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Editor's Note: Right and wrong

From ”The Brady Bunch” to ”The Ring,” Jess Cagle shares what movie mistakes irk him

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When James Cameron released Titanic in 3-D, the movie had a new sky. At the end of the original 1997 film, when Kate Winslet gazes up at the stars while floating in the ocean after the ship (unnecessary spoiler alert!) sinks, she’s looking at the wrong set of stars — stars that would not have been visible in the North Atlantic night sky of April 15, 1912. Told of the mistake by an astrophysicist, Cameron corrected the constellations for the new 3-D version. So, last week on EW.com, we asked you which movie mistakes bug you most.

The post received nearly a thousand comments. Several readers from the Bay Area, for example, said it drives them crazy that every time a car goes anywhere in San Francisco in the movies, it apparently gets there by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. I share your pain. Whenever The Ring comes on TV, I wonder why the woman who tosses her psycho daughter down a well would be wearing what looks like a Victorian riding outfit — in the 1970s! And I grew up obsessing over a particularly brazen TV blunder: The exterior and interior of the Brady Bunch house do not match. At all. Not one bit. In case you never noticed: The interior set depicts a soaring two-story home with the second story over the structure’s right side; the outside is a low-slung split-level with a second story over the left side. (In fact, the second-floor window was fake.) How could they let this happen? Sherwood Schwartz once explained to the Los Angeles Times that the San Fernando Valley house used for the exterior shots was chosen because ”we didn’t want it to be too affluent, we didn’t want it to be too blue-collar. We wanted it to look like it would fit a place an architect would live.” In other words, the exterior struck the right emotional note for audiences, and logic be damned. I can live with that. In fact, audiences will forgive almost any lapse in logic if the story does its primary job well — and that is to move us, scare us, tickle us, and give us characters worth knowing. The Brady house made no sense, but I still wanted to live there. And while it may not be necessary to cross the Golden Gate Bridge to get to the San Francisco airport (unless you’re coming from Sausalito), it makes for a nice aerial shot loaded with symbolism. The best purveyors of pop culture know that poetic truth trumps literal truth every time. Stanley Kubrick said that ”a film is — or should be — more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings.” And that’s why, when you watch The Ring, just know that the actress’ weird Victorian dress is a lot scarier than most 1970s fashion, like, say, the macramé poncho. It may not be right, but it’s still the right choice.