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Prince of the City Academy Award Nomination! 

By Donald Liebenson

Based on a true story, Prince of the City stars Treat Williams as Danny Ciello, a conflicted New York cop who reluctantly decides to go undercover for the feds to ferret out police corruption. At first, he recklessly gets off on the danger, but as the feds tighten the screws, the guilt-wracked Ciello is forced to compromise his partners and friends, and his own checkered past inexorably catches up with him.

Sidney Lumet, who also directed Networkand Dog Day Afternoon, is esteemed as an actor's director. This film is prime evidence. The peerless ensemble, including Jerry Orbach, Bob Balaban, and a duty roster of great New York character actors, is flawless. If there was any justice in Hollywood, Prince of the City would have been Treat Williams's star-making breakthrough, his Serpico (which Lumet also directed). But this film couldn't get arrested at the box office and was criminally snubbed by the Academy. Due to its length and gritty, profane dialogue, it is severely compromised when broadcast on network TV. For fans of NYPD Blue, Law & Order and Homicide, here is a movie ripe for discovery on home video.

Academy Awards

Prince of the City received an Academy Award nomination for Writing (Best Screenplay based on material from another medium: Jay Presson Allen, Sidney Lumet).


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Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)DVD unavailableSoundtrack unavailable at - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Sidney Lumet

Stars: Treat Williams, Jerry Orbach, Richard Foronjy, Don Billett, Kenny Marino, Carmine Caridi, Bob Balaban, James Tolkan, Lindsay Crouse, Matthew Laurance, Lee Richardson, Lane Smith, Peter Michael Goetz, Lance Henriksen

Released: August 14, 1981

Availability: VHS

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