Great Scene: “Witness”

Oscar-winning project has been called a B-movie with an A-movie treatment.

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IMDb plot summary: A young Amish boy is sole witness to a murder; policeman John Book goes into hiding in Amish country to protect him.

If I asked you to name the most memorable scene in Witness (1985), it would probably be this one: Where young Samuel witnesses a murder in a Philadelphia train station bathroom. It is an incident that unbeknownst to the story’s Protagonist John Book (Harrison Ford) will become his Call To Adventure. Here is the scene from the script:


Here is the scene from the movie:

This is one of those movies that lays out perfectly in terms of character archetypes:

Protagonist: John Book
Nemesis: Schaeffer, McFee, Fergie (the bad cops)
Attractor: Rachel Lapp
Mentor: Eli Lapp, the Amish community
Trickster: Samuel Lapp

Screenplay by Earl W. Wallace & William Kelley, story by William Kelley and Pamela Wallace & Earl W. Wallace.

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