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Anthony Perkins , Orson Welles    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 6.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description


Orson Welles's 1962 take on Franz Kafka's nightmare comedy stars Anthony Perkins as a twitchy K, a man accused of a crime that is never specified. The story has been filmed several times over the years, but not quite with the air of noir fable Welles brings to it. Beginning with an unexpected prologue in which Welles, in voiceover, tells a haunting parable while we look at artwork by pioneer pinscreen animators Claire Parker and Alexandre Alexeieff, The Trial is one surprising and visually startling chapter after another. The sense of an unrelieved, labyrinthine passage through an incoherent world--in which a very real but determinedly unclear guilt dogs poor K--is merciless but compelling to see, and resonates profoundly with Welles's obsession with the power and nature of illusion. A cast heavy on female icons from the '60s includes Jeanne Moreau, Elsa Martinelli, and Romy Schneider. Welles favorite Akim Tamiroff is also on hand, and Welles himself plays the Advocate. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

This tour-de-force of persecution and paranoia is based on the writings of Franz Kafka.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Alpha Video's DVD of "The Trial" is a dirty, rough, nasty, muffled Public Domain copy of a great, great film -- recommendable only for its extreme affordability. As with most Grey Market discs sourced from questionable Public Domain prints, the video is full of interlace scan lines and fine detail is utterly non-existent. The sound is equally muddy, thus ensuring a unified sonic-and-visual experience akin to watching your favourite film with a nylon sock over your head (while wearing earmuffs). With the superb Milestone DVD now long out-of-print, and with no foreseeable North American release date for Studio Canal's HD version, this may be your best bet if you want the film -- and only the film -- right now without hogging your Internet bandwidth or buying a multi-region player. "The Trial" is a prime slice of late-period Welles with pitch-perfect performances, nigh-flawless blocking, stunning cinematography and an utterly nightmarish, surreal storyline. It's a shame Alpha's product doesn't measure up to the content, so either hold off for a better release or purchase with my forewarnings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Aco
Format:VHS Tape
What The Trial lacks in comprehension (purposely at that) it makes up for in cinematography, set design, art direction and music. Essentially a nightmare tale, Joseph K. slowly comes to madness as his accusation for some unknown crime leads him into the abyss of a legal system, full of strange, abusive, mysterious, confusing people.
As a film I couldn't sit through it at once, I had to get up and return a couple times because the convoluted situation makes it hard to follow. This aspect is surely purposeful, Welles is a master of storytelling and images, and the production itself proves amazing.
I would highly recommend this for it's adaptation of Kafka's posthumous story, beautiful and horrible direction, cinematography, set and art direction and music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Huh? I'm Lost.... May 29 2007
Orson Welles' so called "personal favourite film", based on the novel by Franz Kafka does remain more or less consistent with the original written work, though Welles has changed a few things to amplify effect or to introduce characters.

The poor quality of the reel (the film was nearly lost), also make it that some lines go unheard and make characters difficult to identify. The "mise en scene" also adds to this confusion, with Josef K. walking through numerous strange rooms, corridors and halls.

Still though, the film can help visualize certain elements from the book that might be difficult to imagine otherwise. Also, it is important to remember that Kafka's work was unfinished and unassembled, and Welles has attempted to reflect this non-linearity within the film.

All in all, I do recommend you see this film if you have read or plan on reading the original work, but you might be very confused by the storyline without this base knowledge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good try, but not good enough Jan. 19 2004
Citizen Kane is one of my favorite movies ever, and of course I respect Mr. Welles as a director. But I am afraid this movie falls short. Sound editing problems, bad acting and some unexplainable changes in the story are awful. For example, the end of the movie is simply bizarre. This movie could be much better. Although it is a good try, it is not good enough for Kafka's story.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great adaptation of Kafka's book April 28 2004
The Trial is Orson Welles' adaptation of the Franz Kafka novel of the same name. It follows the story of Josef K., a man who finds himself in a nightmarish version of reality he neither understands, nor can escape from. It begins with Josef K. (played by Anthony Perkins) being awakened by police officers, who refuse to tell him the crime he's accused of. He's placed under arrest, but not taken into custody - they allow him to continue his "normal" life. Instead, he is taken away at bizarre moments to appear in court, which is a distorted mockery of the concept of justice. There is no judge, no jury, no stated charges, no burden of proof, no lawyers, and no one that assumes impartiality or responsibility. When Josef K. asks for a lawyer, he's told it's not necessary, since it's an "informal" questioning. After the "court" appearance, Josef K. goes to enlist "the Advocate" to defend him. The Advocate (played by Orson Welles) is portrayed as a demi-god of legal access and information not available to the common man - to be worshiped and feared at all costs, since without him, they are nothing. However, in the end, Josef K. is sentenced and eventually executed for these elusive crimes.
The Trial is a merging of the existential philosophies of Kafka with the cinematic genius of Welles. Josef K. is not a particularly empathetic character - he's weak, morally flexible, and passively pushed along this nightmare. In either ending, (the book or the film), Josef K. doesn't fight against his fate, or meekly accepts it. It embodies the existentialist view that Josef K.'s nightmare prison is one of his own making, and therefore only he is responsible for its injustices.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality Alpha video... April 27 2014
By Edmonson TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"The Trial" (1962) is directed by Orson Welles (Citizen Kane), and is based on the novel by Franz Kafka. Anthony Perkins stars as Joseph K. who has been convicted of some crime of which he knows not and of which no one will inform him. This dreamlike nightmare tale follows Joseph K. through a labyrinth of a bureaucracy that knows no end. The movie has an early German Expressionist look to it with dramatic lighting and mysterious surroundings.

For those wanting to view this movie it would be best to avoid this Alpha Video release which is very low quality with very low resolution, and it also has many defects and dust on the film that have not been cleaned up. The video quality is like a well used VHS tape. The movie itself is 4/5, but the dvd is 1/5.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Put Alpha Video out of business
I cannot in good conscience write a good review for a DVD that is so poor in transfer quality that it looks worse than VHS. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Damon Johnson
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality of Dvd
The images are a bit blurred and the sound can be better.
It seems to be a transfer from a VHS tape.
Not recommended even if it's cheap.
Published 5 months ago by John Fasthand
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie seems more relevant with the passage of time
Whenever a famous person, comes to trial, we never really know why he is brought to trial, or whether the
charge specified, is the actual reason proceedings have started... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Anthony Marinelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Guilty!
What is Joseph K guilty of? There are a number of possibilities, none of which I will suggest here. I don't want to be guilty of ruining the fun of figuring that out for yourself. Read more
Published on June 10 2004 by Kari L. Black
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much into the " noir " style of film making.
This film is dark in more ways than one. My copy was way dark. Of course it is emotionally dark also. Didn't much like the novel in college & my opinion hasn't improved. Read more
Published on April 26 2004 by JOHN GODFREY
5.0 out of 5 stars Guilty
What is Joseph K guilty of? There are a number of possibilities, none of which I will suggest here. I don't want to be guilty of ruining the fun of figuring that out for yourself. Read more
Published on April 23 2004 by Kari L. Black
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty boring
I first saw this movie long ago. I couldn't remember much about it, so I got it and watched it again. Read more
Published on Aug. 17 2003 by Daniel Brockman
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