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.

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Cast

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
...
Santimassino
...
Assistant U.S. Atty. George Polito
Steve Inwood ...
Assistant U.S. Atty. Mario Vincente
...
Carla Ciello
...
Ronnie Ciello
Tony Turco ...
Socks Ciello
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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

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El príncipe de la ciudad  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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

District Attorney Polito: When I became a prosecuting attoney I acepted the fact that it was not a popularity contest. I think some of you guys have it all mixed up. You've fallen in love by this perpetrator, you feel responsible for him, you want him to love you. But you are prosecutors sworn to prosecute the guilty. Ciello is an law officer who has admitted to over fourty instances of perjury. My father, my grandfather was a lawyer and my father was a lawyer and I became a lawyer... because the law means everything to...
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Connections

Referenced in Richard Roeper & the Movies: Brooklyn's Finest (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
move over Raging Bull, Godfather, Goodfellas, On the Waterfront, you've got company
28 June 2002 | by (cherry hill, nj) – See all my reviews

You know the gag, "Behind the tinsel and glitter of Hollywood, there's a lot more tinsel and glitter." Well behind the filth and corruption of the so called "War On Drugs", there's a lot more filth and corruption. When I was a young and naive budding trumpet player, I idolized a trumpet player by the name of Red Rodney. He played with Charley Parker. That's like starting for the Yankees. Like Parker he became addicted to heroin. To me he was royalty. The drug life for him was one of incarceration and constant police surveillance. One day he said a common occurance during an arrest was for the police to take and keep any money he had, and take AND SELL THE DRUGS THEY CONFISCATED! After seeing this movie do you have any doubts? I saw Sidney Lumet give a talk about his career. After the talk was over, I went up and asked him how could the Ciello character even dream about talking to the Feds, knowing that his entire operation was mired in illegal hanky panky. Lumet says he asked Bob Leucci, the real life Danny Ciello, and he told Lumet to this day he still can't truly explain it. Where did Treat Williams, a competant actor up till this movie summon the greatness he reaches. The disintegration from a cocky cop who thinks he owns New York City, to a weasel who causes suicide and ruin for his closest buddies and their families is heartbreaking. The virtuoso cast and Williams probably said after seeing the film, "How the hell can we top this?" You want to know something? THEY NEVER HAVE! An American classic, not to be missed!


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