"You know when times are bad ,and you're feeling sad"
Most of the episode ,the shortest of them all (55 min),is given over to the trial,the Pièce De Résistance of Stevens' and mainly Sternberg's movies.
Warner Bentivagna underplays:he is absent as though the whole thing does not concern him anymore ;he knows the jury is hostile,as is the populace inside and outside the courtroom,and the prosecutor (Alberto Lupo) has no mercy for this first-degree murderer;he knows that the die is cast whatever his defense suggested by his lawyers may be. One scene sums up the atmosphere in succinct style: the wardens are having lunch,Clyde's plate remains full as he's desperately watching the clock.
The two American movies stop when the jury brings a guilty verdict and Clyde gets a death sentence ;but in fact Clyde's execution takes place after long months on death row ,depicted by Dreiser with spooky details.
Once more,the ending is brilliant:a black convict breaks into "nobody knows the trouble I've been " in a weary voice,and this is the perfect introduction to the last chapter:religion which was omnipresent in the first episode ,will come back as the key issue of the finale,when reverend Duncan enters the scene.
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