References – Motherless Brooklyn

Amanda Ging Sze Chan, Mikaela Cuaycong, Vanessa Correia, Lucas Tremblay-Moll

Robert Ryan in Wild Bunch


     Robert Ryan (1909-1973) was an actor famous for being cast in violent movies.  His roles teetered on both sides of the law, playing both police and villain roles. Upon seeing his boss, Frank Minna, Lionel immediately compares him to Robert Ryan because “he had his trench-coat collar up against the breeze, not quite cloaking his unshaven Robert-Ryan-in-Wild-Bunch grimace” (6). This aids the reader in establishing a visual idea of the grimy detective “look,” which fits seamlessly into the plot.

White Castle


     White Castle was the first fast food chain to be established in the United States. Lionel mentions that “there’s only one White Castle left in Manhattan,” making it a unique entity just like himself (3). The restaurant is renowned for its uniform hamburgers, which soothes Lionel’s compulsion to anxiously inspect every inch of his food. We also noticed that Lionel seems to enjoy indulging in food, which goes against the conventions of the hardboiled hero. He clearly confesses that “food really mellows [him] out” (2).


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