The Trial

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Time Out says

The effect of nightmare is muted in this Pinter-scripted version of Kafka's classic. MacLachlan would seem appropriately cast as the much put-upon minor bank official, but as soon as he's arrested problems arise. His variable English accent and declamatory style militate against audience identification essential to this dystopian chronicle, creating a hollowness at the film's core from which it never really recovers. A cavalcade of top British thesps do, however, come up with the goods (Hopkins' oppressive priest, Stevenson as K's enigmatic neighbour). The film pits an incredulous, almost self-righteous individual against the absurdist machinations of an institutionalised (in)justice system gone mad, and grounds events in authentic Prague locations and 1912 period detail, yet the result boxes in the parameters of Kafka's imagination. Unlike Welles' dizzying city of the imagination, Jones' faithful run-through doesn't quite conjure up the keynote of pervasive unease.
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Release details

UK release:

1992

Duration:

120 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

David Jones

Cast:

David Thewlis, Alfred Molina, Polly Walker, Juliet Stevenson, Jason Robards, Anthony Hopkins, Kyle MacLachlan, Tony Haygarth

Music:

Carl Davis

Production Designer:

Don Taylor

Editor:

John Stothart

Cinematography:

Philip Meheux

Screenwriter:

Harold Pinter

Producer:

Louis Marks

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