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Witness (1985)

 -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  8 February 1985 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 56,205 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 159 user | 73 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.

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Title: Witness (1985)

Witness (1985) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Nicholson and Sylvester Stallone were considered for the role of John Book. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Rachel hands him his gun, Book puts it in his side pants pocket. Amish men's clothes do not have side pockets. See more »

Quotes

Daniel Hochleitner: You are the Yankee they talk about?
John Book: I thought I was the English.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Spoofed in Sledge Hammer!: Witless (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

PARTY DOWN
Written by Alan Brackett and Scott Shelly
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One Of The Best Crime Moves Ever
24 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You want to know how to make a successful movie? Just look here. You have tremendous suspense, a top-flight popular actor as the hero, a touching romance story, plenty of action, a different kind of setting than normal, people you care about, nice photography, very moral and very immoral people, a little humor.....I mean, this is how it's done.

I also appreciated seeing Amish people (of which I am not) portrayed in a better light than secular Hollywood usually puts them. I also liked the wholesome female lead Kelly McGillis (although she was the only Amish character out of character, a bit loose than what you would ever find) and who didn't think young Lukas Haas was the cutest kid they ever saw on film?

Harrison Ford gives a typical solid performance as John Book, a Philadelphia detective who winds up protecting the young boy ("Samuel Lapp"), his mom (McGillis as "Rachel Lapp") and others against crooked cops (Hollywood's favorite kind). Along the way, he is near-fatally shot and winds up being cared for and living in the Amish community in which the Lapps reside. During that time, we also have the blossoming romance between the two leads and then a dramatic shootout at the end when the cops find out where "Book" is staying.

There are many memorable scenes in this movie, from the boy hiding in the bathroom stall as a murder takes place; Ford slugging some goon who was making fun of the Amish; Ford and McGillis dancing in the hayloft to an old rock 'n roll tune; the Amish lifestyles and the raising of the barn; and the suspenseful ending.

This is a great stuff: one of the best crime stories of the "modern age" and one of the few "R-rated" films that reached this high a popularity.


66 of 82 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What Happened to John Book? rjames1973
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question about the last shot... rogeruvalle
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