Synopsis by Don Kaye
Three A-list screenwriters -- (Nicholas Pileggi, Bo Goldman, and Paul Schrader) -- contributed to the script of this idealistic political drama. John Pappas (Al Pacino) is the popular, ethical Mayor of New York; Kevin Calhoun (John Cusack) is his even more idealistic and principled deputy. When a detective and mobster kill each other and an innocent six-year-old black child in a shootout, questions arise about what the cop was doing meeting with the gangster in the first place. The Mayor and his staff handle the situation ably, but Calhoun digs deeper and finds troubling evidence that even his seemingly incorruptible boss has not escaped the shadier aspects of political life. The Mafia boss (Tony Franciosa) whose nephew was the dead gangster, along with a Brooklyn political boss (Danny Aiello) with his own agenda, come into the story, becoming part of a series of larger links, secret relationships, and bonds of "honor" between men who, on the surface, would have no reason to be in business with each other.
big-city, mayor, mob-boss, political-corruption, detective, gangster, bystander