The Importance of Correcting Goof Errors

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  • Updated 10 months ago
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While I am more than happy to help clean up the Goofs sections, I am wondering how important it is felt that this be done. Before I start the time-consuming and often tedious process of correcting Goofs, I'd like to know how people feel about having submissions edited to conform with the IMDb guidelines. There are literally hundreds of these.

I'd particularly like to hear from staff. If I'm wasting my time with these, I'll drop them and just post reviews instead.

Factual errors. Unintentional misapplications of truthiness. Errors in fact, not in the created universe.

A very large number of reported “goofs” are due to people thinking that the movie is an historically and geographically accurate report, losing sight of the idea that a movie encompasses its own reality and need not conform to the world as we know it.

Some examples from Chinatown:

L.A.'s original Chinatown was demolished between 1933 and 1936 to make way for Union Station. The current Chinatown, located a few blocks away, opened in 1938. So the only time L.A. had no official Chinatown was 1937, the year in which this film is set.

The clerk in the Hall of Records says some of the plot maps for the northwest San Fernando Valley are in Ventura county. The county line is well to the west in the surrounding hills.

The final scene takes place in Los Angeles' "New" Chinatown that opened in 1938, one year after the film's story takes place.

Many more “goofs” seem to be the result of viewers not having HD TV and unable to see details that would disprove the goof. Again, from Chinatown:

When Jake tails Evelyn's car as she is going to the house where she stashed the girl, we can see that the sun is starting to come up, but when Jake parks in front of the house and starts nosing around, it is pitch black and clearly the middle of the night.

A more clear view of the “sun” would show that it is actually a reflection on the inside of Jake's car. Also, on the right, the water can be seen. If you can see the Pacific on your right in LA, you are headed south. The Sun neither rises nor sets in the south.

When Jake finds the glasses in the Mulwrays' (sic) saltwater pond we clearly see a shot of a goldfish (possibly the Black Moor variety)- a freshwater fish that cannot survive in salt water.

The only fish seen is a large orange fish, not a Black Moor. At one point, a reflection of Jake's hand in the water looks like a black fish, but it's not.

Is there a way to move a Goof submission to a more appropriate place, say Trivia instead of Goofs? Instances where the poster has noticed something and has something to say about it. More from Chinatown:

The kitchen floor of Ida Sessions's apartment has vinyl sheet flooring in the "Armstrong No. 5352" pattern that was popular in the 1970s. However, the actual flooring with this pattern sold in the 1930s was linoleum, not vinyl, and pattern was inlaid and textured to the point where the it actually looked like grouted tile, as opposed the uniform flat surface of the vinyl flooring sold in the 1970s that is shown in this scene.

This poster has all the facts correct. I'd say they were in the lino business in the 70's. Only problem – the floor is shown for only a fraction of a second, not nearly long enough to make an identification of a flooring product that was purposely made to mimic the old linoleum. You'd have to have a sample of it in your hand to tell. I'm not even sure if this would be a Trivia item.

Often, the poster will see something something and post it, then finish up by explaining the reason that it isn't really a goof, that there is a reason for it:

When Jake and Escobar drive to pick up Mrs. Mulwray at her maid's house (but Jake is really going to Curly's house to escape), just before Jake gets out of the car, a woman can be seen walking out of her house in the background across the street. She is in the distance not in sharp focus, but she's probably a regular resident and not part of the film, as she appears to be in jeans or dark pants and a yellow sweater.

And one from Mission Impossible – Fallout:

During the high-speed motorcycle chase Hunt is not wearing any eye protection. Once you go faster than approximately 25 MPH the wind causes the eyes to tear up, making it impossible to see clearly. Obviously this was done for cinematic reasons and is not a goof per se.

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Silvr Hair Devil

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  • optimistic

Posted 10 months ago

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Elizabeth, Employee

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Hi there, thanks for reaching out. We always welcome any type of addition or correction that you believe to be a valuable addition to the site. 
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Silvr Hair Devil

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Is there a way to move a submission from Goofs to Trivia?
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Yes. In the same submission, delete the goof, explain you're moving it to the trivia section and add this item to the trivia section. My experience is that this gets the job done.
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Silvr Hair Devil

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Thanks Marco. I'll try that.