When Indy and Ox first meet Irina Spalko at the warehouse, she introduces herself formally and later, Indy even calls her by name when threatening her life attempting to escape. But during his debriefing by the CIA, Indy does not know her name and they are only able to identify her when Indy recalls that she carried a rapier.
(at around 16 mins) In the rocket sled control room, the large timer has a display which looks like a modern LED display. No such display type existed in 1957, and did not become practical until the early 1970s. A timer from that era would have been a a mechanical seven-segment display, or possibly a "nixie tube" unit which came into use in 1955.
This movie is set in 1957. The gas masks used by the bio-hazard crew, while decontaminating Indy of radiation, are M-17 Gas Masks, which were not developed and used until 1959. Additionally, the M-17 mask is not designed for protection against radiation, making its use for radiation clean up incorrect, and dangerous.
Mutt's Harley sports a hydraulic master cylinder on the handlebar for the front disc brake. Neither appeared on H-D motorcycles until 1972. The "Softail" chassis like Mutt's came out in 1984. At least one of the bikes used is also equipped with an engine not released by H-D until 1999. It's clearly a modern bike with some window dressing attached.
Indy says that he and Oxley were obsessed with crystal skulls, in particular the Mitchell-Hedges skull, in college. Mitchell-Hedges claimed that his daughter unearthed the skull during a dig in 1927, but did not actually begin making that claim until 1943. This is after the events in all three previous films, and therefore, well beyond Indy's or Oxley's college years.
On one of the soviet trucks used in the jungle chase scene, it shows external rear view mirrors in the 1970s style, which were identical to the type used on 1973 and GM pickups. This style of mirror did not exist in 1957.
At the beginning of the jungle chase scene, Indiana fetches a rocket launcher from the back of a truck and uses it against an armoured vehicle. However, this model - the RPG-7 - was not produced until 1961, four years after this movie takes place.
The refrigerator which Indy hides for protection from the atomic blast has the older type of door latch which cannot be opened from the inside. Later in the movie, one character calls refrigerators "death traps" for this reason. The shock of the blast rolls the refrigerator down into a gully, but the door remains latched until it stops moving. Then there's a click as though the latch is being opened, but there's no interior latch.
When Indiana crashes the motorcycle in the Library he tells some students to look up Vere Gordon Childe because he spent most of his life in the field. Childe was not a fieldwork archaeologist, he worked out of museums. He did very little fieldwork in his entire career, he analyzed and cataloged the collections of various museums and was able to generate new revelations and discoveries because of his access to collections from around the globe. Given that Indiana has recently been accused of being a Soviet agent and is currently fleeing the KGB, this is an even stranger comment. Childe was a Marxist archaeologist and a Soviet sympathizer.
In the Area 51 warehouse scene Jones uses shotgun pellets to find a box with "highly magnetic" contents. All military issue buckshot pellets are made out of lead, and lead has no magnetic properties. Although Jones later finds out that the skeletons of the aliens attract non-magnetic metals, namely gold, it is unlikely that he would have tried to use lead to find a magnetic object before knowing this.
Spalko states that the skull was removed from the city "in the 15th century." Columbus arrived in the Bahamas 8 years before the close of the 15th century, in 1492. Cortez invaded the Aztec kingdom in 1516 (16 years into the 16th century), and this was the first significant European incursion into even Central America, much less the daunting southern continent. It is thus likely that she meant to say either "16th century," or "1500's."
The red and white shoulder patch on the U.S. Army uniforms of the disguised Soviet agents is of the Fifteenth United States Army. This unit was permanently deactivated in 1946, eleven years before the film's setting. It's unlikely that the KGB would have done such poor research on the disguises of their agents conducting a major operation on U.S. soil.
In the transition-map scene when Indy and Mutt fly to Brazil the locations on Brazilian Amazon are appropriately written in Portuguese language but 'Río Juruá' is misspelled. In Portuguese the correct spelling is 'Rio' (without the acute accent on the letter 'i').
Indiana says that the extraterrestrial will attract gunpowder because it's magnetic and gunpowder contains metal. In 1957, the U.S. Army was using smokeless powder, which contains no metal. Also, not all metals are attracted by a magnet: some are repelled by it.
Indiana refers to the scorpion that attacked Mutt as having bitten him. Scorpions do not bite, they sting. Mutt said, "One of the scorpions just stung me! Am I gonna die?", to which Indy replied, "When it comes to scorpions, the bigger the better. Small one bites you, don't keep it to yourself."
Many of the soldiers in the early scenes are armed with Thompson submachine guns (tommy guns). These guns fire from the "open bolt" position, meaning that the cocking handles would be locked to the rear if they were prepared to fire. All the guns shown have their cocking handles fully forward in the uncocked position.
During the warehouse treasure hunt at the beginning of the movie, Indy uses handfuls of gunpowder and shotgun pellets to try and locate the highly magnetic item the Soviets are after. However, as soon as the box is discovered and moved, all of the light fittings within ten yards start leaning towards it. Given that wood is non-magnetic and hence would not have interfered with the magnetism of the item, the lights would have been leaning towards it even before it was taken out of the box, making the search a lot easier.
In the atomic bomb test scene Indy opens the refrigerator and pulls out the shelves before he climbs in. There is a small freezer compartment visible inside. After the blast that propels him and the refrigerator out into the desert the fridge door opens and he rolls out. In the first shot of roll the freezer compartment is still there and the edge of it is visible for about eight frames before being obscured by Indy's body, but in the close-up it has gone.
Indy uses small pieces of ammunition to locate the crate holding the alien remains, because the crate is "highly magnetized." As expected, the crate exerts a magnetic attraction to these tiny objects, at a distance, even when buried under other crates. But it has no magnetic effect on the overhead lights, eyeglasses, crowbars or weapons until it is opened, even though these objects are all much bigger.
When Mutt and Indy are in the diner, Mutt suddenly stands up and jars the table, knocking over the condiment bottles of ketchup and mustard. When the shot changes angles, the bottles are both upright again and when it changes back, Indy reaches out to right the bottles that are lying down again.
When Spalko is hanging from the tree above the ants, she crushes an ant between her legs squirting red goo all over her knees. A short time later you see her legs again and her trousers are perfectly clean - no ant body parts!
When a vehicle brakes suddenly, unsecured passengers are thrown violently forwards - a tactic used by Marion Ravenwood, at the wheel of a jeep in the jungle chase scene, to throw Irina Spalko forward on to the front of the vehicle. However, earlier on, when Indiana Jones and Dovchenko are riding unrestrained on a rocket sled, the massively greater braking force applied by the end-of-track water braking trough does not fling their bodies forward at all.
The arrival at the storage facility at the start of the film is in daylight, and Jones and Mac were taken inside in daylight, yet when Jones blasts out of the facility on the jet-powered sled - apparently not that much later - it is pitch dark outside.
In the tent scene, Indiana Jones tells 'Mac' that he's going to break his nose when he gets loose from his bindings. As soon as Mac lets Indy loose, Jones punches Mac in the face, breaking his nose, as promised. During the subsequent Jeep chase scene, however, Mac clearly has no injuries to his face.
Shortly after Indy has found the crystal skull he is captured by the Soviets, he is tied to a chair and Irina Spalko quotes "Now am become death, the destroyer of worlds" and claims that this was a quote from Dr. Oppenheimer. It's true that Oppenheimer thought of these words after the US dropped the first atom bomb but he didn't say them out loud until an interview in 1965, 8 years after this scene is supposed to take place,
Right before Dean Stanforth interrupts Indy's class to tell him that the FBI had ransacked his office and that he was being given a leave of absence, as he approaches the classroom he walks down a hallway filled with pictures and paintings. As they are leaving the classroom, in the hallway very close to the classroom door is a large painting of Marcus Brody, Indy's dear old friend and colleague. However, moments earlier when the Dean is shown passing by that same spot on his way to the classroom, the painting isn't there. In it's place are two indistinct photographs.
