Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


PRINCE OF THE CITY (1981). Director: Sydney Lumet.

Detective Daniel Ciello cooperates with internal affairs to expose corruption in the department, as long as he doesn't have to snitch on his friends -- which is easier said than done. Although Treat Williams gives a solid performance as Ciello, and there are other good performances (from Jerry Orbach and others) this is an overlong, disappointing true crime drama that holds the attention in a minor way but never quite hits the dramatic high notes. There are way too many characters, and Ciello's reasons for contacting internal affairs (after they first contacted him) are never clearly delineated. After awhile you get a little bored with the same theme being played over and over -- the prosecutors warn Ciello not to perjure himself; Ciello gets angry that they expect too much of him etc. etc. This goes on for nearly three hours. The best that can be said for Lumet's direction is that it's unobtrusive.

Verdict: Worth a look if you've got three hours to kill. **1/2.

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