7.5/10
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57 user 39 critic

Prince of the City (1981)

R | | Crime, Drama | 21 August 1981 (USA)
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2:53 | Clip
A New York City narcotics detective reluctantly agrees to cooperate with a special commission investigating police corruption. However, he soon discovers that he's in over his head, and nobody can be trusted.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Jay Presson Allen (screenplay), Sidney Lumet (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Treat Williams ... Detective Daniel Ciello
Jerry Orbach ... Detective Gus Levy
Richard Foronjy ... Detective Joe Marinaro
Don Billett Don Billett ... Detective Bill Mayo
Kenny Marino Kenny Marino ... Dom Bando
Carmine Caridi ... Detective Gino Mascone
Tony Page ... Detective Raf Alvarez
Norman Parker ... Assistant U.S. Atty. Rick Cappalino
Paul Roebling Paul Roebling ... Assistant U.S. Atty. Brooks Paige
Bob Balaban ... Santimassino
James Tolkan ... Assistant U.S. Atty. George Polito
Steve Inwood Steve Inwood ... Assistant U.S. Atty. Mario Vincente
Lindsay Crouse ... Carla Ciello
Matthew Laurance ... Ronnie Ciello
Tony Turco Tony Turco ... Socks Ciello
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Storyline

New York City cop Daniel Ciello is involved in some questionable police practices. He is approached by internal affairs and in exchange for him potentially being let off the hook, he is instructed to begin to expose the inner workings of police corruption. Danny agrees as long as he does not have to turn in his partners but he soon learns that he cannot trust anyone and he must decide whose side he is on and who is on his. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A cop is turning. Nobody's safe.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Italian

Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El príncipe de la ciudad See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,713, 23 August 1981

Gross USA:

$8,124,257

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,124,257
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Akira Kurosawa complimented director Sidney Lumet on the beauty of the camerawork and the whole movie. By this he meant that there is an elemental connection between the story and the techniques used. For example background lighting is gradually phased out to make the characters stand out more towards the end of the film. See more »

Goofs

Near the start of the film when Dan is pushing his brother Ronnie around, there's a large crack on the wall (probably from a previous shot). After he pushes Ronnie near the wall, another large crack appears but Ronnie is never shown hitting the wall. See more »

Quotes

Santimassino: Gino, you and I know you're a whore. Just a poor old whore who bellies up for any crook with two bucks. A whore and a thief. As far as I'm concerned you only have two options. You cooperate with us, you make the calls, or you go to jail with the other thieves. I don't even want to think about the third option.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film originally premiered on TV in a version broadcast over 4 hours (running no longer than 196 minutes), including previously unseen material which had been cut from the 167-minute theatrical release. Among the restored scenes is one that makes more sense of the DiBenadetto Case (the character Ciello's first rat-job). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Prince of the City: The Real Story (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Will Keep Us Together
(uncredited)
Written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield
Performed by Captain & Tennille
See more »

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User Reviews

 
move over Raging Bull, Godfather, Goodfellas, On the Waterfront, you've got company
28 June 2002 | by stuhh2001See all my reviews

You know the gag, "Behind the tinsel and glitter of Hollywood, there's a lot more tinsel and glitter." Well behind the filth and corruption of the so called "War On Drugs", there's a lot more filth and corruption. When I was a young and naive budding trumpet player, I idolized a trumpet player by the name of Red Rodney. He played with Charley Parker. That's like starting for the Yankees. Like Parker he became addicted to heroin. To me he was royalty. The drug life for him was one of incarceration and constant police surveillance. One day he said a common occurance during an arrest was for the police to take and keep any money he had, and take AND SELL THE DRUGS THEY CONFISCATED! After seeing this movie do you have any doubts? I saw Sidney Lumet give a talk about his career. After the talk was over, I went up and asked him how could the Ciello character even dream about talking to the Feds, knowing that his entire operation was mired in illegal hanky panky. Lumet says he asked Bob Leucci, the real life Danny Ciello, and he told Lumet to this day he still can't truly explain it. Where did Treat Williams, a competant actor up till this movie summon the greatness he reaches. The disintegration from a cocky cop who thinks he owns New York City, to a weasel who causes suicide and ruin for his closest buddies and their families is heartbreaking. The virtuoso cast and Williams probably said after seeing the film, "How the hell can we top this?" You want to know something? THEY NEVER HAVE! An American classic, not to be missed!


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