Sidney LumetUSA168 minutes1981ColourEnglish
Based on Robert Daley's book about the experiences of real-life NYPD detective Robert Leuci, Prince of the City is an epic-scale treatment of Serpico's police-corruption drama — and, given that this marked Lumet's first onscreen writing credit, it can be viewed as one of the veteran director's most personal films. Treat Williams stars as Danny Ciello, a member of an elite squad of NYC narcotics detectives who work largely unsupervised by the brass. Troubled by his knowledge of rampant corruption within the justice system, Ciello agrees to work with internal affairs on an undercover investigation so long as it does not incriminate his partners. Inevitably, however, his team's transgressions (and his own) force Ciello to either betray his friends or risk imprisonment — or possibly both. Far more intellectually and morally complex than Serpico, Prince of the City is "an astonishing, in-depth portrait of the interlocking worlds of police and hoodlum[,] with no punches pulled and no easy solutions" (Tom Milne, Time Out London).