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Eyewitness (1981)

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Eccentric Vietnam War vet turned janitor claims to have witnessed a murder of a man tied to international political underground in order to get the attention of a TV reporter he has a huge crush on. The cops suspect his loser best friend.








Cast overview, first billed only:
... Daryll Deever
... Tony Sokolow
... Joseph
... Aldo
... Mrs. Sokolow
... Mr. Deever
... Linda Mercer
... Mr. Sokolow
... Lt. Jacobs
... Lt. Black
... Mrs. Deever
Sharon Chatten ... Israeli Woman (as Sharon Goldman)
... Mr. Long
... Mr. Long's Son
Dennis Sakamoto ... Vietnamese Man #1


Manhattan janitor Daryll Deever is fixated on hard-charging TV commentator, Tony Sokolow; he tapes her commentary daily to watch after work. When a wealthy Vietnamese man, with many shady connections, is murdered in the office building where Daryll works, Tony shows up to cover the story and Daryll introduce himself. She thinks he may know something, so she pursues him; he pretends he might to keep her interested. This romantic cat and mouse game goes on under the watchful eyes of the killers, who think that Daryll and Tony do know something. The killers start their own game of cat and mouse. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You're never more vulnerable than when you've seen too much. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 February 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Janitor Can't Dance  »


Box Office


$8,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


First of three collaborations for William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver. The subsequent films have been Vantage Point (2008) and The Village (2004). See more »


There is a security camera very obviously placed in the outer office outside of where the murder takes place, yet during the investigation no mention is made of it. However, perhaps (circa 1981) it's a closed-circuit, live feed only (no recordings made), and no one viewing the live security screens noticed anything unusual. See more »


Lt. Jacobs: When he was a kid, Aldo must have wanted to be a suspect when he grew up.
See more »


Spoofed in Hot Shots! (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Some tightening would have helped
31 July 2016 | by See all my reviews

A movie like "Eyewitness" would probably not get made today, at least by a major Hollywood studio. It's more of a character study than a straight thriller, and its pacing is decidedly leisurely. Actually, at first I thought that the slow pacing was a refreshing change from what is often the norm today in Hollywood thrillers. And it was interesting to see these particular characters with various motivations. However, eventually I admit I started to get a little impatient with the movie. It is simply too drawn out, and with some characters that have little to no impact to the main narrative. Also, there are some glaring unanswered questions, like why the Sigourney Weaver character does not contact the police when there is an attempted kidnapping of her. And who the killer turns out to be is a big coincidence in several regards.

The movie does have some pleasures here and there. It's fun to see a pre-fame Morgan Freeman, and there are some nice scenes here and there, my favorite being when the William Hurt character talks to his girlfriend at the sweatshop. But in the end, the movie doesn't quite make it. It isn't a terrible movie, but more likely than not you'll feel some significant dissatisfaction when the end credits start rolling.

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