IMDb > Mute Witness (1994)
Mute Witness
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Mute Witness (1994) More at IMDbPro »

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Mute Witness -- Open-ended Trailer from Columbia Tri-star

Overview

User Rating:
6.8/10   3,912 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Anthony Waller (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Mute Witness on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 September 1995 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
She Can't Speak. She Can't Scream. She Can't Beg For Mercy. See more »
Plot:
Billy Hughes, a mute makeup artist working on a slasher film being shot in Moscow, is locked in the studio after hours... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
3 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
How does a movie that starts off so well conclude so horribly? See more (59 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Marina Zudina ... Billy Hughes (as Marina Sudina)
Fay Ripley ... Karen Hughes

Evan Richards ... Andy Clarke
Oleg Yankovskiy ... Larsen (as Oleg Jankowskij)
Igor Volkov ... Arkadi
Sergei Karlenkov ... Lyosha (as Sergej Karlenkov)

Alec Guinness ... The Reaper (as Mystery Guest Star)
Aleksandr Pyatkov (as Alexander Piatkov)
Nikolai Pastukhov ... Janitor (as Nikolai Pastuhov)
Aleksandr Bureyev (as Alexander Buriev)
Stephen Bouser ... Lovett
Valeri Barakhtin ... Mitja (as Valeri Barahtin)
Nikolay Chindyaykin (as Nikolai Chindjaikin)
Vyacheslav Naumenko (as Vasheslav Naumenko)
Larisa Khusnolina (as Larisa Husnolina)
Olga Tolstetskaya ... Actress
Denis Karasyov ... Fake policeman (as Denis Karasiov)
Igor Ilyin ... Fake policeman (as Igor Iljin)
Oleg Abramov ... Double
Yuriy Sherstnyov (as Uri Sherstiniov)
Lyudmila Makeyeva (as Ludmilla Makeeva)
Vladimir Salnikov ... Lab assistant
Sascha Buchman ... Alex
Natalya Polyushkina (as Natalia Poliushkina)
Konstantin Sitnikov ... Angry props manager
Regina Peter ... Telephone operator's voice (voice)
Pete Drummond ... Additional Voices (voice)
Norbert Soentgen ... Peeping Tom

Directed by
Anthony Waller 
 
Writing credits
Anthony Waller (written by)

Produced by
Aleksandr Atanesyan .... co-producer (as Alexander Atanesjan)
Alexander Buchman .... producer
Richard Claus .... executive producer
Marina Kapustina .... line producer
Werner König .... associate producer
Pieter Lony .... associate producer
Grigori Ryazhsky .... co-producer
Norbert Soentgen .... producer
Anthony Waller .... producer
 
Original Music by
Wilbert Hirsch 
 
Cinematography by
Egon Werdin (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Peter R. Adam 
 
Casting by
Noel Davis 
Elena Denisova 
Nina Sokol-Matsuk 
 
Production Design by
Matthias Kammermeier 
 
Art Direction by
Barbara Becker 
 
Costume Design by
Svetlana Luzanova 
 
Makeup Department
Arina Morozova .... makeup artist (as Irina Morozova)
Maria Smirnova .... makeup assistant (as Masha Smirnova)
 
Production Management
Tatyana Zhigayeva .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Boris Blank .... assistant director
Marat Rafikov .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Tamara Garanch .... set dresser
Valery Gorkov .... set dresser
Steffi Kammermeier .... props coordinator (as Stephie Kammermeier)
Vladimir Murzin .... construction architect
Vladimir Pasternak .... construction architect
Valery Semionov .... set dresser
Yelena Shkatova .... property master
Ludmilla Tebiakina .... props assistant
Victor Tolkochlov .... props assistant
 
Sound Department
Peter R. Adam .... adr editor
Albert Avramenko .... sound recordist
Richard Borowski .... sound re-recording mixer
Benedikt Just .... sound trainee
Alexander Kochubey .... boom operator
Manuel Laval .... sound effects editor
Manuel Laval .... supervising sound editor
Emilie McLaughlin .... assistant sound effects editor
Matthias Münster .... assistant sound re-recording mixer
Jörn Poetzl .... foley artist
Valery Sharov .... boom operator
 
Special Effects by
Victor Orlov .... special effects
Pavel Terchov .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Christian Burgdorff .... visual effects supervisor
 
Stunts
Elia Antonova .... stunts
Aleksandr Balabushevich .... stunts
Sergey Chekrygin .... stunts
Vasili Grishin .... stunts
Zhana Izosimova .... stunts
Yury Sysoyev .... stunts (as Uri Sisoev)
Sergei Vorobyov .... stunt coordinator (as Sergei Vorobiov)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Valentina Andreanova .... primary lighting technician
Stefan Austmeyer .... first assistant camera
Victor Bailov .... primary lighting technician
Sergej Beliakov .... secondary lighting technician
Uri Dokuchaev .... camera operator
Elena Dunaykina .... clapper loader
Kiril Fedin-Krugliakov .... second assistant camera
Nikolai Gnesiuk .... still photographer
Uri Hazanov .... grip
Nikolai Ivanishin .... grip
Dimitri Krilov .... secondary lighting technician
Anton Kuligin .... video assist operator
Grigory Kunakovsky .... primary lighting technician
Alexei Kutsnetsov .... assistant camera: second unit
Boris Lamdon .... primary gaffer
Andrey Laptev .... primary lighting technician
Genady Lobachlov .... primary lighting technician
Ivan Mandur .... grip
Thomas Merker .... assistant camera
Anatoli Pashvikin .... still photographer
Nikolai Porschnev .... secondary lighting technician
Vladimir Rogozin .... secondary gaffer
Jekaterina Rudionov .... clapper loader
Michail Shikaliov .... grip
Anatoli Sokolov .... grip
Sergei Svetlyakov .... secondary lighting technician (as Sergej Svetliakov)
Dmitry Vostrov .... primary lighting technician
Anthony Waller .... camera operator
Egon Werdin .... camera operator
Oleg Zhuravfiov .... key grip
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Svetlana Avdeeva .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Bert Brücker .... negative cutter
Jörg Eybl .... color timer
Manuel Laval .... assistant film editor
 
