Military Mistakes in Hollywood


Although they’re made to entertain, we’ve all caught ourselves rolling our eyes at some of the military blunders in Hollywood movies. While none of it should be taken too seriously, there are the occasional errors which can jump out and ruin your enjoyment of a scene, especially if you’ve served in the Armed Forces. Forces.net have compiled a list of the most common mistakes, most of which you will definitely have seen before. The biggest offenders include:

Never ending magazines – can’t hit the bad guy? No problems, just keep shooting until you do.

Budget – generally a big budget means a more authentic look to everything. Less money means improvised environments.

Military culture – interaction and dialogue is often changed to make it sound better on film. For example, a Sergeant in the British Army is never referred to as “Sarge”, even though you may have heard this on screen.

Saluting and berets – badly-shaped berets and incorrect salutes will definitely spoil the moment.

Uniforms – a military advisor is usually the best person to notice mistakes with uniforms, so when the film can’t afford one, it’s up to the viewers to spot the inevitable errors.

Medals – a classic blunder is a medals being displayed for wars that have not yet occurred.

Tactical errors – the infamous film U-571 credited America with decoding the Nazi Enigma Machine. This mis-truth went far beyond a simple oversight.

Radio-speak – “over and out” is a classic mistake in film, as it should be one or the other; never both.

Guns – depending on the production it can be difficult for directors to get the right guns, and safety plays a part too, so it’s very common to see the wrong weapons for the setting.

Military advisors – any production that doesn’t have a military advisor is likely to make a ton of errors, but ultimately it is the director’s decision to listen to them or not.

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