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Viggo Mortensen

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Viggo Mortensen in Witness

Viggo Mortensen in Witness

Release: 1985

Director: Peter Weir
Writer(s): William Kelley, Earl W. Wallace
Based on: story by Pamela Wallace, Earl W. Wallace, William Kelley

Runtime: 112 min

MCAA Rating: R for violence

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Witness Cast and Crew

Viggo Mortensen: Moses Hochleitner

Other leading roles:
Harrison Ford as Det. Capt. John Book
Kelly McGillis as Rachel Lapp
Josef Sommer as Chief Paul Schaeffer
Lukas Haas as Samuel Lapp
Jan Rubes as Eli Lapp
Alexander Godunov as Daniel Hochleitner

Witness Synopsis

Harrison Ford stars as a Philadelpha detective trying to protect an Amish boy who witnessed a murder in this action-packed and suspenseful drama. Viggo Mortensen's role as a young Amish farmer is significant primarily because it was the first movie in which his scenes did not end up on the cutting room floor.

Witness Brief Review

Note: a Special Collectors' Edition DVD was released August 23, 2005. This edition includes a 75-minute documentary, in which several actors, including Viggo Mortensen, are featured.

An Oscar-winning film, tense and dramatic, worth seeing with or without Viggo. Mortensen was about 26 years old when this was filmed, and seems younger.

Witness Soundtrack

Features unusual and lovely synthesized music by Maurice Jarre:
1. Witness (Main Title)/Journey To Baltimore
2. The Murder
3. Book's Disapperance
4. Futility Of An Inside Job/Delirious John
5. Building The Barn
6. Book's Sorrow
7. Rachel And Book (Love Theme)
8. The Amish Are Coming

Witness Articles & Interviews

The Hot New 39-Year-Old - Movieline, August 1998
A fun interview in which Viggo shares stories from the filming of movies from Witness to A Walk on the Moon, and describes his drag queen screen test for To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.   [Viggo-Works]

Witness Resources

Viggo Mortensen and Alexander Godunov in WitnessFilms of Viggo Mortensen: Witness - Colleen Wallace's review of Witness calls it a "solidly acted, beautifully photographed thriller" and offers thoughts on the barn-raising scene. Witness - Lists upcoming showtimes for Witness on US premium cable channels. Site also has a brief review and links to related websites.
Simply Scripts: Witness - Links to downloadable Witness movie scripts in various formats.
The 80s Movies RewindThe 80s Movies Rewind: Witness - Extensive review, photographs, trivia and information on the filming locations.
Viggo Mortensen in WitnessVal's Screencaps: Witness - Over 30 screen captures of Viggo Mortensen in Witness. Mostly full-screen, some cropped. Larger than the average screencap, good clarity.

Witness Video Clips

Viggo Mortensen's first movie, and he steals the scenes with that wide-open grin. It is said that his role (Moses Hochleitner) was originally smaller, but the director liked what he saw and expanded Viggo's part.

After the funeral: Viggo Mortensen as Moses Hochleitnerwit-03: Moses at the Funeral  «20-Jan-18» - Viggo Mortensen's first on-screen speech. Moses Hochleitner (Viggo) and several other Amish men are chatting after a funeral, talking about the deceased. Took a few listens, but I think I finally caught all the dialogue. Older Amish men: "Jake was a good farmer, none better. But not the man to buy a horse for you. Hochleitner, wasn't it your father sold him the horse with the ruptured testicle?"

Moses' response: "He told him it was a bee sting made him limp that way."

Moses' older brother, Daniel Hochleitner (Alexander Godunov): "That horse had one good ball. That's all it takes."
Quicktime video 320x240 (00'22, 2.1MB)
Viggo Mortensen & Harrison Ford in Witnesswit-05: Meeting Book  «14-Oct-04» - Detective Book (Harrison Ford) is introduced to the Amish men, including Moses Hochleitner (Viggo Mortensen) before the barn raising. You must see the movie or at least check the stills for Moses' wonderful smiles as this small format doesn't do them justice.
Quicktime video 320x240 (00'17, 1.9MB)
Alexander Godunov & Viggo Mortensen in Witnesswit-09: Barn-raising  «14-Oct-04» - One of several agreeable barn-raising fragments, in which Detective Book (Harrison Ford) and Daniel Hochleitner (Alexander Godunov) pound and saw things, and Moses Hochleitner (Viggo Mortensen) holds big boards and grins.
Quicktime video 320x240 (00'06, 448KB)
Harrison Ford & Viggo Mortensen in Witnesswit-14: Lunch  «14-Oct-04» - At the barn-raising lunch table. Watch Detective Book (Harrison Ford) and Moses Hochleitner (Viggo Mortensen) eat fried chicken.
Quicktime video 320x240 (00'15, 1.3MB)

Witness Photo Gallery

Click on the images to see larger versions (dimensions in parentheses). Thanks to Sagra for giving me permission me to crop from her screen captures. Want more? See her 40 full-frame screencaps from Witness.