27 user 9 critic

The Public Eye (1992)

0:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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






Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Super (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Karma comes into play when a wealthy wisecracking landlord is ordered by a court to live in the filthy building that he runs.

Director: Rod Daniel
Stars: Joe Pesci, Vincent Gardenia, Madolyn Smith Osborne
Gone Fishin' (1997)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Two fishing fanatics get in trouble when their fishing boat gets stolen while on a trip.

Director: Christopher Cain
Stars: Joe Pesci, Danny Glover, Rosanna Arquette
Tutti dentro (1984)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The incorruptible judge Annibale Salvemini, starts investigating over a classic Italian business/politics/corruption affair. He start to operate, as usual, very strongly. He orders ... See full summary »

Director: Alberto Sordi
Stars: Alberto Sordi, Joe Pesci, Dalila Di Lazzaro
Crime | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Jimmy Alto is an actor wannabe who stumbles into the role of a lifetime. He becomes a vigilante crime-fighter, aided by his sidekick William, who has suffered a head wound and has problems ... See full summary »

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Joe Pesci, Christian Slater, Victoria Abril
With Honors (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Convinced his thesis will have him graduate with honors from Harvard University, a stuffy student finds himself at the mercy of a homeless man's demands when he holds the papers hostage.

Director: Alek Keshishian
Stars: Joe Pesci, Brendan Fraser, Moira Kelly
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Traces the legendary author's life, from the images and memories of his early boyhood, to his tragic suicide at the age of sixty-two. We first meet Hemingway as a young boy dominated by the... See full summary »

Director: José María Sánchez
Stars: Victor Garber, Rom Anderson, Miguel Arribas
Crime | Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Joe Pesci is a small man looking for a big break. Owner of a bowling alley and nightclub in Jersey, Ruby Dennis (Pesci) sets his sites on making it big in Vegas. But Ruby finds more than he... See full summary »

Director: Peter Lilienthal
Stars: Joe Pesci, Karen Ludwig, Frank Vincent
Easy Money (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

To inherit his mother-in-law's colossal fortune, a hard-living gambling addict must change his unhealthy ways before they get the best of him.

Director: James Signorelli
Stars: Rodney Dangerfield, Joe Pesci, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Defenseless (1991)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A lawyer is hired to defend an old college friend accused of murdering her husband.

Director: Martin Campbell
Stars: Barbara Hershey, Sam Shepard, Mary Beth Hurt
Eureka (1983)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In 1925, Arctic prospector Jack McCann becomes a rich man when he strikes gold but 20 years later he faces major personal and family problems.

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: Gene Hackman, Theresa Russell, Rutger Hauer
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Neighborhood kid goes to work for the Mafia as a debt collector.

Director: Ralph De Vito
Stars: Joe Cortese, Lou Criscuolo, Joe Pesci
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A mob bagman finds that his luggage, containing the proof of his latest hit, has been switched.

Director: Tom Schulman
Stars: Joe Pesci, Andy Comeau, Kristy Swanson


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
H.R. Rineman
Henry Bolzon ...
Cafe Society Photographer
Danny the Doorman


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


Murder. Scandal. Crime. No matter what he was shooting, "The Great Bernzini" never took sides, he only took pictures... Except once. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 October 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Testemunha Ocular  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,067,917 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jerry Goldsmith wrote and recorded a score for this film, which was ultimately not used. See more »


Burnsey's 35mm camera is either an Exakta V or VX. Those models were introduced in 1950 and 1951, respectively, and would not have been available during the 1940's. See more »


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


Embraceable You
(1928, first published 1930)
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by Roy Eldridge
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An under-rated film
30 April 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Joe Pesci plays the role of Leon "The Great Bernzini" Bernstein with accomplishment, as a kind of grubby, middle-aged everyman. Barbara Hershey, 44 when she made this movie, makes the screen sizzle by her mere presence as Kay Levitz. Pesci probably should have gotten an Oscar nomination for this performance, which is understated, sincere, and totally convincing. Some of the bit actors turn in good, solid performances with only a line or two.

The movie itself is heavy handed in spots, but director Franklin has written a number of movies and has a good ear for dialog. The mood of the piece is beautifully created and handled; camera work, lighting and music creating a real experience. The use of black and white sequences and inter-cutting of still photography is wonderfully handled. Maybe only a photographer can really appreciate the way Bernzini looks at the world as a photograph waiting to happen. People who are not willing to surrender to the experience of a movie will have less of a reaction to it.

The story is classic film noir, and more remarkable for being based on true events; blending together the great photographer Weegee (many of his photographs are actually used in the movie) and a gas-coupon scandal from the early days of American involvement in WWII. But, having said that, one misses the haunting quality this film conveys.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD bluelightning
Great movie crapicola
Loosely based on real photographer 'Weegee' childrunkard
Cast List Query goldenponderbob
More Popular? redivine
Discuss The Public Eye (1992) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: