Witness [DVD] 
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A tough Philadelphia detective hides out from murderers with a reluctant family of Amish farmers.
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.comSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terrific film. Used disc in pristine condition from seller. Very pleased with purchase!Published 16 days ago by Harriet Morris
An old movie, and a lovely story-line - a classic - the boy in this should get an oscarPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Harrison Ford plays special agent Richard Wrinkles in this taut eighties thriller. This was Ford's second film role, his first being the little discussed 'Tales Of The Riverbank'... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Monsieur Slinky
The clash of cultures between strict religious sects such as the Amish and other Mennonite orders, and men who live by violence seems to fascinate film producers. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mrs Bee
Belonging to an 'Amish' community 'Rachel' (Kelly McGillis) and her young son 'Samuel' (Lukas Haas) who live in a
World that belongs to yesteryear are on a journey, caught up... Read more
Great movie, great acting. If you like a thriller with a difference, you'll enjoy this.Published 6 months ago by Browning