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Darkest Hour Movie Poster

Goofs from Darkest Hour

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  • Churchill says Edward Wood, 3rd Viscount Halifax would never have turned down the offer to be prime minister as he was the fourth son of an earl. However, Halifax was the son of a viscount, not an earl, a mistake that the real Winston Churchill would not have made. Edward Wood was made 1st Earl of Halifax in 1944. Though he was indeed the youngest of four sons, all his brothers died young. From the age of 8 years old, he was his father's sole heir, and thus he would not have grown up feeling deprived of a dignity by order of birth, as is implied in the dialogue.
  • The House of Commons scenes show 'prayer cards' on the Front Benches. Members of the Government and Shadow Front Bench Spokesman never have to use these.
  • When Churchill is summoned by the king, as his car drives onto the the grounds of Buckingham Palace, the Union Flag can be seen flying above the Palace. At that time the only flag to be flown over the Palace was the Royal Standard, and only when the monarch was present. This rule was not changed until 1997, and even today, the Royal Standard is flown whenever the monarch is present.
  • Early on in the film a black Riley RM drives past 10 Downing Street. This was a post war model (1945 - 55). Also, a black 1949 - 53 Ford Anglia E494A is seen later on in the film.
  • Blackout restrictions were imposed starting in September 1939 and strictly enforced, requiring all vehicles to be fitted with slotted covers that only allowed a tiny sliver of light to be directed downwards toward the road. However, all the vehicles in the street scenes had fully exposed headlights.
  • @ 37 minutes, Churchill visits the French PM. He flies in a DC-3/C-47, which did not have its first flight until 1941.
  • Churchill is seen flying to France is a Douglas C-47 with RAF markings in May 1940. The C-47 did not make its first flight until December 1941 and did not enter RAF service until 1942.
  • The conversation between Churchill and the public while riding the Underground continues for more than 5 minutes, but the journey from St James' Park to Westminster takes less than 2 minutes. However, during a war, there are many reasons why the train could run slower.
  • The scene on the Underground was filmed inside a 1959 Tube Stock carriage.
  • Chamberlain tells Halifax in May 1940 that he has cancer. Chamberlain was in pain at this time, but doctors didn't discover the cause until June and then withheld this from Chamberlain.
  • A woman on the Tube train says "We've got to defeat the Fascists!" referring to Nazi Germany. At that time the actual Fascist government of Italy was neutral in the war. It was not until the 1980s that it became common to refer to Nazis and other far-right regimes generically as "Fascists".
  • Highly unlikely what Winston would travel anywhere on a tube train.
  • The House of Commons set looks like a 4/5ths scale model of the original. Although the layout is generally accurate, the size is far too small.
  • Elizabeth does not hit the space bar when she is striking the keys, and she does not pause to hold down the "shift" key before typing a capital letter.
  • Winston Churchill's "never surrender" speech was given to Parliament on June 4, 1940, after the Dunkirk evacuation. The film has it given at the end of May 1940.
  • Four RAF fighter planes are seen flying over London in a finger four formation. While Luftwaffe had started using that tactic earlier, the RAF used a three plane "vic" formation until the end phases of Battle of Britain.
  • Live broadcasting from Parliament did not begin until the 1970s so his speeches could not have been heard on the radio as they were being made. He repeated some of them later for the BBC and these are the recordings that are now available.
  • When on the Underground, Churchill is advised to travel to Westminster on the District Line. This is a sub-surface line that uses carriages of normal size. However, the train he gets on is of deep-level 'tube' rolling stock which are not used on the District.
  • When Churchill addresses to the nation on the radio, he mentions how the (German Reich's) remarkable combination of air bombing and "heavily armored tanks" broke through the French defenses, though the tanks that Wehrmacht used in the invasion of France in 1940 were 523 Panzer Is, 955 Panzer IIs, 349 Panzer IIIs, 278 Panzer IVs, 106 Panzer 35(t)s and 228 Panzer 38(t)s according to Heinz Guderian, a German general who planned and participated in the invasion. Among these only Panzer IIIs and Panzer IVs were medium tanks and the rest were light tanks. The heavy German tanks, Tigers were to be introduced later in the war.
  • In the House of Commons when Churchill first appears as Prime Minister, we learn that Chamberlain is to wave with his handkerchief if he wants to signal support for Churchill's policies. Just before Churchill stands to make his speech, Chamberlain can be seen placing his handkerchief on his knee. As Churchill speaks and the camera pans around, Chamberlain's handkerchief is back in his breast pocket. When the speech has concluded, Chamberlain's handkerchief has reappeared on his knee.
  • "The scene on the Underground was filmed inside a 1959 Tube Stock carriage." However, 1959 Tube stock never ran between St James's Park and Westminster as these stations are on the District Line which is a sub-surface railway.
  • The copy of the Daily Express which headlines Chamberlain to resign, features both the date Friday, May 10 1940 as well as Tuesday, May 10 1940. The correct day for that date is Friday.
  • In the House of Commons when Churchill delivers his first speech, Chamberlain is to wave with his handkerchief to signal support for Churchill's policies. Thus he puts the handkerchief on his knee. In the following medium shot you cannot see the handkerchief on his knee. Later it is "back" on his knee again.
  • When Winston was on the phone talking with FDR the clock shown in the small room has a second hand which moves in steps like a quartz clock of today. The second hand of that time should have a sweeping motion.
  • The Labour Party did not recommend Winston Churchill to replace Neville Chamberlain. And they do not do so in the movie either; it is merely stated (by Conservative politicians) that he is the only one the Opposition will tolerate to lead a coalition government.
  • Winston Churchill's first use of the 'V' finger sign did not occur until the middle of 1941, a year after this film takes place.
  • The film takes place in May 1940. Elizabeth Layton did not become Churchill's secretary until 1941.
  • The film takes place in May 1940. Elizabeth Layton did not become Winston Churchill's secretary until 1941.
  • At some point of the movie, you can see a Quartz clock (It being Quartz can be understood by the movement of the seconds hand. In mechanical clocks the movement of the seconds hand is smooth with step sizes as small as 1/6th or 1/8th of a second, while in Quartz clocks usually the seconds hand jumps for a step size of 1 second, and then pauses until it makes its next 1-second step jump for the next second). The Quartz clocks were of course invented before the time of the movie. But as late as 1960s that the development of cheap semiconductor digital logic made their public and domestic use possible, their use was just limited to some specific applications (like some scientific laboratories and so on).
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