Prince of the City

The film is a concentrated, unrelievedly serious and cerebrally involving entry, exhaustively detailing the true-life saga of a Gotham detective who turned Justice Dept informer to eke out widespread corruption in his special investigating unit during the 1960s.

With:
Treat Williams Jerry Orbach Bob Balaban Lindsay Crouse James Tolkan Lance Henricksen

The film is a concentrated, unrelievedly serious and cerebrally involving entry, exhaustively detailing the true-life saga of a Gotham detective who turned Justice Dept informer to eke out widespread corruption in his special investigating unit during the 1960s.

Treat Williams is outstanding as the young, gung-ho cop who is courted by federal investigators and finds himself on a conscience-wracking approach-avoidance track that finally leads him to accept the informant role.

As Federal pressure for indictments mounts, however, matters quickly careen out of control and Williams is cajoled, manipulated and ultimately blackmailed into spilling everything, while friends spurn him or commit suicide, his protectors are promoted upstairs, Mafiosi attempt buying him off, then try bumping him off, and the Feds barely agree not to prosecute him for his own past sins.

Within a nightmarish, frequently Kafkaesque atmosphere of intense danger and uncontrollable conscience, the film paints a world where law and morality are only relative commodities.

Director Sidney Lumet is in firm control of the sprawling canvas, showing in spades his ability to harness intense energy and almost uniformly top-rate performances from a cannily-cast stable of solid character actors.

1981: Nomination: Best Adapted Screenplay

Prince of the City

Production: Warner/Orion. Director Sidney Lumet; Producer Burtt Harris; Screenplay Jay Presson Allen, Sidney Lumet; Camera Andrzej Bartkowiak; Editor John J. Fitzstephens; Music Paul Chihara; Art Director Tony Walton

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 167 MIN.

With: Treat Williams Jerry Orbach Bob Balaban Lindsay Crouse James Tolkan Lance Henricksen

More Film

  • 'Dressage' Review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Dressage'

    The film is a concentrated, unrelievedly serious and cerebrally involving entry, exhaustively detailing the true-life saga of a Gotham detective who turned Justice Dept informer to eke out widespread corruption in his special investigating unit during the 1960s. Treat Williams is outstanding as the young, gung-ho cop who is courted by federal investigators and finds […]

  • Berlin Facetime: Director Pascal Plante of

    Berlin Facetime: Director Pascal Plante of 'Fake Tattoos'

    The film is a concentrated, unrelievedly serious and cerebrally involving entry, exhaustively detailing the true-life saga of a Gotham detective who turned Justice Dept informer to eke out widespread corruption in his special investigating unit during the 1960s. Treat Williams is outstanding as the young, gung-ho cop who is courted by federal investigators and finds […]

  • Film News Roundup: Maggie Gyllenhaal's 'Kindergarten

    Film News Roundup: Maggie Gyllenhaal's 'Kindergarten Teacher' Sells to Netflix

    The film is a concentrated, unrelievedly serious and cerebrally involving entry, exhaustively detailing the true-life saga of a Gotham detective who turned Justice Dept informer to eke out widespread corruption in his special investigating unit during the 1960s. Treat Williams is outstanding as the young, gung-ho cop who is courted by federal investigators and finds […]

  • 'Mug' Review: Blackhearted Satire on Small-Minded,

    Berlin Film Review: 'Mug'

    The film is a concentrated, unrelievedly serious and cerebrally involving entry, exhaustively detailing the true-life saga of a Gotham detective who turned Justice Dept informer to eke out widespread corruption in his special investigating unit during the 1960s. Treat Williams is outstanding as the young, gung-ho cop who is courted by federal investigators and finds […]

  • Richard Glickman Dead

    Richard Glickman, Engineer and Fog Machine Designer, Dies at 91

    The film is a concentrated, unrelievedly serious and cerebrally involving entry, exhaustively detailing the true-life saga of a Gotham detective who turned Justice Dept informer to eke out widespread corruption in his special investigating unit during the 1960s. Treat Williams is outstanding as the young, gung-ho cop who is courted by federal investigators and finds […]

  • Aga

    Berlin Film Review: 'Ága'

    The film is a concentrated, unrelievedly serious and cerebrally involving entry, exhaustively detailing the true-life saga of a Gotham detective who turned Justice Dept informer to eke out widespread corruption in his special investigating unit during the 1960s. Treat Williams is outstanding as the young, gung-ho cop who is courted by federal investigators and finds […]

  • Guillermo del Toro Shape of Water

    'Shape of Water' Lawsuit Spurs Debate Amid Oscar Voting

    The film is a concentrated, unrelievedly serious and cerebrally involving entry, exhaustively detailing the true-life saga of a Gotham detective who turned Justice Dept informer to eke out widespread corruption in his special investigating unit during the 1960s. Treat Williams is outstanding as the young, gung-ho cop who is courted by federal investigators and finds […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content