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Witness Reviews

Sure-footed thriller, beautifully photographed, with Ford's best performance thus far. Australian director Peter Weir's first Hollywood film examines the tenuous survival of innocence in pockets of post-war America. The story begins as Rachel (Kelly McGillis), a young Amish widow, is traveling into the city with her young son, Samuel (Lukas Haas). While they're waiting for their train in the crowded Philadelphia station, Samuel wanders into the men's room where, undetected, he witnesses a murder. Questioned by tough, cynical cop John Book (Harrison Ford), the boy identifies a narcotics officer (Danny Glover) as the killer. Suspecting a conspiracy and fearing for the safety of his young witness, Book tries to get Samuel and Rachel back to the safe obscurity of Lancaster County, home to a peaceful, idyllic community of Amish farmers. But trouble follows, even as Rachel and Book become attracted to each other. The cast is uniformly excellent, while John Seale's cinematography and Maurice Jarre's score are memorably atmospheric.