Orson Welles's The Trial is one disturbing, but hauntingly beautiful film. After years of having studio interference with many of his movies from the Magnificent Ambersons onwards, Welles finally had complete control and (admittedly) really went for broke with this film! It's about as opposite from a mainstream studio film as you'll ever find, with a constantly wandering narrative that really goes nowhere for long stretches. But this all works in its on wonderfully weird way as Welles captures the feeling that Josef K really is in the middle of a terrible nightmare. Is it all really happening, or is it all in his imagination? The black and white cinematography is quite simply, some of the best ever put to celluloid. Anthony Perkins is outstanding in the lead role. This is definitely his best role after Norman Bates. The Trial is certainly not a film for everyone. But if you want to see something a little different, from one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, then check it out!
Orson Welles proudly proclaims with abandon "I don't care what anyone says, this is my best film" and for once the silent chancellors are unanimous. Yes, this is better than Citizen Kane, A touch of Evil, The magnificent Ambersons, it's better than most silent films. There is a cautious freedom of movement in its storytelling, a strange and eerie personal touch in every frame of the film. It is unmistakably freed of any cinematic constraints that might limit its potency yet it proceeds with the tact and whimsy of an emancipated slave. This is the film Welles never should have made in his career post Citizen Kane, but ended up making without the greasy infringement of the 'higher influential forces' within the film industry. It is also the most accurate depiction of the obstacles of filmmaking.