City by the Sea

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City by the Sea
City by the sea.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byMichael Caton-Jones
Produced byDon Carmody
Andrew Stevens
Roger Paradiso
Dan Klores
Written byKen Hixon
Based onMark of a Murderer
1997 Esquire article
by Michael McAlary[1]
StarringRobert De Niro
Frances McDormand
James Franco
Eliza Dushku
William Forsythe
George Dzundza
Music byJohn Murphy
CinematographyKarl Walter Lindenlaub
Edited byJim Clark
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
September 6, 2002 (2002-09-06)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$40 million
Box office$29,413,966[2]

City by the Sea is a 2002 film starring Robert De Niro, James Franco, Eliza Dushku, Frances McDormand and William Forsythe. It deals with the family problems of a wayward youth and is set against a man trying to break free of his past. It was directed by Michael Caton-Jones. It is based on the story of Vincent LaMarca.


Vincent LaMarca (Robert De Niro) is a veteran New York City Police Department detective, whose criminal father had been executed for murder, after a child whom he had kidnapped was killed. Vincent has had to live with this stigma hanging over his own reputation, and history begins to repeat itself when his own son, Joey LaMarca (James Franco), a junkie, becomes involved in a drug-related killing. Joey suddenly comes to the attention of Vincent's current girlfriend, Michelle (Frances McDormand), who was unaware that he even had a son, and she can not understand why Vincent is unwilling to help him.

Joey's girlfriend Gina (Eliza Dushku), who is struggling to stay sober for their infant son Angelo, comes into Vincent's life, asking him to save Joey. She later abandons the child, leaving him with Vincent. Joey gets deeper into trouble when the local drug enforcer, Spyder (William Forsythe), kills Vincent's cop partner Reg (George Dzundza). Reg had been helping Vincent to clear Joey's name, but Joey is blamed for his murder. As his fellow police officers search for Joey as a suspected "cop killer," Vincent decides to set aside his self-imposed isolation, and to help save his son's life.



Although the story is mostly set in the New York City (Including the World Trade Center which was not edited out after September 11 attacks) oceanfront suburb of Long Beach, New York, south of Long Island, whose municipal slogan actually is Civitas Ad Mare - Latin for "The City by the Sea"—actual location filming was done in Asbury Park, New Jersey. There is a disclaimer in the credits at the end of the film, which includes scenes set on a shabby, dilapidated-looking boardwalk and in a ruined and abandoned casino/arcade building—explicitly stating that it was not actually filmed in Long Beach . Filming took place in early 2001.


City by the Sea received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 48% rating based on reviews from 140 critics.[3]



  1. ^ Denis Hamill (28 August 2002). "2 Killers and the man in the middle - L.I lawman, subject of new film, wrestles with family legacy". New York Daily News. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  2. ^ "City by the Sea (2002) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  3. ^ City by the Sea at Rotten Tomatoes

External links[edit]