The Public Eye (1992) Script

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Everybody stand back, please. Third floor!


You scared me. Ah, Jesus, bernzy.

We weren't six blocks from here when it come over the radio.

I killed him to get the picture.

You didn't touch him, did you?

What do you think, I'm stupid?

Huh, my competition.

Who'd this guy work for, bernzy?

Farinelli, I think. He ain't lookin" his best tonight, is he?

Do you mind? You're castin' a shadow.

Hey, kid, put the hat in there. Huh?

His hat! Stick it in. People like to see the dead guy's hat.

Thanks.

Thanks, boys.

All right, Cobb. Move it along.

No! No more pictures. You heard me. Come on. Move it along.


Shit!

Get back! Come on! Come on!

Bernzy, clear outta here.

I heard this guy's walking around with a meat cleaver stickin' out of his head!

Get the hell out. Keep an eye on him. One shot. One shot.

Throw a sheet over him. Thanks a lot. Thank you.

Excuse me.

He said, "turn that back."

Let 'em through! Let 'em through!

Come on. Get out of here.

You better uncover him now, son.

Christ. Christ...

Wait a second.

This is a new low for you, bernzy.

Flatter me all you want, Jack. It's still 20 bucks.

You got a release on that guy? Got a spirit medium on staff?

You check with the hospital?

He never made it to bellevue, the poor bastard.

Thank god I was able to administer his last rites.

Thank you. Pleasure doin' business with you.

That's not very polite.

I know how it is.

I work nights myself.

Professional interest, see.

"Tomorrow he sails.” that's the caption.

How much you got on you?

My wife wouldn't like it.

Honey, you're not married, and you don't have a girl.

I saw how you were lookin' at those two.

Your socks don't even match.

Car 92, in front of 171...


And I still don't see why we need rationing.

We've got to divide among our civilian population...

What we have left after feeding our fighting men.

And that means there'll be a little less for some of us, but a fair share for all...

Rineman publishing. Hold, please.

Leon Bernstein.

Is it a pickup or a delivery?

I have an appointment. Oh.

Just a minute. There's a Mr. Bernstein for you.

Mr. Bernstein? Hi.

My father will see you today. I have a doctor's appointment.

Okay. Good-bye.

Mr. Bernstein.

Rineman publishing.

Now, does one call you Mr. Bernstein or Mr. bernzini?

Or is it just bernzini?

Well, I was born Leon Bernstein, but the girls up at worldwide...

That's the photo agency... they call me the great bernzini...

On account of they said I'm a magician the way I get every place so fast.

That's marvelous. I know my son spoke to you quite optimistically about this.

That's why he... that's why I wanted to speak to you...

Rather than tossing it into the mail.

From a technical point of view, of course, this is fine work.

It's simply that we don't publish books of this type.

Please, Mr. rineman, everybody knows that rineman and sons...

Publishes more photograph books than anybody else.

Well, sir, we publish books of photography.

And to my mind, this is instead...

A most admirable picture book about New York.

No, you're wrong. If I may explain.

No, I know exactly what you mean. Still lifes.

Naked women gettin' out of tubs. Fruit on a plate.

"It's a photo. Let's pretend it's a painting."

Let's face it, Mr. rineman.

You've printed enough of those books already. Everybody did.

No, Mr. rineman. This is the book. Come on, let's show those guys.

May I say you're not being fair to the photographers we publish.

Yeah, right. "Course I'd like to see 'em try...

To get a shot like this one here for instance.

Where the fire truck is in front of you and behind you you have a burning building.

So you have light comin' at you from every which way.

And you have these two poor women here, watchin' their whole life go up in smoke.

Now I'd like to see one of 'em try to get a shot like that.

Well, sir, what I see here...

Is a batch of pictures that's too...

Sensational... Too vulgar, frankly, to justify printing a book of fine photography.

Just so I know, what's too vulgar in this shot?

Is it, um, the fire truck or these two women?

Since you have talent, I'd like to suggest that you apply it to subject matter that's more...

No, I heard this advice before.

Please listen, Mr. Bernstein.

The men who do what you do don't usually feel the need to rationalize like you, much less be celebrated for it.

Yeah. Nobody does what I do.

Nobody.

Tell your son I won't hold this against him...

When I have my big retrospective at the museum of modern art.

You're having a showing at the modern?

Yes, I am.

When? Someday.

Hey, bernzy, you just missed Eleanor Roosevelt French-kissing Harpo Marx.

I'll catch 'em on the inside. That'll be the day.

Behind the ropes, "Bern-stine."

It's "Stein."

Thank you. Thank you.

Good evenin', Mr., Mrs. Armstrong.

Kitchen door.

And check the camera. Thank you, my good man.

J take my hand and we'll be together j j while we talk like crazy j excuse me.

J we'll hit the town, pick up on birds j js watch Woody Herman direct his herd & jj just the camera, please.

Take good care of that.

J then we'll go up to the pad and turn the lights down low j j I'll tell you many things to let you know j j how much I dig ya when ya whisper sweet nothings j j ooh-whee, baby j j how you dazzle me j& j let's stay crazy and be happy j j let's stay together all the time j j the way you hold me tight j makes me wish the sun would never shine j& do you have a reservation, sir?

