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The Trial

The Trial

Anthony Perkins
Director: Orson Welles Cast: Anthony Perkins
Anthony Perkins
, Jeanne Moreau
Jeanne Moreau
, Romy Schneider
Romy Schneider
Orson Welles

DVD (Wide Screen)

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Much of Orson Welles' latter-day reputation as an "unfathomable" genius rests upon his seeming unwillingness to tell a story in clear, precise fashion. Sometimes, as in such films as Touch of Evil, Welles' spotty storytelling skills can be forgiven in the light of the excellent visuals. In other cases, as in his 1962 adaptation of Kafka's The Trial, Welles'style comes across as empty virtuosity, precious and petulant when it should be profound. Anthony Perkins plays Joseph K, a man condemned for an unnamed crime in an unnamed country. Seeking justice, Joseph K is sucked into a labyrinth of bureaucracy (Welles once described the character as being a "little bureaucrat" himself, who deserves to be punished. This is never clearly expressed in the finished film). Along the way, he becomes involved with three women -- Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Elsa Martinelli -- who in their own individual ways are functions of the System that persecutes him. While Welles considered The Trial one of his finest films, this enthusiasm is not universally shared; even his most fervent admirers have been known to emerge from a screening of the film with quizzical, disappointed expressions on their faces. On the plus side, Welles and his cinematographer Edmond Richard perform miracles in transforming an abandoned French railway station into the headquarters of a totalitarian, red tape-ridden society. It's also fun to hear Welles' voice emanating from several of the supporting characters (his post-dubbing budget was nil). All in all, however, The Trial never truly works; it is unfair, however, to lay the blame for this entirely on Welles, inasmuch as the 1948 and 1994 attempts to cinematize the original Kafka novel likewise came a cropper.

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Product Details

Release Date: 07/09/2015
UPC: 0644827252428
Original Release: 1963
Source: Reel Vault
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sales rank: 38,437

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anthony Perkins Josef K.
Jeanne Moreau Miss Burstner
Romy Schneider Leni
Suzanne Flon Miss Pittl
Elsa Martinelli Hilda
Akim Tamiroff Bloch
Madeleine Robinson Mrs. Grubach
Orson Welles Hastler, advocate
Michel Lonsdale Priest
Arnoldo Foa Inspector A
Max Buchsbaum Examining Magistrate
William Chappell Titorelli
Raoul Delfosse 2nd Policeman
Jess Hahn 2nd Assistant Inspector
Max Haufler Uncle Max
Thomas Holtzmann Bert, the Law Student
William Kearns 1st Assistant Inspector
Fernand Ledoux Chief Clerk
Wolfgang Reichmann Courtroom Guard
Maydra Shore Irmie
Karl Studer Man in Leather
Maurice Teynac Deputy Manager

Technical Credits
Orson Welles Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Louis Dor Makeup
Yves Laplanche Producer
Jean Ledrut Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Jean Mandaroux Art Director
Yvonne Martin Editor
Marc Maurette Asst. Director
Fritz Muller Editor
Edmond Richard Cinematographer
Alexander Salkind Producer
Miguel Salkind Producer
Guy Villette Sound/Sound Designer

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