Witness (1985 film)

1985 film directed by Peter Weir

Witness is a 1985 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.
8 year old Samuel: sole witness to a murder. Three killers who'll stop at nothing to silence him. One honest cop who'll give his life to save him... taglines

John Book edit

  • [to Rachel] If we'd made love last night I'd have to stay. Or you'd have to leave.

Rachel Lapp edit

  • We're all very happy that you're going to live, John Book. We didn't know what we would do with you if you'd died.

Eli Lapp edit

  • What you take into your hand, you take into your heart.

Dialogue edit

Rachel Lapp: [as she and Samuel are walking through the police station with Book] When can we leave the city?
John Book: We're trying to get this done as quickly as possible, then you can go. But, Samuel's probably gonna have to come back to testify. I'm sorry.
Rachel Lapp: No, you are not, you are glad.
John Book: Huh?
Rachel Lapp: Because now you have a witness.
John Book: Yeah, now I got a witness.
Rachel Lapp: I just don't like the idea of my son spending all this time with a man who carries a gun and goes around whacking people!
John Book: [in disbelief] Whacking?... whacking?

Rachel Lapp: Your sister says you don't have a family.
John Book: No, I don't.
Rachel Lapp: She thinks that you ought to get married and have children of your own, instead of trying to be a father to hers.
John Book: Yeah.
Rachel Lapp: Except she thinks you are afraid of the responsibility.
John Book: That's interesting... anything else?
Rachel Lapp: Mm hm... she thinks you like policing because you think you are right about everything and you're the only one who can do anything, and when you drink a lot of beer you say things like 'none of the other police know a crook from a bag of elbows!'. At least I think that's what she said.

[Book is having trouble milking a cow]
Eli Lapp: You never had your hands on a teat before.
John Book: Not one this big.
[Long pause; then Eli Lapp roars with laughter]

Rachel Lapp: Are you enjoying your reading?
John Book: Oh yeah. I'm learning a lot about manure. Very interesting.

Eli Lapp: This gun of the hand is for the taking of human life. We believe it is wrong to take a life. That is only for God. Many times wars have come and people have said to us: you must fight, you must kill, it is the only way to preserve the good. But Samuel, there's never only one way. Remember that. Would you kill another man?
Samuel Lapp: I would only kill the bad man.
Eli Lapp: Only the bad man. I see. And you know these bad men by sight? You are able to look into their hearts and see this badness?
Samuel Lapp: I can see what they do. I have seen it.
Eli Lapp: And having seen you become one of them? Don't you understand? What you take into your hands, you take into your heart. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing. Go and finish your chores now.
Samuel Lapp: Yes Groflvater.

Rachel Lapp: He's leaving, isn't he?
Eli Lapp: Tomorrow morning. He'll need his city clothes.
Rachel Lapp: But why? What does he have to go back to?
Eli Lapp: He's going back to his world, where he belongs. He knows it, and you know it, too.

Paul Schaeffer: Calling me at home. I can't trace the call. That's smart, John, very smart.
John Book: Lost the meaning, did you, Paul?
Paul Schaeffer: What?
John Book: Isn't that what you used to say about dirty cops? Somewhere along the way they lost the meaning?
Paul Schaeffer: Now don't make this difficult, John. We know where you are. We're about to...
John Book: Oh no, man, you got it wrong. I'm coming to get you!
Paul Schaeffer: [laughs] I like your style, John. I've always liked your style.
John Book: I'm gonna do to you whatever you did to Zenovich. And whatever you did to Carter, I'm gonna fucking do that to you too, asshole.

Taglines edit

  • 8 year old Samuel: sole witness to a murder. Three killers who'll stop at nothing to silence him. One honest cop who'll give his life to save him...
  • Harrison Ford is John Book - A big city cop who knows too much. His only evidence: a small boy who's seen too much...

Cast edit

External links edit

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