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THE PUBLIC EYE

What You Need To Know:

Capturing the bizarre, the grizzly and the immediate on film in 1942 New York, Leon Bernstein, or "Bernzy" (Joe Pesci), substitutes taking pictures of others for living his own life in the movie THE PUBLIC EYE. Even though Bernzy ends up a hero, he remains isolated and alone, a sad but somewhat predictable commentary on his workaholic lifestyle. Furthermore, THE PUBLIC EYE is marred by excessive, profane language and graphic, bloody violence.

Content:

(B, LLL, VVV, A/D, M) The alienation of voyeurism is compounded by excessive, profane language with over 12 profanities & 12 obscenities; graphic, bloody killing involving gang violence & murder; considerable drinking of alcoholic beverages in nightclub setting; and, blackmail & revenge motif by rival gangs.

More Detail:

Capturing the bizarre, the grizzly and the immediate on film in 1942 New York, Leon Bernstein, or “Bernzy” (Joe Pesci), substitutes taking pictures of others for living his own life in the movie THE PUBLIC EYE. However, Bernzy’s life takes an unusual turn when beautiful widow Kay Levitz asks his help in retaining the ownership of her late husband’s club. The film opens with Bernzy photographing a just-murdered corpse for which he collects $3.00 from the police department. His life consists of a constant round of photographing corpses. Pursuing Mrs. Levitz’s deceased husband’s silent business partners, Bernzy begins to uncover mob involvement and one murder after another. Even though Bernzy ends up a hero, he remains isolated and alone, a sad but somewhat predictable commentary on his workaholic lifestyle.

THE PUBLIC EYE portrays accurately the 1940s era in New York and the tabloid photographers who wandered the nighttime streets as the film poses some important moral questions about voyeurism and responsibility. Pesci does a commendable job in his characterization of Bernstein, and the film affords glimpses of many original photographs from the 1940s. The film is marred, however, by excessive, profane language and graphic, bloody violence.