In the jungle chase scene, in one shot Ox is sitting in the jeep's back seat, and nobody is behind him. But when Indy jumps onto the jeep, there are three soldiers sitting at the end of the jeep behind Ox.
Mac is first pulled out of the trunk of the car in the opening section. A couple of Soviets hustle him near the front right fender of the vehicle. In the next scene, Mac should still be near the fender, but he and the two Soviets are gone.
When Indy is first seen bound into the chair at the Soviet camp, the tape recorder supplying the music for the soldiers' party has played nearly all of its supply reel. When Spalko comes in for the interrogation, shortly after this scene, the supply reel has more, not less, tape on it.
When Mutt and Indiana Jones are on the motorcycle in the first chase, they go through the covered walkway that the car cannot follow them through. When the camera is looking from behind them you see a green car on the street when they are about to exit. But when camera is on the street when they come through it is a black car.
When Indy and Mutt drive the motorcycle in the university campus, The KGB car crashes with a column and a metal head drops and completely destroys the front glass of the car. In the next scene the car of the KGB car have again complete the front glass .
At the church at the end of the film when the wind blows the doors open and Indian's hat toward Shia LeBouf he is holding a handheld video camera. When the angle changes LeBouf has no camera and he is able to use both hands to pick up the fedora.
At the Peruvian market, while Mutt is playing with his pocket knife, watch the chrome part of the light: it reflects a barren place with a brown squared building. When the angle changes it all changes to a bus and a lot of people hanging around.
Inside the waterfall, Ox takes out the skull, moves his hand from the top to the side of the skull. The angle changes and the hand remains on the side, but when the angle changes to behind Ox his hand is on top of the skull, repeating the first movements.
Indy uses a huge rock to smash the stone where sand is coming out and hands the rock to Mac. From one shot, Mac falls backwards and sits down, but from a different angle he is standing up slightly crouched.
Ox takes out the skull, Marion walks behind him, moving to a corner on the right. In the next angle Indy says, "Ox, I think I understand" and Marion is suddenly gone, only to magically reappear a frame later.
When the group enters the final temple the skull falls into the water. Mutt picks it up, and there's a shot of Mac grabbing some gold. Then back to a wide angle and Mac is repeating the previous movement with a totally different hairstyle.
Just before Indy and Mutt find the crystal skull Indy says "we've found him" and the golden mask is dirty and covered in cobwebs. As Indy turns to remove the mask, in the close up it is now clean and shiny and free of cobwebs.
After Mutt's bike knocks down the "Better red than dead" banner it falls sideways; yet when the chasing car arrives, the banner is magically up again, ready to fall horizontally on the car's windshield.
When Jones is strapped to the chair in the tent Irina uncovers an alien to shows him. She then covers the alien with the cloth, but when the camera moves to a wide shot the soldier at the other side of the table does the same thing.
After the monkey chase scene, after Spalko's jeep lands on top of Indy's, Indy, Mutt, Mac and Oxley start to raise, but when the angle changes they're crouched again, plus in a completely different position.
Spalko steps on a tree to free herself from the ants, 2 meters away from where a soldier is starting to be eaten. A frame later the soldier is gone, there's not even a small mound where his corpse could be.
Inside the waterfall temple, the group walks by a room (with a passage on each side and a double entrance with steps in the middle) where natives appear and columns and walls fall off. The angle changes to a seemingly new room, but it's obviously the same place, with the camera angle slightly turned to the right. All the previous people are magically gone, the debris has disappeared, and natives are coming out of different places. Really odd editing.
When Indy finds out that Mac has betrayed him, Mac is standing half a meter away. Right after, from a different angle, he is 10 centimeters away, with the tip of his rifle touching Indy. And right away, from yet another angle, the gun is on top of Indy's shoulder.
In the Nevada warehouse, the first angle of the corpse's hand shows the baby, ring and middle finger together. When the angle changes, the position of the fingers is completely different, with the baby finger now totally separated from the rest.
After Mutt falls from the ladder in the graveyard, a native jumps from above to attack him. Indy is already on the right side of the scene, walking out, but when the angle changes he is standing on the left side, very close to Mutt.
