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Smash His Camera

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"Famously and successfully sued by Jackie Onassis, and slugged just as famously and successfully by Marlon Brando, denounced from the pulpits of punditry for decades, Galella has been a man easy to hate. But whether he can be blamed
for sparking the current celeb-ysteria, he certainly created a body of work that is historically irreplaceable. [Director Leon] Gast, who won an Oscar® for his documentary WHEN WE WERE KINGS, gives us a man of personal complexity as well, a man who has photographed legends but still says 'Catherine De Nerve,' a tough guy who lives in a house a friend describes as right out of 'The Sopranos,' except the Sopranos did not have a statue-studded pet bunny cemetery in the backyard." Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times


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Product Details

  • Actors: Floyd Abrams, Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, Joseph Basile, Harry Benson, Ingrid Bergman
  • Directors: Leon Gast
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment - Mongrel Media
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003X82D06
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,691 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Smash His Camera" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 5, 2011
Format: DVD
Objective, informed look at the paparrazi and their strange relationship with celebrities. Rmon Galella is one of the most controversial of paparrazi and one of the oldest. (Most paps are in their 20s, Galella is way beyond that) The DVD is fascinating and Galella is both fascinating and repelling at the same time. And, he has been a pioneer in the paparrazi art. Love him or hate him, he's a major player in the NY celeb photography scene. Be warned, this video is really absorbing, so don't start it if you have other stuff you have to do, because it won't get done.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By trebe TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 21, 2012
Format: DVD
The documentary Smash His Camera (2010), focuses on the life and career of Ron Galella, a photographer based in New York City, who made shooting celebrities his specialty, and was one of the first "paparazzi" type photographers in America. The controversial Galella, who characterizes himself as a "paparazzo superstar", has led a colorful life. While being mostly sympathetic to Galella's point of view, the documentary deals with some provocative issues like privacy rights and freedom of the press, providing to some extent some opposing points of view.

The presentation is interesting and sometimes dramatic, with told with a good dose of humor mixed in. You may not like Ron Galella, but you have to admit that the man knows his business, and for good or bad, has been a pioneer in this particular type of photojournalism.

Galella began photographing celebrities in the Air Force, and as a civilian began to make his living shooting famous people. Besides his personality, methods, and results, what eventually distinguished Galella from the pack, was his obsession with photographing fellow New Yorker Jackie Kennedy Onassis. This eventually led to several legal battles with the former First Lady, where for a time, Galella was prohibited from getting within 50 yards of Onassis. In another notorious incident, Galella was hit in the face by Marlon Brando, while photographing him on the street after an appearance on the Dick Cavett Show. This also resulted in a lawsuit, in which was settled in Galella's favor.

The documentary also looks at Galella's personal life. His home contains a massive library of his celebrity images amassed through the years, encompassing the worlds of entertainment, sports, and politics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Cleary on July 31, 2012
Format: DVD
As an active pro photographer (not a paparazzi) I really enjoyed this film. While I don't think many people are cut out to make a living in the manner that Ron Galella does, I think it is very important to understand why he and , in fact, all of us, are protected under the first amendment. This film offers some great insights into lives and beliefs of not only photographers like Galella, but also the people they photograph. It is also interesting to note that while many of the celebrities express annoyance at the paparazzi, the relationship between the photographers and the celebrities is really for the most part a mutually beneficial one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AndySharp on July 18, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video
There is plenty to see in this documentary that makes it fascinating from beginning to end. Even if you don't recognize the people in the film, I think the stars are respectfully represented in an intriguing way. It that makes you want to know who they are. The film emotionally transports you into a world of glamour with complete safety. As some other reviewers commented it is a springboard into researching some of the names featured, either in books, movies or other media. Thoughtful, educational and inspiring film. I hope the girl in the gallery at the end of the movie had the opportunity to watch it later...
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There are a couple chuckles in this film about Ron Galella, a paparazzi photographer who was apparently once notorious for snapping celebrity pictures, but I've never heard of him before this bio. The documentary looks at his life as he tracks down celebrtities, often obsessively as he breezes through stop lights and cuts around traffic in pursuit and either hides in bushes or stalks out in abandoned buildings in order to gather countless celeb photographs for the press, culminating in basements filled with cataloged boxes of celeb pics. The film examining if he went too far with stalking the late Jackie Onassis for countless secretive photographs, resulting in media hooplah and court drama. You sort of want to side with Galella at times as a rabbit-loving goofball, and yet it's also hard not to perceive him as an old, harassing creep. Perhaps he deserved that punch from Brando?

By the end of the film I ultimately found this to be a depressing examination of a very shallow, very pointless profession. The most telling part of the documentary was at the end of the film, as the young woman is looking at the caller of Galella's celebrity images, mostly black and white 60's-era pics, and for the most part can't name any of the people, even showing difficulty with Robert Kennedy. I think that speaks about the shallowness being studied here: these are fleeting images often taken of unaware celebrities that will ultimately be forgotten.
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By Keith Nichols on February 28, 2013
Format: DVD
If you work hard enough and long enough, you may become a legend despite your shortcomings, or perhaps because of them. This movie gives its subject plenty of room to reveal himself in all his tacky glory. For one thing, he gets right to the point. If he wants pictures of somebody, he tails them till he gets the pictures -- not necessarily great portraits, but stuff the media will pay for. The result is that he has, according to various estimates, as many as seven million prints and negatives carefully filed in his basement. If he wants a low-maintenance landscape around his house, he installs plastic plants. I haven't the nerve to do that myself, but I doubt that Mr. Galella gave it a second thought.

The film gives a well-balanced look at the first-amendment issues raised by Mr. Galella and paparazzi in general. Given that celebrities need a certain amount of press attention to maintain their status and satisfy their egos, the trick becomes detecting the line between filling that need and invasion of privacy. At this time, the paparazzi seem pretty safe in their activities as long as they stay in the streets.

It's a good idea after seeing the film on the DVD to listen to the commentary, a conversation among Mr. Galella and the filmmakers, wherein more of the photographer's philosophy is displayed.
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