I think the chief accomplishment of Orson Welles’s The Trial is that it so fully traps us in its nightmare world. The movie is an adaptation of Kafka’s novel about a man named Josef K who wakes up one morning to find that he is being persecuted for some unknown offense. K stumbles from one bizarre confrontation with the law to another. He is never told what he's charged with, but he is assured that his case is going very badly. Welles’s film takes this surreal premise and runs with it.
The movie was made during Welles’s second European exile. After the failed release of Touch Of Evil in 1958, the director had more or less washed his hands of Hollywood. He would spend much of the 60s in Europe, a period in which he made some of his best work: The Trial, Falstaff (Chimes At Midnight), and The Immortal Story. Not only are all these films fascinating, they also comprise a pretty good run of luck for a director who had so often had to struggle with producers and studios to get his vision on screen.