During the chase above the waterfall, the assault boat has its machine gun snapped off. When the assault boat goes over the waterfall the gun is visible again for a few seconds. The gun is gone when they get to the bottom.
In the university classroom scene, Indiana turns to the dean and says, "Yes?" He is holding the chalk with both hands and his elbows are bent. In the next shot, both arms are at his side. This is seen on the DVD.
During the scene where Indy and Mutt first find the skull and they are having a conversation about it. Indy is holding the skull with the face pointing to his right. As the camera changes back it is facing to his left, then it changes back again.
When Spalko climbs a hanging vine to escape the large, marauding ants, one jumps on her leg. As it crawls up, she smashes the squishy bug between her knees (you can hear it splatting), but there's no stain or body parts left on her very clean pants.
When Spalko is talking to Indy at the start, there are four Russian soldiers behind her who have their guns pointed at Indy. When Spalko says, "order of Lenin," and walks a few steps away from Indy, the soldiers raise their guns to let her pass. It then cuts to a shot of Spalko over Indy's shoulder and their guns are pointed at him again. It then cuts back to a profile shot of the pair and the guards once again have their guns raised.
After the main characters have been thrown out of the "lost city" by the rapidly rising waters, they are completely soaked (quite natural, as they were submerged in the well). But after everything dies down, all of the characters' hair and clothes are bone dry.
In a close-up, Indy removes the mask from one of the mummies and is holding it about a foot away from its face. In a shot from further away, Indy is holding the mask three or four feet away from the mummy's face.
The Russians arrive at the Nevada base and salute the guards. The one on the far right is very close to the barrier, next to where the corner of the house is; half a second later he is several meters behind and walking towards the barrier again.
Right at the start when the Russians pull Mac out of the car, they throw Indy's hat on the ground and there is a close-up shot of it where you can see Mac's feet right next to it. It then cuts to a relatively wide bird's-eye shot over the car as it is surrounded by Russian soldiers and there is nobody near the hat - Mac isn't even in the shot.
Mutt points out at Orellana's mummy, whose shroud is tightened and neatly set. Indy walks towards it and the shot cuts to a closer angle where the shroud is now crappily set. Obviously there were previous shots of Indy opening it, and the shroud was later messily closed to repeat the shots.
When Indy is held captive in the Soviet's tent, Mac enters and they have a conversation. Indy then turns his head to his left, looking straight at Mac. Just before Indy makes his threat about what he'll do to Mac when he gets loose, there is an angle change, and Indy is suddenly staring straight ahead, with no time to turn his head in between shots. He then turns his head back to look Mac in the face again.
Throughout the whole movie, Irina's hair seems to be kept absolutely pristine, even when she is flung from cars. This is very noticible at the car chase in the military base when she is thrown from the car by Indy. One minute, a few strands of hair are slightly messed, then they are fixed again. It is likely, however, given the many other nods to films of that period, that the "concrete hair" effect is a deliberate decision.
During the wedding scene, we see Mutt taking photos with a 1950s Kodak Brownie box camera. When wind blows Indy's fedora off the hat rack and up the aisle, Mutt stoops to pick up the hat, with the camera no longer in his hands. Indy snatches the hat away from Mutt as he passes, and the shot then cuts to a full view of all the wedding guests leaving the church, with Mutt in the center of the shot, still standing in the aisle the whole time. He takes out a comb and passes it through his hair, then picks up his jacket from the pew before he leaves, but the boxy Brownie camera is still nowhere to be seen. It's not in his pockets, and it's not in his jacket (the angular bulge would be more than noticeable).
After Indiana and team fall off the disappearing stairs as they make their way into the lost city, they are walking around in the water. But when they step through the next door into the treasure room, all are completely dry.
When Indiana and Mutt are in the diner, at the start of the scene there is a pretty blonde girl sitting at the counter just past the corner. A moment later, her seat and the one next to it are occupied by the two Russian guys in suits, and she is talking to a guy with glasses who was earlier by himself. Not enough time had passed for that to change.
