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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 stall. 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
The song for the "serenade" scene, "Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke, was selected by Harrison Ford himself. Director Peter Weir said that since Ford had to sing and dance to it, he should be able to choose which song he wanted to use for that scene. However the version of the song heard in the film is not Sam Cooke's original, but performed by Cooke sound-alike Greg Chapman. See more »
The beards on many of the Amish men who appear throughout the film are obvious fakes glued onto non-Amish actors. See more »
[Book and Carter are driving around a rough neighborhood looking for a suspect that fits Samuel's description, with Rachel and Samuel in tow]
Where are you taking us?
I'm sorry... we're looking for a suspect in the area, we'd like the kid to take a look at him.
You have no right to keep us here.
Oh, yes I do. Your son's a material witness to a homicide.
You don't understand. We want nothing to do with your laws.
Doesn't surprise me. A lot of people I meet are like that.
[...] See more »
The closing shot of John Book, driving away in his car passing Daniel provides an initial backdrop for the end credits. See more »
I would like to clear up a couple of comments made by movieguy1021, who wrote:
"One thing I didn't understand is how come everyone seemed to use such strong accents yet they've been living in America for a long time."
Most Amish communities mainly speak Pennsylvania Dutch, which is a dialect of German, hence the accents in the film. Amish children learn English in school.
"Also, although I may not be the end-all, be-all of Amish knowledge, it seems like for people so strict in their rules, they broke them easily. They didn't seem to object to riding in trains or cars, or even using technology."
The Amish accept some forms of modernisation as long as it is not deemed disruptive to their social structure. Some forms of primitive technology are accepted in their community, such as devices that assist with milking cows. Likewise they accept rides in cars, but members of the community cannot own them.
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