Witness in the War Zone (1987)


Deadline is a 1987 war drama film directed by Nathaniel Gutman. It stars Christopher Walken as journalist Don Stevens, who is set up amidst the Lebanese Civil War and is fed false information. An international co-production of Israel, the United States, and West Germany, the film was shot in Israel.

Also known as Deadline (original title), Witness in a War Zone, and Witness in the War Zone.


Ace Reporter Don Stevens (Christopher Walken) is an American journalist who goes to Beirut, Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War. He stays in a hotel with English journalist Mike Jessop. He is promised an interview with a top PLO leader, Palestinian Yassin Abu-Riadd (Amos Lavi). However, this proves to be a set-up and he is duped into interviewing an impostor who claims the PLO are prepared to negotiate peacefully.

Outraged by this deception, Stevens becomes determined to find out the truth. In this quest he is helped by a Scandinavian doctor, Linda, who it emerges is Yassin’s estranged girlfriend. Along the way, Stevens is hindered by everyone around him: The PLO threaten him, the Phalangists arrest him and the Israelis ignore him. Tricked and beaten, he gradually uncovers a murder plot, double agents, the bombing of the Phalangists headquarters and, most terrifying of all, a plan to massacre hundreds of civilians. In a story that takes the lid off events in Lebanon, Don Stevens becomes a reluctant hero, and in doing so, gets the scoop of a lifetime.


  • Christopher Walken as Don Stevens
  • Marita Marschall as Linda Larsen
  • Hywel Bennett as Mike Jessop
  • Arnon Zadok as Hamdi Abu-Yussuf
  • Amos Lavi as Yassin Abu-Riadd
  • Etti Ankri as Samira
  • Martin Umbach as Bernard
  • Moshe Ivgy as Abdul
  • Sasson Gabai as Bossam



Christopher Walken won the Magnolia Award for “Best Actor” at the Shanghai Television Festival.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Nathaniel Gutman
  • Producer(s):
    • Michael Sharfstein … line producer
    • Barnaby Thompson … assistant producer
    • Elisabeth Wolters-Alfs … producer
  • Writer(s):
    • Hanan Peled … (story and screenplay)
  • Music:
    • Hans Jansen
    • Jacques Zwart
  • Cinematography:
    • Thomas Mauch
    • Amnon Salomon
  • Editor(s):
    • Peter Przygodda
  • Production:
    • Caro
    • GPHS International
    • Virgin Vision
  • Distributor(s):
    • Cineplex Odeon Films (Canada, 1987)(theatrical)
    • Skouras Pictures (United States, 1987)(theatrical)
    • Twentieth Century Fox (West Germany, 1987)(theatrical)
    • Aquarius TV (Greece, 2000)(TV)
    • BFS Video (United States, 2003)(DVD)
    • Cineplex-Odeon Home Video (Canada, 1987)(VHS)
    • HGV Video Productions (Canada, 1990)(VHS)
    • Laser Paradise (Germany, 2003)(DVD)
    • MCA Home Video (Canada, 1987)(distributed by, VHS)
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) (World-wide, 2021)
    • Platinum Disc (United States, 2002)(DVD)
    • Seven Keys Home Video (Australia, 1988)(‘Witness in the War Zone’, video)
    • VCL Communications (West Germany, 1988)(VHS)
    • VTC Media (Netherlands, 2003)(DVD)
    • Video Treasures (United States, 1990)(VHS)
    • Virgin Vision (United States, 1987)(VHS)
  • Release Date: 02 July 1987 (West Germany).
  • Rating: 15.
  • Running Time: 100 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link(s)

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