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Witness (Widescreen)

Harrison Ford , Kelly McGillis , Peter Weir    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 29.98
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Witness (Widescreen) + Presumed Innocent + The Client (Widescreen/Full Screen)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

When Samuel (Lukas Haas), a young Amish boy traveling 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 lineups 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. The juxtaposition between 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

Product Description

Witness

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, poor quality transfer May 8 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
"Witness" captures director Peter Weir's first exploration of the cultural clash between America's Amish community and modern society. We witness two worlds that collide and two people that can't bridge the gap between their two worlds despite their blossoming love for each other.
The story revolves around Samuel a little boy who has witnessed the murder of an undercover police officer, his mother Rachel (McGillis)and John Book (Ford) who investigates the murder discovering corruption, deceit and a conspiracy at it the heart of his department. After he discovers that his witness isn't safe, Book whisks them back to their Amish farm where he's forced to hideout as well.
One of Weir's finest films to focus on America, this so-so transfer looks grainy and has lots of compression issues. The transfer isn't a widescreen anamorphic transfer but is presented in that format (i.e., it's presented with the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen but the transfer isn't high definition). The picture occasionally comes across as soft and the rich use of color and light that vividly brought the film to life in theaters isn't well represented here. Hopefully Paramount will update this and remaster it the way it deserves to be done.
The extras include an interview with Weir obviously done around the time the film was made or first appeared on video and the original theatrical trailer. I would have expected a commentary track but since Weir isn't all that big on them to begin with, that would be hoping for too much.
A great film just a poor translation to DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Touching Classic April 26 2004
By DC
Format:VHS Tape
The movie Witness starring Harrison Ford features one of his best performances. He received his only Oscar nomination for this film in 1985. This definitely goes to show what kind of performance you are in for. This is an extraordinary story; it is a combination of a thriller and a love story.
The movie is about a young Amish boy (Lukas Haas) who witnesses a murder in the men's room of a train station while traveling with his mother, Rachel (Kelly McGillis). When the young boy identifies the murderer as a fellow detective, the detective John Books (Harrison Ford) who is assigned to the case must protect them. John gets shot but realizes he must save the young boy and his beautiful widowed mother. He knows they must go into hiding so he drives them to their farm in the Amish community before he collapses. While learning the ways of the Amish lifestyle, a romance begins between John and Rachel. During several twist and turns the action and suspense continues. The chemistry between Ford and McGillis is remarkable and realistic. This thriller, love story is very touching and definitely one you don't want to miss.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
If the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies proved Harrison Ford could play cliffhanger-serial style action heroes without breaking a sweat, his performance in 1986's Witness as a Philadelphia detective hiding in an Amish community after discovering some of his fellow cops are on the other side of the law proved that he could play more down-to-Earth, believable and even vulnerable leading man roles.
Ford plays John Book, a dedicated if rather world-weary detective captain in the Philadelphia police department who is called in to investigate the brutal slaying of an undercover officer in a public restroom at the train station. His only witness: eight-year-old Samuel Lapp (Lukas Haas), an Amish boy who's traveling with his beautiful (and recently widowed) mother Rachel (Kelly McGillis).
At first, Book and Rachel clash when he insists that Samuel's testimony is badly needed to identify the cop killers, but when the investigation leads to the corrupt Lt. James McFee (Danny Glover) and others in the police force, the young and terrified Amish woman must become Book's protector when he is wounded in a parking lot shootout with McFee and some of his accomplices. Making their way to Lancaster County in Book's car, Rachel, Samuel and the wounded detective find temporary refuge in the rural and definitely back-to-basics Amish community in the Pennsylvania countryside.
Australian director Peter Weir, working from a well-written screenplay by William Kelley and Earl W. Wallace, combines the fish-out-of-water theme of a modern American cop hiding out in a community that shuns his modern, "English" ways with a beautiful love story and a taut mystery thriller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one of ford's best - viggo is in this too! Dec 30 2003
Format:DVD
I love this movie, am deeply moved each time I see it. You can see the plot from other reviews, so I won't review it here. I've often wondered whatever happened to Lukas Haas' career - he was outstanding. This movie is a refreshing change for Harrison Ford, who previously was known only for Star Wars and Indiana Jones. He shows new depths and range in his acting abilities.
My main gripe is that mentioned by others - the "out of character" scene where Kelly McGillis lets Ford gaze at her while bathing. No Amish woman would ever do that. That was simply a cheap way to sneak in some modern nudity, into a culture where it would not be tolerated. Other than that, it's a nearly perfect movie, suspenseful, funny, romantic and interesting.
Has anyone noticed that Viggo Mortensen is in this? Look for him in the barn-raising scene. Little did I dream when I first saw this movie almost 20 years ago that while I was watching my heartthrob of the time (Ford) I was also watching my daughter's present heartthrob (Mortensen aka ARAGORN). Fun glimpse of his early career.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
always liked this movie
Published 26 days ago by Elaine Byers
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Same for this movie - have not yet watched it.
Published 27 days ago by Monica
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My all-time favorite.
Published 2 months ago by Jan Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived ahead of scheduled date.
Have not watched it yet so unable to comment on quality of content. I have ordered other DVD's and have not experienced any dis-satisfaction.
Published 3 months ago by Jan Haskett
5.0 out of 5 stars Witness
Well we all know the movie is great and the picture quailty and sound is very good. well worth the upgrade to dvd
Published 10 months ago by HOGG
2.0 out of 5 stars can't watch again
I shouldn't have bought this movie. I rather suspected that I wouldn't like it, and I was right. Well, the story was interesting enough, and I really like Harrison Ford as an... Read more
Published 11 months ago by George Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Histoire de deux mondes
Je n'oublierai jamais ce film, les expressions du jeune Hamish Samuel, qui vit dans un monde sans violence, tous les gens de cette communautés s'entraide tout devient... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Pachu
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this movie, it kept me in suspense throughout
This maybe an older movie but a 'goodie' I think H. Ford does a very good acting job in it and it really held my attention
Published 16 months ago by Shirley J. Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film
One of the good film with Harrison Ford.

A very good thriller indeed

Acting is not bad at all in general
Published 19 months ago by Bluefox
5.0 out of 5 stars My alltime Favourite movie.
Always has been and always will be my all time favourite movie. The music and contrasts and of course Harrison Ford at his most charming ahhhhhh
Published on Sept. 21 2011 by Robin Knox
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