City Hall (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Harold Becker|
|Produced by||Harold Becker
Edward R. Pressman
|Written by||Kenneth Lipper
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Edited by||David Bretherton
Robert C. Jones
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
This was Becker's second collaboration with Pacino, having directed him in Sea of Love (1989).
John Pappas is the mayor of New York City and has far more grand ambitions, including the governor's office and the White House. His loyal deputy mayor is Kevin Calhoun, a young man from Louisiana who grew up loving politics.
One day, an off-duty police detective named Eddie Santos is ambushed by Tino Zapatti, a criminal with mob ties. They kill each other in a shootout, with a stray bullet also causing the death of an innocent small boy named James Bone.
An investigation leads to a question as to why Judge Walter Stern, an old friend of the mayor's, had set Zapatti free on probation for a recent crime rather than sending him to jail. Legal aid Marybeth Cogan, meanwhile, attempts to see that Santos' widow receives his full benefits, but there seems to be a conspiracy to paint the slain detective as less than honest.
While the mayor speaks at the child's funeral, Calhoun digs for answers. He is wary of Frank Anselmo, a Brooklyn politician who has connections to organized crime boss Paul Zapatti, the uncle of the cop-killer. Anselmo plants money at Zapatti's behest, to smear the detective's good name.
The deputy mayor and Cogan continue to seek the truth from a number of sources, including Santos' partner and another Zapatti relative. After the murder of probation officer Larry Schwartz, they ultimately conclude that Judge Stern had to be on the take.
Pappas agrees that Stern must resign. The scandal snowballs to the point where Zapatti instructs Anselmo to "take the pressure off" himself, by which he means commit suicide rather than become an informer or go to jail. To protect his family, Anselmo shoots himself.
The scandal is nearly at an end, but Calhoun knows one more thing—his idol, the mayor, is also involved. It is the mayor who put Stern together with Anselmo to receive a bribe and leave the young Zapatti on the street. Calhoun soon tells Pappas there is only one choice—to quit as mayor and leave politics for good. ("You're gonna take yourself out, John. You're gonna take yourself out.")
- Al Pacino as Mayor John Pappas
- John Cusack as Kevin Calhoun
- Danny Aiello as Frank Anselmo
- Bridget Fonda as Marybeth Cogan
- Tony Franciosa as Paul Zapatti
- Martin Landau as Judge Walter Stern
- David Paymer as Abe Goodman
- Richard Schiff as Larry Schwartz
- Harry Bugin as Morty the Waiter
|This section requires expansion. (November 2014)|
- Maslin, Janet (February 16, 1996). "City Hall (1996) FILM REVIEW; Dangerous Dealings In the Heart of New York". The New York Times.
- City Hall at Rotten Tomatoes
- Weekend Box Office : It's a Bull's-Eye for 'Broken Arrow' from Los Angeles Times, 21 February 1996, retrieved 7 September 2014
- City Hall at the Internet Movie Database
- City Hall at Rotten Tomatoes
- City Hall at Box Office Mojo
- Mayor Pappas's Eulogy in Text and Audio from AmericanRhetoric.com