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Ghostbusters (1984) Poster

(1984)

Goofs

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Louis runs toward the Tavern on the Green he says, "I'm going to bring this up at the next tenant's meeting. There's not supposed to be any pets in the building," without moving his mouth.
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When Peter and Raymond enter the library, things we hear aren't what they are actually saying by their mouth movement.
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Character error 

Ray declares the phenomena they are witnessing may be as important as "the Tunguska blast of 1909." It occurred June 30, 1908.
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Ray quotes a Bible verse, which he says is Revelation 7:12. It's actually Revelation 6:12. Ray also forgets some words, while Winston adds extra words.
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Near the beginning of the film, Venkman conducts an experiment in which he says he is using Negative Reinforcement. Two test subjects guess the symbol on the back of the card. Venkman administers electric shock for wrong answers, and gives praise for correct answers. Psychologically and Scientifically speaking, Negative Reinforcement is the subtraction of a variable in order to reinforce/increase the frequency of a desired behavior. Venkman is actually engaging in Positive Punishment, the addition of a variable or stimulus (electric shock) to decrease the frequency of a behavior (wrong answers). In Behavioral Psychology, Negative and Positive refer to the addition or subtraction of a variable in order to enhance or discourage a given behavior.
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After the containment unit is shut down, Peck says that the Ghostbusters are 'in criminal violation of the Environmental Protection Act', which does not exist. He could mean the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), or one of several other federal environmental policies. Also, it is normal for a state agency representative to deal with any potential violations before requesting assistance from the EPA.
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Walter Peck says he represents the EPA 3rd district. The EPA has no districts; New York City is within EPA's Region 2.
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Continuity 

In the overhead shot when the Marshmallow Man is first hit with proton beams, he's not wearing his red tie. Billy Bryan, who was wearing the suit, recounts that when he was about to attach the tie, effects artist Joe Viskocil was busy adding flash bulbs and spark generators to the Mr. Stay Puft's bib. Bryan didn't want to mess it up, and forgot to attach the tie.
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When Dana gets out of the cab, her groceries include a green leafy vegetable with a large white stem. When she gets to the hall, it has become completely green lettuce. It changes to celery while she is talking to Louis. When she sets it on the counter it is still celery, In the next shot the item on the counter is lettuce. After the eggs start frying on the counter top it changes to lettuce and celery, each pointing in opposite directions. When Venkman is checking out the apartment, they both point the same direction.
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(at around 24 mins) When Peter goes to Dana's apartment for the first time, the piano cover goes from being closed, to open, to closed, to open again.
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Winston's name tags say "Zeddemore."The credits spell his name "Winston Zeddmore."
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When the gang is about to enter Dana's building, a red-haired extra is visible in two different crowds that are supposed to be facing each other.
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When Egon, Stantz, and Venkman are walking to the property, Venkman is wearing a silver collar bar underneath his tie. When they are inside of the building, it's missing.
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When the Ghostbusters are in the hotel chasing Slimer, a table at the end of the hallway has a vase on it. The vase changes from pinkish to green and back throughout the scene.
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(at around 58 mins) When Dr. Peter Venkman is with Dana Barrett when she is possessed by the Gate Keeper in her bedroom. The window that faces the city changes from nighttime to daytime to nighttime.
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(at around 50 secs) When we first see Alice the librarian, the books on the top shelf of her cart are all set spine-up, leaning back towards her. When the shot cuts to a wider angle, there's now a short stack in the middle of the shelf, with books on either side leaning against it.
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After Dana and Venkman meet and set their date, Dana walks away with the violinist. As they walk, the violinist's violin case goes from by his right side to tucked under his left arm between shots.
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When the eggs are frying on the counter, their number and position changes between shots.
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The Ghostbusters' firehouse has "Entrance around corner" stenciled on the front, with an arrow pointing toward a door on the side. However, there is no corresponding door inside.
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When the Ghostbusters first arrive at Dana's building before the final battle, two soldiers are standing beside the Ecto-1 as the Ghostbusters walk by. When it cuts to a wider shot of the Ghostbusters and the Ecto-1, the soldiers are no longer there.
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When Peck is approaching the firehouse with the warrants, the door to the firehouse is in shade. When the shot switches to inside the firehouse, however, there is bright sunlight shining on the door.
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On their way back to their office, a medium shot of the sequence, reveals that the inside of the portable video camera equipment where the videocassette would be kept is empty. Earlier, Ray had asked Venkman where the tape they had erased the previous day was.
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When Venkman comes out of the crumbled street, a small circular bandage is on his right temple near the hairline, possibly an injury from a previous take. The next shot of him from that angle is on the apartment building rooftop, and the bandage is missing.
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(at around 12 mins) When Peter, Ray and Egon come out of the library, Egon's hair is noticeably different than it was while they were inside. When they go into their office to find they've been fired, it's back to how it was before.
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When the Keymaster and the Gatekeeper ascend the stairs in Dana's apartment, the New York skyline is dark. When the Ghostbusters arrive in the remnants of Dana's apartment shortly after, it's sunset. When the Ghostbusters climb the same stairs, it's suddenly night again.
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When Venkman first goes to Dana's apartment with her, they open the refrigerator, and a can of Coke is on the top shelf, with the script-style logo facing out. Moments later, the shot changes and the non-script logo is facing outward.
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When the Ghostbusters leave City Hall with the police escort, the red light on the top of the Ectomobile is facing down and not visible to the front. In the next shot of the caravan, the lights on the Ectomobile aren't on and the trailing police car's emergency lights are off. When they pull up in the crowd, all the lights are on, including the red light facing up in the Ectomobile. In the next long shot of the street when they are preparing to walk in the building, the Ectomobile and trailing police car's lights are back off. The red light on the Ectomobile is facing down again.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When the Ghostbusters are hit by Gozer's finger lightning, the stunt cable used to pull the Ghostbusters through the air visibly moves out of frame in the upper left.
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As the camera pans down on the rooftop when the gargoyles come alive, the sound stage floor briefly appears at the bottom left corner [Widescreen version only]
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When the Marshmallow Man is walking down the street (seen from the Ghost Busters' perspective, before the tiny hydrant explodes) the cables used to maneuver the character's face are visible by his right foot.
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When Dana/Zuul levitates as Venkman is counting to three, part of the device used to lift her up is visible under her middle back area.
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A light reflector is behind Egon while he walks with Mr. Delacorte in the library.
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When Venkman vaults over his office partition to meet Dana, a crew member's legs are moving behind the file cabinets to the left.
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When the street is moving in front of Dana's Apartment, the NYPD Police Cruiser rolls downward into a hole. After the moving stops, a silver pole or support is on the drivers side of the car, behind the back wheel. It was clearly used to hold the car in place.
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Errors in geography 

