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The Trial

Franz Kafka's classic tale of Josef K., a bank clerk who is placed on trial for an unnamed, unknowable crime, is given a faithful if not overly literal treatment in this drama. Knowing only that he has been charged, Josef naturally sets out to defend himself, but soon finds himself deeply mired in a battle against an incomprehensible government bureaucracy. Following Orson Welles's adaptation of the book by some three decades, director David Jones chooses to avoid the earlier film's expressionistic approach. Instead, he sets Josef's travails against a realistic background that specifically recalls Eastern Europe during the early 20th century, the time of the book's writing. Similarly, the screenplay by famed British playwright Harold Pinter, whose own darkly absurd vision he owes much to Kafka, hews closely to the original text. This faithful approach helps ground the story in historical reality, and allows for a good use of brooding Prague locations; however, many critics have found this approach less effective than the low-budget abstraction of Welles' version, which is more successful at highlighting the universality and symbolic nature of the tale.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/11/1998
UPC: 0014381426526
Original Release: 1993
Rating: NR
Source: Image Entertainment
Sound: [Dolby Digital]
Time: 2:00:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kyle MacLachlan Josef K.
Anthony Hopkins The Priest
Jason Robards Dr. Huld
Jean Stapleton Landlady
Polly Walker Leni
Alfred Molina Titorelli
Juliet Stevenson Fraulein Burstner
Michael Kitchen Block
Patrick Godfrey Court Usher
David Thewlis Franz
Anthony Haygarth Willem
Douglas Hodge Inspector
David Schneider Kullich
Ondrej Vetchý Kaminer
Paul Brooke Deputy Bank Manager
Harry Burton K's assistant
Roger Lloyd Pack Stairman
Leon Lissek Stairman
Trevor Peacock Examining Magistrate
Andrew Tiernan Berthold
Jiri Schmitzer Thin Defendant
Don Henderson Flogger
Robert Lang K's Uncle
John Woodvine Herr Deimen
Karel Augusta Executioner
Petr Drozda Executioner
Petr Skarke Man in the Window

Technical Credits
David Jones Director
John Bush Set Decoration/Design
Carl Davis Score Composer
Jim Holloway Art Director
Kobi Jaeger Executive Producer
Louis Marks Producer
Jiri Matolin Art Director
Phil Meheux Cinematographer
Carolyn Montagu Associate Producer
Anushia Nieradzik Costumes/Costume Designer
Harold Pinter Screenwriter
Mark Shivas Executive Producer
John Stothart Editor
Don Taylor Production Designer
Ann Wingate Associate Producer
Jake Wright Asst. Director

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapter Index
1. Main Title [2:32]
2. An Extraordinary Situation [9:57]
3. Business as Usual [3:17]
4. A Woman's Charm [8:57]
5. Looking for a Plumber [3:03]
6. The Session [7:30]
7. No Session Today [2:59]
8. Examining the Books [10:57]
9. The Court Offices [3:53]
10. Flogging [6:51]
11. Inquiring Uncle: The Lawyer's Counsel [5:35]
12. A Captivating Woman [3:16]
13. Josef's Cavalier Attitude [8:54]
14. Painter of the Court [10:15]
15. Superstitions [6:23]
16. "I'm Taking My Defense Out of Your Hands..." [1:33]
17. The Cathedral [5:28]
18. The Prison Chaplin [7:54]
19. The Door Keeper [7:49]
20. The Verdict [3:12]

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