No, but I can see you do.

J so, baby, now you know my story of love j oh, Mr. Bernstein.

Oh!

J blow, John, go, John Sam, John j j wail, John j dd

Thanks for coming, Mr. Bernstein. Uh, bernzy.

Bernzy. This way.

Publicity men from the war department.

They want to shoot a newsreel in here for war bonds.

Scotch all right?

There's never been a camera inside.

Lou always said, "that way it's like heaven. They're dying to see it."

Oh, thanks. Please.

I'm still in shock.

If I'd have snuck into this place, I'd probably feel more comfortable.

Me too. Half the people down there feel more sure they belong than I do.

I need to ask you a favor.

You need a favor from me?

Lou told me you know everybody in New York.

I mean, all the crooks and all the cops. Is that true?

Mmm.

He said you never take sides because all you care about is taking pictures.

Taking sides might get in the way.

I guess you read about Lou's brother contesting the will.

If Lou wanted to leave cafe society to a rug salesman, he'd have left it to him.

What's he sell, toupees or carpets?

It's hard to know.

People say some lousy things about me.

Uh, "she's a coldhearted girl who married and buried an old man." You heard that?

You should hear what they say about me.

Did you ever take a picture of this man?

Ringside table on the right. The man in the pink suit.

Never saw him before. No?

I'll take a stab in the dark and say he ain't exactly society league though.

Yeah. I guess I dragged you up here for nothing.

What's he doin' exactly?

He says he was my husband's partner.

He says Lou owed him money and now he's my partner.

"Offered as collateral in exchange for services rendered"?

He didn't need money and he didn't keep secrets from me.

How would you know? Hmm?

I mean, if they were secrets. You know how it is...

When you're intimate with someone.

Yeah. Right.

I know Lou sold bootleg in the old days. So did everybody in the nightclub business.

But Lou was a reputable businessman. Is this his signature?

He's here every night...

Not 10 feet from the mirror or Walter winchell.

Couldn't you just, um...

Throw him out? I'd love to.

But he says he'll go to my brother-in-law, help him prove Lou's will is invalid.

Is it? No.

But I'm his second wife. There aren't any women in this business.

We both know what people say about me. I can't take the chance.

I could find out who he is for you.

Could you?

Won't be hard for me.

I'd like to pay you something. No.

I insist. No, it's okay.

Well, Danny downstairs suggested I come in through the kitchen.

Fredo, could you watch the door for a few minutes? Send Danny up to me.

Yes, Mrs. levitz.

Why don't you stay and have dinner?

Oh, no, that's all right. It's not that big a favor.

Okay if I take this? Of course.

Thanks.

With all due respect, Mrs. levitz, you can't have somebody like that inside the club.

You don't see these animals on the street like I do.

They call them shutterbugs 'cause they're insects.

They're vermin, scavengers. They've got no morality.

I know.

He fancies he's different, of course, which makes him the worst of the lot.

I hear him talkin' to people sometimes, important people.

Botherin' 'em. Publishers, editors.

He's botherin" you about that, isn't he? About his book.

I don't know anything about it.

In fact, I asked him to do me a favor.

I see.

Well, may I ask why?

Well, Lou always said he was tenacious.

The most persistent, most annoying.

Danny, I know you know the social standing of everybody down there better than anyone.

Mr. levitz taught me well.

But the next time Mr. Bernstein comes, we'll let him in the front door.

Whatever you say, ma'am.

Dd Okay, clear the way. Just one shot, huh?

Drop the hat, huh? Put on a smile, huh?

Bernzy, there's two guys called portifino with records, but not that age or description. No record.

Not in New York, pal.

Hmph.

I'm gonna go over there and take his picture.

I don't think he wants it took. What are you talkin' about?

Everybody loves to have their picture took. Everybody.

How ya doin', kid? Kiss off.

Can you write?

Yeah. Where? Sign here.

You ever heard of the great bernzini? No.

I shot Dutch Schultz, legs diamond.

None of those guys ever hid their faces from me.

I just said, kiss off.

All right. Have it your own way.

I get everybody while they're alive or after.

I'll let you in on a secret. Nobody looks better after.

You're that freak that drives around in a sedan at night.

That's me.

In your line of work, I'm known as the photographer to the stars.

I heard of you. Them other creeps around?

They're in the corner, smoking. One shot.

Come on. Real fast. Nobody'll even know.

Come on. Let me immortalize ya. Back up a little.

Thanks, kid. Kiss off.


Agh.

God.

Precinct.

Homicide, please.

Homicide. Conklin. Hey, Conklin. Bernzy.

What's up? Well, I was sorta paying this social call...

To this guy, uh... his name is Emilio portifino.

Yeah? Yeah. Well, uh, he's been murdered.

I'm lookin' at him now.

Stay where you are. I wanna go get my camera.

You don't see this a lot.

Stay put. We'll be there in five minutes.

All right, the address is 115...

Hello, bernzy.