When Indiana Jones is locked in the chair at the Russian camp, there is a reel-to-reel tape recorder machine running to Indy's left. When you first see it, the amount of tape on the left reel is low. Then, when Irina Spalko walks in, she goes over to it and flicks a switch. As the camera moves out, the tape on the left-hand reel is suddenly nearly equal to the one on the right.
In the tent, Indy's wrists are tied and he's facing the crystal skull. From one angle his hands are clenched fists, but from a different one they hang loose. The difference is noticable because the angles keep swapping and the hand positions are not continuous.
In the forest car chase, towards the end of Mutt's sword-fight, we see Indy driving a car behind Mutt. It cuts to Mutt picking up the skull and then back and Indy's car has disappeared. Then, as Mutt falls off the car, magically Indy appears in time to catch him.
When Indy and Irina are standing in the foreground analyzing Ox's drawings, look over Indy's shoulder and you will see Ox, Marion and Mutt standing up and moving forward. After the scene cuts a couple of times, a soldier asks them to stand up and move forward again.
When Indy and Mutt first meet in the diner scene, look out the window behind Indy. A group of leather-clad bikers are sitting and talking on their motorcycles. They vanish and reappear at least three times during the scene.
Just before the Russian backhands Indy in front of the warehouse at the beginning of the film, his hands are crossed behind his own back, but immediately in the next shot, they're crossed in front of him.
When the gang arrive at Akator, and Indy pulls the first rock from the wall and sand starts pouring out, Mutt runs out from that shot to find himself a rock but in the next shot, when Indy says to Mac, "Go get your own!(rock)", Mutt is suddenly back in the shot and runs off to find a rock, again.
When Mutt slams his fist on the table in the diner, the ketchup and mustard bottles fall over. When the shot pans to Indiana's back, the bottles are standing up again. He then tells Mutt to sit down and the camera pans back to Mutt. The bottles are lying down again and Indiana picks them both up.
In the opening scene with the drag race, the lead car in the caravan speeds ahead in response to the challenge. In the next scene, the caravan turns right and the challenger continues straight. At this point, the entire caravan is together despite the fact that the lead car would have been far ahead by that point.
When the civilian car is chasing the military convoy approaching the Nevada test site it crosses the convoy between the third and the second truck. It then passes the next two trucks on the left. In the next shot it is again behind the first truck.
After the duel between Mutt and Irina Spalko, Mutt falls down into the car with Indy and yells, "She's getting away!" as she is seen driving off. However, in the following shot when they are driving near the edge, Irina comes from behind them.
Indy enters the warehouse and two soldiers on the right gather next to him, while Mac walks towards Indy. When the angle changes, the guards are standing several meters behind, walking towards Indy again.
Just before Irina enters the warehouse with her men you can see she has no sunglasses on, as she took them off while speaking to Indy, but as she enters the warehouse we see her remove her sunglasses and hand them to one of her men.
When the Russian throws Indy's hat on the ground, it has a dent in the crown and it lands at a slight angle to the car. When Indy picks the hat up the dent is gone from the crown and the hat is at more of a severe angle relative to the car.
While Mutt and Indy are in the chamber where they discover the
crystal skull, Indy is holding the skull in his hands. During a series of cuts as they discuss the skull, it changes direction in Indy's hands, first the mouth is in his right hand, then it is in the left and back again, with no indication that Indy is flipping the skull during his conversation.
In the scene where Indy and Mutt are in the café talking, Indiana is drinking coffee. When he sets down the mug the handle is pointed to Indy's left hand side. From Mutt's point of view the handle is pointing to Mutt's left hand side.
During the jungle chase (jeep vs. amphibious vehicle), in one shot, the pursuing vehicle is accelerating towards the other, the following shot, it is very far away, and in the third shot, it hits the fore-running vehicle.
In the car chase scene just after Mutt is swinging through the trees it cuts to a shot showing him looking at the cars colliding with each other. You can clearly see that Jones' car is on the inside away from the cliff and when it cuts back it's on the outside being pushed off the cliff.
