MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 156 this week

Witness (1985)

 -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  8 February 1985 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 58,166 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 163 user | 75 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

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.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 03 Apr 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 03 Nov 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 22 Aug 2013
 
a list of 27 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 5 days ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Witness" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Witness (1985)

Witness (1985) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Witness.

User Polls

Won 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An eccentric and dogmatic inventor sells his house and takes his family to Central America to build an ice factory in the middle of the jungle. Conflicts with his family, a local preacher ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, River Phoenix
Frantic (1988)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In a hotel room in Paris, a doctor comes out of the shower and finds that his wife has disappeared. He soon finds himself caught up in a world of intrigue, espionage, gangsters, drugs and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Harrison Ford, Betty Buckley, Emmanuelle Seigner
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When the woman deputy prosecutor R.K. Sabich had an affair with is murdered the prosecutor asks him to lead the investigation. When Sabich digs too deeply he finds himself framed for the murder.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Harrison Ford, Raul Julia, Greta Scacchi
The Fugitive (1993)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly accused of murdering his wife, must find the real killer while being the target of a nationwide manhunt.

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward
Patriot Games (1992)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When CIA Analyst Jack Ryan interferes with an IRA assassination, a renegade faction targets him and his family for revenge.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Bean, Anne Archer
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

CIA Analyst Jack Ryan is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Colombian drug cartel.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, Anne Archer
Air Force One (1997)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hijackers seize the plane carrying the President of the United States and his family, but he - an ex-soldier - works from hiding to defeat them.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Henry is a lawyer who survives a shooting only to find he cannot remember anything. If that weren't enough, Henry also has to recover his speech and mobility, in a life he no longer fits ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Harrison Ford, Annette Bening, Michael Haley
Green Card (1990)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A man wanting to stay in the US enters into a marriage of convenience, but it turns into more than that.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Andie MacDowell, Bebe Neuwirth
Fearless (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man's personality is dramatically changed after surviving a major airline crash.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Isabella Rossellini, Rosie Perez
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Robin Monroe, a New York magazine editor, and the gruff pilot Quinn Harris must put aside their mutual dislike if they are to survive after crash landing on a deserted South Seas island.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Harrison Ford, Anne Heche, David Schwimmer
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A police officer uncovers the real identity of his house-guest, an I.R.A. terrorist in hiding.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Margaret Colin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Frederick Rolf ...
...
John Garson ...
Beverly May ...
Ed Crowley ...
Edit

Storyline

Samuel Lap is a young Amish boy who witnesses a murder in Philadelphia while traveling with his mother Rachel. A good cop named John Book must go with them into hiding when the killers come after them. All three retreat to Amish country and Book has to adjust to the new life style, and his feelings for the boy's mother. Of course the killers are still on their trail. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

amish | murder | train | love | police | See All (90) »

Taglines:

Harrison Ford is John Book - A big city cop who knows too much. His only evidence: a small boy who's seen too much... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Called Home  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$65,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Stereo)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's script has become a frequent model for budding screenwriters, often used to display clear structure in a screenplay. See more »

Goofs

When John Book is meeting the people whose barn they just raised, they inform him that they are just married. John's voice says "That's great" but his lips do not. See more »

Quotes

John Book: If we'd made love last night I'd have to stay. Or you'd have to leave.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Sydney Pollack (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

SHOCKING BEHAVIOR
(1984)
Written by Paul Chiten and Sue Sheridan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
topnotch
13 September 2002 | by See all my reviews

This is one of those movies whose virtues and subtleties become more and more apparent with subsequent viewings. The crime story is nothing more than a pretense - a "MacGuffin", in Hitchcock's phrase - on which to hang this sensitive and insightful story of the conflict between modernity and the culture of the Amish, which is portrayed here with admiring respect and not a hint of condescension.

Harrison Ford's portrayal of John Book is perhaps his finest work on screen so far. In particular, Book's struggle to suppress his rising attraction for Rachel, and his tormented realization that a relationship between them is not possible, is achingly portrayed. Ford's effort is well-matched by Kelly McGillis, whose beauty here is almost breathtaking. The erotic interplay between them, because it is unconsummated, radiates an almost painful tension, and the easily lampooned "running through the field" scene - because it has been led up to so convincingly - is almost heartbreaking. The character of Eli Lapp, wonderfully played by Jan Rubes, is richly multifaceted. His suspicion of the "English" outsider and his anger at Rachel's attraction to him, is surmounted by an underlying humanity. His parting words to Book, "You be careful out there among them English," are moving testimony to his acceptance of him. His stern yet loving dialogue to his grandson about renouncing hatred and violence is a treasured moment.

Both direction and cinematography are splendid. The simplicity of Amish interiors is shot in a way that makes its austerity almost beautiful, and the barnraising scene is an exercise in cinematic lyricism.

It would be easy to fault the movie for the facile scene in which the punks taunting of Book's newfound friends and protectors drives him over the edge (Eli: "It's not our way, Book" Book: "No, but it's MY way."), but his gift to the young thug of a bloody nose is mighty satisfying to behold.

My one criticism is with the music; certainly not with the venerable Maurice Jarre's score itself, but with its paltry synthesized realization. They should have found the money to spring for a full orchestra.

In short, a highly satisfying, richly themed, and multifacted film which is well worth watching.


83 of 102 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What Happened to John Book? rjames1973
Best peformance Harrison Ford ever gave cjgalwey
Why not call the FBI? JurijFedorov
Mike Tyson in the lineup? ozzwepay
Voice-over Removal? Did I dream it? danvhay
Cop who gets murdered in bathroom = Anthony LaPaglia?? jamesahab
Discuss Witness (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page