You're not gonna have any more trouble with portifino in your, uh, good seats.

Somebody killed him. My god.

Anything you wanna tell me? Anything you better tell me before the cops get here?

Uh, all I know about him is what I told you.

If you're asking what I think you are... I'm not asking you that.

It's obvious this guy was done in by the mob.

The mob.

All right, look, I'll be in touch with you.

Okay? I gotta go now.

Yeah, okay. Thanks.

Jesus. Marshall, come on.

Graham, stay by the door.

What do you say, Conklin?

Mr. Chadwick, this is Leon Bernstein, otherwise known as the great bernzini.

Bernzy, this is special agent Chadwick of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Nice to meet ya. Hey, knock it off.

What was your business with portifino?

I told you. I just called on him as a favor to a friend.

That's right. What'd you say your friend's name was? I didn't say.

Listen, what are you investigating exactly?

Mr. Bernstein, detective Conklin tells us you know many members of the mob in New York.

I also know the cops and washroom attendants.

It's the only way a good photographer can stay in business.

I mean, a tabloid photographer, not a stieglitz or a steichen.

Excuse me. Steinwitz or...

The second and third best photographers in the country.

Don't mobsters sometimes say they won't let anybody but you take their picture?

Mmm. I bet you get to know a lot of criminals in your line of work too.

Maybe not.

Was portifino with the mob? I don't know. Was he?

I'll ask the questions here. How did he come to town and set himself up so fast?

Look, you know this guy better than I do, obviously.

I called Conklin. The next thing 1 know you already have the address.

Where'd portifino get his money?

I don't know. I don't know anything.

I see this guy once for five seconds.

The next time I see him, which was tonight, he ain't too chatty.

Look, I gotta go now. I got a job. You got a job?

Yes, I have a job. I'm a freelance photographer.

If I'm not on the street by midnight, the whole world passes me by.

Tough way to make a living.

You hoped to get money from portifino, is that right?

What? You intended to blackmail him.

This is a gag, right?

Mr. Bernstein, you came to this country from Russia when you were six years old.

All right, that's it. I have to have my sell meeting in a half an hour.

Where do you think you're goin'?

You know, you're tellin' me more than I'm tellin' you.

I could see this guy got rich quick doin' something you really didn't like.

When you bring up Russia, I figure it's something treasonous. Mr. Bernstein...

Mr. Bernstein, I'm sorry we took you away from your work.

This is a time of war.

We know you'll keep your conjectures about Mr. portifino to yourself.

Fact is, we know very little about him.

We were hoping you could fill us in.

Yeah, yeah, sure, okay. Can I have my film plates back now?

We can't give them to you. Not for a couple of days.

He's news tonight. In a few days, I won't be able to sell them.

Check back with agent Chadwick tomorrow morning.

He'll give you the proper forms to fill in.


Don't do that. Get in the car, please.

All right, all right. Come on!

What's up? You're farinelli's boys, right? Get in the car.

You're tonio. I know you. Just get in the car.

What's up? Jesus, get in the car.

Let me get my camera. Just get in the car.

Let me just get my camera. Get in the car.

Come on, tonio, let me get my camera. Get in the car.

Okay, I'm in the car. Can I get my camera now, please?

I'm comin', I'm comin'.

What are you pushin' him around for? We know this guy.

Sorry, Mr. farinelli. Have a seat, bernzy.

Want a drink? You got coffee?

You'll be up all night.

Go to the corner. Get him a cup of coffee.

You know Mickey and sal?

Hiya, bernzy. Bernzy?

Bernzy.

So you found the body of this punk portifino, right? Yeah.

What do you know about him? Nothin' really.

Then why'd you call the feds? I didn't.

I called the cops like I usually do.

They're the ones who called the f.B.I.

Okay, bernzy, so we're misinformed. You didn't call the feds.

But I'd still like to know how you knew portifino. I didn't.

You didn't? No.

I mean, I met him the other night at the cafe society.

And, uh, he wanted somebody to take his picture...

And, uh, he offered a good buck for it.

You don't do commissions.

Two years ago my sister's boy made communion. I offered you plenty of money.

I don't do commissions, but I got a good nose for news.

Talkin" to this kid, it smelled like there might be somethin' in it.

That's it. That's all.

Oh, that's all? Yeah.

How dare you lie to Mel

Okay, bernzy. Okay.

As it is, I gotta trust you. You never crossed nobody.

You do nothin' but snap pictures noon and night.

What is it with you anyway?

Dope fiends live better than you.

You're a fuckin' freak, you know that?

Yeah? Well, like the guy who used to shovel elephant shit said to the circus owner, "what, give up showbiz?"

Here. Here's for the camera.

Do me a favor, bernzy.

Don't go around talkin' about this dead guy, uh, what's-his-name.

All right? Right.

Thank you. Thank you.

I don't know. Maybe he is. He's gettin' in.

See anybody else?

Hey, bernzy, how do you rate?

I don't understand. The f.B.I.? Think I do?

Look, I don't do favors for people. You see what happens?

I walk in here. You give me a drink. I start feelin' good about myself.

