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The General's Daughter (1999) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Character error (2)  | Continuity (5)  | Factual errors (18)  | Miscellaneous (1)  | Revealing mistakes (2)  | Spoilers (4)

Character error 

(at around 50 mins) Paul Brenner states, "Colonel, you're in the Army. You have no rights to an attorney. You have no right to remain silent." Both are false based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
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Numerous times during the movie the characters use the term "base" and "off-base" to describe the fictional Army installation "Fort MacCallum". The proper term would be "post" and "off-post". This is a common error, as the Army is the only branch to use the term post, as the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps (and most civilians) all use the term base.
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Continuity 

(at around 1h 17 mins) During the rape scene, there is a shot of Elisabeth's bra being removed, but when the camera cuts back to a far shot, her bra is still on.
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(at around 18 mins) When the bomb disposal drone first finds Elizabeth Campbell's body, its camera pans down to show the rope tied to her leg pulled taut against the tent stake. But the alternate angle shot for the audience shows slack in the rope as it lays on the ground.
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(at around 24 mins) When Brenner and Sunhill leave the base together in the morning after the murder, Brenner drives his car back, and we see three officers moving to the side of the road. Two shots later, the officers are again in the middle of the road.
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(at around 8 mins) In the armory scene, Belling takes an M-16 out of a box with an M-203 grenade launcher attached to it. In the next shot the grenade launcher is gone and the M-16 has standard hand guards.
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The spare tire is not on the vehicle after the flat is repaired. Then the spare tire re-appears.
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Factual errors 

