The Highwaymen Movie Poster

Goofs from The Highwaymen

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  • When the federal agents meet Hamer for the first time, one describes their effort as a "thousand person" force. At the time, the term used would have been a thousand man force. Later in the film, Gault uses the correct term of a thousand man dragnet.
  • When Hamer is purchasing weapons in a gun store, a shot showing the inside of the firearms catalogue he is holding clearly shows a German Gewehr 43 semi-automatic rifle at the top of the page, labelled a "G-43." The Gewehr 43 was developed and first manufactured during World War II in 1943, almost a full decade after the pursuit and killing of Bonnie and Clyde in 1934, so it could not have appeared in an American interwar firearms catalogue at the time.
  • Among the weapons circled in pencil, presumably having been chosen by Hamer, in his firearms catalog while he is purchasing weapons for the pursuit is a pump-action shotgun labeled a "Remington 12 gauge, pump action." Then, while shifting his thumb to point at it as if to remind himself about it Hamer asks for "that Remington Model 11..." However, a Remington Model 11 is a semi-automatic shotgun and visually quite different from the catalog illustration.
  • When the Patrolmen are gunned down and Hamer picks up the 20 gauge shell, they are plastic not paper, which would have been used at the time.
  • Bienville Parish Sheriff Henderson Jordan speaks with a distinctly Cajun accent. Due to deeply felt racial and religious prejudices of the time, Cajun mannerisms would have put him on the margins of Protestant North Louisiana society and disqualified him from becoming Sheriff. Unfortunately, the KKK would have enforced this. Sheriff Jordan, like most people born in North Louisiana, would have sounded much like the Texans. These accent differences still exist, thankfully without the discrimination.
  • During the movie, "FBI" is used by characters and seen on the underside of a plane. The events of the movie took place from early Feb to May 23 in 1934. The Bureau of Investigation (BOI or BI for short) did not change it's name to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) until 1935.
  • When Hamer picks up the 20 gauge shot gun shell on the roadside, it is yellow. 20 gauge shells did not become that color until the 1960's.
  • Frank puts a shotgun in the backseat as viewed through the windshield and, in a cut to a side view of the car, he is then seen putting the shotgun in the backseat again.
  • The gun store lad effortlessly carries several hundred rounds of ammo in a wooden crate to the car, chest level, elbows out, as if it weighs nothing. It would actually weight close to 50 lbs (23 kg).
  • Although Hamer is shown purchasing his Colt Monitor from a gun store by all historical accounts he was actually presented with the weapon by the Colt Company directly.
  • One of the weapons Hamer purchases is a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle). Though the weapons were available on the civilian market they were so prohibitively expensive that the likelihood of their being in a small town gun store is extremely slim.
  • Costner's character says the Remington "Machine Rifle" has a velocity of 8,000 ft/sec. That's about 4 times any modern firearm.
  • Several times the phrase "manos arribas" is said, as if "arriba" is an adjective describing the hands. But arriba is an adverb describing the direction of the hands (up) and and cannot be plural. The correct phrase is "manos arriba". However, this is likely an intentional embellishment meant to illustrate Gault's unfamiliarity with the Spanish language; in addition to his incorrect grammar, his pronunciation is laughably poor.
  • The thug at the bar threatens Maney Gault with an Italian stiletto style switchblade, a knife style that did not appear in the United States until American servicemen stationed in Italy brought them home after WWII. Inexpensive switchblades were widely available in the United States in the 1930s, as modern legal restrictions on these knives were yet to be enacted, but most looked quite different from the one in the film.
  • Thick stands of pine trees appear in numerous scenes set in Dallas and other north central Texas locations. Pines are rare in north central Texas because the predominant alkaline clay soils stifle their growth, but they are common throughout northern Louisiana, where the scenes were filmed.
  • In a shot looking upwards at Hamer during the bottle-shooting sequence, contrails can be seen. Airplanes capable of flying high enough to create contrails were extremely rare in 1934 and the few that existed were unlikely to be flying over central Texas.
