Eyewitness (1981 film)
Eyewitness (released in the UK as The Janitor) is a 1981 American neo-noir thriller film produced and directed by Peter Yates and written by Steve Tesich. It stars William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Plummer and James Woods. The story involves a television news reporter and a janitor who team up to solve a murder.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Yates|
|Produced by||Peter Yates|
|Written by||Steve Tesich|
|Music by||Stanley Silverman|
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Edited by||Cynthia Scheider|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Budget||$8.5 million or $6.4 million|
|Box office||$4.5 million (US/ Canada)|
New York janitor Daryll Deever (Hurt) is an avid fan of television news reporter Tony Sokolow (Weaver). A wealthy Vietnamese man suspected of criminal connections is murdered in Daryll's office building and Tony suspects Deever knows something about it.
She keeps after him for information, a pursuit Daryll allows because he is romantically interested in Tony, and a "cat and mouse" game ensues. This convinces the real killers that Daryll does know vital information about the murder, so he and Tony end up with their lives in danger over this false assumption.
- William Hurt as Daryll Deever
- Sigourney Weaver as Tony Sokolow
- Christopher Plummer as Joseph
- James Woods as Aldo
- Irene Worth as Mrs. Sokolow
- Kenneth McMillan as Mr. Deever
- Pamela Reed as Linda
- Steven Hill as Lt. Jacobs
- Morgan Freeman as Lt. Black
- Alice Drummond as Mrs. Eunice Deever
- Keone Young as Mr Long's Son
The news equipment and promotional posters actually belonged to a real New York City television station, then-Metromedia owned independent WNEW-TV. Two then-station employees, news anchor John Roland and sportscaster Bill Mazer, made cameo appearances in the film. Sigourney Weaver, whose father Sylvester "Pat" Weaver had been a top network television executive, also worked for the station in order to gain experience. Both WNEW-TV (now Fox-owned-and-operated WNYW) and the film were under the corporate umbrella of 21st Century Fox until March 20, 2019, when Fox closed on its sale of its entertainment assets, including the film, to The Walt Disney Company.
- Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p259
- YATES AND TESICH: 'BANKABLE' TEAM Taylor, Clarke. Los Angeles Times 25 May 1980: s43.
- Solomon p 235. Figures are rentals not gross.
- Silver, Alain; Ward, Elizabeth; eds. (1992). Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style (3rd ed.). Woodstock, New York: The Overlook Press. ISBN 0-87951-479-5
- Lanken, Dane (1981-03-09). "'Eyewitness' well-flavored". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2011-04-24.