Smash His Camera (2010)

Smash His Camera

Marlon Brando and Ron Galella in a scene from SMASH HIS CAMERA, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Smash His Camera

Executive Producer:
  • Jeffrey Tarrant
  • William Ackerman
  • Daniel Stern
Photography Director:
  • Don Lenzer
Creative Consultant:
Production Company:

* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.

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Opened: 07/30/2010 Limited

Cinema Village...07/30/2010 - 08/05/20107 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Genre: Documentary

Rated: PG-13 for brief language and nudity.


Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sued him, Marlon Brando broke his jaw and Steve McQueen gave him a look that would have killed, if looks could kill. To the celebrities he pursued, photographer Ron Galella was the beast who threatened beauty. As it turned out, he gave them a strange and lasting beauty they might never have known without him. Inherent in the story of this notorious paparazzo are the complex issues of the right to privacy, freedom of the press and the ever-growing vortex of celebrity worship. He sneaked around and invaded and bribed and held up his camera and shot till he dropped (or someone dropped him). His was the artistry of the sniper. Yet Galella found something essential in his real-life subjects, and he gave it permanence.

Director's Statement: Leon Gast

Any sentient human being who has ever read a newspaper, magazine, or watched the nightly news came to the same conclusion: Ron Galella was a monster.

Condemned by all, he was "that" photographer, a cockatrice who haunted and stalked our beloved former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy.

I met this villain in 2006. Producer Adam Schlesinger called saying Linda Saffire, a colleague, had recommended me as a possible candidate to direct a project he had conceived about the Original American Paparazzo. "Have you ever heard of Ron Galella?" he asked.

Smash His Camera is a portrait of that man – warts, wings and all.

Ron views his life's work as virtuous, ethical, heroic and couldn't give a rat's ass what others might think. He strongly believes he has a Constitutional right and a moral obligation as a distinguished artist to pursue his art – celebrity photography – on his terms, not theirs.

– Leon Gast