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Quigley Down Under (1990) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (2)  | Audio/visual unsynchronised (1)  | Character error (1)  | Continuity (6)  | Errors in geography (1)  | Factual errors (6)  | Plot holes (1)  | Revealing mistakes (5)

Anachronisms 

When sailing south, the boat rises on a wave and reveals a bow thruster, not in common use on sailing vessels of that size until the 1980s. Not even invented until the late 1960s.
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In the opening credits the sailing ship has a propeller wake.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

At the start of the fight in the harbor, Quigley hits the first man to swing at him with his rifle butt. The sound of the impact arrives well before the rifle strikes home.
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Character error 

In describing his rifle to Marston, Quigley says it is a "lever action." Actually, it has a falling-block action. Pulling the lever forward opens the breech and ejects the spent cartridge case. The new cartridge is then inserted manually, as Quigley is seen doing many times, and the lever pulled back, closing the breech.
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Continuity 

In the distant shot of Quigley tying his bandanna around his wounded leg as the soldiers ride away in the distance, the sun is just about to set behind a hill. Just before and after that shot, the shadow of his hat falling on his face and shoulders shows that the sun is high overhead. In addition, there should be three dead men on the ground -- Marston, the Scotsman, and the Kid - but only two are visible and in different positions.
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While the dingoes are advancing on Cora and the baby in the cave and she is reloading the revolver, the right shoulder strap on her blouse keeps falling down, and then reappears on her shoulder in the proper place all by itself.
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When Quigley shoots the bucket the first time it tumbles from side to side. At the second shot it is sitting upright again.
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When Quigley shoots the bucket to prove his marksmanship to Marston, the vernier sight is at different settings during the three shots fired. First in the middle. Second shot (close-up) shows at bottom. Last shot shows somewhere above middle. At the distance he is shooting, it should be at or near the top causing the end of the barrel to rise making the bullet follow an arc to the target.
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When Quigley kills the man after they are dumped in the desert, there is a drastic difference between the shadow on the dead man's face between the moments just before Quigley shoots and after he shoots.
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When Cora collapses of exhaustion, the prominent sunburn on her chest disappears in the next shot when Quigley bends over to pick her up, and then reappears.
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Errors in geography 

Quigley lands in Freemantle, Western Australia, and rides overland for more than 3 days, the last 2 on Marston's property, and ends up in desert country. WA is a peninsula surrounded by water on 3 sides so, even though the wagon is shown leaving Freemantle heading south along the coast, the facts only fit a location far east in the Gibson Desert. However Quigley is told in the desert by the gut-shot man that Marston's ranch is 2 days ride south west and the town of 'Michatanga' 20 miles beyond that. Quigley then tells Cora the town is 'a hard day's ride away' and when he gets there it's on the sea. So the ranch must be 20 miles from the sea, and indeed from a small port it seems, so it can't be anywhere near the Gibson desert or a 3 day wagon ride from Freemantle.
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Factual errors 

Quigley and Crazy Cora are taken to a camp by the native Aboriginal people. There they chant and play a Didgeridoo. In this part of Australia, Western and Central there are no didgeridoos. The Yirdaki and Mago Didgeridoo are endemic to only Arnhem Land. In the Western part they use Mago, in the North East part they use Yirdaki. This is at the very northern part of Australia, in a small delimited area. When this scene was cited to have taken place none of the the central and western Aboriginal Australians, namely in the desert, used a Didgeridoo in playing music. Only in later times has it spread more though out Australia.
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While the rifle used by Quigley fires a supersonic round, it decelerates quickly. At ranges less than 300-400 yards, the bullet would arrive sooner than the "bang", but only by a fraction of a second. At ranges greater than this, the sound of the shot would arrive before the bullet. Thus, there would never be a point where the sound of the shot would follow the bullet by several seconds.
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When Quigley is talking to the man who's trying to find something for him and tells him he "could use a good horse", the man replies that he's a man from the "land of the free and the home of the brave". The USA's current national anthem wasn't adopted until 1931. Is very unlikely that an Australian would know that line in association with with an American during that time period.
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When Quigley arrives at Marston's ranch and Marston is looking at the paper with the bullet holes through it, the holes have been cleanly cut by the bullet. In fact, round nosed bullets such as the type Quigley's rifle uses leave ragged holes when shot through paper, especially at 900 yards. Only bullets with a sharp shoulder made for shooting paper targets will leave a clean hole.
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The standing shots Quigley makes in the beginning wouldn't be possible., especially the first one. This is because he would have needed a stable platform to rest the rifle upon to compensate for its recoil and the normal wobble that comes from holding a rifle. The first shot was impossible because Quigley was distracted, yet was able to reacquire the target in less than a second and hit it.
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Marsden says describes native Americans as being uncivilized and that they had no concept of farming. While the plains Indians were not farmers, those in the north and east certainly were. To use the Cherokee as an example, not only were they farmers living in proper farmhouses, but a number had college educations, including a Cherokee lawyer in 1831 - decades before the Quigley story - who argued before the Supreme Court and won.
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Plot holes 

Matthew Quigley shots nine people in the film, so it's clear that he has no problem with killing men. Why he's so offended when Marston tells him that he's there to kill Aborigines is never explained so it's completely incongruous when it occurs.
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Revealing mistakes 

During the fight at the harbor, Cora hits Quigley with an oar that visibly bends like rubber.
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When Crazy Cora passes out in the desert and falls forward, she puts her hands out at the last moment to break her fall. In reality, when a person loses consciousness, it's impossible to put ones hands or arms out to lessen the impact of the fall like this (although it is very difficult to fake this type of fall without some form of involuntary movement to soften the effects).
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When they're dumped in the desert, Quigley stabs Coogan to death and props up on his body to take the rifle shot. Coogan can be seen breathing several times.
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In the close-ups with the sun overhead, and the shadow of his hat falling on his face and shoulders, there is a second shadow of the brim of the hat on his forehead, revealing the presence of another light source.
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Near the end of the film when the British troops ride in, the body of the man closest to Quigley has his right foot pointed up while laying on the ground. After the troops leave, his left foot is pointed up instead.
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See also

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

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