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Visual Index: Best Shots from "Witness"

Hit Me With Your Best Shot revisited Witness (1985) this week to celebrate the continuing excellence of the Australian cinematographer John Seale. It was such an unexpected treat to see him doing ambitious ravishing and inspired work as a septugenarian (Mad Max Fury Road) that rivals anything he did in his 30s (Careful He Might Hear You), 40s (Rain Man) or 50s (The English Patient, The Talented Mr Ripley) and though he didn't win a second Oscar he did win our renewed ecstatic fandom. Seale's earliest Oscar nomination came for his work lensing the gorgeous moving cop drama Witness (1985).  Here are the results of our "Best Shot" challenge from the participants. The more eyeballs the merrier so join us one of these weeks alright?

WITNESS (1985)
Directed by Peter Weir. Shot by John Seale
Click on any of the 12 images to be directed to the corresponding articles
(Nominated for 8 Academy Awards including Best Cinematography) 

 I really liked how well rounded all the Amish characters are...
-Rachel's Reviews 

How does violence affect a child?
-Film Mix Tape

Christian Bonamusa


He apparently took plenty of inspiration from Flemish and Dutch painters of the 17th century (art history student alert!)
-Magnificent Obsession 

The cinematography in this whole sequence is breathtaking...
-Cinema Cities 

It *is* a crime thriller, but it's more heartfelt and intimate and could very well be categorized as a love story... 
-Sorta That Guy 

The movie isn’t what I expected, but in ways that were very pleasant. 
-Wick's Picks 

In its best moments, Witness is some straight-up Terence Malick magic hour Days of Heaven shit...
-Dancing Dan 

That atypical reserve gives the cop drama a unique contemplative charge within its genre. 
- The Film Experience

I went for a shot that embraces the silence...
-Scopophiliac at the Cinema 

a romantic drama that forgets its supposed to be a thriller until the last 20 minutes
-Drink Your Juice, Shelby 

Perhaps the most impressive moment of Ford's career 
-Cinematic Corner


What is your favorite shot from Witness? When was the last time you'd seen it?

Next week on "Best Shot": Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page in THE BEGUILED (1971) to be remade by Sofia Coppola (!)

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Reader Comments (9)

Here's my post:

Love the variety of shots in the visual index.

April 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKeisha

One of these weeks I'll pick a shot that only I have picked. ANYWAYS, can't wait to read what everyone else has written.

April 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Keisha - added. thanks for playing. Witness is my mom's favorite movie and that scene you discuss is her favorite :)

April 13, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Ha, that barn raising scene cracks me up when I think of John Waters ranting about it in his book "Crackpot". I have never been able to watch that movie since then!

April 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSean

So uh, I emailed you mine earlier. Here it is again though (fave shot is at the end).

April 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJames

I forgot how charismatic and alive McGillis was in the movie and Jan Rubes is excellant as her father.

April 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermark

The movie was a visual wonder. I love seeing what everyone else picked because it allows me to see things that I might have missed.

April 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Witness is straight up one of my favorite movies ever. Back in 1990 I was compiling a Top Ten of the decade and only came up with eight I thought were really worthy. Witness was on that list.

April 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Hollywood

The raising of the barn sequence is perfect example of classic cinema

April 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

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