Eyewitness (1981 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Yates
Produced by Peter Yates
Written by Steve Tesich
Starring William Hurt
Sigourney Weaver
Christopher Plummer
James Woods
Music by Stanley Silverman
Cinematography Matthew F. Leonetti
Edited by Cynthia Scheider
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • February 13, 1981 (1981-02-13)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $8.5 million[1]
Box office $4.5 million (US/ Canada)[2]

Eyewitness is a 1981 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.[3]


New York janitor Daryll Deever (Hurt) is an avid fan of television news reporter Tony Sokolow (Weaver). A wealthy 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.



The news equipment and promotional posters actually belonged to the real television station, WNEW-TV in New York, now known as the Fox owned-and-operated TV station WNYW Fox 5. Several station employees cameod 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. Today, both WNYW and the film are owned by Fox's corporate owner, 21st Century Fox.

Producer-director Peter Yates and screenwriter Steve Tesich had collaborated two years earlier on the film Breaking Away.

Hum To Mohabbat Karega a 2000 Bollywood thriller-comedy film starring Karishma Kapoor and Bobby Deol was inspired by Eyewitness.


  1. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p259
  2. ^ Solomon p 235. Figures are rentals not gross.
  3. ^ Lanken, Dane (1981-03-09). "'Eyewitness' well-flavored". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2011-04-24. 

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