Motherless Brooklyn Movie Poster

Goofs from Motherless Brooklyn

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  • The style of panic bar on the exit door in the auditorium at the public meeting was not invented until 1988 by Thomas Industries.
  • When the Edward Norton character asks for "Mr. Horowitz," the receptionist corrects him by saying "Ms." The term is used again later in the film. While the term existed prior to the 1950's it was not in general use until the 1970's.
  • During the car chase early in the film, the car carrying Edward Norton and Ethan Suplee runs over the sidewalk as it rounds a corner, clearly showing the curb ramps for the handicapped, that would not have been installed until after the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
  • When Lionel drives up to the club with Laura in the '57 Chevy, they decide to go inside. They walk into the club, leaving the car's lights on.
  • When Lionel enters the club at night to find a dead body, we can see two crew members and boom mics on the left side.
  • Alec Baldwin's character (based on Robert Moses) wash shown pulling out a pack of Chesterfields (an unfiltered cigarette) and removing a smoke. However, the next scene and other subsequent scenes showed smoking with filtered cigarettes instead.
  • The terms "paper trail" and "granny glasses" did not exist in 1957.
  • AT the beginning of the film when the two were sitting in the car listening to the conversation from upstairs, you hear an electronic siren in the background. They were not invented until 1964. A few moments later, you see a NYPD patrol car race by with its red light turning. It should have had red and white alternating lights but the siren was correct for the period then.
  • at approx. 1:26 into the movie ed norton's character, while doing research, has his hand on and off the basket between shots.
  • When Alec Baldwin' character exits the pool (at around 22nd minute) his hair is wet. Just two seconds later (change of the shot) his hair is clearly dry.
  • Thelonious Monk's most famous composition is entitled 'ROUND MIDNIGHT. The album by the Miles Davis Quintet from 1956 is entitled 'ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT with a wrongly set single quotation mark. The end credits are listing 'ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT, performed by Babs Gonzales.
  • The same green Studebaker Lark is parked on the street in at least 4 different locations.
  • Early in the movie, the black car driven by the detectives is a Plymouth. Then it is a Dodge. Then it is a Plymouth again.
  • When Lionel and Laura are in bed together and she starts to cry, she puts her hand to her face with her fingers flat. Then, in the wide shot, her fingers are bunched together. Then back to flat again in the close up.
  • A Princess phone is seen on a side table in Julia's apartment. The setting is 1957, but the Princess telephone was not introduced by the Bell System until 1959.
  • When Lionel meets with Moses in the bath house, Moses smokes an American Spirit cigarette. Natural American Spirits were not introduced until 1982.


  • While Mo and Lionel are talking in Mo's office, Lionel's arms keep changing position. In shots from behind Lionel, his arms are at his side; but in shots from Mo's perspective, Lionel's arms are folded.
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