Witness (1985)

(On Cable TV, June 2017) For a film often derided as “Harrison Ford among the Amish”, Witness does have quite a bit running under the surface. Its somewhat predictable story does hide a well-executed thriller with a few surprising moments and a fairly harsh tone throughout. It rarely makes any compromises when it comes to presenting the danger of its thriller elements: there is blood, numerous violent deaths, real danger for most characters and pervasive paranoia once the outline of the corrupt cops becomes clear. Harrison Ford is rather good in the main role, a policeman who seeks refuge with the Amish once he’s badly hurt and surrounded by people who want to kill him. The romance that emerges between him and another Amish woman is handled decently (I did not expect this much nudity…) and resolved in a somewhat atypical manner. Better yet is the climax, which sees the non-violent ways of the Amish overcome a dangerous man with a gun: the film does make a point of espousing the virtues of its subjects, and the consequent respect of Amish values help make Witness more than a curiosity piece even today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *