Review: ‘Eyewitness’

Once an office-building janitor himself, writer Steve Tesich often wondered in the quiet of the night what evil deeds might be going on behind closed doors. Enter William Hurt on the night-shift discovering the murdered body of a mysterious Chinese businessman.

Once an office-building janitor himself, writer Steve Tesich often wondered in the quiet of the night what evil deeds might be going on behind closed doors. Enter William Hurt on the night-shift discovering the murdered body of a mysterious Chinese businessman.

Tesich’s other fantasy concerned a real-life infatuation with a lady reporter on CBS, wondering what she would be like and how far he would go to meet her. Hurt, too, has an obsession for newswoman Sigourney Weaver, so consuming he videotapes her every show to linger over.

When Weaver comes to his building to report on the murder, Hurt pretends to know something secret to prolong this unexpected encounter with his distant sweetheart. That in turn leads him into danger with assorted characters – Christopher Plummer in particular – who really do know something about the murder.

Weaver plays her part very well, but simply can’t justify the character’s actions, which ripple through the murder plot in several directions. Consequently, the story gets more and more strained before it’s resolved.

Eyewitness

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Peter Yates; Producer Peter Yates; Screenplay Steve Tesich; Camera Mathew F. Leonetti; Editor Cynthia Scheider; Music Stanley Silverman; Art Director Philip Rosenberg

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

William Hurt Sigourney Weaver Christopher Plummer James Woods Irene Worth Morgan Freeman
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