, and Kate Winslet, among several others. One of the cast members included a tiny baby. When the baby is held by actor Hugh Laurie, we can see something that didn’t exist in the 18th century: a disposable diaper.
Although the baby is dressed in period infant clothing, it had a modern diaper on for obvious reasons. As the baby was being held, the camera was caught glimpse of the upper waistline of the child’s Pamper. Only eagle-eyed parents were able to spot this error.
The Last Samurai: Outdated Armor
In The Last Samurai, Tom Cruise plays, well, the last samurai in a giant battle between the rebels and the Imperial Army. As he prepares for battle, Cruise puts on traditional samurai armor and wears it into the fight. The movie and the battle takes place in 1876. The armor’s style is from the 1600s.
Even if we were to suspend our disbelief and believe Cruise is battling it out in 200-year-old armor, no samurai would ever agree to that. After two centuries, the armor would be too brittle and aged to last in a true fight.
Saving Private Ryan: Glitch In The Shoe Department
Saving Private Ryan has been a go-to World War II film for movie goers and historians alike. Many of the battle scenes and events were lifted from real life occurrences. The movie is pretty accurate and true to history except in the shoe department.
In the film, all of the American soldiers searching for Private Ryan are wearing black colored army boots. During World War II, the army’s uniform had standard brown boots for their soldiers. Oddly, the U.S. Army would switch over to black boots in the 1950s, a handful of years after World War II ended.
Gangs of New York: Time Traveling Firefighters
This 2002 Martin Scorcese film took a look back at 1863’s New York Draft Riots with a star-studded cast, including Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Cameron Diaz. There is a load of painstaking detail and attention given to the setting, along with the period dress. Except for the firefighters.
While there were firefighters in the 19th century, the uniforms they wore were a bit too modern for the time period. Among them was a firefighter that wore yellow pants, much like current firefighters would wear today. The vast majority of film audiences didn’t notice. Did you?
Closer: Unintentional Bra Slip
In the romance movie Closer, there is a scene where Natalie Portman performs a strip tease for Clive Owen’s character. The performance is intentionally modest, with Portman displaying her bare midriff and cleavage. However, there was one unplanned moment that was kept in the film.
As Portman moves, her bra slips out of place, exposing her breast. This was unintentional, but was kept in the final cut of the movie. It seemed fitting, as Portman’s character was a stripper. However, Portman actually asked director Mike Nichols to remove her nude scenes from the film. This mistake went unnoticed for a long time.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Medal Misplacement
There are two things that Indiana Jones is good at: finding lost artifacts and fighting bad guys. In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Dr. Jones gets to indulge in both. Yet there was a problem with the villains, aside from their world-domination agenda.
The film takes place during World War II, and several of the German soldiers are wearing medals on their uniforms. Medals like that weren’t given out to soldiers until after the war had ended, so they wouldn’t be wearing those yet. With that said, the movie earned $197 million at the box office, so no one seemed too bothered by this error.
Pirates of the Carribbean – The Curse of the Black Pearl: Flawed British Uniforms
If you took American history, you’re probably familiar with the term “Redcoats” as a description for King George’s British armed forces during the American Revolutionary War. So naturally, the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie decided to have the British soldiers dressed in red garb.
However, the movie is set prior to the American Revolution, during the reign of King George the First between 1714 and 1727. While some soldiers wore red, it was more common for soldiers to wear gray or blue uniforms as well. It wasn’t until King George the Second reigned that it was decided that all ranks of British infantry wear red uniforms, around 1747.
Pretty Woman: Full Chest Exposure
Throughout her career, actor Julia Roberts has been vocal against doing nude scenes, not out of judgment but out of privacy. This was in mind when she accepted her role in 1990’s Pretty Woman. However, while Roberts didn’t perform naked, she didn’t notice how revealing one of her gowns was.
There is one shot in the film where Roberts wears a see-through gown that didn’t conceal her torso. Moments after Roberts is revealed wearing the gowns, film goers could see her left breast exposed. This clearly was not a part of the script, and the moment became a notorious accidental nude scene.
Vanilla Sky: Accidental Slip
As a movie, Vanilla Sky plays with the audience regarding what is real and what is not, what is truth and what is a story. The same goes with Cameron Diaz’s love scene with Tom Cruise in the sci-fi thriller. Was her nudity an accident?
In the love scene, Cruise’s character has Diaz’s character tied up in a bed before making love. During the scene, Diaz’s sheer gown slips, exposing one of her breasts on camera. Diaz appears to realize this and shrugs her gown back into place. This left viewers wondering if that coy nudity was intentionally left in the film, or if it just went unnoticed by the editors.
Singin’ in the Rain: Her Dress Was From The Wrong Era
1952’s Singin’ in the Rain is one of the best musicals ever put to film, with rave reviews and sitting at 100% on the Rotten Tomatoes website. Yet even the most entertaining films can have mistakes. One such is Debbie Reynolds’ dress.