(at around 1h 50 mins) When Elizabeth's casket was being loaded into the plane at the end of the movie, the US flag was presented to the General. The US flag always remains on top of the casket according to military funeral guidelines and the casket would NEVER be loaded into a plane bare. The US Flag is removed when the casket is ready to be lowered into the ground, ceremoniously folded and then presented to the next of kin.
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(at around 1h 50 mins) The 21 gun salute as the casket is loaded onto the C-123 Provider, would have never taken place at that time or place. The 21 gun salute takes place at the funeral in a cemetery.
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(at around 46 mins) After visiting the office of the murdered victim, the two investigators go to the Officer's Club for a drink. They look around the room and there is a non-commissioned officer (E-7) in the club fraternizing with the commissioned officers. This would never have been allowed in an officers' club nor would it likely have occurred off of the base with officers and enlisted men still in uniform.
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(at around 2 mins) When Brenner, as White, presents his ID to the MP at the post gate, it lists his rank as '1st Sarg.' Proper Army abbreviation for this rank is 1SG.
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Throughout the film, Brenner and Sunhill introduce themselves by their ranks, Warrant Officer, and are addressed in the same way. Army CID Special Agents do not use rank on the job, they use their title of Special Agent, and are addressed accordingly.
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In the segment of the training video shown near the end, it is stated that the human eye can, "perceive 16 shades of gray." This is utter nonsense. We can perceive thousands. If the statement were true, a white-to-black gradient would look to us like it has sixteen stripes of gray instead of a smooth transition. Early second-generation gray-scale monitors would be able to display sixteen shades of gray, but this was the limitation of early graphics cards and had nothing to do with human perception.
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During the opening credits there is a brief view of Gen. Campbell and Col. Fowler riding to the academy in a staff car, with Gen. Campbell sitting on the left side of the vehicle. This is incorrect military protocol. Correct protocol is for the lowest ranking officer (Col. Fowler) to enter the vehicle fist so that when they exit the vehicle, the highest ranking officer (Gen. Campbell) will exit first. Col. Fowler should be the one sitting on the left side.
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(at around 3 mins) When Lt Gen Campbell walks into the banquet hall everyone applauds. This wouldn't happen. Someone would call the room to attention and everyone would stand quietly until the general says "At ease" or gives a similar command.
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(at around 23 mins) Toward the beginning of the film, after reveille is sounded, the MPs at the crime scene are given the command "Stand at, ease." Pursuant to US Army Field Manual 22-5, which governs drill and ceremony, this is not the correct command. The correct command is "At ease," said almost as one word, without the pause.
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Aircraft at the end of the movie appears to be a C-123 Provider which left service in the early 1980's. Correct aircraft would have been a C-130 Hercules.
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(at around 6 mins) CPT Campbell loans Brenner the lug wrench from her HMMWV. The HMMWV doesn't carry a lug wrench (or jack) because tires are not changed in the field by operators.
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(at around 33 mins) Brenner walks into the basement and says, "Move aside, man with a gun", which is not the proper terminology for a soldier. The Army teaches the soldiers to use 'weapon' in place of gun. "Move aside, man with a weapon," would be correct.
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At 2:43 Paul Brenner masquerading as First Sergeant Frank White presents his ID card to an MP. There are several errors in how this ID card is made up. 1. Rank block would state 1SG/E8. 2. Expiration date would formatted as 2002DEC24. 3. Social Security Number Block would be formatted as 349236708 (no hyphens and thus not spilling over the border. 4. The Name Block would either have WHITE, FRANK A. or WHITE, FRANK (NMI) (All CAPS and middle initial or NMI for No Middle Initial).
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As the movie begins, a radio is playing, the DJ says, "I hope everyone is ready to go out and have a good time tonight, it's 8 pm Saturday evening"...initially the sky appears to be dusk, colored, but over the course of time it takes John Travolta's character to dress and drive to the base, the sun is clearly overhead as he proceeds down the long tree lined drive.
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Throughout the movie an MP Colonel is shown wearing an Army cover (hat) with no "scrambled eggs."
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In addition to the Army Colonel's cover not having "scrambled eggs" (which in the Army is the cover for Captains and below where Major through Colonel's visors have the thunderbolt and lightning often referred to as scrambled eggs on the visor), the General's cover is also incorrect. He wears a cover with the scrambled eggs on the visor, but a flag officer also has the thunderbolt and lightning embroidery around the base of the hat.
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(At around 2 mins) When Brenner presents his ID to the MP posing as White, it lists his rank as '1st Sarg.' (An attempted abbreviation of First Sergeant). However, the abbreviation is of the common misspelling of Sergeant - "Sargent". Also, the proper listing would be "1SG"
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When Brenner first pulls up to the gate guard he shows an Identification card that identifies him as Frank White, with a rank of '1st Sarg.", this is incorrect as the US Army abbreviates First Sergeant as 1SG. Sarg is not even the correct first letters of the word Sergeant.
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Miscellaneous 

(at around 12 mins) When Sgt. White leaves Cpt. Campbell's office, he gave a half-wave/half-salute with his left hand. Military salutes are given with the right hand.
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Revealing mistakes 

(at around 26 mins) In a common Hollywood error, Gen. Campbell refers to Fort MacCallum as a base. The army doesn't refer to their installations as bases. A real Army officer would have referred to the installation as a post.
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(at around 7 mins) No jack is used to lift the car while fixing the flat tire.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

(at around 1h 10 mins) When Moore is found dead, his eyes are closed. When he is shown being zipped up in the body bag, his eyes are open.
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Factual errors 

(at around 1h 45 mins) At the end of the movie, Brenner tells LTG Campbell that he is going to charge him under Article 32 of the UCMJ. Article 32 is not a punitive article. It is an article concerning a procedural hearing akin to a grand jury in the civilian court system.
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(at around 1h 9 mins) When Moore is found dead in his house, the music playing in the house is "O Fortuna" from Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana". This music appears to be coming from a 33 RPM record playing on a turntable. The record appears to be playing in the middle of the disc; "O Fortuna" is at the beginning and the end of "Carmina Burana", and would thus be at the beginning or the end of a 33 RPM vinyl disc, not in the middle.
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Revealing mistakes 

(at around 1h 40 mins) When Brenner confronts Col. Kent for the murder, initially Kent is kneeling down without a weapon in his hand. A few moments later it appears in his hand without showing him drawing it.
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See also

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

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