Prince of the City

Watch Prince of the City

"A cop is turning. Nobody's safe."
  • R
  • 1981
  • 2 hr 47 min
  • 7.4  (9,337)
  • 81

Prince of the City is a crime drama film released in 1981, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Treat Williams, Jerry Orbach, and Richard Foronjy. The film is based on the book of the same name by Robert Daley and chronicles the real-life story of a New York City police detective who turned informant on his fellow officers. The story is set during the early 1970s, a time when the NYPD was battling with its own corruption scandal.

Treat Williams plays the lead role of Daniel Ciello, a narcotics detective in the NYPD. Ciello is a complex character, trying to do the right thing but failing at almost every turn. He is loyal to his friends and colleagues, but as he becomes more and more entangled in the web of corruption he is unable to extract himself. Williams delivers a powerful performance as a man who is conflicted and tormented, and his portrayal of Ciello is both haunting and compelling.

Jerry Orbach plays the role of Gus Levy, the head of the investigative unit that is tasked with rooting out corruption within the police department. Levy is a tough, no-nonsense guy who is determined to clean up the department. Orbach does an excellent job of playing the role with grit and passion, and his scenes with Williams are some of the film's most intense.

Richard Foronjy plays the role of Bobby Tex Panetti, a small-time crook who becomes Ciello's partner in crime. Foronjy's portrayal of Panetti is outstanding, and he brings a sense of authenticity to the character that is hard to ignore.

The film is notable for its realism and attention to detail. Lumet is a master of his craft, and he creates a gritty, atmospheric world that feels lived in and authentic. The film is shot on location in New York City, and the use of real-life locations adds to the authenticity of the film.

The script for the film is also outstanding, with each character having a distinct voice and personality. The dialogue is sharp and witty, and the film is peppered with moments of dark humor that help to balance out the intense drama.

One of the film's major strengths is its portrayal of the police department. The film does not shy away from the corruption and moral ambiguity that was prevalent in the department at the time. Instead, it delves deep into the psyche of the officers involved and explores the moral dilemmas they faced. The film paints a complex picture of a department that is struggling to do the right thing under difficult circumstances.

The film is also notable for its portrayal of the criminal underworld. Lumet does an excellent job of showing the complex relationships between the police and the criminals they are supposed to be fighting. The film explores the idea that the line between right and wrong is often blurred, and that the truth is not always easy to discern.

Overall, Prince of the City is a masterpiece of a crime drama film. Lumet creates a dark, haunting world that feels real and lived in. The performances from the lead actors are outstanding, and the script is sharp, witty, and authentic. The film is a complex exploration of the moral dilemmas faced by law enforcement officers, and it is a must-see for anyone interested in crime dramas.

Prince of the City is a 1981 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 47 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4 and a MetaScore of 81.

Prince of the City
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (9,337)
  • Metascore