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The Bridges of Madison County (1995) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

Robert has leatherman, but it wasn't invented until 1979.
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Propane tank on the side of a farmhouse features the 1990s logo of a gas company.
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Modern John Deere tractor visible in the background.
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A modern solid-state dial-tone is heard when characters use the telephone. It is unlikely that anything other than an old-fashioned buzzer dial-tone was heard on telephones of the 1960s, especially on rural Iowa telephone exchanges.
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The song, "It Was Almost like a Song" was not written until 1977. There is no way it could have been playing on Francesca's kitchen radio in 1965.
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When Francesca is listening to the radio, the aria "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix" from the opera "Samson et Dalila", can be heard. The aria is sung by Maria Callas. This recording however was never approved for release during Callas's lifetime. But in the summer of 1965 Maria Callas was still alive.
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A modern cars are visible in the background during riding home in the rain.
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Coca Cola crate on porch in one 1965 scene features advertising logo not introduced until 1969, the Dynamic Ribbon Device (commonly called the "wave").
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Early on, when Francesca is riding with Robert in his pickup, to take him to the covered bridge he can't find, they meet & pass a tractor pulling an implement. Played in slow-motion, the implement is a big round baler which wasn't invented until the early 70's. The John Deere tractor has decals on the hood that have Doppler-type stripping, which as used on their tractors around 1980.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Francesa and Robert are standing in the kitchen one night, the kitchen window over the sink shows it is dark outside. The camera swings to a shot of the refrigerator and in the background is a window but instead of being dark it is daylight outside.
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Character error 

When Francesca and Robert are remembering Italian dishes, she corrects his (very venial) mispronunciation of "arancini", but then she pronounced very badly the word "zéppole" as it were "zeppòli".
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Continuity 

Near the end of the movie, when Francesca and her husband drive up to the general store, the driver-side window is rolled up. When she leans over to see Robert's truck across the street, the driver-side window is completely rolled down.
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The handwriting on the note that Francesca writes on the dressing table is different to the handwriting on the note that she attaches to the bridge.
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During a conversation at the kitchen table in the latter part of the film, there is a spider/fly/bug crawling around on the chair closest to the camera. It appears and reappears several times.
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In the heavy rain, as Richard and Francesca pull up to the general store, Richard gets out and his jacket is already soaking wet.
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Before Francesca takes her bath, the clock on the wall reads 8:15pm. When she returns later in the new dress she had just purchased the clock reads 9:40pm. That means Robert was waiting alone for 1 hour and 25 minutes while she bathed and dressed.
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When Francesca is standing on her porch and opens her robe, the wind is blowing in her face. In the next shot, the wind is blowing at her back.
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When Robert is at the table eating breakfast and having a discussion with Francesca, sometimes there is jam on his toast, and sometimes there isn't.
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Near the start of the film, when Robert and Francesca first drive to the bridge, a shot of a rather modern-looking house appears behind. When the camera cuts back to Francesca a few minutes later, the same house/shot is used
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The strap of Francesca's dress rearranges itself on her shoulder while she is dancing with Robert. Also, Robert's collar smoothes itself.
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When Francesca is driving with him in his truck to initially show him where the bridge is, there is no sunshine on Robert's shoulders. Suddenly, in the next shot it's on his right shoulder, then the next shot switches to his left and then back again.
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Crew or equipment visible 

In one of the scenes when Robert and Francessca are talking in front of his truck, you can see a reflection of one of the movie set lights on the hood of the truck.
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When Francesca is walking in town, the crew can be seen squatting down in the store windows' reflection.
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Factual errors 

After Francesca's husband and children return from the Illinois State Fair, her husband indicates it took them about 3 1/2 hours to drive back. That would barely get them from Madison County to the Illinois border. The Illinois State Fair is held exactly 374.28 miles from Madison County, at least a 9 hour drive in 1965
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No self-respecting Iowa farmer would have a corn crib in the front yard.
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Near the beginning of the movie a banker is depicted at the farm house having brought a safe deposit box with him to the house. This would never happen, safe deposit boxes never leave the general area of the bank vault and the banker would not have access to the box anyway. (Also, the term is NOT "safety deposit." The proper term is SAFE Deposit - the box-holder DEPOSITS their belongings in a SAFE).
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Miscellaneous 

The bedroom lovemaking scene was very romantic but a fire in the fireplace at the end of a hot July day was out of place.
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The blue flowers Robert picks by the Roseman Bridge look VERY plastic.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When they went to the bar (the place off the interstate) the first time they show the band on stage playing the bass player is a white guy and he is playing a old style upright bass. Moments later the bass player is now a black guy playing a Fender electric bass guitar. However some jazz bands do use two bass players at the same time, specially one upright bass and one electric bass, so this may very well be incorrectly regarded as goof.
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Plot holes 

After Richard dies, Francesca tries unsuccessfully to find Robert via the National Geographic office. The box she received from Robert's lawyer upon his death had Robert Kincaid stationery clearly showing his address: PO Box 634, Bellingham Washington, 98225. Even his phone number: KL-5-8763. The letter she received from him in 1965 (the one in the safe deposit box) probably used the same stationery (I know if I were Robert I would have given her as many ways to contact me as I could think of). And, if I were Francesca, I would have hired a private investigator if all these avenues failed. She knew he was from Washington state from his license plate. The National Geographic dead end was too superficial.
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Francesca took a big chance giving Robert's "4 Days Remembering" photography album to Lucy Redfield. If she had pre-deceased Francesca, it might have been lost. Francesca's children might never have received it. Much better to have shown it to Lucy during their friendship and then place it in the safe deposit box or the hope chest with all the other memorabilia.
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Revealing mistakes 

In the National Geographic writeup "Robert Kincaid Describes His Long Journey", the third paragraph consists of a repetition of part of the second.
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Heavy rain is obviously artificially generated when Richard and Francesca stop at the grocery store toward the end of the movie. The visibility in the background (trees, houses, etc) is too clear for such a heavy downpour. Also, when they are driving in the rain, at times it appears that sunlight is visible (which technically is possible, but unlikely given how overcast it appears in previous shots).
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The note that Francesca writes and the note that she sticks to the bridge have different handwriting.
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When the kids find the Celtic cross that Francesca had given Robert, the engraved letters were clearly visible and barely worn, if at all. However, during the flashback of when Francesca first received the necklace after Robert's death, and well before the kids could have ever seen it, the name "Francesca" is very worn away by the years and is barely visible.
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See also

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

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