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City Hall (1996)

Director: Harold Becker     Starring: Al Pacino
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Learn more about City Hall:

Format: DVD
Sku: 40114267
UPC: 053939252323
UPC 14: 00053939252323
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Drama
Murder, corruption, cover-up, scandal...
He's a consummate politician who walks a mile in your shoes, feels your pain. But there may be more to populist new york city mayor al pacino than meets the eye. Special features: interactive menus and scene access. Subtitles in english and french.

"Snappy behind-the-scenes-of-urban-politics story pulls you in...  Leonard Maltin, Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Gui
"One hell of a story... crackles with energy and intrigue.  Bill Diehl, ABC Radio Network
"Big city politics as real as today's headlines.  Jeanne Wolf, Jeanne Wolf's Hollywood
"The movie left me thrilled, deeply moved...  John Corcoran, KCAL-TV/Los Angeles

Editor's Note
In this urban thriller the accidental shooting of a six-year-old during an altercation between cops and a drug dealer shakes a New York City mayor's office to its core, as the resulting investigation unveils the seamy truths behind political power-brokering and backroom deals.


Video Features DVD, Pan and Scan (TV Format), Widescreen, French, Subtitled, No Longer Produced

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Warner
Video Release Date Release Date: 2/3/2004
Video Play Time Running Time: 111 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 1996
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 2523
Video UPC UPC: 00053939252323
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English, French Dubbed
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English, French
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio 1.85:1/4:3

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Al Pacino
Video Cast Info Anthony Franciosa
Video Cast Info Bridget Fonda
Video Cast Info Danny Aiello
Video Cast Info David Palmer
Video Cast Info Martin Landau
Video Cast Info John Cusack
Video Cast Info Michael Seresin - Cinematography
Video Cast Info Jamie Silverstein - Cinematography
Video Cast Info Harold Becker - Director
Video Cast Info Jerry Goldsmith - Musical Score
Video Cast Info Harold Becker - Producer
Video Cast Info Thomas Mack - Producer
Video Cast Info Ken Lipper - Producer
Video Cast Info Edward R. Pressman - Producer
Video Cast Info Elizabeth Carroll - Producer
Video Cast Info Charles Mulvehill - Producer
Video Cast Info Bo Goldman - Writer/Story
Video Cast Info Ken Lipper - Writer/Story
Video Cast Info Nicholas Pileggi - Writer/Story
Video Cast Info Paul Schrader - Writer/Story
Plot Summary
"City Hall" provides an insider's look into big city politics, as seen through the eyes of young, idealistic deputy mayor Kevin Calhoun.| When an off-duty cop and a mob-connected drug dealer engage in a shootout, a stray bullet kills a young Black boy. But the incident enmeshes charismatic NYC mayor John Pappas and his right-hand man Kevin in a web of widespread corruption, involving fellow politicians, the mob, the police, and the judicial system. The resulting scandal has repercussions for many of the key players and changes New York's political landscape -- and the lives of Pappas and Calhoun -- forever.

Professional Reviews

Rolling Stone
"...A timely and smartly entertaining political drama....Pacino, at his spellbindingly best, comes right at you..." 03/07/1996 p.52-3

Entertainment Weekly
"?[Pacino gives] a wily, exuberant performance?" 03/15/1996 p.47

"...Breathless storytelling, [a] charismatic cast and technical sheen....Becker displays a gleeful relish for the material..." 02/12/1996

Chicago Sun-Times 0 of 10
Working from a script written in part by Nicholas Pileggi, a New York investigative reporter, director Harold Becker shows how one hand washes the other, even in the administration of a relatively ethical mayor like Pappas, who is considered a presidential possibility... City Hall covers so much material that at times it feels uncomfortably episodic; although audiences are said to resist films that are "too long," this one might have benefitted from more running time. Some scenes are so good we want them to play longer, especially scenes involving the Brooklyn boss meeting with real estate developers, and the mayor planning strategy. There are a few scenes of great power, including one where the Brooklyn boss comes home for lunch in the middle of the day, his wife expresses her concern through the medium of the dish she has cooked, and then the Mafia boss makes an unexpected visit. There is also a strong, although curiously tentative, late scene between the mayor and his deputy. One scene handled with subtlety involves the mayor's decision to speak at the funeral of the slain child, in a Harlem church. His advisers tell him he won't be welcome there. But he goes anyway, and cranks himself up for an oration of unashamed rhetoric. It gets a good response from the congregation, but the mayor knows, and his deputy knows, that it was phony, and the way they carefully avoid discussing it, in the limousine taking them away, is a delicate use of silence and evasion. Pacino and Cusack are effective together throughout the movie - the older man wise and tough, the younger one eager to learn, but with principles that don't bend. - Roger Ebert

Find-A-Video 0 of 10
With his Southern accent and stories of a more innocent life in Louisiana, Cusack ably conveys the turmoil of a naive politico suddenly learning not only the meaning of hard ball but how to play it as well. Pacino is able to carve emotion from a rather one-dimensional character, and he's given to less theatrical outbursts. City Hall presents an intriguing view of a machine at work...

Product Attributes

Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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