MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 3,562 this week

The Trial (1962)
"Le procès" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama | Fantasy  -  30 March 1963 (Italy)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 10,696 users  
Reviews: 96 user | 58 critic

An unassuming office worker is arrested and stands trial, but he is never made aware of his charges.

Director:

Writers:

(adaptation), (based on the novel by), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 02 Feb 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 20 Feb 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 31 Aug 2012
 
a list of 27 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 25 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Trial" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Trial (1962)

The Trial (1962) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Trial.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An American adventurer investigates the past of mysterious tycoon Arkadin...placing himself in grave danger.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Peter van Eyck, Michael Redgrave
Chinatown (1974)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
Le Samurai (1967)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

After killing a night-club owner, professional hitman Jef Costello's seen by witnesses. His efforts to provide himself with an alibi fail and more and more he gets driven into a corner.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Nathalie Delon, François Périer
Se7en (1995)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Leonard Vole is arrested on suspicion of murdering an elderly acquaintance. He employs an experienced but aging barrister as his defense attorney.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Detective Philip Marlowe tries to help a friend who is accused of murdering his wife.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Elliott Gould, Nina van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, Armin Mueller-Stahl
The Prestige (2006)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The rivalry between two magicians becomes more exacerbated by their attempt to perform the ultimate illusion.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson
Fight Club (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

An insomniac office worker looking for a way to change his life crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker and they form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more...

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter
Bad Education (2004)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An examination on the effect of Franco-era religious schooling and sexual abuse on the lives of two longtime friends.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Fele Martínez, Javier Cámara
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In the midst of trying to legitimize his business dealings in 1979 New York and Italy, aging mafia don Michael Corleone seeks to vow for his sins while taking a young protégé under his wing.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Hilda
Suzanne Flon ...
Miss Pittl
Madeleine Robinson ...
Mrs. Grubach
...
Max Buchsbaum ...
...
Inspector A
Jess Hahn ...
Second Assistant Inspector
Max Haufler ...
Uncle Max
Thomas Holtzmann ...
Bert the Law Student
...
Chief Clerk of the Law Court
Katina Paxinou
Paola Mori ...
Court archivist
Wolfgang Reichmann ...
Courtroom Guard
Edit

Storyline

Josef K wakes up in the morning and finds the police in his room. They tell him that he is on trial but nobody tells him what he is accused of. In order to find out about the reason of this accusation and to protest his innocence, he tries to look behind the facade of the judicial system. But since this remains fruitless, there seems to be no chance for him to escape from this Kafkaesque nightmare. Written by Joern Richts <richts@informatik.rwth-aachen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

30 March 1963 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Trial  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Optiphone) (source format)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

It has been reported that Orson Welles dubbed 11 voices in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Josef K. follows Hilda being carried out of the large trial room/hall by the law student, he hastily grabs and throws on his suit jacket. In the succeeding scenes, the jacket's buttons which are buttoned changes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Before the law, there stands a guard. A man comes from the country, begging admittance to the law. But the guard cannot admit him. May he hope to enter at a later time? That is possible, said the guard. The man tries to peer through the entrance. He'd been taught that the law was to be accessible to every man. "Do not attempt to enter without my permission", says the guard. I am very powerful. Yet I am the least of all the guards. From hall to hall, door after door, each guard is ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end cast credits are read over by Orson Welles without titles See more »

Connections

Referenced in Processen (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Adagio in G
(uncredited)
Music by Tomaso Albinoni
Arranged by Jean Ledrut
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Every Man Strives To Attain The Law"
30 December 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

By the times Welles moved his cast and crew to Paris to complete "The Trial", the large-scale project conceived and filmed in Yugoslavia was having to be whittled down fairly drastically because, not for the first or last time in Welles' career, the money had run out. The Paris scenes are shot entirely inside the (then) magnificently derelict Gare d'Orsay, and one wonders if the film's simple, no-frills prologue was forced on Welles by dint of poverty. Monochrome drawings are flipped upwards in a process which Welles calls "pin-screen". The director narrates the fable of a man who seeks entry through the Door of Justice, but never reaches his goal. This conundrum of guards and portals harks back to ancient times, and provides a neat distillation of the story to come.

For the entirety of the long scene in K's bedroom, and throughout the major part of the film, Welles positions the camera slightly below waist height. This 'wrong' spatial relationship creates in the viewer a vague sense of unease, a visual disorientation which compounds K's emotional loss of bearings. Welles plays clever tricks with the proportions of the rooms, their lines being slightly out of kilter, and the ceilings very much in view. Typically, Welles is deliberately and flamboyantly breaking a cardinal rule of cinematography - 'keep the ceiling out of shot'. Interiors seem open and spacious if we can't see the ceiling, and Welles is after the converse effect: driving home the point that K inhabits an airless, joyless place and his surroundings are imbued with inchoate hostility.

German expressionism had gripped Welles' imagination back in the 1930's, and virtually all of his films show its abiding influence. The columns of the opera house represent social regimentation, and K offends against social conformity by awkwardly pushing his way out of the theatre, an irregular irritant polluting the symmetry of the seating. When K gets caught in the exodus of workers from the office, he is both literally and metaphorically swimming against the tide. His microscopic ineffectuality against the ponderous stateliness of the courtroom doors drives home the expressionist point - he is a puny Jonah, entering the cavernous bowels of The State.

"To be in chains is sometimes safer than being free," and it could be said that Welles' genius flourished best when shackled by a dearth of resources. Lacking the money for costumes during the shooting of "Othello", Welles turned adversity to artistic advantage, filming the murder scene in a turkish bath, not only obviating the need for clothing but also making a succinct point about Iago's motives being 'stripped bare'. "The Trial" affords another example of Welles' remarkable fecundity. Zitorelli's studio is built of cheap slats and lit from outside, creating a powerful cinematic image of The State's placeman clinging precariously to his wretched privileges - all filmed at practically no expense. The skewed, empty picture frames are silent comments on the distorted and barren perspective of Zitorelli, the human race's Benedict Arnold.

K is a Freudian picaro, journeying in despair through the intestines of a nightmare system of justice, an apparatus ironically designed to ensure that justice is stifled. The shades of Buchenwald are introduced by Welles. Defendants wait with meathooks above their heads and, in other parts of this unfathomable 'system', nameless naked unfortunates stand in quiet misery, their numbers hanging from their necks. Leni and The Wife are grotesque distortions of Dante's Beatrice, malformed guides with no sense of direction and no transcendent vision. Welles himself plays Hassler the advocate, the bully who has no thought of his client's welfare but seeks only to perpetuate the cruel gavotte of litigation. "The confusion's impenetrable," a point reinforced by shooting characters through interminable patterns of beams and girders, whose shifting geometry engulfs the insignificant humans.

In his 1985 biography of Welles, Charles Higham declared "The Trial" a failure, concluding that it was "muffled, dull, unexciting on every level". Perhaps more tellingly, he criticised Welles for adopting a grandiose approach, whereas Kafka's work cries out for spareness and understatement. Higham is excellent, but the film is not, in my humble opinion, a failure. It evokes with emotional power a dreamspace of despair, and in so doing renders a great service to Kafka's oeuvre.


22 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Modern Remake tabascosauce00
severely underated and overlooked? Ageispolis
David Lynch Similarities? WhiteRevolver
To all of you who have read the book MillSwe
Are there REALLY NO symbols in this film? deshovel
Petition Criterion for a Blu-Ray? MiloMindbender
Discuss The Trial (1962) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?