My view is just opposite: He is an idealist struggling to keep the faith, and his sudden immersion into a 19th century-based culture of absolute belief, reveals to both him and us that the violent world in which he has been entrenched is gradually destroying him. That immersion into a different time and space occurs quite by accident, as an 8 year old Amish boy, Samuel the wide-eyed Lucas Haaswhose father has just died, travels with his mother, Rachel Lapp Kelly McGillis to visit her sister.
For Australian filmmaker Peter Weir, the film, his first American film production, gave him perfect exposure to the American film market. For Harrison Ford, who at that point had achieved the level of superstar, the film presented a strong revelation.
The film opens with a most beautiful, and lyrical, series of scenes involving the citizens of a quiet Amish community in Pennsylvania. The cinematography by John Seale fully deserves the Oscar nomination it was rewarded with in capturing the striking beauty of the Amish countryside. Then something most unexpected happens which takes the movie in a whole new direction.
At the train station, Samuel witnesses the brutal slaying of an off duty cop from a bathroom stall. Enter Philadelphia cop John Book Fordwho confronts young Samuel and attempts to gather information based on what he saw as the murder took place. The only information he can deliver is the description of two men, one black and one white.
When the same men come after Book and the mother and son, the cop makes a bold move by escorting the two back to the Amish country, all the while tending to a gun shot wound. Just as he places the two in safe haven, Book passes out in the car, and the community takes him in to nurse him and see that he recovers.
Before long, Book soon learns of the level of corruption in his own department, and with no one left to trust, he hides out among the Amish, knowing good and well that the killers will soon come looking for him. The Oscar-winning screenplay by William Kelly, Earl Wallace and Pamela Wallace is nothing short of pure genius in terms of character and storytelling.
This is one story that unfolds at a most unique level. The suspenseful standoff near the end of the film, between Book and the corrupt cops on the Amish farm, remains a most incredible sequence, and one that seems to come out of nowhere. If anything, Witness will stand as a huge turning point for Harrison Ford.
Not only did the film garner him his first and only Oscar nomination to date for Best Actor, but it demonstrated that he could be just as strong in different material, other than the adventurous roles he was known for at the time.
He pours his heart and soul into the role of John Book. For both Ford and Weir, Witness will always stand as a pure accomplishment for both. Look for a very young Viggo Mortensen, making his film debut, in a supporting role as a young Amish lad. The image quality is most outstanding, particularly in the Amish countryside which illume with sheer cinematic beauty, boasting images to remember.
Also included is a deleted scene, a theatrical trailer and TV spots for the film. Witness remains a strong cinematic piece, as well as one of the most memorable films to emerge from the 80s.Weir's first film set in America explores a theme familiar from his earlier work: the discovery of an all but forgotten culture in modern society: in this case the Amish, a puritanical sect whose.
Witness directed by Peter Weir explores the clash between two cultures which cannot co-exist comfortable. This clash is highlighted by the use of music, various camera angles and camera shots and the narrative structure of the film.
Find movie and film cast and crew information for Witness () - Peter Weir on AllMovie. Find movie and film cast and crew information for Witness () - Peter Weir on AllMovie Amish. Angus MacInnes. Fergie. Frederick Rolf.
Feb 08, · February 8, , Page The New York Times Archives ''WITNESS,'' which opens today at the Astor Plaza and other theaters, is the story of John Book (Harrison Ford), a .
Witness is a film about a policeman who goes into hiding in Amish country to protect a young Amish boy who is the sole witness to a murder until the trial.
Directed by Peter Weir. Written by William Kelley, Pamela Wallace, and Earl W. Wallace. Analysis of ‘Witness’ directed by Peter Weir Essay Sample.
The Amish are a charming people, gentle oddities in today’s techno world. They don’t do handguns, cars, or telephones, and they’re exceedingly clannish in their desire to keep out technology generally and outsiders in particular.