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10+ Movie Myths That Mislead Us, but We Don’t Seem to Mind

Spectacular films are impressive not only for people that love movies. Those who know a lot about history, physics, and other sciences love these movies too because they can analyze them and point out where the movie creators made mistakes.

We at Bright Side think that it’s nice to be an expert in some areas and be able to notice the mistakes in movies that most people don’t see. Our compilation is exactly about these mistakes.

  • The emperors didn’t give a “thumbs down” to pass judgment in a gladiator fight. This myth appeared because of the painting, Pollice Verso by Jean-Léon Gérôme, and movie creators just ran with it. According to some historians, in real life, they used a different gesture: the thumb was held toward the neck or breast, and it wasn’t clear if it was held up or down.

  • In modern, simulated aerial fights, pilots aren’t allowed to get any closer than 500 feet from each other. This is why cool-looking Hollywood fights are not realistic.
  • When a person’s heart stops, people do chest compressions to start the blood circulation. Then they do the defibrillation, which can remove the fibrillation that causes heart failure in 10% of cases. So in movie scenes where a defibrillator gets the heart to pump after one shot, without any chest compressions, this is completely unrealistic.
  • When opening a parachute, it’s impossible to carry a conversation. But things become quiet once the parachute opens up.
  • Myth: If you work in the media, you can buy a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes once a month, and you’ll have enough time and money to spend with your friends at a café. Journalists earn different amounts of money in different countries, but it’s often not a lot. For example, the average journalist’s salary in Spain is around $1,800 a month and a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes cost about $995. Of course, very successful journalists can earn much more, but there are also monthly expenses you have to take into account.
  • You’re not likely to avoid punishment for a crime if you pretend to be mentally ill. No matter how many movies say otherwise, lawyers almost never use the insanity card because acquitting someone is extremely rare. Besides, mentally ill people are sent to compulsory treatment anyway and they spend as much time in hospitals as they would have in jail.

  • Hitting someone on the head can’t cause instant amnesia or make someone’s memory return.

  • A machine gun can’t shoot for longer than a minute. And some only fit 30 bullets that take around 4 seconds to shoot.

  • Silencers don’t make the sound of a shot disappear completely. The sound just gets safer for the ears.

  • It’s impossible for quicksand to suck you under thanks to the high density of the fluid.

  • A drowning person won’t wave their hands or yell for help. They need the air in their lungs for breathing and their arms to help themselves stay afloat.

  • Going through ventilation shafts, like in movies, isn’t as easy in real life. There are screws on the inside and they are usually filled with unsafe debris and weak sections.

  • There are no such things as ice bullets that melt, leaving behind no evidence.

  • When falling, it’s hard to cling to something. The thing is, in a free fall, you’re gaining speed, and your fingers might not be able to hold you. That said, you should still try to cling onto something since it can help decrease your speed as you continue to fall.

  • Gasoline is very volatile, so the scenes where bad guys pour gas on cars and walk away are nothing more than a fantasy. In real life, the gas would burn their hands and eyes.

  • Chloroform can’t put someone instantly to sleep, so it’s pointless to put it on a cloth and up against someone’s face. It can knock someone out, but it will take at least 5 minutes.

  • A lie detector test can’t reveal if someone is lying or not. It can only measure anxiety levels, which could appear even when someone is not lying. Also, in many movies, you can see characters tricking lie detector machines by putting a needle in their boot and stepping on it every time they answer a question. The pain is supposed to mess up the results. But this is only partially true: the object would have to be sharp enough to be painful after the slightest movement so that the interviewer wouldn’t notice anything.

What mistakes have you noticed in movies? Share the things you’ve seen in the comment section below!