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Prince of the City (1981)

R | | Crime, Drama | 21 August 1981 (USA)
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 4 wins & 14 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 <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A cop is turning. Nobody's safe.


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El príncipe de la ciudad  »

Box Office


$8,600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Robert De Niro was set to star at one point when De Palma was involved. See more »


Gino Mascone's wife's name is listed as Ann in the credits, but she is repeatedly referred to and addressed as Rose in the film. See more »


Rick Cappalino: I kind of enjoy it when Nancy takes the kids to her folks. I get to go in the kitchen and do it my way, you know? How do you like your steak?
Daniel Ciello: Do it your way.
Rick Cappalino: You like it rare.
Daniel Ciello: What is it? What do you want? I didn't do it, whatever it is. Why don't you do something important, like investigate lawyers. I mean, you were in the Manhattan D.A.'s office, right?
Rick Cappalino: There was never a hint of corruption in that office. Maybe you know something I don't. Danny, you called me. So why are you here? If you know...
See more »


Referenced in Take Me Home Tonight (2011) See more »


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

Possibly the best cop film ever made
3 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

Treat Williams plays a corrupt New York narcotics detective who tries to redeem himself by volunteering to go undercover on the force to weed out other corrupt policeman only to find himself facing an increasingly difficult series of moral dilemmas involving his former partners. This intelligent film is possibly the best cop film ever made. Treat Williams delivers the best performance of his career although the excellent supporting cast, Jerry Orbach, in particular, comes very close to stealing the movie right out from under him. Williams is so good here that you can't believe he is the same guy who later appeared in "Dead Heat." (What happened?) Director Sidney Lumet, who also co-wrote the insightful, penetrating script with Jay Presson Allen, was never better. He does such a great job that you can't believe he's the same guy who directed "Family Business." (What happened?) The film is long, but you never lose interest. A must see.

28 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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