Le Procès (The Trial)
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Though debatable as an adaptation of the Franz Kafka novel, Orson Welles's nightmarish, labyrinthine comedy of 1962 remains his creepiest and most disturbing work; it's also a lot more influential than people usually admit."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"The Trial is splendid to look at and teeming with ideas about the individual, society, and of course, film itself."
‑ Amy Taubin, Village Voice
"Overwhelmingly bleak, but exciting cinema."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"Welles applied his bravura directorial style to Kafka's landmark 1925 novel about Joseph K (Perkins), an office clerk who gets arrested without being told why."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A great filmmaker who is an excellent guide into a Kafkaesque nightmare."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The blackest of Welles' comedies."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Above all a visual achievement, an exuberant use of camera placement and movement and inventive lighting."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Labyrinthine, stylized and tragicomic, this adaptation of Kafka's novel sees Welles at his funniest, and his most despairing."
‑ , Film4
"While not exactly Kafka, every inch of it is most certainly Welles"
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"A singularly unique -- though somewhat flawed -- literary adaptation that mixes that modern and the baroque with luminous black and white photography."
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"At best, it is another demonstration of the camera vers atility of Mr. Welles; at worse, a further Kafka demonstration extending to the demanding medium of the screen."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"The more Joseph tries to understand, the more impenetrable it becomes."
‑ Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"Orson Welles' bounced Czech, via Kafka. Not the masterpiece that many Welles fanatics claim, but intriguing and outrageous enough for genuine appreciation."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"Welles' adaptation of Kafka's famous work is one of his most innovative and bizarre, a trip through the surreal that would have done Kafka proud."
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Could stand to be shorter, but overall a great attempt to bring Kafka to the screen."
‑ Luke Y. Thompson, New Times
More reviews for Le Procès (The Trial) on Rotten Tomatoes