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Harry Benson: Shoot First (2016)

Unrated | | Documentary | 9 December 2016 (USA)
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What we know today about many famous musicians, politicians, and actresses is due to the famous work of photographer Harry Benson. He captured vibrant and intimate photos of the most famous... See full summary »

Directors:

Justin Bare (co-director), Matthew Miele (co-director)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Carl Bernstein ... Himself
Bryant Gumbel ... Himself
Ralph Lauren ... Himself
Joe Namath ... Himself
Dan Rather ... Himself
Sharon Stone ... Herself
James L. Brooks ... Himself
Donald Trump ... Himself
André Leon Talley ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alec Baldwin ... Himself
Gigi Benson Gigi Benson ... Herself
Harry Benson Harry Benson ... Himself
Wendy Benson-Landes ... Herself
Betty Buckley ... Herself
Patti Davis Patti Davis ... Herself
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Storyline

What we know today about many famous musicians, politicians, and actresses is due to the famous work of photographer Harry Benson. He captured vibrant and intimate photos of the most famous band in history;The Beatles. His extensive portfolio grew to include iconic photos of Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson, and Dr. Martin Luther King. His wide-ranging work has appeared in publications including Life, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Benson, now 86, is still taking photos and has no intentions of stopping. Written by ifsixwasnine-sw

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Harry Benson Project See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,846, 16 December 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$17,839, 20 January 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Quixotic Endeavors See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

I Feel Fine
Written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Performed by The Beatles
Courtesy of Capitol Records, LLC. under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
a retrospective of observation and insight
29 December 2016 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

USA Film Festival 2016 Greetings again from the darkness. There are many talented photographers, but not many that are well known. Quite a few photographers have shot famous folks, but few are famous themselves. These days we tend to think of photography as the barrage of celebrity privacy invasion shots courtesy of the paparazzi cameras. Co-writers/co-directors Justin Bare and Matthew Miele remind us … with this sturdy portrait of Harry Benson … that true photography is an admirable and respected art form.

Mr. Benson is now 86 years old and retains his heavy Scottish accent and ambitious work ethic. An illustrious career was kick-started in 1964 when he was assigned to cover The Beatles' inaugural trip to the United States. His behind-the-scenes work included the infamous shot of the four lads blowing off a bit of stress with a hotel pillow fight in their hotel.

The film acts as a retrospective of Mr. Benson's work, and it's wonderful to hear him tell his own stories. Not many can claim to have been right in the middle of five decades of history, entertainment, politics and cultural events. This is a man whose work had him standing next to Bobby Kennedy in 1968 on the night he was assassinated. Elizabeth Taylor so trusted him, that she allowed him to photograph her just after her brain surgery. World class recluse and chess champion Bobby Fischer posed for Benson, as did Muhammad Ali, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr and Michael Jackson … to name just a few. It's also fascinating to see his spontaneous shots of Greta Garbo swimming, and he literally went 50 plus years between photos of The Queen. His work on the front lines of Somalia is breath-taking … this from a man who has photographed the last eleven U.S. Presidents (every one since Eisenhauer).

In addition to Benson's own recollections, the filmmakers also include observations and insight from such a diverse group as Dan Rather, Ralph Lauren, Bryant Gumbel, James L Brooks, Sharon Stone, Betty Buckley and Winston Churchill's granddaughter. We get the impression that Mr. Benson fully comprehends his impact, but it's his commitment to the job … to the shot … that has earned him the trust and reputation for integrity. Not everyone gets this shot …


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