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The Public Eye


Price: $19.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Joe Pesci, Barbara Hershey, Stanley Tucci, Jerry Adler, Jared Harris
  • Directors: Howard Franklin
  • Writers: Howard Franklin
  • Producers: Sue Baden-Powell
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2011
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004LLIRQS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,748 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Academy Award winner Joe Pesci stars as a brash, 1940's tabloid photographer whose camera leads him into a shadowy underworld of mob violence, unlikely romance and dangerous corruption in The Public Eye. Prowling the crime-ridden, midnight streets of New York, freelance shutterbug Leon "Bernzy" Bernstein (Pesci) captures life's grim side in his lens - and dreams of the day his pictures will be recognized as works of art. When ravishing nightclub owner Kay Levitz (Barbara Hershey) lures Bernzy into investigating the thugs trying to muscle in on her business, he finds himself mixed up in a realm of black market scams and mafia gang war. Now, Bernzy's either going to take the fall or take the one-in-a-million shot that could change his life forever.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Fun movies, very enjoyable.
K. Jacobs
Wonderfully scripted characters, and totally believeable dialogue will transport you into a different era, and an expertly crafted tale.
D. plummer
True stories, like this one, always catch my eye.
Steve Mann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
This is an amazing film. All of the photos shown in this movie, taken by joe pesci as the "Great Bernzini" or Bernzie, are actual famous photo's taken by Arthur Fellig or WeeGee. Called WeeGee after, at that time, the newly released Ouija Board, because utilizing his police radio in his car he arrived at crime scenes even before the police. This is as I said an amazing movie. The plot is enticing and was filmed as well as directed amazingly. For more information on Arthur Fellig or his Artwork, which is currently being displayed at museums around the country(...).
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. plummer on May 29, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
If you need car crashes, buildings blowing up, or somebody being cut open with a cooking knife to have fun, this isn't your kind of film. But...

This gritty Pesci film was a sleeper in the theatres. For movie buffs who like drama, intriguing story lines, and great acting...this movie is a classic for your collection.

Pesci plays a reporter who gets his pictures from the darker side of New York in the 1940's. He develops an attachment to his deceased friends wife, who runs a club and eventually runs into trouble with the local mob.

Its a wonderful, thoughtful, mature retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast story. Wonderfully scripted characters, and totally believeable dialogue will transport you into a different era, and an expertly crafted tale.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TMF1 on January 12, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Just receieved the Vault-Series DVD. Yes, it is in widescreen format. It looks crisp and clean (much better than the old pan-scan VCR tapes).
When you are through watching, place it on the shelf next to Cagney's "Picture Snatcher". This is one of Joe Pesce's best, proving he can act in a serious role without profanity.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Larkenfield on May 27, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
I have enjoyed this movie more times than I can remember. Joe Pesci is perfect as the scrappy tabloid photographer who at heart feels that what he is doing is also an ART. The film is about vindicating himself as an artist and reclaiming his personal life as a man, after sacrificing so much because he is driven to capture the ultimate picture in his work and living for so long seemingly as a bum. Anyone who is an artist or creative type is likely to get a great deal of enjoyment out of this unusual story where the main characters come from two completely different backgrounds and yet are irresistibly drawn together. The relationship between Pesci and Barbara Hershey is compelling and has many unexpected twists and turns: there's always some suspicion going on between them that complicates their relationship way out of the ordinary, even though there's a love here and they want to trust each other.

Please... will some big-shot movie exec please get this classic out on DVD? I agree with another reviewer that this is one of Pesci's best roles: he's gritty and determined without having to play a twisted figure from the underworld - the role was perfect for him. I love character and plot driven films and I've always felt that this gem delivers on both counts. Plus, the feeling of the war years during the 1940s is captured to a T. I bet I've seen it at least 50 times, including because of Mark Isham's understated soundtrack that sets the perfect mood. (I own the soundtrack too... one of my all-time favorites!) The Public Eye is recommended for those who love film noir types of movies with intriguing characters written by writer/directors, such as Howard Franklin, who did a great job here.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Annie Van Auken TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 3, 2009
Format: VHS Tape
THE PUBLIC EYE (1992) is set in September of 1942. It stars Joe Pesci as nickel cigar-chewing Leon Bernstein-- a "shutterbug" or free-lance photo-journalist nicknamed 'The Great Bernzini.'

Bernzy' is not above rearranging crime scenes for a better picture. He'll reposition a corpse, make sure it has a hat on, and so forth. He's also a master at obtaining "impossible" shots. Example: a male domestic violence victim being removed from his apartment is covered with a white sheet so that no one can photograph the axe buried in his forehead. Disguised as a priest, Bernzy finagles his way into the ambulance and fakes administering the Last Rites. He then takes a couple of quick snaps with a mini-35 mm camera and is immediately bounced out the vehicle's back door.

Classic noir elements include shadowy night scenes, a pervasively dark mood and especially Bernzy's involvement with glamorous nightclub owner Kay Levitz (Barbara Hershey), who seemingly befriends this lonely man but ultimately uses him for her own ends. The story (and their brief affair) ends sadly, in classic noir fashion.

This somber film is punctuated with a high-power gangland execution of an entire mob that occurs at a small family-style Italian restaurant. Bernzy bravely positions himself in a backroom to photograph these killings as they happen, and when one mobster sees and points a pistol at him, Bernzy responds by taking his picture!

Re-creation of the '40s is outstanding throughout and Pesci's atypically understated, soulful acting marks what I believe is his very best screen performance. Due to its bloody moments, this one never could have been made in the '40s. Even so, all fans of film noir will find THE PUBLIC EYE highly satisfying. I heartily recommend it.
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