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Showing 1-10 of 68 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 97 reviews
on August 7, 2007
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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on May 7, 2016
The first 20 minutes or so of this film was difficult to watch - a close up look at the life of people addicted to drugs and cops dealing with informants and, to one extent or another enabling their addiction to keep their informant going. Eventually, it turns into a really interesting depiction of the justice system. It raises interesting questions about whether the quest for convictions among prosecutors and the justice system in general takes on a life of its own that is indifferent to the lives it is supposedly administering justice for.

The movie tends to drop you into the middle of scenes and situations and let you catch up and piece it all together, which I enjoyed.

Yes, it's from 40 or more years ago, but it felt contemporary.
Too long, but it did hold my interest.
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on October 20, 2016
By far, the best police movie ever made! Yes, even better than any of Joseph Wambaugh's movies. This is a true tale of police corruption in NYPD in the early 70s. It accurately depicts the long road a police detective makes to become corrupt and the hell he faced to return from it. I read the book and this movie did a magnificent job illustrating it. You know how rare that is. Excellent acting by Treat Williams. I vividly remember one line by a character in the book as he warns federal law enforcement investigators about the dangers of prosecuting police informers. ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON!
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on December 21, 2014
Easily one of the best films I've ever seen. The direction by Sidney Lumet is beyond comparison. Better than The Godfather. I've been viewing all of Mr. Lumet's work and I believe that he is the best film director. I actually sighed when it was over and wished that it had gone on for hours more. The dialogue is totally believable and the pictures are the best I've ever seen. I have been in the TV and film production business all of my life and Mr. Lumet's work is definitely the best and Treat Williams is spectacular as the lead. That's it for now because I'm going to view another Lumet masterpiece on Amazon.
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on May 8, 2016
Prince of the City is a fact based movie about police corruption in the 1970's and the 'take no prisoners" approach by some charged with investigating police corruption during that time. This is a must for anyone who appreciates the gritty feel of those 1970"s New York City movies. This movie differs from "Serpico" in that it focuses on the human toll corruption takes on those caught and the men who are charged with investigating police corruption. The only thing I didn't like was the movie doesn't use the real names of those portrayed.
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on February 22, 2014
I like to be entertained but with one condition. That it be done a certain way using reality and honoring common sense so one doesn't have to work at relating to what they are watching. They can accept it and then enjoy it. This is that type of movie. The actors, director, the story and all related dynamics formed a good team to tell a good story and the results are hard to dispute. Watch what happens when people with power have a meeting with their own conscience and start to question their own existence. Then watch the people around them make it harder to investigate further. Only someone who is committed to finishing what they started can set the high bar for the next fellow. This movie does that. Cops are powerful and their journeys take them to the edge. Some never come back and some come back but they are never the same for it...Buy and keep this movie because you will watch it ever so often
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on August 4, 2015
Very good movie. Saw POTC when it first came out in 1981 and it was an intense, draining experience. Seeing it again, it still holds up and speaks to the difficulty of a cop doing what his partners are all doing - making important big drug busts, stealing and splitting the seized dirty money and drugs from many of these busts as well as employing junkies and prostitutes (and sleeping with the prostitutes). Then deciding he needs to confess his sins which leads to unbelievable tragedy in the process. Treat Williams is fantastic as are a large supporting cast, which includes Jerry Orbach, Bob Balaban and Lindsey Crouse.
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on February 26, 2008
I just saw it. It wasn't bad, but also wasn't the most entertaining movie I've ever seen. Perhaps, "entertaining" was not the cheif objective here. A lot of work went into it obviously, and I could appreciate that, though at times the movie was kind of a frustrating ordeal, not only for the main character but for me as well. It was hard to really feel his need for redemption to begin with. We know he's somewhat on the take, in the beginning, but we're not really brought to the point of feeling the anguish that brings him to want to turn informant. This happens soon after the movie begins and we're left reeling in the next two plus hours with his decision. Really, we are given a few brief incidents (he helps a junkie get smack, and his own brother accuses him of too lavish a lifestyle) - then bam - he wants to talk to the D.A.

Through endless court indictments and the eventual revealing of his own misdeeds, we learn about some of the things which may have brought New York cop, Danny Ciello, to the point of wanting to turn informant (though by that point in the movie he's probably regretting having done so). But telling is one thing. Showing is another. I'd have sympathized more with his whole struggle if I'd been SHOWN stronger reason in the beginning for his wanting to turn, which in the eyes of his colleagues, and even the viewers at times, seems like a weak betrayal - perhaps a character problem rather than an issue of conscience.

As an idea, the dilemma is readily apparent (between what he and indeed the whole legal system deem is right, and the practical realities of the street). Prince of the City is the study of a man who makes an incredibly daring decision and the aftermath that follows. While on an emotional level, it never completely made me understand his decision, it does explore an issue well worth exploring and leaves us to reach our own conclusions.
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on August 16, 2017
Great movie but I unfortunately the sound on the DVD was inaudible so I had to return it
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on March 27, 2017
Decent movie about police corruption in the NYPD back in the day. Not as good as others in this genre, but still OK.
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