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Thread: Geography mistakes in movies

  1. #1
    Cyburbian SlaveToTheGrind's avatar
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    Geography mistakes in movies

    Went to see Cold Mountain this weekend. Good movie, except for one obvious mistake. The film takes place in the Civil (yeah, right) War or War Betwen the States for you Southerners although the film was shot a great deal in Bulgaria, North Carolina, too. My complaint is that in some of the mountain scenes, several of the mountains are much too tall to be the Appalachian Mountains.

    Any other geography mistakes in movies that most people without any interest in geography could care less about?
    Last edited by SlaveToTheGrind; 05 Jan 2004 at 1:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    How about Austin Powers actually making the comment while driving that Southern California in no way looks like England?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Yes, growing up in Georgia watching the Dukes of Hazard on TV it would make me so mad to see them drive thru what was obviously California and call it Georgia. I mean, come on, the boys would drive for miles and never pass a pine tree or a patch of red clay. :-P
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  4. #4
    In Close Encounters of the Third Kind the setting is supposed to be Muncie, Indiana but a look into the distance reveals geographic features known commonly as "hills". If you've ever been to Middletwon, U.S.A., you know why we're laughing.

    It's this flat _____________________________________.
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    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Geography mistakes are rampant in movies, particularly in Westerns. You see the towering mountains of the Colorado representing the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in "True Grit", Monument Valley representing Texas in "The Searchers," The most laughable is in "The Rare Breed" where Brian Keith announces in a thick Scottish accent that Hereford cattle will never survive the brutal Texas winters and later in the movie Jimmy Stewart is seen pushing through huge drifts of snow looking for a prized Hereford bull. I suppose the most glaring I've seen was some TV show where the hero went undercover in a Louisiana prison, and you could see mountains in the background.

  6. #6

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    "Message in a Bottle" was filmed in the town I live in (and the nearby beach) here in Maine, but supposedly set in North Carolina. I haven't seen the movie(yet), but I'm skeptical - the coasts of Mid-Coast Maine and North Carolina are about as different as night and day.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    The maps behind the Weekend Update crew on SNL have been made by the blind since the inception of the show in the 1970s. They drive me nuts in an OCD way. Look some time to see what I mean.

    Another bad-geography favorite are the large wire-frame globes one sees behind "non-denominational" preachers.

    Another favorite are the canyons and buttes around Dodge City, Kansas on Gunsmoke (Which in no way look like southern California )

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I've read that Krakatoa was west of Java, not east as in the movie title.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    wayne's world

    in waynes world two, during the crane shot of the concert-goers entering the park in Aurora, IL, you see, snowcapped (i think) mountains in the background.

    Again... us flatlanders know better.. ____________________
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  10. #10
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Originally posted by H
    I mean, come on, the boys would drive for miles and never pass a pine tree or a patch of red clay. :-P
    Or a 100' tall double-decker billboard, a Waffle House, a Sonny's BBQ, a fireworks stand, or giant roadside crosses.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Originally posted by Dan
    Or a 100' tall double-decker billboard advertising Tifton, a Waffle House, a Sonny's BBQ, a fireworks stand, or giant roadside crosses.
    Or any of these...




  12. #12
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Originally posted by nerudite
    Or any of these...



    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm................boiled p-nuts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:-P
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  13. #13
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    The scene in Die Hard 3 when the truck goes off a bridge and plunges a couple of hundred feet onto the escaping terrorists boat is supposedly set outside of New York City. But if you look at the shot closely you can obviously see the church steeples and harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, where it was filmed.


    And has anyone else noticed that the hillsides of Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show look an awful lot like those found in Southern California? Must be a result of the odd climate and topography found only in the Mt. Pilot sub-region of the North Carolina piedmont.

