Stanley White

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Stanley White
First appearance Year of the Dragon (novel)
Last appearance Year of the Dragon (film)
Created by Robert Daley
Portrayed by Mickey Rourke
Nickname(s) Stan
Aliases Stanisław Luszinski (birth name)
Gender Male
Occupation Police officer (NYPD)
Title Captain
Spouse(s) Connie White (deceased), Tracy Tzu
Religion Roman Catholic
Nationality United States American

Captain Stanley "Stan" Whiteis a fictional character from Robert Daley's 1981 novel Year of the Dragon (in which he is named Arthur Powers) and the 1985 film of the same name. In the film, he was portrayed by Mickey Rourke. He is a highly-decorated New York City police officer, but has a disdain for authority and his unorthodox policing techniques, although successful, have made his superiors as fond of him as he is of them. The real Stanley White, upon whom the film's principal character is based, went on to make several cameo appearances in the films of Year of the Dragon co-screenwriter Oliver Stone.[1]


Early life[edit]

White was born Stanisław Luszinski to a Polish-American Catholic family in Brooklyn, New York City. He later changed his name. He often uses the derogatory term "Polack" and is sometimes called that himself. In the 1960s, he served as a Marine during the Vietnam War and lived in Queens upon his return, with his wife Connie whom he met before the war. His experiences in Vietnam left him traumatized and bitter, with a deep hatred of Asian people. He sees little or no difference between Vietnamese and Chinese people, or even Chinese-Americans. He joins the New York City Police Department in, or around, 1970 and was originally based in Brooklyn before being transferred to the 5th Precinct in Chinatown, Manhattan.[2]

Year of the Dragon[edit]

After the murder of a Chinese crime boss by a member of a street gang, White is assigned to the 5th Precinct in Chinatown to keep the peace. He is put in charge of the Asian Gang Unit but told to only bring down the street gangs, and not the Triads or Tongs. He defies his superiors, however, and soon visits the leaders of the Hun San Tong and tells them that he is now in charge in Chinatown, and that he will not turn a blind eye to their activities as those before him have done. Joey Tai, the young charismatic son of the late crime boss, takes leadership of the Hun San almost simultaneously with White's arrival.

White's relationship with his wife, Connie, is strained and their marriage seems to be coming to an end, despite Stan's efforts to stay together. He soon meets Tracy Tzu, a Chinese American TV news reporter, and takes her out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. There, a gang of masked gunmen attack in response to a gangland feud between the Hun San and the Nam Song Triad, killing a number of civilians. White shoots back at them and chases them from the premises. This makes him realise how deadly the gangs can be, and also that the locals will not inform on them. He then recruits Herbert Kwong to go undercover in one of Tai's restaurants and listen to gang members' conversation.

After missing a meal with his wife at a restaurant, Stan was thrown out by Connie and he then went to live with Tracy at her penthouse despite her already having a boyfriend. After another meeting with Joey Tai, in which Tai's disrespect infuriated him, Stanley told all of the beat cops under him to crack down on gang members, and to arrest them for the slightest crimes such as loitering. He also told them that any of his officers caught taking bribes would be severely punished, and if they were female they "better bend over". He also arranged a number of raids on gambling dens and other Tong-owned businesses. This crackdown led Joey Tai to attempt to kill White. He sent two hitmen to his home, where he was visiting Connie. One man managed to kill Connie by slitting her throat, but the other failed to kill Stanley who shot them dead as they fled in a car. Connie's funeral was held in traditional Polish Catholic fashion and attended by Stanley, his colleagues, and even Tracy.

Herbert, the undercover officer, was eventually found out and shot on his way home from work. Stanley then began his vendetta against Joey Tai, and went looking for him at a Chinatown nightclub. There, he pulled him into a toilet cubicle and began beating him up. Two of Tai's female bodyguards soon rescued him, however, by shooting Stanley's partner in the stomach and grazing Stanley's neck. He then gave chase to them through the streets and managed to shoot one dead as she ran across a busy road. The next day, Stanley finds out that Tracy was raped by Joey Tai's goons and threatened not to report on Chinatown's gangs any longer. He was also sent back to Brooklyn due to his unorthodox policing.

Due to the information that Herbert acquired before his death, White was able to find out that Joey Tai was smuggling heroin into the country in ships from Thailand. Despite his removal from the case, he continued with his journey for revenge. He travelled to the docks on the night that the ship arrived and waited for Tai to show. He rammed Joey Tai's vehicle with his car then pulled him out at gun-point. A shoot-out ensued, with Tai escaping in his car and his bodyguard being shot. He tried to flee across a bridge but was stopped by an on-coming train. He then ran across the bridge on foot with Stanley White in pursuit. In a climatic face-off, Tai turned around to face White and they both ran towards each other firing their pistols. Joey Tai was shot in the torso and legs, and fell to the ground. In excruciating pain and with police closing in, Tai, under pressure from Stanley, blurted out " Mercedes" as the location where the heroin was stashed. Tai begged White for his gun in order to shoot himself. Stanley granted him this last wish, and Joey Tai killed himself, just as NYPD arrives. The film ends with Stanley trying to attack members of the Hun San, but being held back by police and bodyguards, at Joey Tai's illustrious funeral. He is then pulled from the crowd by Tracy and they share a kiss in the middle of the busy street.


  1. ^ Schilling, Mary Kaye. "The Second Coming", Entertainment Weekly, 16 April 2004.
  2. ^ "Mickey Rourke as Stanley White". Retrieved 2012-05-02.