review for Prince of the City on AllMovie

Prince of the City (1981)
by Brendon Hanley review

Despite such influential, well-respected films as 12 Angry Men, The Pawnbroker, Dog Day Afternoon, and Network, director Sidney Lumet is often forgotten in considerations of the most influential filmmakers. Mirroring this under-appreciation is Lumet's neglected 1981 crime drama, Prince of the City. Overlong but fascinating, the film and its follow-up, 1982's The Verdict, stand as the director's best work of the 1980s and 1990s. Lumet showed a knack for working with new talent: the mostly unknown cast featured standout performances from Treat Williams and Jerry Orbach. The plot, dealing with corrupt New York City cops, is familiar territory for Lumet fans -- most notably in 1973's Serpico -- but Lumet makes the material seem fresh. The director would be nominated for his first Academy Award for screenwriting for Prince, along with co-writer Jay Presson Allen.