Witness (1985 film)

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Witness is a 1985 American thriller film directed by Peter Weir and starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. The screenplay by William Kelley, Pamela Wallace, and Earl W. Wallace focuses on a detective protecting a young Amish boy who becomes the target of a ruthless killer after he witnesses a brutal murder in Philadelphia's 30th Street train station.

The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two, for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. It was also nominated for seven BAFTA Awards, winning one for Maurice Jarre's score, and was also nominated for six Golden Globe Awards. William Kelley and Earl W. Wallace won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay and the 1986 Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay presented by the Mystery Writers of America. The film is also notable as the screen debut of future stars Viggo Mortensen and Lukas Haas. The film's script is a frequent model for budding screenwriters, often used to display clear structure in a script.

Contents

Plot

After the death of her husband in Lancaster County in 1984, a young Amish woman Rachel Lapp (Kelly McGillis) decides to take her 8 year old son Samuel (Lukas Haas) into the outside world for the first time on a trip to Baltimore, Maryland to visit her sister. Travelling by train, Samuel is amazed to see people different from him and sights such as a hot air balloon. When Rachel is waiting to change trains at the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Samuel uses the men's room. As he does so, he accidentally witnesses the brutal murder of a man (Timothy Carhart) in the restroom while hiding in the toilet stall. He sees that two men committed the murder, but could only get a good look at one, a tall African-American man.

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