Almost all movies have flubs. They’re an inherent part of the filmmaking process. In many cases, they’re subtle, and will be unnoticeable to the majority of viewers until they’re pointed out. When the level of drink in a character’s glass changes from shot to shot in a scene, most people will focus their attention on the characters, not on the glass. However, in some other cases, goofs can be quite glaring, and beg the question how the filmmakers could have left them in the movie.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that my favorite movie is ‘Dune‘. I’ve seen it so many times that I know it on a practically frame-by-frame basis. Every time I watch it, I scrutinize scenes for little details that I may have missed before. Consequently, some of the flubs in the movie really stand out to me. In fact, I look forward to them. My anticipation of them is a big part of my enjoyment of the film.
For example, in the scene where the Spice Harvester is attacked by a worm, there’s a pair of shots where a small scout vehicle races through the sand to return to the Harvester. The shots are edited with a match cut following the action as the scout drives up the Harvester’s ramp. The problem is that these two shots show completely different vehicles. They look nothing alike at all.
Heightening the absurdity of this error, the LJN company actually released separate toys based on each of these vehicles, called the Sand Crawler and Spice Scout respectively. (They also released toys based on a couple of vehicles never seen in the movie at all.)
Yet even that’s not my favorite flub. Early in the picture, as the Guild Navigator is rolled into the Emperor’s throne room, one of his attendants on screen left slips and takes a dive right onto the floor, flailing his arms as he falls. He immediately scrambles back up and hides behind another character for the rest of the shot. It’s a very quick action, and not the viewer’s center of attention. But once you notice it, you’ll never miss it again. These days, I get giddy with anticipation waiting for it to happen.
Why do filmmakers let these things slip through? In some cases, they may miss the flubs just like most viewers do. Other times, they may not have a choice, if there aren’t any “clean” takes and there isn’t sufficient footage to otherwise cover the scene without these shots. And sometimes, filmmakers leave goofs like this in on purpose, as a game to see if they can get away with it.
Those are a couple of my favorite movie goofs. Tell us what yours are.