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Witness

Year: 1985
Studio: Paramount
Director: Peter Weir
Writer: William Kelley
Cast: Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Lukas Haas, Danny Glover, Viggo Mortensen

Peter Weir might have been trying to break into Hollywood at the time and prepared to take anything - Picnic at Hanging Rock are much more distinctive than this thriller, as plodding as it is thrilling.

Absurdly named cop John Book (Ford) is investigating a murder a little Amish boy is the only witness (Haas) to. When Book takes him and his hot mother Rachel (McGillis) under his wing, the boy fingers a fellow cop (Glover). So Book has to send them back to Amish country, going into hiding with them until the trial because he knows the killer's going to be after all three of them.

There are a lot of scenes characterising Amish life, but the hot affair that arises between John and Rachel probably isn't atypical of the lifestyle. A movie about a puritan subculture that features the stunning McGillis in a full topless sequence? Why, it must be Hollywood.

A few stand-out scenes of violence and a by-numbers chase climax don't add much, and mostly it Ford's show, an actor we now realise after looking back on his career was always too hammy to ever be one of the greats.

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