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The Trial (1962)

Le procès (original title)
An unassuming office worker is arrested and stands trial, but he is never made aware of his charges.

Director:

Orson Welles

Writers:

Pierre Cholot (adaptation), Franz Kafka (based on the novel by) | 1 more credit »
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4,195 ( 2,560)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Perkins ... Josef K.
Arnoldo Foà ... Inspector A
Jess Hahn ... Second Assistant Inspector
Billy Kearns Billy Kearns ... First Assistant Inspector (as William Kearns)
Madeleine Robinson ... Mrs. Grubach
Jeanne Moreau ... Marika Burstner
Maurice Teynac Maurice Teynac ... Deputy Manager
Naydra Shore Naydra Shore ... Irmie
Suzanne Flon ... Miss Pittl
Raoul Delfosse Raoul Delfosse ... Policeman
Jean-Claude Rémoleux Jean-Claude Rémoleux ... Policeman
Max Buchsbaum Max Buchsbaum ... Examining Magistrate
Carl Studer Carl Studer ... Man in Leather (as Karl Studer)
Max Haufler Max Haufler ... Uncle Max
Romy Schneider ... Leni
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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

Taglines:

A Film of Enormous Visual Panache! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | West Germany | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1962 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Trial See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Optiphone) (source format)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

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 ...
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The American version cut the opening pin screen sequence and also deleted and rearanged a number of scenes. See more »

Connections

Featured in They'll Love Me When I'm Dead (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Adagio d'Albinoni, À L'Orgue Baroque
Music by Tomaso Albinoni (T.Albinoni)
Arranged for organ by Jean Ledrut
Interprété par Tommy Desserre
Publisher: S.l. : Philips, 1962.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Closest Thing to a Paranoid Nightmare Ever Filmed
4 April 2007 | by robertguttmanSee all my reviews

Like many of Orson Welles films, The Trial has been imitated by other filmmakers. Patrick McGoohan borrowed part of The Trial's interiors for the famous opening of "The Prisoner", and David Lynch borrowed part of the exteriors for "Eraserhead". Neither, however, approaches the relentlessly grim paranoia of the Welle's original.

I don't believe that Kafka ever published The Trial during his lifetime. In his will he left instructions that all his literary manuscripts should be destroyed after his death. In what was, perhaps, the final irony of Kafka's life, it was only the disobedience of the executor of the writer's estate that made the peculiarly paranoid world Kafka had created available to the public at all.

See this film and, afterwords, try to get a peaceful night's sleep.


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