Written by / 11/05/2022 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ORSON WELLES PUTS ANTHONY PERKINS THROUGH 'THE TRIAL'

Anthony Perkins in Orson Welles's THE TRIAL Year: 1962 Rating: ***1/2

Before his final William Shakespeare adaptation CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, the legendary Orson Welles said that, if he had to chose only one movie to offer for entrance into Heaven, it would be THE TRIAL... ironic since it's basically a journey into Hell...

Actually, Anthony Perkins as Joseph K (for author Kafka) wakes up there already, stuck within a frustrating perdition, in his very own apartment that, next door to local floozy Jeanne Moreau, makes him a suspect by plainclothesman, who begin a somewhat subtle interrogation that progresses throughout, involving several other authority figure types...

Anthony Perkins in THE TRIAL

Including the boss of an immense workplace with literally hundreds of hammering typewriters... a fantastically-set computer-driven future-world that could easily pass as science-fiction along with mystery/thriller... to an even more gigantic opera house and a formidable courtroom (with a humongous door) where all the accused wait to be judged for... nothing in particular, yet our man's stuck in what the intro describes as having the logic of a dream...

And while government backrooms are piled with old newspapers, office corridors filled with endless cabinets or a makeshift-prison basement of wooden posts casting severe shadows, all look terrific, for Perkins (and the audience) there aren't enough breaks within the ongoing, deliberately irksome, perpetual nightmare...

Anthony Perkins in THE TRIAL with Jeanne Moreau

The kind where nothing pans out or connects, and in that, PSYCHO star Perkins has the right amount of vulnerability as the central pursued pawn, but is sometimes so nervous and quirky he often blends into instead of breaking out from the surrounding eccentricities: including awkward asexual courtships with Moreau, then Elsa Martinelli — then Romy Schneider, stuck with Akim Tamiroff (sharing more sexual chemistry with Perkins than the dames) while working for a morose advocate in Mr. Welles himself...

Overall, despite an art-house aesthetic and deep, brooding themes, this epic TRIAL is Welles's last genuine motion picture that doesn't resemble a shoestring-budgeted, practically-unfinished, almost-abandoned labor-of-love, and, if he did make it to that particular paradise, he either screened CITIZEN KANE or TOUCH OF EVIL instead. 

Romy Schneider with Anthony Perkins in THE TRIAL
Court guard's wife Elsa Martinelli with Tony Perkins in THE TRIAL
Romy Schneider with Anthony Perkins in THE TRIAL with Akim Tamiroff
Anthony Perkins in Orson Welles's THE TRIAL
Anthony Perkins in Orson Welles's THE TRIAL

Jeanne Moreau and Anthony Perkins in THE TRIAL
Orson Welles's THE TRIAL
Tony Perkins in Orson Welles's THE TRIAL
Orson Welles in THE TRIAL
Romy Schneider with Orson Welles in THE TRIAL
Anthony Perkins in THE TRIAL

Anthony Perkins in THE TRIAL
Anthony Perkins in THE TRIAL with Romy Schneider
Anthony Perkins in THE TRIAL with Akim Tamiroff
Anthony Perkins in THE TRIAL
Poster for Orson Welles's THE TRIAL aka Le procès 
Poster for Orson Welles's THE TRIAL aka Le procès 
Poster for Orson Welles's THE TRIAL aka Le procès 
Poster for Orson Welles's THE TRIAL aka Le procès 
Poster for Orson Welles's THE TRIAL aka Le procès 
Anthony Perkins and Jeanne Moreau in THE TRIAL
Billy Kearns, Tony Perkins & Jess Hahn in THE TRIAL aka Le procès 

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