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    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    The Deer Hunter

    Someone went to a great extent to make the bar scene and the town look like a PA mill town but then they cut away to the mountains to hunt and they wind up in the snow capped Rockies nowhere near like the Allegheny Mountains that I know. Another thing that bothered me was the one actor, thankfully I forgot his name, is shown as a an Army Staff Sergeant with a goatee. Not in the Army I knew. I think that in Apocalypse now they had the sun setting presumedly over the south China Sea, but that would be in the east. Minor detail.
    WALSTIB

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    -In "Bruce Almighty", some of the street scenes were shot in San Diego, although the story was set in Buffalo. Still they did show some good shots of Buffalo and Niagara Falls they had to throw Jim Carey into.

    -I remember the movie "Stigmata" or something close to that spelling was suppose to take place in Pittsburgh, although clearly you could tell it was shot partially in NYC when they showed the street scenes.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  16. #16
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator
    I remember the movie "Stigmata" or something close to that spelling was suppose to take place in Pittsburgh, although clearly you could tell it was shot partially in NYC when they showed the street scenes.
    I saw that one too... I think it was filmed in Vancouver though. Vancouver is a city double for a lot of movies these days...

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    The show Providence was so bad I couldn't watch it for geographical mistakes. I did catch some funny approximations of Rhode Island accents though that almost approached Cockney.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    I believe some scenes in "Spy kids" were filmed in Chile, I haven't seen the movie, so that's what I've heard. Anyways I doubt that the plot said that the place where they are was Chile...

    Any guy/gal with kids that was forced to see it ('cause I doubt anybody would WANT to see that movie )

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Originally posted by nerudite
    I saw that one too... I think it was filmed in Vancouver though. Vancouver is a city double for a lot of movies these days...
    Maybe it was Vancouver, I just thought it reminded me of NY because of the cabs and 4 laned one-way streets.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I don't remember the name, but there was a made-for-television movie I came across that was so bad I just had to watch. It was about the salt mines under New Orleans collapsing. Ummm... mines under New Orleans? The Mississippi River level is above street level in the French Quarter. They must have some awfully good pumps.

    It's funny how many movies and television shows are shot in southern California, and the scenery is not even close to what it is supposed to represent.

  21. #21
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Originally posted by Cardinal
    (snip)..Ummm... mines under New Orleans? The Mississippi River level is above street level in the French Quarter. They must have some awfully good pumps.... (snip)
    Off-topic: There are salt mines under Detroit and that can't be much more than 10 feet above the Detroit River.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
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    Originally posted by biscuit
    And has anyone else noticed that the hillsides of Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show look an awful lot like those found in Southern California? Must be a result of the odd climate and topography found only in the Mt. Pilot sub-region of the North Carolina piedmont.
    I see the same mountain range that was behind MASH 4077 in a lot of movies and TV shows.

    Disney's Pocahontas showed Pocahantas diving from a high waterfall that you'd have a hard time finding in tidewater Virginia.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Originally posted by kms
    I see the same mountain range that was behind MASH 4077 in a lot of movies and TV shows.
    Yeah, that would be the Santa Monica mountains in/around Malibu Creek State Park. Nice hiking trails all through that area.

  24. #24
    In Last of the Mohican's, which was set in upstate New York, I believe, there are many scenes in the forest which looks too a littel too temporate to be located at that latitude. Sure enough, it was filmed in North Carolina.

    In the obscure movie The Dream Catcher , (not the Stephen King film but a 2000 release), there are several scenes set in Reno, Nevada, but they were actually filmed in Dayton-Springfield, Ohio! (You can clearly see State Route 41 in one scene)

    In Hang 'em High which is set in Oklahoma, there are several scenes that are just too desertic or arid to be filmed even for Oklahoma. Most likely it was filmed in Arizona or Utah instead.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    Originally posted by nerudite
    I saw that one too... I think it was filmed in Vancouver though. Vancouver is a city double for a lot of movies these days...
    X-files anyone? Early on, the show was rarely filmed outside of Vancouver because the city can duplicate so many other cities. I think they didnt move the show till season 6 or 7, so most scenes prior to that are Vancouver and surrounding area.

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