Trivia / Witness

  • Actor Allusion: This is the second time Harrison Ford's love interest is called Rachel.
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Passions: #82
  • The Cast Show Off: Harrison Ford shows off his carpentry skills in the film.
  • Method Acting:
    • Harrison Ford joined the Philadelphia Police Department in preparation for the movie. He even joined them on numerous raids.
    • Kelly McGillis lived in an Amish community for a few months to understand her character, which involved her giving up smoking the whole time. She was also kicked by a cow.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The theatrical trailer features a scene not used in the film. In it, Book tells Schaeffer that there was a witness while sitting in a police car.
  • Recycled Script: The story was originally a plot outline for Gunsmoke. The writers had both worked on the series and their original story had Marshall Dillon traveling to an Amish farm looking for a witness to a murder.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Sylvester Stallone was an early choice for John Book. When he turned down the role, he said it was one of the worst decisions of his career. Jack Nicholson was also offered the role. While he liked the script, there wasn't a director he liked attached at that point.
    • David Cronenberg was asked to direct.
    • The original screenplay focused mainly on Rachel, but director Peter Weir asked screenwriters William Kelley and Earl W. Wallace to rewrite it to focus on the comparison of pacifism and violence as seen through the eyes of John Book.
  • Working Title: Home to Witness. It was changed at the behest of Paramount's marketing department, who felt the original title posed too much of a promotional challenge. The script's original title was Called Home, which is the Amish term for death.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/Witness