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Witness


Overview - Australian Peter Weir's first Hollywood film tells the story of John Book (Harrison Ford), a Philadelphia cop whose life is altered while trying to help Rachel (Kelly McGillis), an Amish woman, and her son Samuel (Lukas Haas), who witnesses a murder in a Philadelphia train station bathroom.  Read more...

 

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Overview

Australian Peter Weir's first Hollywood film tells the story of John Book (Harrison Ford), a Philadelphia cop whose life is altered while trying to help Rachel (Kelly McGillis), an Amish woman, and her son Samuel (Lukas Haas), who witnesses a murder in a Philadelphia train station bathroom. After discovering that the murder was committed by a member of his force, Book travels to Lancaster County with Rachel and Samuel and poses as a member of the Amish community to hide from his murderous police peers. While there, love blooms between Rachel and Book, and he finds himself drawn in by the honesty and simplicity of the old-world Amish lifestyle. Fine performances and beautiful cinematography are prevalent throughout.

Awards:
1985 - Academy Awards - Best Film Editing Winner
1985 - Academy Awards - Best Original Screenplay Winner

Cast List

Lukas Haas - American actor
Luke Haas - American actor
Viggo Mortensen - American Actor
Peter Weir - Director/screenwriter
Danny Glover - American actor
Brent Jennings - Supporting Actor
Ed Crowley
Alexander Godunov - Ballet Dancer/Actor
Frederick Rolf - American Actor
Angus MacInnes
Maurice Jarre - Composer, GHOST (1990)
Kelly McGillis - American actress
Timothy Carhart - Supporting Actor
Harrison Ford - American actor, STAR WARS series/INDIANA JONES series
Patti LuPone - American Actress/Singer
Josef Sommer - German Character Actor
John Seale - Director Of Photography, POSEIDON (2006)
Earl W. Wallace - SCREENWRITER
William Kelley - Screenwriter
Pamela Wallace - Screenwriter

 
Details
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 883929304806

Related Categories:
Movies > Dramas

Related Keywords:
Action
Classic
Law/Lawyers
Romance
Suspense
Thriller
Love Story
Recommended
Bucolic
Theatrical Release
Essential Cinema

 
Movie Reviews

More Details

Synopsis:
A romantic thriller about a tough urban cop who falls in love with an Amish women while hiding out in Pennsylvania Dutch country. When Detective John Book discovers that the police department may be responsible for the brutal murder he is investigating, Book realizes that both his life and that of Samuel Lapp, the young Amish boy who witnessed the murder, are in danger. Laying low in Lancaster County with Samuel's family, Book finds himself increasingly drawn to the boy's mother, a lovely young widow named Rachel. Though Book grows to cherish the simple ways of the Amish, the gulf between Rachel's culture and his own remains a formidable barrier to their romance.

Notes:
Filmed entirely in Lancaster County and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and with the assistance of the Pennsylvania Film Bureau Department of Commerce. The film is in memory of Tom Scott. Lenses and Panaflex cameras by Panavision. Scoring at Record Plant Scoring; Titles and opticals by Pacific Title; sound rerecorded at Todd-AO. The Amish advisor was John D. King and the Amish dialect consultant was Nora Dunfee. Police advisor was Captain Eugene Dooley of the Philadelphia Police Department. Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--Harrison Ford. Academy Awards: Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing.

Reviews:
"...[An] inspired film -- one of those quintessentially American movies in which story, theme and visual style coalesce; a film rich in both skill and suggestion..." - 06/01/1985 Sight and Sound, p.221-2


"...A gentle, affecting story of star-crossed lovers..." - 01/30/1985 Variety


"...[McGillis] is authoritative and quietly sensual..." - 02/08/1985 Los Angeles Times, p.C1


"...Compelling..." - 01/20/1995 USA Today, p.8D


"Showing shocking good sense, the Academy awarded Harrison Ford his only Oscar nomination for his performance as straight-laced city 'tec John Book..." - 04/01/2004 Total Film, p.136

 
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