6.5/10
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The Public Eye (1992)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
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 ... 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 {J-26}

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

User Reviews

 
An under-rated film
30 April 2005 | by eolas_pellorSee 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.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Public Eye See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,139,825, 18 October 1992

Gross USA:

$3,067,917

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,067,917
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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