  • During the bottle-shooting sequence, the cloud cover varies noticeably between shots.
  • When Maney turns the car radio on, it starts playing immediately. In the 1930s, radios used vacuum tubes, which must warm up for a few seconds before they will function; hence, the sound would not start instantaneously.
  • During the ambush scene at about 1:58 a close up shows Clyde Barrow's foot sliding off of the clutch pedal of his car. If the car was stopped and then rolled forward his foot should have been on the brake pedal. Historical accounts of Bonnie and Clyde's shooting mostly agree with the film's depiction. Clyde evidently stopped with the transmission in gear, and as he died, his foot slipped off the clutch pedal; this caused the clutch to engage and the engine to slowly propel the car forward as it idled. All commonplace vehicles in 1934 had manual transmissions and would not "creep" like a vehicle with an automatic transmission does when the brake pedal is released; a manual transmission car stopped on a level surface will typically remain stationary until it is placed in gear and the clutch is engaged.
  • During When Frank Hamer's talk with the gas station attendant, the attendant says that Bonnie and Clyde "only rob banks" . While it is true they did rob banks, they actually robbed more stores and gas stations by far. The station attendant's statement-while factually incorrect-was most likely meant to reflect popular misconceptions that began while Bonnie and Clyde were alive and have persisted to the present day. Due to their less spectacular nature (and generally lower body counts), the Barrow Gang's numerous robberies of gas stations, grocery stores, and assorted small businesses were under-reported at the time, with some not being attributed to the gang until months or even years after they occurred.
  • When Bonnie and Clyde are helping their friends escape, Bonnie is unloading a Thompson ("Tommy gun") Machine Gun into a field but there are no shells being ejected in any shot.
  • Clyde can be seen playing a tenor sax. Later an alto sax can be seen propped up against his car.
  • Near the beginning of the film, a close-up of a wheel on a red car reveals the tire brand name of "National". Specifically the "Commando" tire. This tire company didn't exist until the 1950's, while the film is set in the 1930's.
  • At 37 minutes and 20 seconds, when Frank Hamer says "You ever hunt wild horses, Bill?", there is a barely audible Samsung notification sound in the background.
  • When examining the crime scene where the 2 motorcycle cops were killed, they were making casts of footprints by pouring plaster from a modern high density polyethylene plastic bucket. HDPE wasn't invented until 1935, and wasn't used for such commercial products as buckets until many, many years later.
  • One of the agents, when at the patrolmen killings, tells Frank that he should be careful because "this is an active crime scene". This is a modern phrase, unlikely to have been used in 1934.
  • In some of the stakeout scenes, Hamer appears to be eating pistachio nuts, the tan shells piling up outside the car. Pistachios were available in the U.S. in the '30s, usually in penny gumball-type vending machines, but they were nearly always dyed red to mask imperfections. Undyed pistachios weren't common in this country until domestic production took off in the late '70s.
  • While Frank Hamer is driving along in the car, he is looking at a map with a pencil in his mouth. Then he has the pencil in his hand, obviously trying to mark something on the map. He puts the map aside on the front passenger seat. All of a sudden, he is overtaken by a car full of young women. In the next shot, the pencil is no more in his mouth. On top of that, when he looks askance at the front passenger seat, it is occupied by photographs of Bonnie's and Clyde's victims, the map cannot be seen anywhere.
  • When Hamer picks up the newspaper that boasts the headline "Clyde sends letter to Henry Ford 'You Make a Dandy Car'", the date of the newspaper reads January. However, Clyde did not write this letter until April 10th, 1934.
  • When Hamer and Gault stop at the campground near the lake, Hamer takes out the Colt automatic rifle and empties a magazine into the No Trespassing sign. With the lake directly behind the sign and the angle of Hamer's firing pointed right at it, there should have been multiple rounds hitting the water and stirring it up. There wasn't a single ripple.
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