Smash His Camera

Watch Smash His Camera

  • PG-13
  • 2010
  • 1 hr 27 min
  • 6.9  (962)
  • 68

Smash His Camera is a fascinating documentary about the life and work of legendary paparazzo Ron Galella, whose compulsive pursuit of candid celebrity snapshots made him both famous and infamous. Directed by Leon Gast, the film delves deep into the nature of celebrity culture and the fine line between public and private lives, using Galella's controversial career as a lens to examine the role of the media and paparazzi in modern society.

The film begins with a series of interviews with Galella himself, who recounts his early years as a photography hobbyist and his eventual rise to fame as an unrepentant celebrity stalker. Using his trademark techniques of hiding in bushes, following celebrities home, and generally making a nuisance of himself, Galella managed to capture countless candid shots of stars like Jackie Onassis, Marlon Brando, and Michael Jackson. Along the way, he also earned a number of enemies, including various celebrities, security guards, and even members of the law enforcement community.

Despite the controversy surrounding his methods, Galella remained a popular figure in the media for many years, with his photos appearing in magazines like People and Life. However, his career took a serious hit in 1971 when he was sued by Jackie Onassis for invasion of privacy. The resulting court battle was a landmark case that set the legal standard for paparazzi behavior for years to come.

The film also features interviews with several other famous and influential figures, including lawyer Floyd Abrams, who argued Galella's case before the Supreme Court; Gilbert Anderson, the legendary silent film star and director who was one of Galella's earliest subjects; and Joseph Basile, a former New York City detective who attempted to keep Galella in check during his more reckless moments.

Throughout the course of the film, Galella's life and career are revealed in all their fascinating and often disturbing detail. His relentless pursuit of celebrity photos is contrasted with his love for his family and his passion for photography as an art form. The film also touches on broader questions about the ethics of celebrity journalism and the impact of intrusive media on the lives of public figures.

One of the most compelling aspects of Smash His Camera is the way it presents Galella as both a villain and a hero. On the one hand, his tactics and behavior often seem invasive and unsettling, and his portrayal of celebrities as mere objects to be captured and exploited can be difficult to watch. On the other hand, his work also has a certain raw honesty and spontaneity that is lacking in many other forms of celebrity photography. His images capture fleeting moments of humanity and vulnerability that are often overlooked by more polished media outlets.

Overall, Smash His Camera is a thought-provoking and engaging film that sheds new light on a controversial figure in media history. Its exploration of celebrity culture, privacy, and the media's role in society is sure to resonate with viewers of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you are a fan of paparazzi photography or a critic of it, this film is well worth a watch.

Smash His Camera is a 2010 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9 and a MetaScore of 68.

Smash His Camera
Where to Watch Smash His Camera
Smash His Camera is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Smash His Camera for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 27 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (962)
  • Metascore