6.2/10
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63 user 51 critic

City Hall (1996)

R | | Drama | 16 February 1996 (USA)
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The accidental shooting of a boy in New York leads to an investigation by the Deputy Mayor, and unexpectedly far-reaching consequences.

Director:

Harold Becker
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Mayor John Pappas
John Cusack ... Deputy Mayor Kevin Calhoun
Bridget Fonda ... Marybeth Cogan
Danny Aiello ... Frank Anselmo
Martin Landau ... Judge Walter Stern
David Paymer ... Abe Goodman
Anthony Franciosa ... Paul Zapatti (as Tony Franciosa)
Richard Schiff ... Larry Schwartz
Lindsay Duncan ... Sydney Pappas
Nestor Serrano ... Det. Eddie Santos
Mel Winkler Mel Winkler ... Det. Albert Holly
Luna Lauren Velez ... Elaine Santos (as Lauren Vélez)
Chloe Morris Chloe Morris ... Maria Santos
Ian Quinlan ... Randy Santos
Roberta Peters ... Nettie Anselmo
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Storyline

A young boy dies from a stray bullet during a shootout between a cop and mob family member who had previously been supiciously given probabtion, only to break its terms. New York's Deputy Mayor, Kevin Calhoun starts digging for information. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Mayor... A Deputy Mayor... A City About to Explode. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City Hall: La sombra de la corrupción See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$20,200,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jerome X. O'Donovan who plays Seymour Harris was a NYC councilman representing the 49th city council district on Staten Island from 1992-2001. See more »

Goofs

During the final discussion between the mayor and his deputy the mayor's vest is suddenly unbuttoned. See more »

Quotes

[Kevin suggests distancing themselves from a man in trouble]
Mayor John Pappas: "Distance"! Distance is something you do to your enemies. It's a thing of the nineties, to make friends extinct. Distance... is the absence of menschkeit!
Kevin Calhoun: Translate that for me.
Mayor John Pappas: You don't know what menschkeit means?
Kevin Calhoun: No, I don't.
Mayor John Pappas: Menschkeit, you know... something between men... it's about honor, and character... untranslatable. That's why it's Yiddish.
Kevin Calhoun: I didn't know you'd taken up the language.
Mayor John Pappas: Abe laid it on me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spin City: A Tree Falls in Manhattan (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

What's Then
By Thomas A. Dorsey
See more »

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User Reviews

A Nice Little Nothing
22 November 2005 | by inspectors71See all my reviews

I saw City Hall on NBC about four years ago and thought that this movie was perfect for TV. With a couple of judicious language cuts and some clumsy edits for violence, the movie came to the little screen essentially intact. Unfortunately, City Hall is such a pleasant and vacant little "thriller," you probably will have forgotten it by the time you get up from in front of the TV to stretch.

There's almost nothing here in this pedestrian story of city hall corruption! Al Pacino is just fine as the mayor of New York, a man who keeps hammering home to his staff, headed by the Pillsbury Doughboy incarnate, John Cusack, that if it's good for the city, it's good. Cusack looks as if he needs to be put back in the oven for another ten minutes. Bridget Fonda is all pretty hair and nice legs and freshly scrubbed cardboard. Danny Aiello plays, well, Danny Aiello. The other person of interest in the movie, Tony Franciosa, has been around a long, long time (and he is just so interesting to watch, even though he doesn't have much to do).

There's an interesting sub-plot wherein Pacino is working very hard to bring the 1996 Democratic National Convention to town. Senator Ernest Hollings makes a nice appearance with Pacino and other bigwigs at a dinner party, and his cameo adds a bit of gravitas to this fluffy little Harold Becker film.

Pacino is just plain fun to watch as he chews the scenery, and makes it look very much like good governance. Cusack doesn't fare so well. He has a great voice (and the sound recording of the actors is crisp and melodious), but at one point or another, you have to wonder how, really, this Louisiana transplant, Kevin Calhoun, got to be the Deputy Mayor of New York City. He tells Fonda something about politics being in all Louisianans' blood streams. Then he goes back to fighting corruption.

Does anyone see the irony here?

Oh, well. The movie is over, the dead cop's wife has got his pension, the baddies are locked up or have moved on, Cusack is chunkily cheerful (and has Fonda, with those spiffy gams and happy face), Pacino has apparently retired to practice law, and you can't remember what you did for the last two hours.


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