The Public Eye (1992)
Based loosely on the life of New York Daily News photographer Arthur “Weegee” Fellig (ands indeed using a number of Weegee’s photographs in the film), the Public Eye is an under appreciated movie featuring Joe Pesci. It’s a sad fact that happy news does not sell papers. Hence the tagline for the film: “Murder. Scandal. Crime. No matter what he was shooting, "The Great Bernzini" never took sides he only took pictures... Except once.” A great 1940’s moody, period piece with some thought provoking moments. Think Sam Spade as a shutterbug rather than a private eye.
Leon “Bernzy” Bernstein is a freelance news photographer in 1942 New York, so good at his job that he is dubbed the Great Bernzini. He even has a portable dark room in the boot of his car to be able to beat his competitors. Asked to assist by a beautiful woman, he breaks his own rule of remaining distant.
Bernzy: Everybody loves to have their picture took. Everybody.
Director and writer Howard Franklin was unable to secure the rights to Arthur "Weegee" Fellig's story. Franklin then wrote the story of a Weegee-like photographer who smokes cigars and he named him Leon "Bernzy" Bernstein. In the film, like Weegee, cops wonder if Bernzy uses a ouija board to snap his photographs and find the stories.