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Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (14)  | Character error (6)  | Continuity (2)  | Factual errors (21)  | Miscellaneous (1)  | Revealing mistakes (1)  | Spoilers (1)

Anachronisms 

"Fat Bottomed Girls" is being performed on an American tour set prior to 1975. This song was not released until 1978, on the Jazz album, well after the release/recording of (the song) "Bohemian Rhapsody."
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In a party scene at Freddie's house captioned LONDON 1980, the tune Superfreak by Rick James was playing in the background. This was not released until a year later, 1981.
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The band is shown recording/releasing "We Will Rock You" in a scene set in 1980. This song was recorded/released on the News of the World LP in 1977, three years prior to this.
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The movie shows a Rio gig in 77, Queen played for the first time in Rio in 1981 and the audio played in that scene is from Rock in Rio 85. Queen never toured South America until the 80s.
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There is a scene in the film where Another One Bites The Dust is rehearsed and performed. There is transparent imagery of Queen albums in LP format. The albums appear in the order through their appearance. 'A Day At The Races (1976)', 'News Of The World (1977)', & 'Greatest Hits (1981)'. The albums 'Jazz (1978)', 'The Game (1980)', & 'Flash Gordon (1980)' are missing.
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Freddie is shown phoning Mary in the 1970s using a "touch tone" DTMF phone (known as MF4 in the UK). DTMF capable exchanges were not installed in the UK until the late 1980s, certainly after "Live Aid" happened. Freddie would have had to enter the number on a rotary dial, or on a Loop Disconnect capable push button phone, such as a "Trimphone".
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In the scene where Freddie fires John Reid, Freddie pushes Reid out of a 1985-1989 Lincoln Town Car limousine (identifiable by the rounded taillights). However, Reid left Queen in 1978.
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After Bohemian Rhapsody is recorded, the film shows one of the first live performances of the show with text listed as Edinburgh 1976. There are two dominant errors within this scene. The first error is the overall setting of the performance since the band are depicted in the era when New Of The World from '1977' was released which is confirmed by the outfits matching that specific era. The second error is Edinburgh 1976 was a real concert during the Summer Gigs Tour from 1976 a few months after the A Night At The Opera tour had finished in Australia and a full year before the News Of The World ever occurred.
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Just before the Live Aid performance the Queen song 'Who Wants to Live Forever' is heard being played. That particular song was part of the 'A Kind of Magic' album which Queen recorded after Live Aid.
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Kenny Everett is shown with a full beard and moustache. At the time he worked at Capital Radio, he had a low trimmed beard and no moustache.
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During the U.S. tour montage scenes, the tour bus uses the 1990s Queen logo.
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In the Smile gig scene set in 1970, Roger Taylor is seen playing a Sonor HiLite drum kit (clearly visible from its badges), a drum kit that wasn't manufactured until the 1990's.
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During the Smile concert, Freddie gets a pint of beer at the student bar. Both the beer taps and the pint glasses are wrong for the period. The bar taps would have far bigger handles that the bar staff would have to work manually and the beer glass would have a handle and probably be dimpled.
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When Queen manager Jim Beach is naming off bands that will be playing Live Aid, he mentions that Led Zeppelin will be playing. This cannot be possible, as Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980 at the death of Jon Bonham; Live Aid occurred in 1985.
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Character error 

At one point in the 80s it's stated that the members of Queen "haven't recorded together in years." This isn't true. In the years the film covers, the band put out two albums in 80, one in 82, and one in 84. They wouldn't have been apart more than a year or so at any given time.
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The film makes Freddie seem like he came from nowhere when he joined Smile, like it was a secret he could sing. But he had been in bands since high school. In 1969 he joined the Liverpool-based band Ibex, later renamed Wreckage. When this band failed to take off, he joined a second band called Sour Milk Sea. However, by early 1970 this group had broken up as well.
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When changing the wheel on the van, one of the band offers the suggestion that the bolt needs to be removed "Counter Clockwise". This is an Americanism and is never said by native English speakers, which the whole band would be, where the correct term would be "Anti-Clockwise" or even "Widdershins".
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Freddie Mercury had quite a hairy chest. This was not consistently duplicated with Rami Malek portraying Freddie, most glaringly showing Freddie with little to no chest hair. The only times it appears authentic is when Freddie is wearing a "wife beater" undershirt.
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Freddie Mercury has lovely deep brown eyes. Rami Malek has blue/green eyes and they make no effort to correct them during the film including close ups of his face.
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Freddie had brown eyes while Rami Malek has green eyes. Mercury (5'9-1/2") was also quite a bit taller than Malek (5'9"). Despite these differences and some other criticism of the film, Malek's performance has generally been acclaimed.
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Continuity 

During the Live Aid scenes, there are some close-ups of Mary, Jim and David watching the performance from behind Freddie's piano. However when Freddie is dancing on stage, there are some long shots in which they don't appear at all.
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When Freddie begins to sing Love Of My Life on the piano in the barn studio, there is a smoke of a cigar in front of him. However, when the camera changes, the smoke disappeared.
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Factual errors 