The next thing I know, the f.B.I. Calls me a communist, and some gangster uses me to wax his floor with.

I'm sorry. - Yeah, like you didn't know that guy was mob.

You didn't either. Like there was nobody else you could've asked.

I did ask. Nobody knew him.

Why'd you ever ask me up here in the first place?

Lou trusted you. I told you he said that...

Lou thought I was like those flies outside, buzzin' around to take a picture of Rita Hayworth.

That's not true. A little parasite, preyin' on people's misery.

You're not the only one who knows what people say about you.

It doesn't matter what they say... unless you believe them.

Why do you think I asked you?

I'd be so overwhelmed to be invited into the inner sanctum...

That I would jump into the street to do your dirty work.

You could've asked any one of those schmucks with cameras outside.

I can see you have a high opinion of me.

You're not like those guys outside, bernzy. You believe in something. Your book.

How do you know about my book?

Lou told me.

And when I knew I needed someone I could trust...

I hope you're not just sayin' this.

Why should I? I don't know.

I mean, this is the first time I heard that, uh, Lou levitz had an interest in my book.

Lou had every great artist from Paris to Hollywood stopping in here.

He knew they were great because they were rolling in it.

That's all he knew or ever wanted to know about artists.

What do you know about them?

Nothing.

I knew a little something once...

When I wanted to be one...

On the stage.

I still know enough to know you're the real thing, or you'd have given up long ago.

You see, I never was.

Having this place is the closest I'll ever come to it.

I am sorry for all the trouble.

What's this? Pictures I took in the club.

I see. When?

Thank you.

Yeah. Well, it's not over just because portifino's dead.

Somebody else is gonna come into this club and tell you they're Lou's partner.

But why?

I think he was involved in something really bad.

You don't know what it is, do ya?

I could probably find out what it is.

I mean, I could do that. You don't have to.

Maybe I could show you my book sometime.

I'd like that, bernzy.

Dd Bernzy, I didn't think any of my real friends could get into this place.

Lonely at the top, kiddo. Come on. Come on. Sit down for a minute.

Come on. Sit down. All right, half a minute.

Ah, come on. Don't be a pill.

How else you ever gonna sit here? Hack makes good, huh, bernzy?

I want you to meet Vera hixon. Vera, this is the great bernzini.

The best shutterbug... you seen my show? Don't worry.

It's on my calendar. Brooklyn rhapsody, winter garden theater.

But you know I work nights. Oh, it's a beautiful show.

I'm sure it is. I know what you think.

Why should I go see a bunch of arty's old columns dramatized when I already read 'em?

That's not true. I never read 'em.

Hey, waiter! Waiter!

Waiter! Come on! I'm dyin' here.

Arty, I have to go. I'm 57 years old.

Think she would have looked at me six months ago, hmm?

Hmm. Arty.

Best shutterbug in New York. Know what that means?

It means that your pictures are catchin' bird shit at the bottom of the cage...

Six hours after the papers come out.

Just like my columns used to.

Hey, waiter. M... arty.

Please. No. Come on. Will you lay off? Will you lay off?

At least if you paint pictures, you write books, they say, "okay, so he didn't have a life.

He didn't have any money. He didn't even have a steady girl.

Look what he painted. Look what he wrote."

She wouldn't have pissed on me six months ago.

Excuse me. Miss hixon.

Ah, Vera, come on. Vera.

Arty, you better apologize to that lady.

Look who's giving me advice on my love life. Listen.

Listen to somebody who really knows. Nobody could love you.

No woman could love some shabby little guy who sleeps in his clothes, eats out of cans, cozies up to corpses so much he begins to stink like one.

You should get a refund from that charm school.

Bernzy, come on back.

Bernzy, I'm sorry.


Why don't you tell me what the trouble is, Mrs. levitz?

Why would such a lovely lady even think to rely on a man like that?

I know what I'm doing. 'Tisn't easy, is it?

Holdin" on to a place like this.

Who knows why they come or when they'll stop.

That's enough. I know what I'm doing.

I hope you're not startin' to mistake him for a real person, Mrs. levitz.

As for this favor he's doin' ya, don't count on it.

Do you know what a shutterbug does when he finds an abandoned baby?

He jabs it with a diaper pin because pictures of cryin' babies are worth a dollar more.

Saturday evening post, "brave men in blue."

Come on, you must have seen it.

Weren't you here earlier? With Chadwick?

Yeah, that's when I spotted ya.

I said to myself, now there's a heroic profile.

Then Chadwick told me about that thing you did.

What, the jumper? Yeah, yeah.

On the fire escape? Uh-huh.

I didn't even think he knew about that.

Oh, he told me about how you helped him talk the guy down.

He said what? Son of a bitch wasn't even here.

That's something...

How people try to take credit when they didn't even do anything.

All right, I'm gonna call this caption, "the guardian."

You can't take a picture here. One picture. Real fast.

Don't slouch. Sit up straight. Come on, great big smile.

Smile! Whoops.

Now what's the problem?

You got a little somethin' on your tooth.

Let me see. I getit?

Nah, don't worry about it. It probably won't show up in the magazine anyway.

