I’ve been intending to point this out for decades, but for some reason I never did. There’s a visual element in a scene from Billy Wilder‘s The Spirit of St. Louis that makes no sense at all. I’m talking about the 90-foot-tall eucalyptus trees at the very end of the Roosevelt Field runaway — the ones that Charles Lindbergh (James Stewart) barely clears once the plane finally lifts off.
The first “hold on”, of course, is “why would any airfield allow huge trees to grow at the very end of a runway?” The second thing, of course, is that there are no eucalyptus trees in Long Island, or in any region that has cold temperatures.
We’re talking, in short, about two suspension-of-disbelief whoppers at the same scene. Wilder or his second-unit director presumably shot the takeoff scene somewhere in Southern California.
This pales alongside the biggest suspension of disbelief whopper of all time, which happened in the original King Kong. 24 words: “If the Skull Island natives built that huge wall to keep Kong out, why’d they make gates big enough for him to get through?”
This observation was first delivered by the late film scholar and archivst Ron Haver on the 1985 Criterion Collection King Kong laser disc, which contained one of the first-ever audio-track commentaries ever put on the market.”