The Sidney Lumet Blogathon – Prince of the City (1981)

This review is the first of two reviews for The Sidney Lumet Blogathon being hosted by

Tnx Sean for letting me once again participate!

prince-of-the-city-55d5fcf4d1a11“I know the law. The law doesn’t know the streets.” – Daniel

Number of Times Seen – 1 (5 Oct 2016)

Brief Synopsis – A highly decorated NYPD detective decides to cooperate with the District Attorney to try and put a stop to police and other law enforcement corruption.

My Take on it – As a former cop, I really enjoyed many aspects of this film, but the main focus for me was on the message about what it means to be a cop.

Back when I began my (very short) career as a cop, I recall being told by fellow officers that the best kind of cop is the one who thinks like a criminal in order to be able to anticipate every move.

The problem with that logic is that it also applies to many other aspects of the job and it isn’t always easy to toe the line without crossing it.

This movie is based on a real event and it’s easy to see here how many good and loyal police officers weren’t able to keep from crossing that line.

Many jobs have their difficulties, but law enforcement officers must daily deal with these kind of issues and each day it can be a fight to keep your honesty , but what is eventually the cost?

This movie portrays those issues extremely well and we are presented with the many issues related to it.

The large cast is superbly cast here and it all revolves around a very young and capable Treat Williams who really does an amazing job carrying this whole film.

There are lots and lots of characters introduced to us as the movie moves along and Director Sidney Lumet did an amazing job of keeping us informed as to who is who and what is what the whole way through.

Personally, I didn’t feel lost in a crowd and always knew what was happening.

The best part of this film is the fact that there is much ambiguity about whether the characters are meant to be seen in a good or bad light and everyone can choose for themselves because the story line keeps evolving and we constantly question who and what we believe is morally correct.

I’m so glad that I finally got a chance to see this film because it really is superbly done.

Bottom Line – Great portrayal of the difficult decisions cops must make while working. Amazing cast led by a very young Williams who manages to carry the film very well on his shoulders.  This film has lots of character and Lumet manages to keep us informed as to what is constantly happened the whole time.  Liked the ambiguity of the characters where we constantly question who we should be rooting for. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The movie features 130 locations and 126 speaking parts. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy


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6 thoughts on “The Sidney Lumet Blogathon – Prince of the City (1981)

  1. Pingback: Announcing the Sidney Lumet Movie Blogathon! –

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