The film indicates that the band's manager Jim Beach was trying to get them onto the list of acts to play the Wembley Live Aid concert. In reality, Bob Geldof had held a press conference in early 1985 to announce the concert and named Queen as one of the acts who had agreed to play. Geldof had not spoken to any of the acts beforehand so this was the first any of them had heard about it. However as nobody wanted to look like the party pooper and back out, almost all the acts Geldof name-checked played at the concert, including the band Dire Straits (who had sold out a concert at nearby Wembley Arena on the night of the Live Aid concert so had to play two gigs in one day).
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When Freddie reconciles with the rest of Queen prior to Live Aid in 1985, John Deacon states that from that point on, all future songwriting credits will go to the band collectively instead of just one member. In reality, the band's 1986 album A Kind of Magic still had individual songwriting credits and it was only in 1989's The Miracle and 1991's Innuendo that all songs were credited to the band as a whole.
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Paul Prenter was not fired as Freddie's manager until after the Live Aid concert not before as shown in the film.
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Paul Prenter is shown giving a TV interview where he outs Freddie's sexuality. In reality Prenter sold the story to the UK tabloid The Sun and never gave an on air interview about the matter.
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Freddie changed the band name to Queen shortly after joining Smile and not during the recording of the first album 2 years later.
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The film shows the band moving to Rockfield Farm to record A Night at the Opera in 1975. In reality, Queen first used Rockfield Studios to record Sheer Heart Attack in 1974.
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In reality, Freddie Mercury was not the only Queen member to record a solo project. Before Mercury's 1984 Mr. Bad Guy album, drummer Roger Taylor recorded his first solo album Fun in Space in 1981 and Brian May collaborated with several musicians to release the Star Fleet Project EP in 1983.
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The incident where Freddie broke his microphone stand and created his signature microphone prop did not happen in his first gig in real life, but much later in Queen's early career.
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When showing the gold and silver discs in the EMI office, when the camera pans over a copy of News Of The World it clearly shows the Virgin Records logo on it making it a recent re-issue rather than an original EMI issue.
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Seven Seas of Rhye was never recorded during the Smile period and didn't have vocals at the time they released the first album, the version with vocals was recorded for the second album.
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Freddie did not meet Brian May & Roger Taylor in a parking lot and sing for them. Freddie was a friend of Smile's lead singer Tim Staffell and was a fan of the band.
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There was a never a rift between Freddie and the rest of the band, as depicted, and the band continued touring and producing albums even as Freddie and the other members each pursued solo projects. They did take a hiatus from touring, as a band, at Brian May's behest, so as to concentrate on songwriting. Though they are depicted in June or July, 1985, as saying they hadn't played together in years, they in fact toured for much of the first half of 1985.
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John Deacon was never a member of Smile.
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Several times in the film characters reinforce their point by ending the sentence 'period!'. That's an Americanism. In Britain a period is a full stop so people say 'I'm not doing it, full stop'. Also, someone refers to a drink as a beverage! Another Americanism that doesn't exist in England.
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During the montage of their first US tour members of the band says "we love you Cleveland" and then the same for Houston, Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Queen did not play those cities on the Queen II tour.
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When Freddie has his first visit at the record company manager, he adjusts the playback volume by turning the speed fine adjustment knob of the turntable, a Garrard 401.
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Roger Taylor using Zildjian A Custom Hi Hats at Live Aid - he used K series Hi-Hats. Zildjian A Custom cymbal products did not exist before 1993.
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Wembley Stadium, at the time of Live Aid, had a capacity of 82,000, but that was for sports matches so 100,000 could easily be considered a minimum that Queen would be playing to in London and Philadelphia.
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In a scene while recording their first demo, there is a shot on a multi track machine with one spool called Emtec Studio Master 911. Company Emtec existed from 2004.
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When showing the band doing studio backing vocals, the microphone in the movie is an EV RE20, which is not only the incorrect model/type (and is quite different visually from the Neumann U87 shown in all the band's photos, which is smooth-sided bright metal, as opposed dark with vents) it is also set up entirely incorrectly, being an end addressed mic, yet is shown in a side-addressed configuration: with its pickup pattern meaning it would be recording the ceiling.
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The phone book showed phone numbers as starting '01 7946 xxxx' - however 020 7946 0xxx is the film 'fake number' set for the modern age. Additionally, back in the 70s/80s, the format would've been 01 xxx xxxx before the London number change from 01 -> 071/081 -> 0171/0181 -> 020 7/8.
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Miscellaneous 

In a scene when Farrokh Bulsara or Freddie Mercury are still working as baggage handler at Heathrow Airport, a TWA Boeing 747 can be seen clearly with the famous two stripe logo. However the scene took place in 1970 and TWA two stripe logo was not introduced until 1975, which is five years after the scene took place.
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Revealing mistakes 

Freddie's cats do not age at any point in the film, apart from a short shot of a kitten.
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Spoilers

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Factual errors 

Freddie is shown to have gone to a clinic and been diagnosed with AIDS weeks before Live Aid in 1985, giving him extra incentive to do the performance. In truth, he was never officially diagnosed until 1987.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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