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Prince of the City (Two-Disc Special Edition)

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Prince of the City (Two-Disc Special Edition) + Serpico (1973)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Treat Williams, Jerry Orbach, Richard Foronjy, Don Billett, Kenny Marino
  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Writers: Jay Presson Allen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2007
  • Run Time: 167 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000N3SROA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,853 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Prince of the City (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New featurette: "Prince of the City: The Real Story"
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Prince of the City: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 60 customer reviews
Literally, this is the best movie about cops I have ever seen.
A. Joseph Orlando
The other common characteristic of a Lumet film is his fabulous ability to elicit powerful performances from his casts.
David A. Greene
The practice of giving Heroin, according to the government lawyers, is exactly the same as dealing.
Mr. Cairene

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Dumb Ox on March 16, 2005
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Some spoilers within; do not read if trying not to find out plot developments.

This is a film that was inexcusably blown off at the Oscars. It richly deserved the awards it never received. Lifted straight from the book with only minor name changes, Prince of the City was a compelling look into the world of a narcotics detective as he brings about his unit's downfall. Danny Cielo (Treat Williams) is the cop who belatedly develops a conscience and rebels against what he and his men have become in their war on drugs; they've corrupted themselves to nail the corrupt and maintain their fantastically high arrest and conviction rate.

At first, Cielo has no intention of turning in his unit. He actually tries only to go after the criminals. However, in making a deal with the feds he's made a deal with the devil. The prosecutors realize they have a gold mine in Cielo and dig into him for all the information they can obtain. Little by little, the circle tightens like a noose around Cielo until he ends up fingering his mentor, then his own men. For a cop to rat on fellow cops is a deeply imprinted anamoly, an affront to the brotherhood that binds the police more tightly than blood ties. Cielo disintegrates under the pressure and agonies of his betrayals, shaking and crying, popping Valium to alleviate his tortured guilt. Around him, his men rat each other out and one even commits suicide. Only one is strong enough to withstand the feds: Gus Levy (Jerry Orbach), who marches into the office of a weasely prosecutor to tip his desk onto him and offers to toss him through the window of his high-rise building.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Cairene on June 3, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
There once was a kingdom ruled over by a fair and righteous king. One day, an evil witch descended upon the well from which the people drank, and poisoned the water. The very next day everyone but the righteous king drank the poisoned water. And they all went insane. All but the king that is. For several days after, the people wondered aloud, "What happened to our king," they shouted in the streets, "Has he gone insane?" So the king went and drank from the poisoned water, and everything was well again.
That is the story Al Pacino's girlfriend tells him late in "Serpico", Sidney Lumet's celebrated 1973 true-life tale about police corruption and one's man's obstinate stand against it. Apart from Pacino's performance as Frank Serpico, that film was a compromised moral drama, thrown haphazardly together to fit a commercial running time. The success of "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975) and "Network" (1976) then allowed Lumet to make Prince of The City, unquestionably his greatest work, and worthy of the story of the king. As a piece of narrative it ignores all the established rules: There are no acts (first, second or third). There are no heroes, and no villains. There are no gun battles or showdowns. This, for its entire three hour running time, is an account of a cop who decides to blow the whistle on corruption, and the legal repercussions that ensue. Unlike Serpico, Det. Daniel Ciello (Treat Williams) is no saint. He does what, in his view, needs to be done. And given the nature of power, a lot more. On his own accord, he heads to the Chase commission, where he decides to "do the right thing", and confess. His one condition? He won't rat on his partners. He knows them to be good men. We see them at his luxurious two-story house. They are cordial, pleasant, brotherly.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Buenoslibros.es on August 7, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Almost 3 hours long and worth every minute. As great a cops and mafia film as there are, even comparable to the Godfather saga (I & II). Danny Ciello is a policeman hero, though technically he may be a criminal. These kind of police are the only people that stand between the comfortable beaurocracy class of lawyers and politicians and the jungle of drugadicts and all sorts of criminals. They do the dirty job the talkers won't do but appreciate as long as they themselves don't get caught (anything comparable to Plato's Republic, maybe?)

The question the film poses to the audience is: Do you approve -or not- this kind of police behavior? I say that the law was made for man, and not the other way round. We mustn't miss the aim of the law, lest we get entangled in our own web and become pharisaic.

This is another great Sidney Lumet classic, beautiful and entertaining; it makes you think over and over again about the issues exposed here. It has a great script. The leading actor does superbly. Directed talentedly, detachedly, not too overdramatic.

The thing I like about Lumet's films (the best director in the second half of the 20th century) is that he talks about human nature. His films are not just stories, things that happen as part of a plot. They are little revelations of the human soul. They talk about who more than what. And it's whom we really care for, isn't it? The issues are eternal: love, friendship, faithfulness, resilience, repentence, redemption... everything that separates us from animals, and everything is put to the test, the test of real life situations: where the rubber meets the road (as the great Christian Vernon McGee would say).

A classic but also a great modern film. I recommend Lumet's other great film, besides "12 Angry men", which is "The Hill".
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