16 user 5 critic

Prince of Central Park (2000)

1:15 | Trailer
A young boy sets out to find his mother. After setting up camp in Central Park, he encounters a group of people even needier than himself.


John Leekley


John Leekley, Evan Rhodes (novel) (as Evan H. Rhodes)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathleen Turner ... Rebecca Cairn
Danny Aiello ... Noah Cairn
Cathy Moriarty ... Mrs. Ardis
Frankie Nasso ... JJ Somerled
Harvey Keitel ... The Guardian
Luna Lauren Velez ... Rosa Sanchez (as Lauren Velez)
Jerry Orbach ... Businessman
Mtume Gant Mtume Gant ... Easy
Tina Holmes ... Annalisse Somerled
Carmen Moreno ... Sophia
Svetlana Efremova ... Sophia's Mom
Francesco Vittorio Francesco Vittorio ... Young JJ
Michael P. Moran Michael P. Moran ... Security Guard (as Michael Moran)
Stephanie Berry Stephanie Berry ... School Principal
Frank Anthony Frank Anthony ... Carousel Operator


JJ's life has been miserable ever since his ill mother had to give him up. The only two good things he has are his best friend Sophia and his wonderful talent for music. Determined to know what happened to his mom, the young man escapes from his foster mother, a woman who encourages her charges to steal and bully. Following his memories, he takes shelter in Central Park. JJ becomes the new protégé of the Guardian, a homeless eccentric and self-appointed King of Central Park who promises to protect the boy and offers him the companionship of a dog called Mutt in exchange for food. Also, JJ's path crosses with Rebecca Cairn, another eccentric who lives in a brownstone overlooking the park. She takes particular interest in him, as does her estranged husband Noah Cairn who is always rescuing Rebecca when she grows depressed. JJ tries to shake off the help of these characters, thinking that his life would be better on his own. However, JJ's foster mother is looking for him, making his ... Written by Max Vaughn

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Survival is the most dangerous game of all

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The last film, on which Producers Steven Seagal and Julius R. Nasso worked together, before their production company "Seagal/Nasso Productions" broke apart. See more »


Remake of The Prince of Central Park (1977) See more »


Jam AKA Tribute to Miles Davis
Written and Performed by Ayan Williams and The New York City Art Ensemble
See more »

User Reviews

"Central Park" Misses But Young Frankie Nasso Scores
14 August 2001 | by kh98021See all my reviews

The only reason I even stumbled across this film is because one of its young stars, Carmen Moreno who plays Sofia, was one of my students this past year. I know the film had a theatrical showing in New York, but it does not appear that it was ever picked up for national theatrical distribution. After finally seeing the film, this is not surprising; it's a film that cannot quite make up its mind what it wants to be JJ (Frankie Nasso) lives with an abusive foster mother Mrs. Ardis (Cathy Moriarty) in present day Staten Island, NY. He dreams of finding the mother who left him, and one day he leaves Staten Island for Manhattan with hopes of finding her. In a parallel story we meet Rebecca (Kathleen Turner) and Noah (Danny Aiello) as a well-to-do Manhattan couple whose marriage is inexplicably crumbling. In JJ's journey to find his mother he also encounters The Guardian (Harvey Keitel) an eccentric New York "character" who lives under a bridge in Central Park. Along the way we also discover that JJ is a musical prodigy who can play any melody he hears, well, not only play it, but turn it into a full blown musical piece. Once JJ and Rebecca meet (she has a grand piano that nobody has played for a long time) the film heads toward its inevitable conclusion. The producers claim that "Prince of Central Park" is a modern day retelling of Huck Finn. Okay . . . There are also borrowed plot elements from such diverse sources as "Oliver Twist" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". The problem is these exemplary literary sources don't really mix very well. Consequently, the film has a patchwork feel, the sum of the parts don't really equal an engaging whole. Still, there are pleasures to be had here. Frankie Nasso gives an engaging performance as JJ. There is an inherent sweetness to his performance which goes a long way toward helping the audience get by some of the gaping holes in the plot. We come to care about this character despite some of the situations that the filmmakers throw him into. Screen stalwarts Turner, Aiello, and Moriarty give fine performances even if the script does not always support their best efforts. Harvey Keitel (admittedly not one of my favorite actors) has a harder time with a character that strains credulity to its limits. Also of note are the performances of Carmen Moreno as Sofia and Tina Holmes as JJ's mother. Both are quite affecting. The film has a nice score as well.

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Release Date:

25 December 2000 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

L'estate della tua vita See more »


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,810, 24 September 2000

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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