Dana's building is at Central Park, Manhattan. The police car in front of the building is from the 41st Precinct, on Simpson Street in the South Bronx.
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Factual errors 

The ghost busters would not be authorized to have blue lights in their car . Blue lights on cars in the state of NY are restricted to volunteer fire fighters , and their immediate family members.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Venkman says that Gozer was worshiped by the Hittites, Babylonians, and Sumerians in 6000 BC. The Sumerians first came into history around 4000 BC, the two Babylonian Empires lasted from 1900 to 1600 BC and 626 to 539 BC, and the Hittite empire lasted 1600 to 717 BC. However, 4000 BC is the earliest *known* date regarding the Sumerians, they could have been around much earlier. The other groups existed in the same general region and grew out of earlier cultures, so a set of Gozer cults could have existed in 6000 BC in the cultures that the Hittites and Babylonians came from. (A simpler explanation is that Venkman has no idea of what he's talking about.)
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Dr. Peter Venkman claims that he has doctorates in psychology and parapsychology. Later, he says that he sedated Dana Barrett/Zuul with Thorazine. Doctors of psychology and parapsychology are not MD's, so they can't prescribe or administer drugs, especially a controlled substance like Thorazine. Someone as immoral as Venkman would, regardless of his credentials.
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The Ecto-1 has blue lights. In most states, only government first-response vehicles are allowed to use blue flashing lights. New York only uses red lights for emergency vehicles.
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Venkman tells Egon he has Dana "whacked up with 300cc" of Thorazine, a relaxant and anti-psychotic. It's more common to describe dosage by weight, not volume, so he likely meant 300 mg, which as a single dose is exceedingly high even for severely disturbed patients. Given the vague nature of demonic possession, a dose that high could have been necessary.
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When Winston and Ray are in the car talking about the Bible verse, Winston is in the driver's seat. When they pull up to the HQ after the explosion, Ray gets out of the driver's seat. They may have stopped and switched seats between the scenes.
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The scene with Peter meeting Dana after her recital and arranging their date is cut between two scenes of Winston being hired and trained. In the other two scenes, all characters are wearing the same clothes, implying they occurred at the same time. However, Peter is present in all three scenes, and could not travel between the two locations in so little time. The scenes occurred after a montage of different scenes, so they could have taken place over several days.
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When Ray and Winston discuss Judgement Day while driving, Winston is wearing his coveralls. When they arrive at Ghostbusters HQ immediately following the shutdown of the containment grid, Winston exits the vehicle wearing street clothes. They could have stopped somewhere along the way, and Winston could have changed out of his coveralls.
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When Dana enters her apartment after Louis cajoles her to bring her date to his party, her touch tone phone rings like an old rotary phone. In the 1980s, some touch-tone phones had bells, and rang like old rotary phones.
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Ray mentions Bible version from the book of "Revelations." The book is actually called "Revelation," with no "s" on the end. However, since he follows the word with "7-12," so it could sound like "Revelations."
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When the Ghostbusters team victoriously exits the apartment building at the end after defeating Gozer, Dana and Louis both have marshmallow smeared in their hair, which did not exist in the earlier scene where they were pulled out of the corpses of the Terror Dogs. The Ghostbusters helped them down 22 flights of stairs.
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Plot holes 

