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Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (14)  | Character error (5)  | Continuity (3)  | Factual errors (24)  | Miscellaneous (3)  | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (1)  | Revealing mistakes (2)  | 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. In fact, Queen played for the first time in Brazil at Morumbi Stadium, São Paulo, on 20th and 21st March 1981. The audio played in the movie scene is from that concert. Later, Queen played in Rock in Rio 85. Queen never toured South America until the 80s.
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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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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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During the U.S. tour montage scenes, the tour bus uses the 1990s Queen logo.
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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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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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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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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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The Boeing 747 seen landing is a later model, using later engines. The distinctive cones from the Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines are missing.
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A train going past Live Aid appears to be in First Group livery. At the time all UK trains were in British Rail livery. First Group did not start operating UK rail services until 1997.
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At one point we see a New Routemaster, originally referred to as the New Bus for London, driving over Hammersmith Bridge. These buses were introduced from 2011. They are also known as the Boris Bus or Borismaster after the then Mayor of London.
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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 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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Continuity 

When Freddie visits his family on the day of Live Aid the weather appears to be a Fall/Autumn day with brown leaves on the ground. Live Aid took place July 13th 1985 a very hot Summer day.
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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 

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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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 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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The movie implies that Jim Hutton and Mary Austin were friendly, after Freddie introduced them. Whatever their relationship was during Freddie's lifetime, it deteriorated drastically. Freddie and Jim lived at 1 Logan Place, Kensington. However Freddie did not leave the house to Jim, he left it to Mary, and upon Freddie's death Mary booted Jim out of the house and denied him access to Freddie's ashes. This has been confirmed in interviews with Brian May, Roger Taylor, and Freddie's sister Kashmira.
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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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The film makes it appear that the band left their label, EMI Records, in the mid 70s because the company's chief exec wouldn't release Bohemian Rhapsody as a single. In actual fact, Queen stayed with EMI throughout their career and for over 20 years after Mercury's death.
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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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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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John Deacon was never a member of Smile.
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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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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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The film depicts Mercury's going solo as breaking up the band and shows his time in Munich as if he were isolated from the others. In fact, all band members were working on solo projects between 1982 and 1985, even as the band recorded and toured together. Roger Taylor was recording his album "Strange Frontier" at the same Munich studio and at the same time Mercury was working on "Mr. Bad Guy." Mercury (as well as May and Deacon) even played on Taylor's album.
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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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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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A closeup of the Live-Aid audience shows a man wearing a Milwaukee Brewers hat with their 'M and barley' logo. The logo became their official logo in 2018 and was their alternate logo since 2000.
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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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The cameraman on the left side of the Live Aid stage grabs the focus ring from below like a photographer when shouldering the camera. A TV-cameraman would never do this - in fact the BBC-cameraman on the footage of the real concert grabs it from the side.
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When Mary is driven away from Freddie's Munich house, the car is a Mercedes Benz (W-123) 240D or 300D, very common at the time. The engine sound is distinctly that of a Spark Ignition Gasoline motor, rather than the Compression Ignition Diesel motor used by almost all Taxis at that time.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

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. The classic misconception: The song is nowhere part of the plot, but solely serves for decorative purposes. Actually, the character doesn't listen to it, only the audience does.
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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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In the shot where Freddie hangs up the phone after talking to Mary, the adhesive on Rami Malek's mustache is visible.
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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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