Where you goin'? I'll be right back.

You might want to freshen up, comb your hair. It's up to you.


Come with me.

What is that, Cologne?


What is this?

Call Chadwick and tell him Bernstein's not leavin' until he gets his plates back.

He says anything about your profile, shoot him.

Let me talk to him too.

I wanna tell him about our little photo session.

You don't mind, do you? You got two minutes to leave the building.

Hey, Freddy, you got any black gas?

What kind of gas? Black gas.

Black... I don't know. Black market gas?

Only gas we got here is mobil. Thanks.


Until next week then, this is red skelton saying good-bye now.

Thanks for listening!

Oh, Jesus. His hat fell off.

Huh? His hat fell off.

Put it back on for me. People like to see the dead guy with his hat on.

Maybe I should pull his dick out.

Maybe they'd like to see a dead guy's dick.

Who'd this guy work for, bernzy?

Spoleto.

Spoleto. Spoleto and farinelli all month long.

What are they fightin' over? I don't know.

Look at this. Look at this. Son of a bitch had six months' worth of gas coupons.

Wish I could get my hands on that many. Take 'em.

You're kidding?

Wash 'em off. They're like gold, ain't they?

He's got no use for 'em now.


Hey, bernzy. I want you to tell Kay who I am.

I'm sure she knows who you are. She just got out of a car with ya.

Bernzy, tell her who I am.

Kay levitz, Marc-Antony spoleto.

Mr. spoleto has the entire West Side of Manhattan to himself.

Oh, well, then it's lucky for us we're on the east side.

That's no way to talk to your new partner, Kay.

You tell her, bernzy.

Come inside. Bernzy gonna set her straight?

Look at 'em over there. It's like that movie with the hunchback and sarsaparilla.

You mean Esmeralda. Whatever.

What's uglier than somebody stealin' from the fighting boys to feather their own nest?

But Lou wouldn't have done that. He did it.

No. He has two nephews in the service. He never would have done anything...

Kay. Kay, he did it.

I mean, do you know how rich you could get if you could control the gas coupons?

Listen, if there's one thing I know, people ain't human when there's enough money involved.

I got pictures of guys killed over 50 cents.

And to somebody that was enough.

Jesus. So that's it.

He, uh, hitched himself to these hoods...

And now I'm stuck with them for partners.

See, they don't have partners.

You'd be out.

I see.

Look how much we know about these guys already.

All we gotta do is get somethin' on 'em.

Like, uh, maybe a picture.

Of what? I don't know.

I just know there's always a picture once you know where to look.

Why are you doing this, bernzy?

All right, look, I need to know exactly what spoleto said to you, and don't leave anything out.

Yeah, okay.

Uh, he said he wanted to see the books.

And when I refused, he said, "you'd better ask your boyfriend about me."

Your boyfriend?

He meant you. Right.

He knew you'd been up to my office. He seemed to know a lot.

Well, I'm sure he's got at least one waiter on the payroll by now.

Whichever one heard portifino ask you to take his picture.

What? I never even talked to portifino.

That's what he said. I'm sure of it.

That was something I made up when I was talkin' to farinelli.

Christ almighty. What?

One of farinelli's boys is sellin' information to spoleto.

I'm gonna find out who it is.

1.66, bernzy.

Put it on my bill. Sure.

Gonna get some more shots in a movie house?

Some place even darker, I think. Will it work?

I don't know. Can't say really.


What is it?

Must be them squirrels.


Come on.

So it's you, sal.

Christ almighty.

Good evening, Mr. brown. Table seven, Fredo.

I'm afraid Mrs. levitz is in number seven this evening, Mr. brown.

Who's the gentleman?

Oh, I believe he's a poet who recently escaped Mr. Hitler.

That's still no excuse, is it? No, sir. Exactly, sir.

This is an incriminating picture of the informer, sal minetto.

Do you have a safe or something at home?

If I wind up dead, give the picture to frank farinelli.

I'm givin' you the picture, which guarantees I'm not gonna wind up dead.

You understand? Wait.

Bernzy, I don't... nothing's gonna happen.

That's just what I'm sayin'.

As long as you keep this in a safe place.

Don't worry about it. Come on, just take it.

My old man was in this country 27 years.

It's like he never left Russia.

I'd say, "pa, for god's sake, you're in America now.

Do something. Read the funny papers, go to a ball game, try to act comfortable."

You need a drink.

That's how they all get the impression they belong.

That's all it takes? Mm-hmm.

Give me a stiff one then.

So, is that it? Is that your book? Yeah.

Show it to me. When? Now?

Yeah. Please? Come on.

Really? Yeah.

All right.

Kay.

Henry, how are you?

I'd like you to meet my friend, Leon Bernstein.

Bernzy, this is Henry haddock, Jr.

Mr. Bernstein.

I've got half the mgm brass over there, dying to meet you before they catch their train back to the coast.

Give me a minute, okay? No, no, they're about to go.

And I promised they would get to meet our beautiful hostess.

It's okay. Go ahead.


Excuse me.

Where'd he go? I'm sure I don't know, Mrs. levitz.

