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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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