Terese Ontiveros

Terese Ontiveros

Modified & Updated: 29 Jan 2024

Source: Tvinsider.com

Witness is a captivating movie that has left a lasting impact on audiences since its release. Directed by Peter Weir and released in 1985, this crime thriller film tells the story of an Amish boy who witnesses a murder while on a trip to the city. As the only witness, he becomes a target and is placed under the protection of a hardened police detective played by Harrison Ford.

What sets Witness apart is not only its gripping storyline and stellar performances, but also its unique blend of genres. It seamlessly combines elements of crime, drama, and romance, making it a truly memorable cinematic experience. Over the years, the movie has gained a dedicated following, with viewers from all walks of life appreciating its depth and authenticity.

In this article, we will dive into 42 intriguing facts about Witness, shedding light on the making of the movie, behind-the-scenes stories, and interesting trivia that will enhance your appreciation for this remarkable film.

Table of Contents

Witness is a 1985 American crime thriller film.

The movie Witness, directed by Peter Weir, was released in 1985.

It stars Harrison Ford in the lead role.

Harrison Ford delivers a remarkable performance as John Book, an undercover police detective protecting a young Amish boy.

Witness was nominated for eight Academy Awards.

The film received critical acclaim and was recognized with nominations in various categories, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

The movie explores the clash of cultures.

Witness showcases the contrasting lifestyles of the traditional Amish community and the modern urban world.

The iconic barn-raising scene took three days to film.

The Amish community’s barn-raising scene is a highlight in the movie, showcasing their strong sense of community and unity.

Witness was filmed on location in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

The picturesque Amish landscapes add authenticity to the movie and immerse viewers in the unique setting.

The film received critical acclaim for its cinematography.

The beautiful cinematography captures the serene beauty of the Amish countryside and creates a visually stunning backdrop.

Witness explores themes of identity and loyalty.

The movie delves into the internal struggle faced by the main character as he grapples with his responsibilities as a detective and his growing connection to the Amish community.

It features a memorable score composed by Maurice Jarre.

The film’s atmospheric music enhances the emotional impact of the story and has become synonymous with the movie itself.

Witness was a box office success, grossing over $68 million worldwide.

The film’s compelling story and stellar performances resonated with audiences, paving the way for its commercial success.

It showcases a gripping cat-and-mouse chase between John Book and corrupt police officers.

The suspenseful pursuit adds an intense element to the movie, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.

Witness explores the concept of forbidden love.

The relationship that develops between the Amish widow, Rachel, and John Book adds a complex and emotional layer to the story.

The film highlights the importance of community and standing up for what is right.

Witness emphasizes the power of collective action and the impact it can have on society.

The screenplay for Witness was co-written by Earl W. Wallace and William Kelley.

Their collaboration resulted in a compelling and thought-provoking script.

Witness is known for its gripping courtroom scenes.

The courtroom drama adds an additional layer of suspense and raises important questions about justice and truth.

It was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards.

The screenplay’s nuanced exploration of complex themes earned it recognition from the prestigious awards show.

Witness showcases the talent of young actor Lukas Haas.

Lukas Haas delivers a remarkable performance as Samuel, the pivotal character in the movie.

The film’s climax takes place in a train station.

The final confrontation between John Book and those pursuing him adds a suspenseful and thrilling conclusion to the movie.

Witness raises questions about faith and tradition.

The clash between the Amish way of life and the outside world prompts viewers to reflect on their own beliefs and values.

It explores the concept of sacrifice.

John Book’s sacrifice for the sake of Samuel’s safety becomes a central theme throughout the movie.

Witness was praised for its realistic portrayal of the Amish community.

The movie provides insight into the Amish way of life, their customs, and beliefs, presenting them with respect and authenticity.

It showcases the vulnerability and strength of the characters.

The emotional depth of the performances brings the characters to life and allows viewers to connect with their struggles and triumphs.

Witness features a standout performance by actress Kelly McGillis.

Kelly McGillis captivates audiences with her portrayal of Rachel, capturing the inner turmoil of her character.

