Silent Witness (1985)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Drama  |  14 October 1985 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 91 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

The marriage of a young working-class woman is jeopardized when she witnesses her brother-in-law's participation in a gang rape of an intoxicated woman in a neighborhood bar.



0Check in
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Murder of Innocence (TV Movie 1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Newlywed Laurie Wade finds her marriage, and eventually the rest of her life, shattered by her deep-rooted psychotic behavior. She goes from brief "short-circuits" to overtly murderous ... See full summary »

Director: Tom McLoughlin
Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, Stephen Caffrey, Graham Beckel
Taken Away (TV Movie 1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When Stephanie's daughter, Abby, is injured at home, Stephanie finds Abby taken away by the courts. With the help of her lawyer Mr. Lombardi, she does everything in her power to get Abby back.

Director: John Patterson
Stars: Kimberly Adams-Galligan, James Arone, Valerie Bertinelli
Rockabye (TV Movie 1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A distraught mother (Valerie Bertinelli) and a tabloid reporter (Rachel Ticotin) search for the woman's son, who was kidnapped by a black market baby ring.

Director: Richard Michaels
Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, Rachel Ticotin, Jason Alexander
The Seduction of Gina (TV Movie 1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Gina is young, recently married and bored. On a trip to Lake Tahoe she discovers the game of blackjack. Increasingly obsessed with gambling, she keeps hoping her lucky streak will last.

Director: Jerrold Freedman
Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, Michael Brandon, Fredric Lehne
Pancho Barnes (TV Movie 1988)
Drama | Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A made for TV movie in which Valerie Bertinelli portrays Florence Pancho Barnes, a bored socialite who decides to learn to fly

Director: Richard T. Heffron
Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, Ted Wass, James Stephens
In a Child's Name (TV Movie 1991)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A true story about a woman who fights her brother-in-law's parents for custody of her deceased sister's baby upon learning that her brother-in-law murdered her sister.

Director: Tom McLoughlin
Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, Michael Ontkean, Timothy Carhart
Shattered Vows (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At the age of 16 Mary becomes a nun. But she never gets used to the strict rules of her new life and when she falls in love with Father Tim, she wants to withdraw her vow.

Director: Jack Bender
Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, David Morse, Caroline McWilliams
What She Doesn't Know (TV Movie 1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A new attorney in the D.A.'s office parlays a childhood friendship with a protected witness into a huge career leap and, in doing so, discovers more than she bargained for.

Director: Kevin James Dobson
Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, George Dzundza, Peter Dobson
A Case for Life (TV Movie 1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

To save her unborn child, she had to fight for the right to die. A True Story

Director: Eric Laneuville
Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, Gregg Almquist, Vincent Berry
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

TV remake of the Henry James' classic tale "Turn of the Screw", with changes in location and character names. A live in nanny discovers two children haunted by the spirits and deeds of ... See full summary »

Director: Tom McLoughlin
Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, Florence Hoath, Aled Roberts
Two Mothers for Zachary (TV Movie 1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Based on the true custody battle in Richmond, Virginia, a grandmother sues her lesbian daughter for custody of her grandson on the grounds her daughter is immoral for living with another ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Werner
Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, Vanessa Redgrave, Colleen Flynn
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This is about a man falling in love with a girl and then immediately gets drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. In the war he becomes blind and gets discharged.

Director: Peter H. Cooper
Stars: Richard Dean Anderson, Richard Baxter, Valerie Bertinelli


Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Dunne
Kevin Dunne
Michael Dunne
Patti Mullen
Pat Corley ...
Brad Huffman
Ted Gunning
Jacqueline Brookes ...
Ma Dunne (as Jacqueline Brooks)
Joey Caputo
Katie McCombs ...
Jean Dunne
Tom Signorelli ...
Det. Pileggi
Billy Elmer ...
Karl Englehardt
Tom Badal ...
Etta Cox ...
Det. Johnson
Bob Cresse ...
Dom (as Robert Cresse)
Dennis Harrington ...
Judge Carlin


Michael, son of a prestigious family, and his friends rape the young alcoholic Patty in a bar in front of lots of witnesses, but everyone looks away or leaves. The only usable witness the prosecutors find are Michael's brother Kevin and his wife Anna. Anna is set under severe pressure from both her husband's family and the prosecution before, and even more after, her decision to testify. Written by Tom Zoerner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das perfekte Opfer  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

a case of rape
14 October 2002 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Valerie Bertinelli is Anna Dunne, a Pittsburgh supermarket cashier who with her garbage man husband Kevin (John Savage) witness the rape of Patty Mullen (Melissa Leo) by Kevin's brother Michael (Chris Nash) and his friends at the Happy Hour bar. Anna refuses to testify against Michael because of family pressure, but reconsiders because of Patty and the way she is slandered by the defence at trial.

Bertinelli has some good moments - her anger at how Kevin diminishes Michael's involvement where she yells in reply `He raped her!', the way she faces off against the intrusive physicality of the defence attorney Brad Huffman (Pat Corley), her swagger and intonation of `Aint that a hoot?' when she blackmails the District Attorney into putting her back on the stand to refute claims against her, and her explanation to the jury of why she had sex with an ex-boyfriend Joey Caputo ( Alex McArthur) when the defence uses it against her.

The teleplay by Conrad Bromberg presents Patty as a religious student and alcoholic whose blackouts prevent her from being able to identify the location of her rape. This is why Anna's testimony is so important, and the treatment amusingly has the police stalking her, playing on her guilt, much like Yves Montand stalked Barbra Streisand in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever in the Come Back to Me number, with the televised trial also on at her work. Anna finally erupts with `I'm sick and tired of being pushed around by everybody', to which she is told `Then push back'. Bromberg has Anna rationalise her inaction at the rape by `I had to look to see if it was real', and Bertinelli shows her ghoulish attraction and repulsion by the act. Once we get to Anna's testimony, we marvel at the ingenious of the Dunne family's manipulation of events we have previously seen to their advantage, and the way the focus of the case turns to being more about Anna than Patty, clues us that Kevin will succumb inevitably. That we aren't told of the trial's outcome tells us also that this is not Bromberg's priority.

Director Michael Miller supplies a delicate touch with the relationship between Anna and Kevin, and Patty. Anna's visit to Patty is particularly sensitively handled, so that can forgive Miller's occasional arty jump cuts. The rape is presented as a violent and un-erotic act, and more about the Dunne's reaction, though Patty's handkerchief wringing on the deciding footage that Kevin sees is unintentionally funny. We also question the hostility of Huffman, without objection by the Prosecution or the Judge, and the idea of casting someone as handsome as Nash to play a rapist.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Silent Witness (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: