MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 342 this week

Witness (1985)

R  |   |  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 61,055 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 169 user | 79 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

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
AFI
a list of 40 titles
created 30 Aug 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 21 Feb 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 17 Aug 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 27 Mar 2013
 
a list of 31 titles
created 4 months 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
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When the female deputy prosecutor R.K. Sabich had an affair with is murdered, he is chosen to lead the investigation. However, when he digs too deeply, he finds himself framed for the murder.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Harrison Ford, Raul Julia, Greta Scacchi
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
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
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
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
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
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
Working Girl (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a secretary's idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss's job.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver
Sabrina (1995)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An ugly duckling having undergone a remarkable change, still harbors feelings for her crush: a carefree playboy, but not before his business-focused brother has something to say about it.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond, Greg Kinnear
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 (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:

 »
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

Since the Amish community declined to be in the film, a lot of the extras were played by Mennonites. See more »

Goofs

"We've got a barn to build, and only a day to do it"... and yet they start the barn raising around noon (judging by the shadows) instead of the crack of dawn. See more »

Quotes

Chief Paul Schaeffer: Calling me at home. I can't trace the call. That's smart, John, very smart.
John Book: Lost the meaning, did you, Paul?
Chief Paul Schaeffer: What?
John Book: Isn't that what you used to say about dirty cops? Somewhere along the way they lost the meaning?
Chief Paul Schaeffer: Now don't make this difficult, John. We know where you are. We're about to...
John Book: Oh no, man, you got it wrong. I'm coming to get you!
Chief Paul Schaeffer: [laughs] I like your style, John. I've always liked your style.
John Book: I'm gonna do to you whatever you did to Zenovich. And whatever you did to Carter, I'm gonna ...
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 Sex Drive (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

PARTY DOWN
Written by Alan Brackett and Scott Shelly
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 multifaceted film which is well worth watching.


87 of 106 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Best peformance Harrison Ford ever gave cjgalwey
Mike Tyson in the lineup? ozzwepay
What Happened to John Book? rjames1973
Voice-over Removal? Did I dream it? danvhay
Cop who gets murdered in bathroom = Anthony LaPaglia?? jamesahab
question about the last shot... rogeruvalle
Discuss Witness (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page