Prince of the City 1981

Prince of the City

Critics Consensus

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91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 23

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,297

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Movie Info

New York police officer Daniel Ciello (Treat Williams) is not a perfect cop. When Rick Cappalino (Norman Parker) from the U.S. Justice Department approaches him with a personal request to investigate police corruption, Ciello agrees -- provided he is not forced to turn in his fellow crooked cops. But as he delves deeper into the underbelly of drug crime, he realizes that it may be impossible to keep his promises. He will have to bring his friends down, or he'll end up going down himself.

Cast & Crew

Treat Williams
Daniel Ciello
Richard Foronjy
Joe Marinaro
Carmine Caridi
Gino Mascone
Tony Page
Raf Alvarez
Norman Parker
Rick Cappalino
Paul Roebling
Brooks Paige
Bob Balaban
Santimassino
Jay Presson Allen
Executive Producer
Paul Chihara
Original Music
Andrzej Bartkowiak
Cinematographer
Jack Fitzstephens
Film Editor
Tony Walton
Production Design
Anna Hill Johnstone
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Prince of the City

Critic Reviews for Prince of the City

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (2)

  • Director Sidney Lumet is in firm control of the sprawling canvas, showing in spades his ability to harness intense energy and almost uniformly top-rate performances from a cannily-cast stable of solid character actors.

    March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • An astonishing in-depth portrait of the interlocking worlds of police and hoodlum results, with no punches pulled and no easy solutions.

    February 9, 2006

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • After the film starts to turn itself over in your mind, it becomes a much deeper piece, a film about how difficult it is to go straight in a crooked world without hurting people you love.

    October 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • "Prince of the City'' begins with the strength and confidence of a great film, and ends merely as a good one. The achievement isn't what it first promises to be, but it's exciting and impressive all the same.

    August 30, 2004
  • A model instance of the movie that insists on being a film and proceeds inevitably to assault our common sense with the counterfeit of a moral lesson.

    April 4, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Williams gives a fine performance, the rest of the cast is also excellent, and director Sidney Lumet's eye for detail is sure throughout this authentic look at the dirtier side of police work.

    September 20, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Prince of the City

  • Feb 28, 2020
    It may be a little too long with too many self important monologues but Treat Williams gives such an outstanding emotionally fraught performances that you'll forgive the flaws.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 20, 2013
    So-saw. Not exceptional, but certainly watchable (in one or more sittings). Didn't find it great when some sequences dropped in arbitrarily for no reason except for adding style to the execution, I guess. No problems otherwise. Other than the usual.
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Apr 11, 2011
    Sidney Lumet's "Prince Of The City" is a sad, draining masterpiece. It's great because there are no heroes in this picture only those who rat on others. The main character of the film played by Treat Williams is going to have to rat on his partners since he is living dangerously in guilt. "Prince Of The City" seems to have insipired many crime drama pictures like Scorsese's "The Departed". What I greatly admired is Lumet sees the corruption within the police system, judges and lawyers seem to be bought and paid since they, too is guilty of the system. In TV shows police organizations is usually seen as the patriots of crime, the princes of the cities. In Sidney Lumet's picture the realities of corruption within the police force (or any organization) is disgusting as any terrible narcotic. The pigs of the city.
    Brian R Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2009
    This isn't any better than any other 70's movie that portrays police corruption. It was long and kind of hard to get into. I wouldn't watch it again.
    Sarah P Super Reviewer

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