Witness (1985)

10 corrected entries

(5 votes)

Corrected entry: During the barn raise John is seen hammering somewhere up in the structure. The hammering continues while the camera is on Daniel who is getting some lemonade from Rachel. He then offers his lemonade to John who is now standing on the ground. (01:10:45)


Correction: The entire barn raising sequence is a montage - meaning there are purposeful and noticeable gaps in the time between each shot.

Corrected entry: Near the end of the movie McFee shoots a hole in the silo door which is quite oddly shaped. When the camera is on Schaeffer, calling McFee, you hear another shot. Then you see the silo door again with corn pouring out through a nicely cut, straight hole where the gunshot was, plus two more "dents" where this powerful weapon now couldn't even make holes. (01:36:00)


Correction: When McFee shoots at the silo door for the first time, he makes two holes - one in the middle and one smaller in the low right corner of the door (there is quite much smoke and dust in the scene but you can still see it). Then he hits the upper hole with the butt of the gun and succeeds in cracking a piece of wood, this is how the rectangular opening is made. Then a third shot offscreen produces the third hole, and there you are with the straight hole and two more ones not sufficiently wide to let the corn pour out.


Corrected entry: The Amish are early wakers, they have one day to raise the barn, still - judging by the shadows and the position of the Sun - they start working around noon.


Correction: There is preperatory work which must be done before the frame can be raised, such as laying a foundation and planning, which can begin in early morning, but take time to complete before the structure goes together. With the amount of people raising the barn it is still possible to raise the barn before nightfall, which in summer can be quite late in the evening.


Corrected entry: When Danny Glover and the other two cops show up at the farm they fire several shots which echo across the valley, one shot stopping Samuel in his tracks as he runs to a neighboring farm. The Amish don't shoot guns normally. And yet none of the Amish come to see what is going on at the Lapp farm until Samuel rings the bell. Then they all drop their pitchforks to come investigate.


Correction: The Amish regularly hunt game and shoot vermin on their farms, so "hearing several shots" would not be anything out of the ordinary. They have no prohibition on the ownership or use of hunting rifles or shotguns.

Corrected entry: Rachel points out to John Book that Amish don't wear shirts with buttons because they aren't "simple." However, when Daniel sits on the porch with Rachel and drinks lemonade, he is wearing a farmer's shirt with buttons.

Correction: Rachel says nothing about the shirt - she points out that the jacket has no buttons. In fact, men's shirts fasten with traditional buttons in most Amish orders, while suit coats and vests fasten with hooks and eyes. Check out (among others) http://www.oacountry.com/amishdress1, the third paragraph down.


Corrected entry: Two general observations: Elderly Amish men seem to favor glued beards, and many of them speak their ancient German with an American accent which is not typical for a mother tongue preserved over generations in a foreign country.


Correction: The dialect of German spoken by most Amish people in this day and age is not the the "correct" German as spoken in Germany, but rather a "Platt Deutsch", with some elements of Swiss, Dutch, and yes, American English, mixed in. The German dialogue in the film, (most of it) is correct for the region in which the movie took place. How do I know? I'm Amish myself.

Corrected entry: Why and how could Eli and Rachel carry the injured John up to the 2nd floor, after they had such trouble to even load him onto the cart? (00:37:00)


Correction: Who is to say they didn't get help from someone else? This portion of the film is never shown...not necessarily a mistake.

Lynette Carrington

Corrected entry: There is a scene in the kitchen where Kelly Mcgillis opens the cabinet and you see Campbell's Soup inside. No self respecting Amish wife would have Campbell's soup in a can. (00:51:05)

Correction: Some Amish do use Campbell's soup. I know several Amish families that eat soup and other canned goods.

Corrected entry: During the scene when Samuel witnesses the murder in the train station toilet, he hides in one of the cubicles. Danny Glover goes along the line of cubicles pulling the doors open to see if anyone is hiding in them. All the doors open outwards yet when he gets to the locked cubicle Samuel is in, he kicks the door inwards. Only the door lock breaks, not the hinges as you would expect if a door was forced the wrong way. (00:14:50)

Correction: Virtually every public toilet stall I've ever been in has a door/hinge that WOULD swing all the way through, both directions, if not for the latching mechanism in its way. It's very unusual for them to be built with a jamb or any breakable hinge.

Rooster of Doom

Corrected entry: Near the end of the movie, before Rachel kisses John, you see a very un-Amish electric lamp that even dims while Rachel takes off her bonnet to prepare for the kissing. (01:25:40)


Correction: This is incorrect: it's actually a gas lamp. In the VHS version, listen carefully to the sounds. Rachel turns it off, and the lamp hisses as the gas runs out and the light dims.

Continuity mistake: When Harrison Ford confronts (and beats up) the tourists, there are a number of close-up shots of the people in the first wagon, including one where Viggo Mortensen leans forward and tells the driver to do nothing, even though he is being provoked. In all these close ups, Mortensen is bare-headed. When the shot changes to Ford's perspective, from the cart behind, we see one of the tourists grab a straw hat from Mortensen's head. The hat has appeared out of nowhere in a split second. There is a child with a straw hat behind Mortensen, but the hat stays on his head in both shots. (01:22:50)

More mistakes in Witness

Rachel Lapp: Are you enjoying your reading?
John Book: Oh yeah. I'm learning a lot about manure. Very interesting.

More quotes from Witness

Trivia: Harrison Ford was very taken with the Amish and the beautiful scenery in which Witness was filmed. Mr. Ford is a supporter and contributor to the Lancaster Farmland Trust, which helps save and preserve precious family farmlands. The Krantz' farm (where Witness was filmed) was saved and preserved by this trust fund.

Lynette Carrington

More trivia for Witness

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