Did he leave his book with you? He spared us that.

Give me the umbrella. Give it to me!

Taxi! Taxi!


Is sal around?

Hold on. I'll get him.

Sal, there's someone here for you. Who is it?

I don't know. You could've asked.

Yeah? Hey, sal, I'm bernzy, the photographer.

Yeah. I know who you are. Listen, I wanna talk to you. Can I come in?

What about?

About, uh, farinelli, your boss...

And spoleto, your friend.

Come in.

Go in there. In the kitchen.

Who sent you?

I have three more of these in sealed envelopes with people I trust.

If anything happens to me, they go right to farinelli.

Ma, not now, huh? Not now, huh?

What is this? Huh? Well...

You comin' into my house with this shit? We should talk...

You bother my mother? Come here. Get the fuck out! Hey, hey, hey!

Keep your hands off me.

I'm going. Get out.

I'm going.

Keep that picture! That one's a gift!

Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

Come here.

Portofino's just a punk in D.C.

He's frontin' for somebody who can get the stamps from inside the a.P..

P.A. huh?

.P.A. it's office of price administration. Yeah, right. Whatever.

But he can't unload 'em. He knows nobody.

The heads of the five families won't touch him...

Because they're gettin' amnesty from the feds...

To work with the Italian mobs against Mussolini.

So then he hears Lou levitz on some radio show.

Friend of the stars, onetime bootlegger, Mr. New York.

He figures maybe an old-timer like levitz knows how to unload hot coupons.

So he goes to him, and levitz is interested, all right.

He sees that maybe there's millions in it, and he's got a hot young wife to support, and he don't have to lift a finger.

All he's gotta do is turn the stamps over to spoleto for a fat percentage.

She knew about this?

Who? His wife.

No, I didn't say that.

Oh.

Did she?

I don't know. How should I know?

Go ahead. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Then levitz dies, okay? Portofino's such an idiot, he figures now he's free to go sell the stamps to somebody else.

By this time he's met farinelli, so he goes to him.

He never mentions spoleto. He signed his own death warrant.

That's it, end of story.

Wait a minute. Didn't they lose the source when they killed portofino?

What happened to his man inside the .p.A.?

They tortured him. They got the name of the source.

Who killed him?

I don't know.

Everybody was after this guy.

Ma, how many times I gotta tell you?

Ma che c'e? Niente! Niente!

Who killed him?

Farinelli.

Farinelli.

Let me see if I got this straight now.

Your boss, farinelli, gets the name of the source from portofino and then kills him.

Spoleto, his rival, doesn't get the name until you tell him?

Isn't farinelli gonna be a little upset about that, sal?

Huh? I don't know.

You don't know? Come on, you know. You're not stupid, sal.

Hey, come on.

I printed that up a little darker, a little more dramatic.

So what's spoleto gonna do?

Come on, huh?

Hey, come on, all right? I told you what I know.

You didn't tell me what spoleto's gonna do.

Just tell me what he's gonna do.

Come on, what's he gonna do?

He's gonna kill farinelli. Is that it?

No.

It's worse.

Spoleto's gonna wipe out farinelli's whole gang, all my family.

And I'm gonna tell him where and when.

Okay?

A massacre.

Hey, sal.

I wanna know where and when too.

Why? What do you wanna know for?

Huh? What, you wanna call the feds? They just wanna cover this up.

What do you wanna know for?

I wanna take some pictures.

459 in progress at 53 west eighth street.

Hello? Spoleto was just here.

All right, don't move. I'll be right there.

What happened? What did he do?

He was here with three men... thugs.

And, uh, he kept asking, "who's this...

Who's the inside... who's the source, Kay? Who's the inside man?"

Sit down. Did he hit you?

No, he says that comes next time.

He knows the name. Sal told him.

He just wants to see if you know. You're trouble if you know.

You don't know, right?

I don't even know what he's talking about. I know. I didn't mean that.

Um...

You know this guy?

Thatcher gray. He comes to the club.

He had cabinet jobs with two republican administrations.

Now he's got an honorary post at the office of price administration.

Is he my partner too?

My god. Don't worry about it.

They're all finished as soon as I get the pictures.

Pictures of what?

To Hitler and his minions, lines like these are the shallow symbols of unity.

But with lines like these, America shows the Nazi aggressors the real meaning of unity.

As .p.A. Official Thatcher gray reminds us:

Americans know that to fight this menace halfway around the globe, it takes more than the Valiant men...

And mighty machines of our armed services.

It takes gas.

Farinelli takes the boys out to dinner every so often.

He's takin' us Friday night. That's when he's hit.

Where? What time?

Dinner's at 8:00. I get up to take a leak at 8:15, and that's when spoleto's men come in.

Where? I don't know yet. We never do.

He always calls us around 6:30 the day of the dinner.

For safety.

It's usually some little family place down in little Italy.

Family?

Don't worry about it. He takes the whole place over for the night.

As soon as you hear Friday, even before spoleto, call me.

Spoleto's lieutenant's gonna be there when I get the call. He'll leave right away.

Then I'll call you. Hey, sal.

