Witness Protection (film)

Witness Protection is a 1999 American television movie directed by Richard Pearce and starring Tom Sizemore, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Forest Whitaker, Shawn Hatosy, and Skye McCole Bartusiak. The teleplay by Daniel Therriault is based on a New York Times Magazine article entitled The Invisible Family by Robert Sabbag. It was broadcast by HBO on December 11, 1999 and released on videotape in Portugal (Protecção de Uma Testemunha), Argentina (Protejan al testigo), and Iceland the following year.

Witness Protection
VHS cover
Based onNew York Times Magazine article entitled The Invisible Family by Robert Sabbag.
Screenplay byDaniel Therriault
Directed byRichard Pearce
Music byCliff Eidelman
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Henry S. Schleiff
CinematographyFred Murphy
Production company(s)HBO NYC Productions
Original releaseDecember 11, 1999 (1999-12-11)

Plot synopsis

South Boston career criminal Bobby Batton, facing execution by the mob, is offered a deal by the FBI: immunity from prosecution for several serious crimes in exchange for testimony against his partners, after which he and his family will join the Federal Witness Protection Program.

Batton accepts the offer, and he, his wife Cindy, his Harvard-bound son Sean, and young daughter Suzie spend five days with federal marshal Steven Beck, who coaches them in their new identities in preparation for their relocation to Seattle.

Trying to cope without money, friends, relatives, pets, possessions, or any semblance of a past existence proves to be more difficult than any of them anticipated. When the family slowly begins to disintegrate under the weight of recriminations and frustration, Bobby wonders if his freedom is worth the sacrifices his loved ones have been forced to make.

Principal cast

Principal production credits

Critical reception

Caren Weiner Campbell of Entertainment Weekly rated the DVD release a B and added, "With its moody Sopranos vibe, this modest made-for-cable drama begins gracefully but bogs down a bit during the family's orientation, during which Whitaker, as the feds' liaison, gives a performance so subdued he almost seems to be sleepwalking."[1]



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