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Witness [DVD] [1985]

4.7 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

Price: £19.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Lukas Haas, Josef Sommer, Jan Rubes
  • Directors: Peter Weir
  • Writers: Earl W. Wallace, Pamela Wallace, William Kelley
  • Producers: David Bombyk, Edward S. Feldman, Wendy Stites
  • Format: Anamorphic, Widescreen, PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English, French, German
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, Danish, Hungarian, Dutch, Finnish, Croatian
  • Dubbed: Czech, Italian, Polish, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Oct. 2000
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004WCMR
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,758 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A tough Philadelphia detective hides out from murderers with a reluctant family of Amish farmers.

From Amazon.co.uk

When Samuel (Lukas Haas), a young Amish boy travelling with his mother Rachel (Kelly McGillis), witnesses the murder of a police officer in a public restroom, he and his mother become the temporary wards of John Book (Harrison Ford), a detective who's been assigned to solve the crime. After suspect line-ups and mug-shot books yield nothing, Samuel, in the most memorable scene of the film, recognizes the murderer as a narcotics agent whose picture he sees in the precinct. Once Book realizes that the police chief is in on it, too, he whisks Samuel and Rachel back home to Amish country, where he himself goes into hiding as a plain Amish man. Witness' juxtaposition of the life of the Amish and the violence of inner-city police corruption work surprisingly well for the story, and Kelly McGillis as the falling in love widow gives an almost perfect performance. Directed by Peter Weir, the film is extremely successful in drawing the viewer into its world and, accordingly, is immensely entertaining. The only thing that mars its polish is the one-dimensional, almost cartoonish handling of the upper-echelon police corruption--a subtler, more realistic treatment of this aspect of the story would have rendered the film near perfect. --James McGrath, Amazon.com

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
If you ever had doubts as to why Peter Weir is regarded as one of the finest directors working today, then watch this film. On any level, this is the way movies should be made. A career-best performance from Harrison Ford, ably supported by beautifully pitched performances from everyone else, especially the wonderful Lukas Haas as Samuel, the young Amish witness Ford is assigned to protect, and Kelly McGillis as his mother. I've seen thise film so many times and yet it never fails to draw me into its simple but brilliant world. Like Eastwood's UNFORGIVEN, WITNESS is the perfect blend of genre and something more interesting, where we are drawn into the familiar (murder, police investigation etc) only to then divert, dramatically into less familiar (or in this case, uncharted) territory. And like any great story, it's the collision of these two worlds and the way the characters react (especially Ford and McGillis) that elevates this material into the extraordinary. Mainstream cinema at its absolute best. I rememeber when the movie came out the posters ran the tagline "Harrison Ford is John Book". For me he always will be.
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Format: DVD
Witness is the sort of timeless offering that we rarely see these days. Brilliant acting, haunting soundtrack and tight directing put this in my top 5 anytime. The measure of any film is disappointment that it has come to an end and a feeling that you could see it again and again. I must have seen this film over a dozen times and, like a comfortable old friend, it never disappoints. I cannot think that any modern blockbuster star can have given a performance better than Harrison Ford's in this film. What makes it outstanding is the excellence around him - Jan Rubes as Eli Lapp, Kelly McGillis, Lukas Haas, Josef Sommer et al. The barn building scene is worth the price alone.
I managed to find the farm during a holiday in the US in 1996 and it evokes such memories of the film when you see it. The first thing I did when I got home was to put the video on to make sure sure it was the farm - it was!
You note at the end of the credits there are the words "In Memory of Tom Scott". Tom was one of the location casters for the film - a more fitting epitaph than this film could not befall many men!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In my opinion, this is both Peter Weir's and Harrison Ford's finest achievement. It's a simple story, beautifully unfolding with quite exquisite photography and wonderful, haunting music by Maurice Jarre.

The love that unfolds between John Book and the Amish woman, played by Kelly McGillis, is described with real sensitivity and subtlety and the scene between them in the barn is quite one of the most erotic I have ever seen; all done with no nudity, no needless humping bodies, but captured instead with intense looks, lustful stares and guilt ridden hesitation.

The Amish boy is played by Lucas Haas ( I think I have his name right)and is a masterpiece of innocence corrupted by the larger world of the 'English' that he inadvertantly stumbles into.

This film has everything; a great story, wonderful landscape, stunning photography and a masterclass in subtle, cinematic acting. Don't miss it.
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By David P TOP 100 REVIEWER on 24 May 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Intrigue, suspense, conspiracy, corruption, romance, lust, action, thrills, twists, this film has it all. I remember it being one of my father's favourite films, and it will always remain one of mine too. To make the mundane communal erecting of a barn so compelling to watch, with all the currents of lust and attraction and rivalry and even jealousy stirring just beneath the surface as they do, is complete genius. And there are few things more satisfying in a film than watching a bully get their comeuppance, and surely as a supreme example of this, the ice cream cone scene will never be surpassed! Harrison Ford really does "barely controlled rage" incredibly well, and in terms of that, this scene has to be his finest hour :-)

The mark of a truly great thriller is that you can watch it over and over again, and it still remains compelling viewing, even though the story is known. This film certainly delivers here. In fact, I think I will have to go and watch it again now!

Anyone who thinks this is "slow and boring" is missing out on a great film. I love it.
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By A Customer on 1 Mar. 2003
Format: DVD
I think the interface between Harrison Ford and Kelly McG has been described as the 'most sensual piece of film ever made - where no-one even takes their clothes off'. The eye contact, the desire, transmitted between these two, especially in the scene where the community is building the barn, has never been surpassed. The atmosphere is enhanced by the incredible, much underrated music - the theme tune is powerful and haunting. I own the music CD and play it frequently. Perhaps it was a pity that the music was played on synthetic equipment rather than by an orchestra
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By Skeadugenga TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Oct. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love this film and have watched it many times. There are so many good things about it, the story, the music, the perfect casting and acting, the humour, the locations, all of which have been covered in other reviews.

What really sets it apart though is the use of lighting, notably so that the interiors of the Amish farm provide rays and pools of light and shadow, which are beautifully used to frame the characters - particularly the serenity and beauty of Rachel. My abiding impression is a glow of light and luminosity, a really glorious film.
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