In the scene where Indy is walking along with Mutt, the position of the bags over his shoulder varies continually - in one shot his trademark gas mask bag will be hanging in front, then in the next shot it's behind his back and then in the next shot it's back in front again. This is made more obvious by the position of the buckle moving up and down as the bag is moved around.
During the Title sequence, two different numbers are seen on the left front fender of the Ford leading the convoy of army vehicles. The complete number '1B7731' is seen several times. However, in the shot showing the driver's face in the rear view mirror, a number beginning with '2763' is seen (the full number is probably 276306). In a subsequent close-up of the Ford driver and passenger, the last two digits '06' are visible briefly at the very beginning of the shot.
In the jungle chase scene Indy, Mutt and Marion are tied up in the truck and they knock the guard out and escape. Indy is seen many times after they escape and Indy has no weapons. When he gets behind the wheel of one of the vehicles his whip is on his left hip.
When Mutt is driving his motorcycle along the platform while talking to Indy: In the shot taken from outside the train we see the train with Indy on it on one side of Mutt and the station on the other. When the camera angle changes to a position inside the train behind Indy the station is gone and we see another train on the other side of Mutt.
The scenes in supposedly Peruvian towns feature Mexican music, dialect, and iconography, although Peru and Mexico are 3000 miles apart and have little in common besides the Spanish language. We even see a Mexican flag at the airport.
Buildings in the Nazca culture used adobe, not stone as depicted in the movie. Tombs were excavated in the ground, on flat areas, not on the top of the hills and the mummies were not wrapped in the fashion depicted with Orellana, but hunkered with the knees against the chest and then wrapped.
The aerial view of the Nazca lines shows at least 3 very close together. In reality the different lines are separated by quite some distance. There is also virtually no high ground from which to see the lines, i.e. at the entrance to the tombs.
What appears to be the Aztec "Sun-Stone" occurs in both the pivot-platform in the underground cemetery and later as the floor in the temple. This iconograph is particular to the Aztecs (and by association the Mayans), and is specific to Central America (Mexico and Belize) between about 900-1500 CE; it is culturally, geographically (separate continent), and temporally inappropriate to the supposed story-line. Much as I love them, sorry, this is what happens when an archaeologist critiques Indie films :)
While supposedly in Nazca, Indy tells Mutt that he had learned "quechua" language while allegedly being kidnapped by Pancho Villa, as several of Villa's associates spoke it. Such language corresponds to the ancient Inca culture and is spoken in Peru, Ecuador, part of Bolivia and the Santiago del Estero province in Argentina. It is highly unlikely that any of Pancho Villa associates (Mexican revolution) would have spoken "quechua".
There is a routing error. It shows a Pan Am flight form New York to Cuba and then to Mexico and switches to Panagra. The connection between the PanAm feeder flight and Panagra would occur in Panama, which was the northern most point in the Panagra route system. The more typical routing would have been a US domestic airline such as Easter and Delta from New York to Miami, PanAm from Miami to Panama, and then Panama to Peru.
When Indiana Jones is sinking into the sand pit, Mutt tosses him a snake and Jones uses it as a rope to pull himself out. Even a very large snake has a fragile spinal column. In reality Jones' weight should have torn the snake in half.
At various times during the movie, metal objects are seen sliding toward the skulls due to "magnetic" attraction. However, those objects never seem to actually finish their journey and reach the skull. This violates the laws of physics, because a large force is required to overcome the inertia of a body at rest. Once movement has begun, less force is required to maintain the movement, and the objects would accelerate toward the skull until they reach it.
Despite popular belief, it is impossible to ride liana vines in jungles and/or rain forests by swinging and jumping from one to another, because they all grow from the ground clinging up - not at all in a dangling downwards way.
The rocket sled on which Indiana and the Russian soldier escape from the warehouse was used to see how many Gs the human body could survive. This was to see if man could live through the acceleration necessary for going into space. Depending on the test it accelerated at up to 8 Gs, then was slowed and finally stopped by hitting a pit filled with water. The G forces during deceleration could briefly be as high as 10 Gs. Indiana and the Russian are lying against the protective screen but behind the test subject's chair. Since they are not strapped down they should have been violently ejected from the front of the sled when it hit the braking pit.
