IMDb > The Trial (1962)
Le procès
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guide
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Trial (1962) More at IMDbPro »Le procès (original title)

Photos (See all 24 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   14,376 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Pierre Cholot (adaptation)
Franz Kafka (based on the novel by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Trial on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 April 1963 (West Germany) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
An unassuming office worker is arrested and stands trial, but he is never made aware of his charges. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(61 articles)
Going for Gold at Royal Mint
 (From Flickeringmyth. 2 February 2017, 10:00 PM, PST)

The Forgotten: Abel Gance's "Austerlitz" (1960)
 (From MUBI. 30 November 2016, 4:33 PM, PST)

Chimes at Midnight
 (From Trailers from Hell. 26 August 2016, 4:46 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
"Every Man Strives To Attain The Law" See more (104 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anthony Perkins ... Josef K.

Arnoldo Foà ... Inspector A

Jess Hahn ... Second Assistant Inspector
Billy Kearns ... First Assistant Inspector (as William Kearns)

Madeleine Robinson ... Mrs. Grubach

Jeanne Moreau ... Marika Burstner
Maurice Teynac ... Deputy Manager
Naydra Shore ... Irmie

Suzanne Flon ... Miss Pittl
Raoul Delfosse ... Policeman
Jean-Claude Rémoleux ... Policeman
Max Buchsbaum ... Examining Magistrate
Carl Studer ... Man in Leather (as Karl Studer)
Max Haufler ... Uncle Max

Romy Schneider ... Leni

Fernand Ledoux ... Chief Clerk of the Law Court

Akim Tamiroff ... Bloch

Elsa Martinelli ... Hilda

Thomas Holtzmann ... Bert the Law Student
Wolfgang Reichmann ... Courtroom Guard
William Chappell ... Titorelli

Michael Lonsdale ... Priest

Orson Welles ... Albert Hastler - The Advocate / Narrator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Guy Grosso ... Josef K.'s Colleague (uncredited)
Paola Mori ... Court Archivist (uncredited)

Directed by
Orson Welles 
 
Writing credits
Pierre Cholot (adaptation and dialogue)

Franz Kafka (based on the novel by)

Orson Welles (written by)

Produced by
Robert Florat .... associate producer
Alexander Salkind .... producer (as Alexandre Salkind)
Michael Salkind .... producer (as Michel Salkind)
 
Original Music by
Jean Ledrut 
 
Cinematography by
Edmond Richard (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Yvonne Martin 
Frederick Muller  (as Fritz H. Muller)
Orson Welles (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Jean Mandaroux 
 
Costume Design by
Helen Thibault (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Louis Dor .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Robert Florat .... production manager
Paul Laffargue .... assistant: director of production
Emile Blondé .... assistant unit manager (uncredited)
Philippe Dubail .... assistant unit manager (uncredited)
Jacques Pignier .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marc Maurette .... assistant director
Sophie Becker .... assistant director (uncredited)
Paul Seban .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Jean Bourlier .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Jacques Brizzio .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Madame Brunet .... dresser (uncredited)
Jean Charpentier .... upholsterer (uncredited)
Francine Coureau .... upholsterer (uncredited)
Jacques D'Ovidio .... assistant art director (uncredited)
André Labussière .... set dresser (uncredited)
Claudie Thary .... dresser (uncredited)
Pierre Tyberghein .... assistant art director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Jacques Lebreton .... sound mixer
Guy Villette .... sound
Julien Coutelier .... sound (uncredited)
Urbain Loiseau .... assistant sound (uncredited)
Guy Maillet .... assistant sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Denise Baby .... special effects editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Adolphe Charlet .... camera operator
Roger Corbeau .... still photographer
Max Dulac .... assistant camera
Robert Fraisse .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Andrea Gargano .... final colorist (uncredited)
Roberto Perpignani .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Gérard Pollicand .... associate editor (uncredited)
 
Location Management
Guy Maugin .... location manager (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Tomaso Albinoni .... composer: additional music
Jean Ledrut .... music arranger (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Alexander Alexeieff .... creator: prologue scenes on "Pin-screen" (as Alexandre Alexeieff)
Yves Laplanche .... promoter
Claire Parker .... creator: prologue scenes on "Pin-screen"
Jacques Pignier .... administrator
Alexander Salkind .... presenter
Jacques Brua .... accountant (uncredited)
Sonia Bunodière .... production secretary (uncredited)
Pierre Bénichou .... press attache (uncredited)
Paul Bürks .... voice dubbing (uncredited)
Henry Dutrannoy .... production administrator (uncredited)
Marie-José Kling .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Florence Malraux .... press attache (uncredited)
André Nicard .... publicist (uncredited)
Gisèle Pellet-Collet .... production secretary (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects
  • Lax (optical effects: Prologue)
Other Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le procès" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
119 min | USA:107 min (TV version : 1984)
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Optiphone) (source format)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The "pin-screen," also called the "pin-board," used in the opening and closing sequences was invented by Alexander Alexeieff in the early 1930's. It is a board with pins stuck in it at regular intervals. The pins can be raised or lowered to form an image, which can then be lit and photographed. By manipulating the pins and photographing them one frame at a time, the device can be used for animation, and though it was not so used in "The Trial" Alexeieff and Claire Parker made at least two short animated films using the pin-screen, Une nuit sur le mont chauve (1933) and Le nez (1963).See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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...
See more »
Soundtrack:
Jazz HallucinationSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is "The Trial" based on a book?
Is the novel available for reading online?
See more »
24 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
"Every Man Strives To Attain The Law", 30 December 1999
Author: Michael Coy (michael.coy@virgin.net) from London, England

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (104 total) »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Trial The Manchurian Candidate Brazil The Lady from Shanghai Freeway
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb France section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.