25 Movies with Obvious Anachronisms

One of the big problems with making movies is that you pour your heart and soul in making a compelling film which will be your legacy to the world and some internet geek comes along and points out that your characters are wearing watches while battling with dinosaurs or eating pizza in the ice age. Never mind, here are 25 movies with obvious anachronisms to look out for.

Back to the Future

Back to the Future and Movies with Anachronisms

Photo Credit: forum.gibson.com/

I always thought that writing the script for this film must have been a nightmare and it is certainly full of errors. One clear anachronism is that Marty McFly plays a Gibson guitar which didn’t exist yet (no, he didn’t take it back with him).

The Doors

Val Kilmer might be pretending that he is Jim Morrison in 1971 but the billboard for Another 48 Hours (1991) gives the game away.


The further back in time you go the more difficult it is to avoid anachronisms, as Titanic proves with a few classics. Among those, Jack talk about fishing on man made Lake Wissota 5 years before it was created.

Almost Famous

The film was set in 1973 but the Deep Purple song Burn playing in the background is from the following year.

Super 8

They had Rubik’s Cubes in 1979? No, they did not.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America, Movies with Anachronisms

Photo Credit: comics.org

Are those vintage 1943 closed circuit TV cameras we can see?

Forrest Gump

There’s a letter from Apple Company dated 1975 but Apple didn’t send anyone letters until it was incorporated in 1977.


There are a few reasons for putting this on our list of 25 movies with anachronisms but perhaps the most striking one is that kilts weren’t yet in use in Scotland at that time.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

When Indy flies we see how countries were named at the time the movie was shot, not the period he was meant to be in. Siam anyone?

The Godfather

A group of long haired hippies famously slouch around in the background at one point.

The Untouchables

Canadian Flag, The Untouchables and Movies with Anachronisms

Do you know that bit where the Canadian flag is in the background? Well, the maple leaf wasn’t the official symbol until 35 years after time the film was set in.

The Green Mile

People get killed in the electric chair in Louisiana in 1935 during this movie. The electric chair was only used here from 1940 onwards.


Boeing 747, Goodfellas and Movies with Anachronisms

A Boeing 747 appears in the film 6 years before they existed.

The Hurt Locker

Talking about YouTube in 2004?

Kate and Leopold

The opera La Boheme was released in 1896 but the characters talk about it in 1876.

Born on the 4th of July

The film is set in 1969 but the 1971 song American Pie is heard in a scene.

Man on the Moon

Ms. Pacman Machine, Man on the Moon and Movies with Anachronisms

Photo Credit: Justin Elliottvia Compfight cc

Fans of vintage arcade games will know that the Ms Pacman machine come out some 5 years after being shown here.

Apollo 13

Another music anachronism here, as Let it Be by The Beatles was released months after Jim Lovell’s daughter was seen holding a copy of it in the movie.

The Ten Commandments

This biblical movie supposedly has at least one modern wrist watch visible in it.


Someone is seen wearing a Motorhead shirt in 1964 when the band didn’t even exist then.


Gladiator and Movies with Anachronisms

Photo Credit: Wikipedia.com

Among several errors we can see a padlock on a door. These devices were only first made in the 19th century.

No Country for Old Men

Several modern restaurant and business signs can be seen in an age in which they didn’t exist.


Apparently a plane flies over the skies of Ancient Egypt during this film.

Boogie Nights

A modern Rent-A-Center sign is seen in the background.


The last of our 25 movies has received a lot of publicity due to the anachronisms in it, especially with more modern words and phrases like “absolutely guaranteed” and “racial equality” being used.


You might also want to check out these other movie posts:

The Disappointing Aspects of Time Travelling the Movies Don’t Tell You About

The 10 Greatest Action Movies of the 1980s


  1. Well, I’m not sure where in the movie they appear, but the CCTV cameras in Captain America may well have existed. Germany installed CCTV cameras in Peenemunde (the launching site for their V2 rockets) in 1942 or so. Maybe that one should get a pass.

  2. Since your blog is in regards to mistakes…

    You said for Almost Famous
    “The film was set in 2973”

    I thought the movie was set in the past.. not in the future 😉

  3. Good catch – it was a typo! What anachronisms would you add?

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