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The Public Eye Review

Image for The Public Eye

★★★★★

In wartime New York, cigar-chewing crime photographer Joe Pesci (modeled on the real-life Weegee) is mixed up in a murky melodrama when he gets involved with svelte but possibly fatale nightclub owner Barbara Hershey.

Pesci, at once repulsive and admirable, proves he can carry a film with his supporting actor genius undimmed, and this lights upon fascinating subject matter, but the script falters as a portrait of an interesting character in a fascinating period, congealing into counterplot-and-conspiracy retro-chic with a lonely, ridiculous man of integrity undone by a duplicitous vamp in slinky outfits and battered by a succession of tough-talking mobsters. Worth seeing, though.