The countdown before the bomb test includes, "ten, niner, eight, seven, six, fiver..." but numeral nine is only spoken as "niner" to make it sound distinct from "five" over bad circuits or in noisy conditions. There is no "fiver" in communications manuals because that would just make it sound like "niner" again, defeating the purpose of adding the extra syllable in the first place.
During the travel montage to Peru, neither aircraft seen is correct. The first, a Douglas DC-3, had been dropped from Pan Am service by 1948, 9 years before the events of the movie. The 2nd airplane is an Antonov An-2 biplane, which was never used by Pan Am, nor any American (or Peruvian) airline.
Everything about the mummies of the Conquistadors is wrong. These vicious soldiers were enemies and oppressors of the indigenous people. They would hardly be given the honor of being preserved as mummies. These absolutely were the wrong kind of mummies for that culture. They would have been wrapped with their knees drawn up with their arms around their legs and they certainly wouldn't have disintegrated when the wrappings were cut as they weren't air tight to begin with.
Shotgun pellets are made of lead and not attracted by a magnetic field. Further more as mentioned when the metal items drew closer to the skulls they would not stop. And one last thing, if the magnetic field were as strong as suggested more than the gun powder would have been puled across the room.
During the lecture in The Last Crusade, Indy tells his students that, "70% of archaeology is done in the library. Research, reading, we can't afford to take mythology at face value." In this movie however, when he is riding out of the library he tells the students, "If you want to be a good archaeologist you've got to get out of the library" which contradicts what he said in the other movie.
In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Henry Jones drank from the cup of Christ, which was reported to give eternal life. In this movie he is said to have died. This is because he passed the seal on the floor where the grail was located. Once you cross the seal, you are no longer immortal.
Jones refers to the amphibious vehicles in the South American jungle as "ducks" (DUKWs) when they are actually Soviet GAZ 46 MAVs, copy of the Ford GPAs, or "Seep," for "sea-going Jeep." However, from WWII forward in the vernacular, "DUKW" has been a common term used for all unarmored amphibious military vehicles, whether this is accurate or not.
The movie places Orellana buried in a somewhat Nazcan fashion and in what supposedly is a Nazcan tomb. The Nazca culture was already extinct (aprox. 800 AD) when the Spanish Conquistadors arrived to Peru (1532 AD). However, Orellana was only looking for the city the Nazcas built, not the Nazcas themselves, and it is stated that he vanished while doing so. The movie is supposing that the Nazcas are not actually extinct, and that Orellana did find them and their city.
In the opening scenes when the Soviet infiltrators, dressed as US Army troops, gun down the guards, if you look at the Soviet on the lower left side, he's raking his machine gun back and forth even though he doesn't appear to be firing the gun (he's not pulling the trigger, no shell casings are ejected, and there's no muzzle flare). However, this is not necessarily a mistake. It is perfectly reasonable "cover" someone with a firearm, choosing to fire only when it's most advantageous to do so. Changing point of aim while assessing potential targets is likely consistent with his training.
At the house at the atomic test site, the water doesn't run in the sink, even though water is running through an outside hose and sprinklers. Since the neighborhood was built to be destroyed, it doesn't have to be maintained perfectly.
Leipzig, the city Indiana says he will go searching for a teaching position, was part of the Eastern Bloc in 1957, and it would not have been likely he could have been given access to a Communist country at this time. However, Indiana is joking, since he's accused of being a Communist.
When searching the warehouse, Indiana uses pellets from shotgun shells to help find the magnetic box the Soviets are searching for. Shotgun pellets in 1957 were made of non-magnetic lead. A later scene shows that other non-magnetic metals, such as gold, are attracted to the crystal skulls.
If the Crystal Skull were solid quartz, as explained early in the film, the characters wouldn't be able to hold or throw it easily with one hand. However, the skull isn't quartz. That's just an expression.
Many of the comments state facts about magnetism. However, the skull's ability to attract objects has absolutely nothing to do with magnetism. It has to do with the skulls other properties. These are from the skull's origin.
