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

 -  Crime | Drama | Fantasy  -  30 March 1963 (Italy)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 11,196 users  
Reviews: 96 user | 59 critic

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

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(adaptation), (based on the novel by), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Trial (1962)

The Trial (1962) on IMDb 7.8/10

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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
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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


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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

30 March 1963 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Trial  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Optiphone) (source format)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film as well as "Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray", both released in late 1962, are the first to feature the now famous "Adagio in G minor" by Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751) which was first published in 1957. 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

Featured in The 43rd Annual Academy Awards (1971) 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

 
Orson Welles's Best Movie
1 March 2001 | by See all my reviews

When asked on the IMDb poll to enter the name of my favorite movie, I at first thought it an impossible task. Once this one entered my mind, though, the contest was over.

The lifetime masterpiece of a master of filmmaking, "The Trial" is Orson Welles's finest film, even surpassing "Touch of Evil." Somber, brooding, sometimes even claustrophobic, "The Trial" is a surrealistic safari through the worlds of law, employment and interpersonal relationships.

The melancholy strains of the artistically deployed Adagio by Albinoni underscore the mood of the film, shot mostly at twilight or indoors by night in a tangle of nightmarish sets that extend to infinity. Even scenes shot in broad daylight seem cold and devoid of nourishment in this cosmos of interminable, infinitesimal complexity which utterly lacks a heart.

Anthony Perkins (Joseph K.) is mass of contradictions, at once sympathetic, boyish, paranoid, angry, declamatory and most of all surpassingly frustrated by the futility of attempting to deal with a society that both demands mechanistic perfection of him and at the same time exhibits a persistent apathy toward his continued existence as well as a bureaucratic attempt to destroy it.

He seems inadvertently to hurt everyone with whom he comes in contact, ostensibly the cause of people getting thrown out of their dwellings, schools, jobs, marriages and other situations, all due to his benign actions which in any sane world would be completely unconnected with the tragedies they somehow appear to create. But in the Kafka/Welles society, they just lead to blame and further accusations. In his helplessness, his innocence and his utter bafflement, Perkins is thoroughly disarming.

Welles is positively diabolical as The Advocate, who, like everyone else connected with the Court, is not of any assistance or support to the accused. Rather, he seems to exist only to hurl vague accusations at Joseph K. - which the poor man is somehow expected to understand beforehand and even think are justified - and to exact payment for same.

Romy Schneider is outstanding as The Advocate's cook/housekeeper/nursemaid/concubine, the only person in the story who shows Joseph K. any genuine affection, odd though the form it takes may be. Other unforgettable and universally strange characters populate this odyssey into oblivion, such as the club-footed landlady doggedly dragging a trunk along an empty railroad track into the fading twilight while politely trying to refrain from telling Joseph K. how lowly she regards him.

The movie is fairly divergent from the book, which it inspired me to read. For example, the movie comes to a conclusion, while the unfinished book does not. In most ways, though, I find the movie more memorable, haunting and downright disturbing. Its skillfully crafted mesh of images and symbols which resonate at a level deeper than the conscious will find themselves recurring to the viewer unbidden for years to come.


34 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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