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Prince of the City (1981)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  21 August 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,727 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 32 critic

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.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Detective Gus Levy
Richard Foronjy ...
Detective Joe Marinaro
Don Billett ...
Detective Bill Mayo
Kenny Marino ...
Dom Bando
Carmine Caridi ...
Detective Gino Mascone
Tony Page ...
Detective Raf Alvarez
Norman Parker ...
Assistant U.S. Atty. Rick Cappalino
Paul Roebling ...
Assistant U.S. Atty. Brooks Paige
Assistant U.S. Atty. George Polito
Steve Inwood ...
Assistant U.S. Atty. Mario Vincente
Carla Ciello
Ronnie Ciello
Tony Turco ...
Socks Ciello


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A cop is turning. Nobody's safe.


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Príncipe da Cidade  »

Box Office


$8,600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Along with The Godfather (1972), this is the only major Hollywood movie to be shot in all five New York City boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island and Manhattan). See more »


When Barnes is picking up the Ciello family at their home, Barnes puts his hat - a brown fedora - on Ciello's young child's head. In the next shot, when Barnes takes his hat back from the child, it is not the fedora he had just put on the child but instead is a dark hunting hat with a long baseball cap like bill and no brim. See more »


Daniel Ciello: Where did you go to school, Paige?
Brooks Paige: I went to Harvard. And uh, before Harvard to Andover. Before Andover to St. Bernard's.
Daniel Ciello: Ah, St. Bernard's. That's in the 2-3, that's, uh, little blond boys in blazers, right? Aw, shit, Cappalino. My own father can't understand the pressures on cops. What am I supposed to get from St. Bernard's?
See more »


Featured in At the Movies: Winners That Were Losers (1983) See more »


Love Will Keep Us Together
Written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield
Performed by Captain & Tennille
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User Reviews

A Lost Masterpiece?
23 December 2001 | by (Watertown, Mass.) – See all my reviews

A few years after this was in the theaters, it was shown on TV over two nights. I remember reading that a significant amount of footage that had been cut for the theatrical version would be restored for the TV showing. That piqued my curiosity, so I watched -- and was completely blown away.

But what amazed me the most was that I couldn't spot one scene that could be taken out of the movie without seriously compromising it. Since I knew it had been cut and restored, I was pointedly looking for stand-alone scenes that only fleshed out the characters but weren't integral to the extremely complex storyline. There weren't any. Every single scene contained some important bit of information that cast light on and helped make sense of something elsewhere in the movie.

Ever since then, I've been patiently waiting for this director's cut to show up on VHS, LD, or DVD -- and refusing to watch the theatrical cut! It's been 15 years and I'm still waiting. But I would certainly think that eventually this will come out on DVD, and we can al hope and pray that it will do so in the full version.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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