Don't let me down.

You oughta lock your door, bernzy.

Look, I, uh, came to apologize about the other night.

Crazy thing is, I'm in love with Vera... Miss hixon.

I kinda figured that.

You didn't by any chance...

It was addressed to me. It said, "to be opened," so I opened it.

Yeah, but in the event of my death.

Only I got kinda busy and never got quite that far.

That's what I figured after I read it.

Why are you doing this, bernzy? Why?

That's what I do, isn't it?

I mean, life as it happens. That's my motto for 23 years.

This is death as it happens.

But that's the main thing about life, isn't it?

I mean, half the shots I get...

Are of somebody just before or just after.

For once I'll get it during. You could stop it.

You could go to the cops. Really?

You think that'd stop it?

It's war, arty. These guys ain't gonna lay off.

I thought you never took sides. What are you gettin' at?

You're doing it for her.

You're nuts. Am I? Am I?

Come on, you're in love with her.

Here, arty. Here. Here it is.

The whole history of New York, right here with me in this dump.

And it ain't because I ran around interferin', hosin' down fires or tellin' people to behave nice.

Nah. They pay people to do that.

Not me! I'm an artist.

And I'm gonna let people do whatever the hell they're gonna do...

'Cause it's the only way I could do it right! - Wait a minute. Stop it.

I may be the only guy in New York...

Who thinks you are an artist and not some sort of an animal.

But even I'm not so sure about this thing.

It's got a stink about it. Look... look, I know how much it hurts to be ignored, not even reviled.

Just ignored. But if you're doing it for her, you're riskin' your life for nothing, for less than nothing.

You already have a picture of spoleto with Thatcher gray.

Isn't that dynamite enough? No.

I need the event to capture the public eye.

I gotta get the moment. Bernzy, don't bullshit me.

You wouldn't be in this thing half so deep if you could express, say, three human emotions without a camera plastered to your face.

Just because the drama critic of the tribune calls you "insightful"...

Doesn't mean it's true.

A mansion on the West Side. A place on the south shore.

She milked levitz so dry, he sold himself to a worm like spoleto.

I'm telling you, I wouldn't be surprised...

If she's in on this thing from the very first.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You don't hit people, bernzy.

We don't hit people, do we? People like us.

Night, arty. Thanks for the apology.


Dd Hey, wait up. I gotta talk to Kay.

Kay? Uh, no, it's not a good time. Come back later.

What are you talkin' about? Look, Mr. Bernstein, I'm sorry.

Personally, I like you, but you're not welcome here anymore.

What? Mrs. levitz's orders.

There were too many complaints from the customers the last time.

She feels real bad about it, but she knows that you'll understand.

Make sure she gets this. I'll pick it up Saturday.

Here, put that in Mrs. levitz's office.

J if you've got a heart and if you're kind j j then don't you bust apart make up your mind j

you sent him away.

There was too much talk.

Last time I looked, it was my signature on the checks.

Mrs. levitz, it would never have gone this far if Mr. levitz was still alive.

Leave the uniform with Fredo.

With all due respect, Mrs. levitz, I'm an institution in this place.

I know everybody... Oh, you don't know anybody.

You know what they tip. You know what you read. You know what they wear.

But don't kid yourself you know them.

Any more than I do.


Why are you giving this to me?

You shouldn't be here, Kay.

This isn't a place for you.

I've seen worse.

Didn't, uh, Danny tell you?

I just wanted you to hold on to that, that's all.

Till after the, uh...

Till after what? Nothin'.

What are these pictures you're going to take?

Why are you afraid to tell me?

Bernzy.

Spoleto's gonna wipe out farinelli's whole gang.

I'm gonna take pictures.

What happens if they see you there?

I know what I'm doin'. Then why did you give me the book?

They're not gonna see me. Bernzy.

Why are you doing this?

Why?

It's what I do.

That's all.

That's all?

Yeah.

Ask me.

Don't make me ask you.


Danny seems to think you've learned all about my business with Lou.

Is that true?

Danny seems to think bernzy's the one who found out about it.

Tell me how bernzy found out, Kay.

I need to know how bernzy found out.

You're a practical girl, Kay.

Do you really think a man like bernzy can protect you from me?

A little man with a camera and a five-cent cigar. Stop it.

You don't know the first thing about him.

Your loyalty's touching, Kay, especially when you think of everything you've got to lose.

I'll ask you again.

You really think a man like bernzy...

Can protect you from a man like me?


Hello? Hey!

How are you, Mr. farinelli? Okay, good.

Yeah, d'Angelo's cafe. Yeah.

Sure I know it.

Okay, yeah. I'll see you later. Okay.

I guess you heard.

D'Angelo's.

You're feelin' kinda rotten, huh?

You know it.

You'll get over it.

Salvatore!


Yeah, is sal there?

Oh, god.


He takes the place over. He takes the place over. He takes it over.

Adrica's. Yeah, I need a reservation for tonight.

For how many? Ah.

Yeah, listen. I need a reservation for tonight. What time?

D'Angelo's. D'Angelo's.

D'Angelo's cafe. Yeah, listen. I need a reservation for tonight.

