7.4/10
74,006
182 user 90 critic

Witness (1985)

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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(story by), (story by) | 3 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... John Book
... Rachel
... Schaeffer
... Samuel
... Eli Lapp
... Daniel Hochleitner
... McFee
... Carter
... Elaine
... Fergie
Frederick Rolf ... Stoltzfus
... Moses Hochleitner
John Garson ... Bishop Tchantz
Beverly May ... Mrs. Yoder
Ed Crowley ... Sheriff
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Storyline

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 stalls. 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 blazesnakes9

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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Called Home  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Stereo)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dedicated to Tom Scott. See more »

Goofs

John Book's Volkswagen hit the birdhouse and broke its windshield. Later the car is seen in the barn with an unbroken windshield. See more »

Quotes

Rachel Lapp: I should tell you this kind of coat doesn't have buttons. See? Hooks and eyes.
John Book: Something wrong with buttons?
Rachel Lapp: Buttons are proud and vain, not plain.
John Book: Got anything against zippers?
Rachel Lapp: Are you making fun of me?
John Book: No.
Rachel Lapp: Like the tourists, staring all the time. Sometimes they come into the yard, it's very rude. They seem to think we're quaint.
John Book: Can't imagine why they'd think that.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Just Shoot Me!: Blush Gets Some Therapy (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

(What a) Wonderful World
(1959)
Written by Sam Cooke, Herb Alpert and Lou Adler
Performed by Greg Chapman
Courtesy of Abkco Music, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Regarding the accents...
8 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

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.

And:

"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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