The film’s title refers to the witnessing of a murder.

The witnessing of a crime sets the events of the movie in motion, leading to the development of the plot.

Witness explores the theme of redemption.

John Book seeks redemption for his past actions and finds it through his interactions with the Amish community.

It delves into the moral complexities of law enforcement.

The movie challenges the viewer to consider the gray areas within the justice system and the choices faced by those serving in law enforcement.

Witness received widespread critical acclaim upon its release.

The film was praised for its strong performances, gripping storyline, and its exploration of themes.

It was nominated for Best Film at the BAFTA Awards.

The British Academy Film Awards recognized the film’s excellence and impact within the industry.

Witness remains a timeless classic in the crime thriller genre.

The movie’s compelling narrative and strong character development keep it relevant and gripping for audiences even years after its release.

It showcases the power of human connection and empathy.

The relationships formed between the characters in Witness highlight the importance of compassion and understanding.

Witness was a defining role for Harrison Ford.

The film allowed Harrison Ford to showcase his versatility as an actor and solidified his status as a leading man.

It was lauded for its realistic portrayal of violence.

The film does not shy away from the brutal realities of violence, adding to its impact and authenticity.

Witness explores the concept of justice.

The movie raises important questions about the nature of justice and the lengths one must go to seek it.

It delves into the complexities of the justice system.

Witness prompts viewers to consider the flaws and limitations of the legal system.

The film’s original score was composed by Maurice Jarre.

Maurice Jarre’s music adds depth and emotion to key moments in the film, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

Witness was a commercial success upon its release.

The film resonated with audiences worldwide, solidifying its place in cinematic history.

It received praise for its authentic portrayal of the Amish community.

The film takes care to accurately represent the Amish way of life, showcasing their customs and beliefs in a respectful manner.

Witness raises ethical questions about the use of violence.

The movie challenges viewers to consider the role violence plays in society and the consequences it can have on individuals.

It features compelling action sequences.

The film’s well-executed action sequences add excitement and intensity to the story.

Witness explores the concept of trust.

The Amish community’s trust in John Book and his journey towards earning their trust form a central part of the movie’s plot.

It was hailed for its sensitive portrayal of the Amish community.

Witness approaches the Amish culture with respect and showcases their values and traditions in a realistic light.

Witness is considered a must-watch for fans of crime thrillers.

The movie’s combination of suspense, compelling storytelling, and powerful performances make it a standout in the genre.


In conclusion, “Witness” is a captivating movie that manages to captivate its audience from start to finish. With its brilliant acting, gripping storyline, and beautiful cinematography, it has truly made its mark in the world of cinema. The film skillfully combines elements of suspense, drama, and romance to create a unique viewing experience that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.Additionally, “Witness” also sheds light on important societal issues such as corruption, loyalty, and cultural differences. The performances by Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis are exceptional, bringing depth and authenticity to their characters. Director Peter Weir’s meticulous attention to detail and his ability to create a sense of unease and tension contribute to the overall success of the film.Whether you’re a fan of crime dramas, romantic movies, or simply appreciate a well-crafted film, “Witness” is a must-watch. With its intriguing plot twists and thought-provoking themes, it will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on its viewers.


Q: Who directed the movie “Witness”?

A: “Witness” was directed by Peter Weir.

Q: When was “Witness” released?

A: “Witness” was released in 1985.

Q: What is the genre of “Witness”?

A: “Witness” is a crime drama film.

Q: Who are the lead actors in “Witness”?

A: The lead actors in “Witness” are Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis.

Q: Has “Witness” won any awards?

A: Yes, “Witness” won two Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing.

Q: What is the runtime of “Witness”?

A: The runtime of “Witness” is approximately 1 hour and 52 minutes.

Q: Where was “Witness” filmed?

A: “Witness” was primarily filmed in Philadelphia and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Q: Is “Witness” based on a true story?

A: No, “Witness” is a work of fiction.

Q: What is the premise of “Witness”?

A: “Witness” revolves around an Amish community and a detective who seeks refuge with them to protect a young Amish boy who has witnessed a murder.