No, we are all booked. Private party. Oh, that's too bad.

Maybe tomorrow night. You still in the same place, same address?

Si. Thanks.


34 sergeant is en route to 215th and Broadway.

Sergeant, you respond on 623 west 204?

Negative.


Get a move on, huh?

Come on! Get outta the way! Oh, yeah? Says who?

Looks like he took the fire escape. Anyway, he ain't here.

No matter. We'll get him later.

Bernstein got away.

We'll go ahead with the hit as planned.

Is that really wise, Mr. spoleto?

He don't know where it's gonna happen.

He don't know it's d'Angelo's.

We're home free.


Hey, listen. How much they pay you here?

Two-fifty? Three dollars a week? Huh?

Two months' pay.

Three months' pay. Don't wanna haggle or anything, okay?


Psst. Hey.

Signor farinelli. Come stai, paesano? Come stai?

Grazie. Prego.

I got some bad news just before I left the house.

Si. Grazie.

This time it's Salvatore.


Buona sera, signori. Buon appetito.


Basta!


Hold it! Hey, w-where ya goin'?

Bernzy! Bernzy?

Dd


Come on. Let's go. My god, you did it.

Now, arty. Come on.

What if spoleto finds ya?

He's finished the second this hits the papers.

With any luck, I'll be arrested first.

Jesus, bernzy, you're bleeding.

Just get that to the mirror, the news, the post, telegraph and life magazine.

I know the routine.

And this you'll need too.

It's that picture of Thatcher gray with spoleto.

Come on.

Suspect's car has been located at 401 west 81st street, there he is. Arty, you go on now. I will.

Sorry, bernzy. Take it easy. He's bleeding.

Go ahead, Arthur.

You gonna be okay? Yes. Go ahead.

I said he's bleeding, for Christ's sake.

Arty, go now, huh? Okay, okay.

Read him the statutes about withholding evidence again.

I told ya. I had no evidence.

You had a picture of Thatcher gray with spoleto.

If you'd turned it over, we'd have known who the inside man was.

That's your job. I just take pictures.

You're outta your league here, Bernstein.

The police may take this lightly, but I'll be goddamned if the bureau's gonna allow...

Some picture peddler to create a government scandal that hurts the war effort.

I didn't create your damn scandal.

Just tell us where the pictures are, bernzy.

Nobody here is enjoying this.

I'm not so sure. Put him in jail.

Sir, he's bleeding. Put him in jail.

Hold on. Chief of police is coming in.

Stay down. Stay down.

According to the tribune, you're gonna be lauded on the floor of the senate tomorrow.

Senator Watkins is gonna thank you officially...

For saving the lives of American servicemen.

I do magic.

All right. I have here...

An advance copy of Walter winchell's Sunday night broadcast.

"Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America, et cetera, et cetera."

Tonight, a tip of the hat to Leon Bernstein, better known as the great bernzini.

Many is the night your reporter's seen bernzy, the supposedly sorcerous shutterbug, at hanson's all-night drugstore.

But Friday night, bernzy proved himself to be a great photographer, a great new yorker, a great American.

His first ever photos of the mafia at war...

Nipped in the bud one of the foulest scandals in American history.

"Thank you, bernzy, for saving the lives of countless Americans over there."

Get him to a hospital.

Bernzy?

Bernzy?

You okay?

You made a deal with spoleto.

He signed back the club in exchange for information about sal and me.

Right?

He said he wouldn't hurt you. That was part of it too.

You weren't even supposed to find the place.

Oh, bernzy... Why'd you do it?

I just couldn't take the chance...

Of losing the club.

It's like you and your pictures.

You'd do anything for your pictures, right?

When did you know? The minute I heard about sal.

Why didn't you just ask me not to take the pictures...

If you knew you were gonna make a damn deal?

Nothing was gonna stop you from taking those pictures.

You'd be surprised what I would have done for you.

Everything they say about me is true, I guess.

If I loved Lou at all, it was for what he could give me.

And everything they say about you too, that you'd run over your own grandmother to get the right picture.

Still, this was different.

All this was different, bernzy. Wasn't it?

Wasn't it?

Don't hate me too much.

God bless you!

Bernzy! Bernzy!

Kiss Mel! Kiss me! Bernzy, I'd like you to meet my publisher, the eminent Albert Gerard. Mr. Bernstein, I've followed your work for years.

He says if I write an intro for your book...

Uh, what's it called? Public eye.

With an Arthur nabler introduction for the public eye, he can guarantee us a double-sized first printing.

Hold it, everybody. Smile. Time magazine.

Are you okay? I don't like having my picture took.

Let's get him in the car. Right over here.

Damn it, bernzy, let it go.

You've been waiting for this your whole life. Whatever it took, it's worth it.

Let it go. How do you do that?

I don't know. Maybe it'll make you humble when our book gets published.

It's my book. I'm writin' the introduction.

So, fine.

Come on. We'll go to the stork club.

How do you turn this damn thing off? - You can't.

Isn't that the switch over here?

You can't turn it off.

211 in progress, third and Broadway.