6.5/10
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27 user 13 critic

The Public Eye (1992)

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

Director:

Howard Franklin

Writer:

Howard Franklin
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Pesci ... Leon Bernstein
Richard Riehle ... Officer O'Brien
Bryan Travis Smith ... Young Cop
Max Brooks ... Teen at Thompson Street
Richard Schiff ... Thompson Street Photographer
Laura Cerón ... Puerto Rican Woman
Chuck Gillespie Chuck Gillespie ... Cop at Puerto Rican Tenement
Christian Stolte ... Ambulance Attendant (as Christian Stolti)
Jack Denbo Jack Denbo ... Photo Editor
Ellen McElduff Ellen McElduff ... Lonely Woman at Drugstore
Marge Kotlisky Marge Kotlisky ... Rineman's Receptionist
Timothy Hendrickson Timothy Hendrickson ... Richard Rineman
Del Close ... H.R. Rineman
Henry Bolzon Henry Bolzon ... Cafe Society Photographer
Jared Harris ... 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Testemunha Ocular See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,067,917
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Joe Pesci and Barbara Hershey have worked with 'Martin Scorsese'. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Connections

References Don't Turn 'em Loose (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
An Intriguing Noir Look At Photojournalism
20 March 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See 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.


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