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The Witness (1969)

A tanú (original title)
Banned for over a decade for its outspoken criticism of the post-WWII communist regime in Hungary, Péter Bacsó's 'The Witness' has since then achieved unparalleled cult status in its native... See full summary »

Director:

Péter Bacsó
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Cast

Credited cast:
Ferenc Kállai Ferenc Kállai ... Pelikán József, gátõr
Lajos Öze Lajos Öze ... Virág Árpád (as Õze Lajos)
Béla Both Béla Both ... Bástya elvtárs
Zoltán Fábri ... Dániel Zoltán
Lili Monori Lili Monori ... Gizi
Károly Bicskey Károly Bicskey ... Gulyás Elemér
György Kézdy György Kézdy ... Virág testõre
József Horváth József Horváth ... Vasutas
Róbert Rátonyi Róbert Rátonyi ... Operettszínész
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
György Bálint György Bálint
Pál Bánó Pál Bánó ... Bíró
Mária Dudás Mária Dudás ... Gépírónõ
Tibor Fehér Tibor Fehér ... Börtönõr
Károly Garamszegi Károly Garamszegi
György Györffy György Györffy ... Börtönigazgató
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Storyline

Banned for over a decade for its outspoken criticism of the post-WWII communist regime in Hungary, Péter Bacsó's 'The Witness' has since then achieved unparalleled cult status in its native land. Known as the best satire about communism, 'The Witness' has become a cult classic, which was also well received by critics and general audiences alike when it was finally released outside of Hungary. Its candid and realistic portrayal of the incompetent communist regime has earned great acclaim for both the director and the film itself when it was shown at Cannes Film Festival in 1981. 'The Witness' takes place during the height of the Rákosi Era, which was closely modeled after the ruthless and brutal Stalin regime. The film follows the life of an ordinary dike keeper, József Pelikán, who has been caught for illegally slaughtering his pig, Dezsõ. Instead of doing hard time for his "heinous" crime, Pelikán is elevated into an important position, generally reserved for the communist elite. Of ... Written by Zoltan Furedi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hungary | comrade | dike | pig | satire | See All (42) »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Hungary

Language:

Hungarian

Release Date:

18 June 1982 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

A testemunha See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several quotes from the movie, especially the ones "the international situation is intensifying" and "life is not a whipped-cream cake" have become part of everyday speech in Hungary. See more »

Quotes

Pelikán József, gátõr: I feel a bit bad about it, though. Why do we have to make such a fuss over it? We deceived the people after all.
Virág Árpád: Who did we deceieve? Ourselves? We know what it's all about. The researchers? They're happy to have their medals. The masses? They don't eat lemons or oranges, but they're happy to celebrate. The imperialists? We've given them a thorough beating. I wouldn't like to be in their shoes. We proclaimed a slogan: let there be a Hungarian orange! And there it was! We made no empty promises,...
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Connections

Followed by Megint tanú (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Jaj, cica
Music by Emmerich Kálmán
Lyrics by Leo Stein and Béla Jenbach
Performed by Róbert Rátonyi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The top product of the Hungarian movie
25 September 2008 | by IlMattoSee all my reviews

This movie did what the other Hungarians couldn't: Really enjoyable and makes the Hungarian '50-s era understandable even for foreigners who have never lived under communist regime. No need to say more.

Well, OK. Just because of the commenting rules.

This movie is full of unforgettable characters. Comrade Virág and the old logopedist lady are my favorites. This aspect is one of the many strong points of the Tanú. And so on, the play of the actors, the sentences and termini technici which became part of the national culture, the great atmosphere, the unique sense of humor made this movie a masterpiece. After more then 20 times of watching, it still can't become boring.


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