7.4/10
72,655
181 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:
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Frederick Rolf ...
Stoltzfus
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John Garson ...
Bishop Tchantz
Beverly May ...
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:

Harrison Ford is John Book - A big city cop who knows too much. His only evidence: a small boy who's seen too much... 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

Alexander Godunov later played the role of "Amish Dad" in North (1994). See more »

Goofs

When Samuel is in the toilet cubicle and makes a noise after the murder, McFee hears the noise and starts to check the cubicles. Fergie says "I already did that." But if he did he would have seen the boy who was there before they came in. See more »

Quotes

Rachel Lapp: [as she and Samuel are walking through the police station with Book] When can we leave the city?
John Book: We're trying to get this done as quickly as possible, then you can go. But, Samuel's probably gonna have to come back to testify. I'm sorry.
Rachel Lapp: No, you are not, you are glad.
John Book: Huh?
Rachel Lapp: Because now you have a witness.
John Book: Yeah, now I got a witness.
Rachel Lapp: I just don't like the idea of my son spending all this time with a man who carries a gun and goes around whacking people!
John Book: [in disbelief] Whacking?... whacking?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing shot of John Book, driving away in his car passing Daniel provides an initial backdrop for the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Orange Is the New Black: Where My Dreidel At (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Shocking Behavior
(1984)
Written by Paul Chiten and Sue Sheridan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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