Born on the Fourth of July Movie Poster

Goofs from Born on the Fourth of July

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  • Reeboks (first made in 1978) at a 1972 Republican convention.
  • When Ron visits the family of the man he accidentally killed in Vietnam, the chair swing is broken. When he comes out of the house moments later, the swing is fixed.
  • The voice of Mel Allen is heard on the radio calling Mantle's 491st home run which would have taken place in 1966. Allen was fired after the 1964 season
  • In the welcome home parade in 1969 we see two Elvises with the American eagle jumpsuit. This was not made for Elvis until his Aloha From Hawaii show in 1973.
  • When Ron is thinking about what to put away in his room before boot camp, he stuffs away a toy pistol. The model pistol is a Beretta 92f, not made until 1983.
  • A 1957 Chevrolet convertible (released in the fall of 1956) is used in the 1956 Fourth of July parade.
  • During a scene identified as July 4, 1969, the Kovic family is watching Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967). Laugh-In aired on Monday evenings, and July 4, 1969 was a Friday.
  • Reflections of camera and operator visible in the shiny black brim of Ron's hat during the second parade.
  • When Ron is taking the train to Upstate NY a Mass Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) commuter train is used.
  • Ron's family watches JFK's inauguration in Washington, DC in January 1961. It is sub-freezing there. Outside the Kovic home in Long Island, NY at the same time, it appears to be early fall.
  • When Ron and his friends walk out of Boyer's Ice Cream shop, you can see crew and equipment in the reflection on the cars.
  • The song "American Pie" is played twice in scenes that are indicated as being in 1969. American Pie was not released until 1971.
  • When the recruiter visits Ronnie's school, he incorrectly refers to Marine boot camp as "13 weeks of hell," when Marine boot camp was only 8 weeks during the timeframe of the movie.
  • When Ron returns home from the hospital the subtitle says " Massapequa, 1969". The colours of the leaves and the dead leaves in the street indicate it is autumn. A few scenes later the subtitle reads "July 4, 1969", and the implication is that time has moved forward.
  • A Jackie Gleason Blvd. street sign can be seen at the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach. The street wasn't named that until after Gleason's death in the late '80s.
  • In the movie, Ron is visiting a leader of the 1970 Syracuse University strike. As students listen to speakers (among them the late Abbie Hoffman) an army of Syracuse policemen, identifiable by their shoulder patches, mass on campus. Wearing full riot gear, they rap their shields with their nightsticks, and, unprovoked, attack the student assembly. One even cracks wheelchair-bound Ron over the head. New York State Sen. Nancy Larraine Hoffmann, a Democrat, was a Syracuse student in 1970 who participated in that strike. "It was totally unlike the characterization in the movie," she says, describing the peaceful week-long strike. "There was no police presence even within sight. At no time was there any show of force, or any attempt to disperse students listening to speakers. It troubles me to see police officers maligned for Hollywood sensationalism."
  • In the movie, Ron is, by 1972, a full-fledged anti-war activist. Ron materializes on the floor of the Republican National Convention with a few other Vietnam Veterans Against the War. They make a scene, attract a few cameras, block the aisle, and rile the delegates, a mass of bloated Republican faces in straw boaters. One of them spits on Ron. Security guards move in, roughly pushing and pulling the veterans from the hall, physically preventing reporters from following. Outside, Ron is thrown from his wheelchair by an undercover cop and beaten. Actually, Robert Dornan persuaded security guards to let Kovic into the convention. Mr. Dornan says he made Mr. Kovic promise not to make a scene. That, however, did not stop the Vietnam veteran, who joined forces with two other disabled anti- war veterans. "It was not as big a disturbance as the movie showed, but it was a disturbance," says Mr. Dornan. "They were screaming. The guards came down and politely pulled their chairs backward. [They] put them out peaceably." A United Press International report of the incident describes the scene this way: "After about five minutes, security agents wheeled them in protesting out a side door. I went out and watched him and the other two congratulating one another, bragging about what they'd accomplished."
  • The movie major is a decidedly unsympathetic character who ends his discussion with young Kovic by threatening to "take his head" if any more is said about the matter. The real-life major, traced by U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Fred Peck, would not consent to an interview. Through Lt. Col. Peck, the major confirmed Ron Kovic voiced such concerns to him. The major investigated and concluded it was unlikely Mr. Kovic had killed the Marine. Subsequently, the major promoted Mr. Kovic, making him the leader of a new scout group.
  • On the night of his prom Ron Kovic listens to Mickey Mantle hit his 491st home run. Mantle hit that home run on July 8, 1966.
  • When Ron takes a drink of beer and he falls out of his wheelchair, a woman is laughing and saying "I'm sorry, I don't mean to laugh," but her lip movements don't match what she's saying.
  • During the Syracuse protest the group of students that are speaking are holding the Viet Cong flag. They have the Viet Cong flag upside down with Blue on top. The Viet Cong flag should actually have Red on top. However, that could be intentional. However, when the camera pans back and forth between Kovic and the speakers the Viet Cong flag is seen to have Red on top, then back to blue on top.
  • During the parade at the beginning of the film set in 1956, several parade goers and participants are wearing 1980s-era clothing and hairstyles.
  • Ron joined the Marines in 1964, yet when he is in his bedroom contemplating his decision to join, the Yankees game on the radio states that Mickey Mantle has just hit his 491st career home run. Mickey Mantle's 491st home run was hit in July 1966.
  • In a scene in the Bronx Veterans Hospital, supposedly at some point in 1968, there is a poster next to a bed for the Doors' album, Morrison Hotel. That album was released in 1970.
  • During the fighting in Oct. 1967 the Marines are shown using M14's and a Bazooka. In Oct. 1967 Marines would have already been issued the M16A1 rifle and instead of a Bazooka it would have been a LAAW instead.
  • When Oliver Stone is interviewing the infantry officer on the television, the officer's branch insignia is on his right collar. U.S. Army officers wear their branch insignia on the left collar.
  • When Ron visits Billy's family in Venus, GA, he hears the stories of Billy's great-grandfather (" First Bull Run."), grandfather ("In France in '18"), and his father who is at the family gathering. The mother says "Don't forget you was in the Pacific, in Guadalcanal"- referring to World War II. As the camera passes over the mementos of the wars, on the walls and shelves, you see a German soldier's helmet, with the swastika emblem on the side, from WWII. There's no way the father could have acquired a Nazi helmet in the Pacific theater.
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