Witness (1985)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Romance

Witness (1985) Poster

A young Amish boy is sole witness to a murder; policeman John Book goes into hiding in Amish country to protect him until the trial.

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  • Lukas Haas in Witness (1985)
  • Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis in Witness (1985)
  • Peter Weir in Witness (1985)
  • Harrison Ford in Witness (1985)
  • Kelly McGillis in Witness (1985)
  • Jan Rubes in Witness (1985)

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7 February 2013 | ashi-lance
| Witness (1985)
It is a film about adults, whose lives have dignity and whose choices matter to them. The story focuses on a detective (Harrison Ford) protecting a young Amish boy who becomes the target of a ruthless killer after he witnesses a brutal murder. Witness is as much about the meeting of cultures as about cops and robbers, this is one of those lucky movies which works out well on all counts and shows that there are still craftsmen lurking in Hollywood. The film is powerful, assured, full of beautiful imagery and devoid of easy moralising, which is good. Ford is Chicago Detective John Book, assigned to investigate a murder that was committed by crooked cop Danny Glover. The only witness is the son of an Amish widow, played by Kelly McGillis. When Book gets too close to the truth, the crooked cops try to kill him, forcing Book to take it on the lamb and hide out in the Amish country. There, he slowly makes a transition into their society, their way of life, and of course, he starts to fall for Kelly McGillis. (who would later star with pretty boy Cruise in "Top Gun"). Alexander Godunov, who later played the murderous Karl in "Die Hard", makes his debut here as an Amish farmer who is, Ford's romantic rival for Kelly. Also making his debut here is a much younger Viggo Mortensen as another Amish father. Mortensen's barely evident in the role out here,although had his eventual success as Aragorn in "Lord of the Rings" ........ After Star Wars & Indiana Jones,Ford succeeded in a serious role and his multi-layered performance earned him his only Oscar Nomination till date.Well directed Romantic Thriller by Peter Weir (Director of Dead poet's Society and Truman Show) that earned him his first Academy Award Nomination. Do watch this one for great Cinematography and Artwork

My Rating - 8/10

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Did You Know?


When shooting the murder in the men's room scene, Peter Weir claimed it was the most violent scene he'd ever filmed. Even today, he still thinks it was perhaps too violent. But he wanted to have an outrage over the violence that occurred before the eyes of an innocent Amish boy.


Rachel Lapp: When can we leave the city?
John Book: We're trying to get this done as quickly as possible, then you can go. But, Samuel's probably gonna have to come back to testify. I'm sorry.
Rachel Lapp: No, you are not, you are glad.
John Book: Huh?
Rachel Lapp: Because now you have a witness.
John Book: Yeah, now I ...


The first time Book goes to Strasburg with Eli to use the phone, the initial shot shows the horse and buggy pulling into a "parking space." On the next shot, we watch John exit the buggy and walk toward the phone. As John passes the horse, we see that the horse has been been chained to hold it in place. As John passes the horse and group of people, we see Eli exit the buggy, then walk up to join the group. How the horse got chained, or who did it, is unexplained.

Crazy Credits

The closing shot of John Book, driving away in his car passing Daniel provides an initial backdrop for the end credits.

Alternate Versions

In the VHS version, just after John Book is shot, we see a close-up of his gun and a voice-over from an earlier conversation Book had with the captain. We hear the words: "Who else knows about this? "Just you and me." In the DVD version, we see the close-up of the gun and then it segues to Book's sister waking up Rachel and her son Samuel, minus the voice-over.


Party Down
Written by
Alan Brackett and Scott Shelly


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Crime | Drama | Romance | Thriller

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