Selma Movie Poster

Goofs from Selma

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  • The FBI data shown on the screen says that Martin Luther King arrived in a Selma hotel at 10:24 AM. A few seconds later he walks in and says "Good afternoon."
  • MLK replaces a transparent plastic trash bag. In 1965, home garbage cans were lined with a paper shopping bag, if at all.
  • As the first march to Montgomery begins, an establishing shot shows a sign with an italicized Pepsi logo introduced in 1991.
  • In an early scene in the Kings' kitchen, a blender is plugged into a grounded GFCI outlet with a bright green LED. Those technologies were not commonly available until the 1970s.
  • At the beginning of the first march, the marchers pass an auto parts store with a sign outside advertising "Shocks Struts (etc)". Very few cars used struts in 1965, and the few that did most likely would not have been available in Selma.
  • Toward end of the movie, a white man sits at a table smoking a cigarette. A plastic bottle of Fiji water is on the right side of the table.
  • When MLK leads the marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a cell phone tower is visible on the right side of the screen.
  • When MLK meets in a church basement, modern containers of tempera paint, with pump tops, are behind him. At that time, tempera paint came in powder form and had to be mixed with water.
  • A harvest gold blender is in the Kings' kitchen. Harvest gold was first available in the late 1960s.
  • A note at the end of the end credits thanks the cities of Covington, Conyers, and Marietta, Alabama. Those cities are in Georgia, not Alabama. Montgomery and Selma were the only Alabama filming locations.
  • When MLK starts to address the SNCC for the first time, Abernathy's position changes in the first two shots.
  • In an early scene, MLK wears a tie with a tie bar. The position of the tie bar changes three times.
  • Lewis wears a wedding band in 1965. John Lewis was never married until 1968.
  • When MLK goes for a drive with John Lewis to talk, the movement of the steering wheel doesn't always match the movement of the view out of the windows, especially when cornering.
  • When MLK meets with LBJ in the Oval Office, Johnson is seated at the Resolute Desk. When Lyndon B. Johnson office in 1963, he found he was too large for the desk, and commissioned a plainer replacement which was built by the Senate cabinet shop.
  • When the police begin attacking the marchers at the bridge, the film depicts the event being broadcast live around the country. At the time, the event would've been filmed and shown later, after processing. Live news started many years later.
  • President Johnson is shown giving the voting rights speech in front of what appears to be the the Senate (individual desks shown) with the Speaker of the House and the Vice President behind him. This speech was given properly in front of the joint session in the House chamber (which has just seats rather than desks). The room depicted isn't correct for the Senate chamber either. Neither chamber has windows as shown.
  • One scene depicted as being in 1965 has a 1967 Thunderbird visible in traffic.
  • Alabama State Troopers in uniform have never worn facial hair.
  • Sheriff Jim Clark was not on horseback firing a pistol during the first attempted march to Montgomery. He had just flown into Montgomery after an appearance on ABC's Issues and Answers (1960) and arrived about the time the march broke up.

Spoilers

  • After the troopers kill Jimmie Lee Jackson in the restaurant, his eyes keep moving while staring at a spot, as his mother holds his head.
  • After MLK receives his Nobel Peace Prize (December 10, 1964), the four girls are killed in the 16th St. Baptist Church. The church bombing took place earlier (September 15, 1963).
  • The film depicts Jimmie Lee Jackson and James Reeb dying where they were respectively shot and beaten. Both men actually died in the hospital. Jackson was even able to testify about the details of the shooting before he died from his wounds.
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