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The Witness (1969)

A tanú (original title)
Banned for over a decade for its outspoken criticism of the post-WWII communist regime in Hungary, Péter Bacsó's 'The Witness' has since then achieved unparalleled cult status in its native... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ferenc Kállai ...
Pelikán József, gátõr
Lajos Öze ...
Virág Árpád (as Õze Lajos)
Béla Both ...
Bástya elvtárs
Zoltán Fábri ...
Dániel Zoltán
Lili Monori ...
Gizi
Károly Bicskey ...
Gulyás Elemér
György Kézdy ...
Virág testõre
József Horváth ...
Vasutas
Róbert Rátonyi ...
Operettszínész
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
György Bálint
Pál Bánó ...
Bíró
Mária Dudás ...
Gépírónõ
Tibor Fehér ...
Börtönõr
György Györffy ...
Börtönigazgató
József Iványi ...
Rendõr
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Storyline

Banned for over a decade for its outspoken criticism of the post-WWII communist regime in Hungary, Péter Bacsó's 'The Witness' has since then achieved unparalleled cult status in its native land. Known as the best satire about communism, 'The Witness' has become a cult classic, which was also well received by critics and general audiences alike when it was finally released outside of Hungary. Its candid and realistic portrayal of the incompetent communist regime has earned great acclaim for both the director and the film itself when it was shown at Cannes Film Festival in 1981. 'The Witness' takes place during the height of the Rákosi Era, which was closely modeled after the ruthless and brutal Stalin regime. The film follows the life of an ordinary dike keeper, József Pelikán, who has been caught for illegally slaughtering his pig, Dezsõ. Instead of doing hard time for his "heinous" crime, Pelikán is elevated into an important position, generally reserved for the communist elite. Of ... Written by Zoltan Furedi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hungary | dike | pig | satire | show trial | See All (30) »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 June 1982 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Avaintodistaja  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Péter Bacsó wanted 76 years old singer-legend Hanna Honthy to appear as herself during the "Csárdáskirálynö" performance scene, but she asked too much money which the film couldn't afford. Instead they only used her prerecorded voice from an LP album. See more »

Quotes

Virág Árpád: We sacrifice our entire lives for you people, but you don't deserve us, you heartless rabble.
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Connections

Followed by Megint tanú (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Jaj, cica
Music by Emmerich Kálmán
Lyrics by Leo Stein and Béla Jenbach
Performed by Róbert Rátonyi
See more »

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User Reviews

A Hungarian cult movie
18 August 2000 | by (Vienna, Austria) – See all my reviews

This film can probably be called THE Hungarian cult movie.

It is a very sad comedy, but with a lot of hilariously funny and original ideas. Made in 1969, a time of political liberalization, it was banned before its first screening and could not be shown in Hungary till 1978. Although the plot takes place in the Rákosi era (1949-1956), the darkest years in Hungarian communism, its anarchical criticism of the communist regime also had impact on the time it was made in.

It will be probably fully understood only by people who have some idea of the communist system, but is also watchable for other audiences.


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