When the gold coins are "magnetically" attracted to Orellenas body from Indys hand, they first land on Orellenas metal armor suit and then gravitate" over the suit to the skull. The skulls "magnetic" properties apparently does not affect the metal suit so the coins do not magnetically bond to it. Then, when Indy moves the suit and uncovers the skull, the coins are not there, nor are they drawn to it when Indy holds the skull up.
When the tribal person is about to shoot Mutt with a blow dart, Indiana Jones comes from in front and blows the dart the other way through the pipe, killing the person. It would have been the blunt end and would have had no poison on it.
It is shown that the Soviets use a large tree-chopping machine to go through the dense Amazon rainforest, however after the tree-chopper is destroyed the chase scene takes place on not one, but two very clear parallel roads out in the middle of the jungle.
In the beginning when Indy opens shotgun shells to use the pellets he pulls off the primer end of the shell exposing the pellets. In a real shotgun shell on the bottom of the shell nearest to the primer is gunpowder.
After the giant ant scene and Irina is hanging off the cliff by a rope with the other soldiers, a silver wire that is holding her up is seen leading down to Irina's waist right next to the rope she is holding onto. It is seen for only a few short seconds.
During the car/motorcycle chase scene involving Indiana Jones and Mutt, Mutt slams on the motorcycle brakes so that Indiana, who is hanging precariously onto the back of the motorcycle, is flung forward back onto the motorcycle seat. However, the motorcycle is next to the car, and when Mutt slams on the brakes, and Indiana is flung forward, the car and the motorcycle remain moving at exactly the same speed. The car should have moved ahead of the motorcycle when the cycle's brakes were applied.
When Henry and Indy find Orellana's body at the catacombs, Indy lifts the mummy with one hand. While mummies, as desiccated bodies, are much lighter than an average person, a mummified adult male can weight up to 25 kilograms (55 pounds). Besides, Orellana is wearing full armor adding about 40 kilograms (88 pounds). Indy would have struggled a lot more to lift that, revealing it is just a lightweight prop.
During the scene where Indy and Mutt drive the motorcycle through the library, it is clearly a stuntman and not Harrison Ford who slides under the tables on the motorcycle, as Indiana's socks go from dark (when it's clearly Ford on the motorcycle) to white (when Indy's under the tables) to dark again when Ford gets up on the motorcycle.
At the end of the motorcycle chase scene through the library, the student's chair is pushed back. Initially, the student himself appears to push back with his feet, but the chair keeps moving well after he puts his feet back down. The floor is visible between the bike's front tire and the chair, so the bike is not pushing the chair. In the next shot, the tire is shown touching the chair. It isn't clear what the intent was (bike or student).
The goof items below may give away important plot points.
The treasure trove of the ancient city (built some 7,000 years ago) contains artifacts from much of human history. The assumption of the film seems to be that this city has not been occupied by its extra-dimensional architects for most of that time, yet even the oldest of these artifacts (Sumerian) dates from no more than 8,000 YBP, and most are from much later (Buddha-figures no earlier than 2,800 YBP). Tjis only makes sense if the ED's or their agents have been collecting well into recorded historical periods.
When the skeletons of the Inter-Dementional beings are coming together as one, only 11 of the skeletons are shown combining with the first. This makes 12; in previous scenes however, it is stated, and shown that there are 13 of these creatures.
The cemetery where Indy finds the Crystal Skull is revealed on a mountaintop overlooking the Nazca Lines during a thunderstorm. There are no mountains close enough to the plains of Nazca to allow for such a view as shown. Also, being an arid desert, there is no weather to speak of (wind or rain, much less thunderstorms) in Nazca, which is the reason why the drawings have not been eroded over the centuries.
Marion tells Indy that Ox stopped speaking to him for leaving her a week before the wedding. If he knew them when they planning to get married he would have known that Mutt was Indy's son, yet when Mutt calls Indy "dad" he seems surprised. However, we do not know when Marion became pregnant with "Mutt". Marion herself may not have found out until after Indy left.