Music Department
Boris Jojic .... orchestrator
Konstantin Krimets .... conductor
Arseniy Lapisov .... music recording supervisor (as Arseny Lapasov)
Frank Reinke .... music recordist
 
Other crew
Alexei Aleshkovski .... continuity
Yelena Boguslavskaya .... location manager (as Elena Boguslavskaya)
Valeri Bondarenko .... location manager
Ariane Büsch .... production assistant: Germany
Martina Elsner .... production secretary: Germany
Karl-Ludwig Frick .... computer programmer
Theodore Gershuny .... script consultant (as Ted Gerschuny)
Pia Greschner .... production assistant: Germany
Karin Jensen .... production secretary: Germany
Evgeny Kovalchuk .... production assistant
Rita Kovalenko .... production accountant
Rosa Kulabuhova .... production assistant
Natalya Polyushkina .... assistant: Mr. Waller (as Natalia Poliushkina)
Markus Rosenmüller .... script consultant (as Marcus Rosenmüller)
Alexander Sharafutdinov .... production assistant
Vlad Taupesh .... mask maker (as Vlad Taupes)
Martin Thau .... script consultant
Viola Winokan .... production assistant: Germany
Anne Lara .... press attache: France (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for violence and a strong scene combining sex and violence
Runtime:
95 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Marina Zudina did not speak English at the time, but as her character was mute anyway, she could still pose for an American.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Karen is holding the gun inside Billy's apartment, it suddenly disappears from her hand. A few moments later, it appears in Andy's hand.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Rewind This! (2013)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
25 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
How does a movie that starts off so well conclude so horribly?, 1 November 2003
Author: Li-1

** 1/2 out of ****

For the better part of an hour, Mute Witness is a first-rate thriller. So good, in fact, it was quickly becoming one of my genre favorites. Good premise, great direction, mostly terrific acting, smart writing, this one had it all. That is until just a bit past the one-hour mark, when the film suddenly makes a mind-boggling idiotic decision to change the tone and approach of the material, and it all devolves into a cheesy mess that left a sour taste in my mouth. This is the perfect example of a would-be great film that's merely recommendable thanks to an awful finish.

Billy Hughes (Marina Zudina) is the make-up artist for a cheesy slasher flick being filmed in Russia. A quick intro shows us that she may be mute, but she's pretty good at her job, which she may have also gotten because her sister is married to the director. After shooting for the day is wrapped up, Billy stays behind and is accidentally locked inside the soundstage. Waiting for help to arrive, she stumbles upon two of the film's crew members shooting a porno film, which quickly becomes a snuff piece.

After a fairly amusing opening scene and an effective set-up of the characters, Mute Witness kicks into full throttle quickly. Immediately after Billy witnesses the murder, we get one of the more suspenseful extended setpieces I've ever seen. These fifteen minutes consist of Billy creeping around the soundstage, desperately trying to avoid those crew members she just witnessed. It's a genuine breathtaking, edge-of-the-seat sequence, quite possibly the movie's highlight.

But the fun's not over. A little over halfway through the picture, we get another great stalk-and-slash sequence inside Billy's apartment. You even get to see cutie Marina Zudina fully nude, in some of the more gratuitous bits of flesh baring I've seen in a while (she has a great-looking butt), not that I'm really complaining. Zudina is probably the best thing about the film, she's not only extremely cute, but also smart and likable, a quick thinker who evades her attackers not because she's physically stronger or faster, but because she's smarter.

(spoilers) While I figured the film couldn't possibly keep the momentum up, I wasn't expecting such a sharp turn of events, either. The film suddenly goes from edgy thriller to a cheesy spy film, packed with silly and predictable double-crosses and plot twists. The simplicity and stark atmosphere of the first hour is gone. The number of villains is bloated from two scary individuals to what is apparently the entire Russian mafia.

The introduction of the undercover cop robs the movie of its key strength. The fun of the plot was watching Billy outthink and outsmart her attackers by herself. Bringing this guy into the mix shoves her into almost a supporting role and virtually reduces her to a mere sidekick/damsel in distress.

Possibly worst of all is the decision to place Billy's sister and her husband into the thick of the action. I don't think I've ever seen such an extreme case of two characters who I initially liked that come to annoy me so much by the climax. These two are made into bumbling fools, they've basically become the film's comic relief. Attempts at humor include them accidentally killing the bad guys, dropping bullets in crucial situations, and generally acting as clumsy as possible but still somehow not getting themselves killed in the process.

Director Anthony Waller had such a firm handle of the movie's pace and tone that I find it hard to believe he'd suddenly undo all his solid work in an instant. But the film's downward spiral is entirely his fault, the man wrote and directed the picture. He should have just stuck with what worked. But the first 2/3's are so much fun, it's worth recommending to thriller fans.

Was the above review useful to you?
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peter greene/cillian murphy Twiky
omg! Darkixi
EXCELLENT lvsmvs
I ran across this on IFC or Sundance... hickph
Alec Guiness wally65
Not bad, just stupid. fafura
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