When Venkman is explaining that Gozer will take the form of whatever they think of, he uses J. Edgar Hoover as an example. The fact that he used J. Edgar Hoover as an example would mean that he had to think of him, if only for a second. Gozer should've assumed the form of J. Edgar Hoover.
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Dana Barret's musical partner (possible boyfriend) asks her, "who is he (Dr. Venkman)"? The Ghostbusters by this time had run numerous commercials, been interviewed on television and shown on countless magazine covers, and he didn't recognize him? Even someone without a television and never read magazines would have recognized him.
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Revealing mistakes 

A heavy object used to destroy Dana's apartment wall clearly flies as the wall explodes.
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(at around 39 mins) One shot of the Ectomobile during the first montage is flipped; the logo faces the opposite direction.
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When Mr. Stay-Puft walks through Columbus Circle, his body overlaps a street light in the foreground, even though he should be far behind it.
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(at around 52 mins) Dana's chair is dragged into the kitchen. After the door has shut, the track used to drag the chair along is visible on the floor.
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The eggs cooking on the counter top only partially turn white, exposing a seam between the hot and cold sections of the counter.
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When the Ghostbusters are about to enter the building and the ground begins to break apart, the pieces of ground are not all solid. What appears to be a brown sheet billows out as one piece slopes down.
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When the ram-horned face breaks off the side of the temple, the dust and debris disappear behind the matte painting of the roof cap.
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(at around 37 mins) In versions before the digitally remastered release, light reflects off the camera lens when Venkman stops everybody so he can try to pull the tablecloth out from under the dishes.
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The "montage" includes a shot of the guys carrying their loaded traps out of a building and crossing the street. Just before the next clip starts, the shot reverses and runs backwards for a few frames.
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In Dana Barrett's first scene, a shot shows the avenue below her apartment from the roof, just before she steps out of the cab. The head of a gargoyle with protruding sharp teeth is on the side of the roof. The yellow traffic lines separating the lanes on the avenue below, are visible "through" the teeth.
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When the Ghost Busters first encounter Slimer on the 12th floor, the proton beam burns on the wall appear before the proton blast reaches them.
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In a ground-level shot of Mr. Stay Puft as he approaches Dana's apartment building, the building is a composite of several visual elements used to make it look taller than in real life. The elements waver and mismatch in the shot.
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Near the end of the movie, when the dimensional portal opens, part of the left side disappears briefly in the close-up.
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The shot of the clouds gathering at Dana's building is a reuse of an earlier establishing shot.
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Visible wires tear down parts of the Spook Central.
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The USA Today cover dated Oct. 8, 1984 lists an obituary for William Powell, who died on March 5, 1984. [Blu-Ray version]
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When Ray is watching the Onionhead ghost circle the chandelier through his goggles, the ghost disappears in the last few frames before the cut.
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The piece of street that cracks and pops up bounces when it stops.
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When Ray, Peter, and Egon are in the library and a bookshelf falls down behind them, none of the books move.
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In the beginning of the movie, the Ghostbusters find the library ghost and talk among each other trying to figure out what to do. In one shot, with the guys on the left back side of the screen, the ghost flips through pages in a book on the right side of the screen. Rectangles are cut out of the pages for wires and such to move the pages.
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When all the ghosts are escaping across downtown Manhattan, several ghost trails are not fully animated, and abruptly cut off at the bottom right of the screen. [Widescreen version]
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Obvious stunt doubles fall into the earthquake crater.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

After the Marshmallow Man explosion, Louis gets a smear of marshmallow goo on his shirt. It's gone in the next scene.
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Crew or equipment visible 

As they walk off the platform after "neutronizing" Gozer on the rooftop, the folds in a dark curtain are visible in the background, behind Ray.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When the "marshmallow cream" falls from the top of the building onto Walter Peck, the splash is large enough to cover the rear driver's side corner of the Ecto-1. During the end credits, when the Ecto-1 is driving away, the same rear driver's side corner is clear of "marshmallow cream." Someone could have wiped it away before Ray drove away.
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Revealing mistakes 

When the building at the end rains down debris, a huge piece of concrete or stone bounces off a wooden police barricade.
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When the police car is swallowed up by the ground at the end, white metal poles attaching the car to the set are visible, and a chock is on the left rear wheel.
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In the birds-eye view of the Ghostbusters walking through the wreckage of the penthouse, sunlight bounces off the building even though New York is supposed to be covered by a big black cloud.
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When Peck gets doused with marshmallow, a nearby chunk of stone/concrete debris is moved several inches by the force of the goo. The force needed to move actual stone or concrete would not have left Peck standing.
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During the montage, the photo of the Ghostbusters in the newspaper under the "Chinatown Spook" headline is clearly lifted from the "cross the streams" sequence later in the movie.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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