While the movie itself was released in the 1950s, the story takes place in the 1920s. Reynolds’ pink dress looked wonderful on the screen, but it conflicts the fashion styles of the time. The style of dress and the color pink weren’t fashionable trademarks during the “Roaring 20s.” Like several entries on this list, this mistake didn’t take away any enjoyment from its fans.
Pompeii: Illegal Purple Capes
Part historical piece, part disaster movie, and part romance, the film Pompeii had a lot going with it. In the midst of creating a film based on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii, some aspects can get overlooked. One of those aspects was a problem with purple.
The movie’s villain, Senator Corvus (Keifer Sutherland), and several soldiers were wearing purple capes. While purple clothing did exist back then, the problem was that Emperor Nero declared that only he could legally wear purple. And anyone else caught wearing it would be punished. Seems like a better fate compared to a death by volcano.
The King’s Speech: A Scottish Insult
In The King’s Speech, Colin Firth plays the soon-to-be-King George VI that has to cope with a debilitating stammer with the help of a speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush). While the film was critically acclaimed and won several Academy Awards, Scotish moviegoers had an issue with one of the King’s kilts.
Since 1853, the Royal Family would wear kilts that had a Scottish Balmoral design. The style depicted in The King’s Speech was an Irish tartan design that was created in 1997. Needless to say, the filmmakers expressed regret of this error and insult to the proud people of Scotland.
Quadrophenia: Rock Band Goof
Since Quadrophenia takes place when Britain had a culture clash between Mods and Rockers, you would think they would be extra careful with their wardrobe. While the characters definitely wore appropriate garb representing their allegiances towards their respectful musical subculture, things came to a head. Mötorhead, to be specific.
One of the rockers can be seen wearing a t-shirt for the rock band Mötorhead. While it fits the musical genre, there was one problem. The movie takes place in 1964. The band Mötorhead didn’t even form until 1975. This time paradox was overlooked in the film, much like how this film was overlooked by audiences.
American Hustle: A Rolex Offense
The David O. Russell crime film American Hustle had the look, feel, music, and style of the 1970s. It was the perfect setting for a film about con artists and an FBI sting. What it wasn’t the perfect setting for was Louis CK’s wristwatch.
In several scenes, Louis CK is wearing a very fancy and expensive Rolex watch. Even though Rolex watches have been around since the early 1900s, the model that sat on Louis’ wrist was made in 2010. What’s arguably more unrealistic is that CK’s character, a government employee, could afford such a luxurious watch in the first place.
Moneyball: Nike Fail
Moneyball is based on a true story of an economics expert (Jonah Hill) and a baseball general manager (Brad Pitt) use economic metrics to recruit players for the 2002 Oakland Athletics team. When it came to on-base percentages, the characters clearly did the math. The costume department? Not so much.
In a scene taking place in 2001, Scott Hatteberg takes a phone call and props his feet on the coffee table. In that scene, we can see his Nike+ shoes and can tell they are Nike+ because of the logo on the sole. Nike+ shoes didn’t exist until 2004, three years after the scene had taken place.
The Color Purple: All Tied Up
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple was nominated for several Academy Awards. It is a powerful period drama centered on overcoming abuse and building respect. That doesn’t mean filming mistakes weren’t made, specifically Danny Glover’s neckwear.
While neckties did exist in the early 1900s, clip-on ties did not. Glover’s clip-on tie would not exist until 1928 at the absolute earliest. In spite of this mistake, the film’s costume designer Aggie Guerard Rodgers was nominated for Best Costume Design at the 1986 Academy Awards. Even the best make mistakes every now and again, so who can judge?
Straight Outta Compton: Mismatched Sox
Straight Outta Compton is a biographical movie about the rise of the rap group N.W.A. and their influence in American hip-hop music. While the movie’s historical accuracy regarding the music group is up for debate, there is one thing that is for sure: Eazy-E could never have worn that White Sox cap in 1986.
While Eazy-E definitely wore White Sox baseball caps, and was seen wearing them in several photos in real life, he could not have worn this particular hat in the 1980s. The gothic, vertically stacked “SOX” logo wasn’t designed until 1990, and wasn’t adopted by the White Sox until 1991.
The Passion of Joan of Arc: Poorly Judged Spectacles
This Danish-French foreign film has been critically praised for nearly a century. Debuting in 1928, The Passion of Joan of Arc follows the legend of the French icon and soldier, Joan of Arc, as she goes through her punishment for heresy. The movie has been a part of film studies for decades, but there was always one glaring problem.
During one particular scene, one of the priests dons a pair of black plastic spectacles. While this style of glasses would be recognizable in the 1920s, they definitely did not exist during Joan of Arc’s trial in 1431. This goes to show that even the heavily praised, artistically triumphant movies have mistakes in them.
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