7.4/10
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182 user 90 critic

Witness (1985)

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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(story by), (story by) | 3 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Frederick Rolf ...
Stoltzfus
...
John Garson ...
Bishop Tchantz
Beverly May ...
Ed Crowley ...
Sheriff
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Storyline

An 8 year old Amish boy and his mother are traveling to Philadelphia, on their way to visit the mother's sister. While waiting at the train station, the young boy witnesses a brutal murder inside one of the bathroom stalls. Police detective John Book is assigned to investigate the murder of the man, who was a undercover cop. Soon after, Book finds out that he's in great danger when the culprits know about his investigation and hides out in the Amish community. There, he learns the way of living among the Amish locals, which consists of non-violence and agriculture. Book soon starts a romance with the mother of the little boy, but their romance is forbidden by the Amish standards. But, it's not long before the bad guys find out Book's whereabouts. Written by blazesnakes9

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

amish | murder | train | love | police | See All (89) »

Taglines:

8 year old Samuel: sole witness to a murder. Three killers who'll stop at nothing to silence him. One honest cop who'll give his life to save him... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Called Home  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Stereo)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The climax at the final scene was inspired in part by High Noon (1952), in which an outnumbered man takes out his foes one by one, using his wits and ingenuity. See more »

Goofs

When Samuel is in the toilet cubicle and makes a noise after the murder, McFee hears the noise and starts to check the cubicles. Fergie says "I already did that." But if he did he would have seen the boy who was there before they came in. See more »

Quotes

[John, Rachel, Eli, and Samuel are sitting down to a hearty breakfast after John's first morning of farm work. Eli dumps food on John's plate]
John Book: No, no...
Eli Lapp: Eat, Book, eat. What's the matter, where is your appetite?
John Book: I'm not used to eating in the middle of the night.
Eli Lapp: Not used to hard work. That's what makes appetite.
John Book: [takes a sip of coffee] Honey, that's great coffee!
John Book: [all pause, puzzled] Uh, it's a joke... from a commercial... on television.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Tom Scott. Scott was a member of the casting department on Witness. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Banshee: Pilot (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Party Down
Written by Alan Brackett and Scott Shelly
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Deep and wonderful
31 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

This beautiful love story contrasts corruption with goodness.

Harrison Ford underplays his role so well it is scandalous – his Hollywood buddies must have laughed their arses off at him taking this role… what some cop living with Amish? Sounds lame right, until all the Oscar nom's start pouring in … But he is nothing short of brilliant as Detective John Book. I love the scene when he gets that old car-radio working, that old heap of junk in a barn that opens up his love with Rachel, and she dances and sings for the first time in her life.

It is beautifully written, the screenplay is flawless, the editing is flawless. The pacing is flawless but won't appeal to those who want car-chases and guns going off all over the place, and a beer and a hot-dog for dinner ... uh you know who I mean …

This film gives a gentle insight into the simple sweetness of Amish life. Us "sophisticates" with our frequent-flyers and cell phones and iPods and laptops and instant everything … we all may be missing something they already found…

A wonderfully inspirational and deeply satisfying film.


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