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The Public Eye (1992)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 2,351 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 9 critic

Story of a 1940s photographer who specializes in crime and in not getting involved... until this time.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Officer O'Brien
Bryan Travis Smith ...
Young Cop
...
Teen at Thompson Street
...
Thompson Street Photographer
...
Puerto Rican Woman
Chuck Gillespie ...
Cop at Puerto Rican Tenement
...
Ambulance Attendant (as Christian Stolti)
Jack Denbo ...
Photo Editor
Ellen McElduff ...
Lonely Woman at Drugstore
Marge Kotlisky ...
Rineman's Receptionist
Timothy Hendrickson ...
Richard Rineman
Del Close ...
H.R. Rineman
Henry Bolzon ...
Cafe Society Photographer
...
Danny the Doorman
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Storyline

Leon Bernstein is New York's best news photographer in 1942, equally at home with cops or crooks. The pictures are often of death and pain, but they are the ones the others wish they had got. Then glamorous Kay Levitz turns to him when the Mob seem to be muscling in on the club she owns due to some arrangement with her late husband. Bernstein, none too successful with women, agrees to help, saying there may be some good photos in it for him. In fact, he is falling in love with Kay. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No matter what he was shooting, he never got involved -- except once. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 October 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Testemunha Ocular  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$3,067,917 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took Howard Franklin 10 years before he could get his screenplay turned into a film. See more »

Goofs

When Kay leafs through Bernstein' photo album, there is picture of a New York City taxi with a rectangular roof light which displays not only the word "Taxi" but also whether the taxi is off duty and its medallion number. Those signs did not come into service until the 1960s. In the 1940s, when the movie is set, New York City taxis used a variety of curved roof lights used in most other cities. See more »

Quotes

Leon (Bernzy) Bernstein: Nobody does what I do. Nobody.
See more »

Connections

References Joy of Living (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

You Can't Say No to a Soldier
(1942)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra
Courtesy of Sandy Hook Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Intriguing Noir Look At Photojournalism
20 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've never rated this movie that high but I've gone back to it three times since it came out about 15 years ago on tape, so maybe I am underrating this. There still is no DVD of it, at least in Region I, and that's frustrating. There's something intriguing about this story that drives me back to it.

Perhaps that is so because it's about a photographer, something I did, too, while being in the newspaper business for years and an art form I've always enjoyed. The story also takes place in the 1940s and I love the style and atmosphere of that era which is beautifully shown here.

Joe Pesci is Leon Bernzini or "The Great Bernzini," a newspaper photographer and Barbara Hershey is a mysterious woman who Pesci has the hots for. There is a lot of mystery in here with Hershey's character. Pesci takes gruesome photos, doesn't get involved with anyone but he's willing to make an exception with "Kay Levitz" (Hershey)..... but is she good or bad for him?

Sad to say, the filmmakers kind of make a hero out of basically a sleazy guy who has few, if any, morals. ("Bernzy" was "paparazzi" before they invented the word!). The movie also has an unsatisfying ending, particularly with Hershey's character.

However, I keep getting drawn back into multiple viewings of this and I'd sure like to see what it looks like with a good DVD transfer.


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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