MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 6 this week

Prince of the City (1981)

 -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  21 August 1981 (USA)
7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 3,936 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 26 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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 25 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 36 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 21 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Prince of the City (1981)

Prince of the City (1981) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Prince of the City.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Taxi Driver (1976)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
Marathon Man (1976)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider
Straw Dogs (1971)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan
Syriana (2005)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A politically-charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved and affected by it.

Director: Stephen Gaghan
Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Edward Fox, Terence Alexander, Michel Auclair
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the cold war during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Richard Burton, Oskar Werner, Claire Bloom
Amores Perros (2000)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love.

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Stars: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Manhattan ambulance paramedic, overworked and haunted by visions of his failures, fights to keep a tenuous grip on his clarity.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A wealthy New York investment banking executive hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he escalates deeper into his illogical, gratuitous fantasies.

Director: Mary Harron
Stars: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A reporter finds what appears to be a cover-up of safety hazards at a nuclear power plant.

Director: James Bridges
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man's life.

Director: Robert De Niro
Stars: Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Daniel Ciello
...
Gus Levy
Richard Foronjy ...
Joe Marinaro
Don Billett ...
Bill Mayo
Kenny Marino ...
Dom Bando
Carmine Caridi ...
Gino Mascone
Tony Page ...
Raf Alvarez
Norman Parker ...
Rick Cappalino
Paul Roebling ...
Brooks Paige
...
Santimassino
...
District Attorney Polito
Steve Inwood ...
Mario Vincente
...
Carla Ciello
Matthew Laurance ...
Ronnie Ciello
Tony Turco ...
Socks Ciello
Edit

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 | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prince of the City  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Lumet and Jay Presson Allen wrote the 240-page script in 30 days. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Detective Stern: What did you say your name was?
Daniel Ciello: Ciello.
Detective Stern: Are you the Detective Ciello?
Daniel Ciello: I'm Detective Ciello.
Detective Stern: I don't think I have anything to learn from you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Law & Order: The First 3 Years (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Will Keep Us Together
Performed by Captain & Tennille
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

accurate portrayal of use and behavior of informants
9 January 2002 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

I've been a defense lawyer in NYC for the past 35 yars. I have more than a passing familiarity with some of the actual trials and appeals generated by Ciello's (Treat Williams' character) testimony. More broadly, I can attest to the accuracy of the film's depiction of the agonies, doubts, remorse and dreads of the turncoat/informant-witness in criminal cases. No film has developed this theme - a very common one in federal criminal trials, but one never visible to the public - as thoroughly as this film. "Goodfellas" devoted a few minutes to this, but only to the witness protection aspect after Henry Hill decided to testify, and never developed the broader, morally ambiguos dimensions of becoming an informer who turns on former close associates.

Nor has any other film more accurately revealed the way government prosecutors deal with their informants, which is not always pretty; often prosecutors treat their informers in ways that paralell the way Ciello treated his junkie informers on the street - he supplied them with drugs when he needed them, but he also abused, ignored or took advantage of their vulnerabilities when the need suited him.

The film also displayed, though it did not emphasize, another aspect of the prosecutor/informant relationship: willful blindness to likely perjury. Here, when Ciello offers to cooperate, prosecutors sternly insist that he tell the whole truth, not just about the crimes committed by others but by Ciello himself. They want to be assured of this not only because legal ethics demand it, but because their cases can fall apart if the defense later uncovers and reveals nasty secrets about the informant to the trial jury to undermine the informant's credibility. Here, as in the actual case, Ciello insisted that he had committed "only three" crimes while a NYPD detective. While prosecutors sensed, but did not actually know, right from the start that this was highly unlikely, and that Ciello was in fact concealing both the number and severity of his past misdeeds, they preferred not to inquire too deeply, and did little independent investigation of Ciello's prior misconduct on the force ("willful blindness"). That came back to haunt them, because after the trials, the defense lawyers dug up many of Ciello's hitherto unrevealed criminal deeds, and severely damaged his credibility, almost fatally imperiling the convictions his testimony had been so helpful in procuring. This film portrays not only the moral dilemma of the informant, but the moral dilemma of prosecutors, who desperately need informants to build their cases, but who have mixed feelings about learning too much about their unsavory pasts.

By the way, the detective played by Jerry Orbach has been a private investigator for the past 20 years or so (though never convicted, he was discharged from the police force); I've hired him, and he is terrific!!


42 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Jerry the nutcracker jaykaybuck
is bruce willis in it?? nicolas-parthiot
why R? theocohn
RIP Jerry Orbach/Why Isn't this film on DVD??? slug39
Finally on 2-Disc DVD from Warner Bros.!!!!! rnoori
the wise guys had more honor jaykaybuck
Discuss Prince of the City (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?