The Trial (1962) Movie Script

Starting with a relatively simple idea,
Kafka plunges us into an incoherent,
absurd and surreal world.
The idea is this:
Bureaucrats, the system of administration
and its power crush the individual.
The individual becomes
a choking victim of society
when by chance - or misfortune -
he is drawn
towards the gear of its system.
From an article by Louis Chauvet
"Before the law there stands a guard."
"A man comes from the country,
begging admittance to the law."
"But the guard cannot admit him."
"Can he hope to enter at a later time?"
"That is possible," says the guard."
The man tries
to peer through the entrance.
'He had been taught that the law
should be accessible to every man."
"Do not attempt to enter
without my permission," says the guard."
"I am very powerful,
yet I am the least of all the guards."
"From hall to hall, door after door,"
"each guard
is more powerful than the last."
By the guard's permission,
the man sits down by the side of the door
and there he waits.
For years he waits.
Everything he has, he gives away
in the hope of bribing the guard,
who never fails to say to him,
"I take what you give me"
"only so you will not feel
you have left something undone."
Keeping his watch during the long years,
the man has learned to know even
the fleas in the guard's fur collar.
And, growing childish in old age,
he begs the very fleas to persuade
the guard to change his mind
and allow him to enter.
His sight is dimmed, but in the darkness
he perceives a radiance
streaming from the door of the law.
And now, before he dies,
all his experience condenses into one
question, a question he has never asked.
He beckons to the guard. Says the guard,
"You are insatiable! What is it now?"
Says the man,
"Every man strives to attain the law."
"How is it then that in all these years
no one else has ever come here"
"seeking admittance?"
His hearing has failed
so the guard yells into his ear.
"No one else but you
could ever have obtained admittance."
"No one else could enter this door."
"This door was intended"
"only for you."
"And now I am going to close it."
This tale is told during this story
called "The Trial".
It has been said
that the logic of this story
is the logic of a dream.
Of a nightmare.
Miss Burstner?
You were expecting Miss Burstner?
Why, no. N-No!
What an idea! Of course not.
You spoke her name just now.
- When?
- When I came in.
- You addressed me as Miss Burstner.
- Well, that's her room, you know.
What, what,
what are you doing in there?
W-Who are you?
What are you doing in here?
Miss Burstner frequently
comes through that door in the night?
No, never!
That door is kept permanently locked.
Mrs Grubach keeps the key.
Just ask her.
Where is she? Does she know about you?
Mrs Grubach?
You were expecting Mrs Grubach?
No. No. I'm not expecting anybody,
least of all you, whoever the hell you are!
- Where are you going?
- Well, I...
I think Mrs Grubach would like to know
there are strange people in her apartment.
You were starting in that direction.
That's Miss Burstner's room.
It is. I'd like to know what's going on.
- She isn't there now.
- Well, that's... not so very surprising.
She gets in late sometimes.
Very late. Very late indeed.
- You... you are the police?
- She gets in very late?
- Don't go jumping to conclusions.
- What conclusions?
The hours they keep in her nightclub
are no fault of hers.
She'll be home any minute now
and can answer your questions for herself.
- You are the police?
- What makes you think we want her?
Oh, I have no opinion of it,
one way or another.
It's nothing to do with me.
I scarcely know Miss Burstner.
Of course, we are fellow lodgers,
but that's obvious. ls, um...
Is she in some kind of trouble?
What kind of trouble?
Do you imagine we came here
to see Miss Burstner?
Well, you certainly didn't
come here to see me... did you?
Well, listen, you don't deny anything
or affirm anything.
You just stand there and stare at me
in the middle of my private bedroom at...
6.14 in the morning.
I don't see
why I should put up with it.
- You haven't even shown me your papers.
- Isn't that for you to do?
Oh, no. My papers - excuse me -
are in perfect order. Here, see for yourself.
Why don't you finish getting dressed?
For your information,
I am a man of regular habits
and getting dressed at 6.15 in the morning
doesn't happen to be one of them.
Still, I don't suppose there's any hope
of getting any more sleep.
Where are you going?
I take a bath in the morning,
if you must know. Why?
If you're reluctant
to dress in front of me...
- And I dress in the bathroom.
- Oh?
- Yes.
- Why?
Well, it's warm in the bathroom
and it's cold in the hall.
Any more questions?
- Why would you want to dress in the hall?
- Stay here.
- Why get dressed out in the hall?
- I don't, I don't.
But if I did not get dressed
in the bathroom after I finished my bath,
I'd be obliged to walk down the draughty
hall in my silk dressing robe
right after... out of a warm tub.
I hope you understand.
You wanted to get dressed in the hall.
Didn't you?
- No.
- OK, have it your way, mister.
What do you want to get dressed up for?
You're going nowhere. You're under arrest.
- You're... making a formal charge?
- I couldn't do that, mister.
- Exactly what is it I'm charged with?
- Take that up with the Inspector.
- That's who just left.
- "..until called for interrogation
- "you retired to your room."
- I'm in my room!
- You've got a lot of real nice shirts.
- Leave those shirts alone!
Know something? You'd do a whole lot
better to give them things to us.
After they're impounded officially,
you won't know what happens to them.
- There's crookedness in public auctions.
- We're your friends.
You ought to give us
some of them shirts at least.
It could be a joke, I suppose.
An elaborate practical joke by my friends.
- They're in there.
- Who's in there?
You're from my office.
Who brought you here?
The police?
These clerks from my office,
what have they got to do with it?
Rabinstein, Kullich and Kaminer.
Right? What's this?
That's her mother.
Leave her things alone! You especially!
Rabinstein, what are you doing here?
- We thought it'd be more unabusive...
- Unobstrusive.
Unobstruse is the word
you're looking for, not unabuse.
- How can I go to the office?
- This won't keep you from working.
- He said I'd stay in my room.
- He was reading the wrong page.
Well, this obviously isn't anything
of any importance.
Quite honestly, I can't remember a single
offence that could be charged against me.
It's obviously a mistake.
Something very trivial.
But the real question is...
who accuses me?
- Well? What authority...?
- Don't you worry about that, mister!
I'm sorry to disappoint you,
but you won't find
any subversive literature or pornography.
- Don't touch those record albums!
- What's this?
- That's my pornograph... my phono...
- What's this?
- What's what?
- A circular line with four holes.
- No, it's not really circular. Ovular.
- Don't write that down.
- Why not?
- Ovular
- We can't not write it down.
- Ovular isn't even a word.
- Do you deny there's an ovular shape?
- He denies everything!
Mrs Grubach's husband was a dentist.
There she is now! Mrs Grubach?
Mrs Grubach.
This was Dr Grubach's office.
- That don't matter. She can't come in.
- The dental chair was screwed here.
Do you want some good advice, mister?
I wouldn't want the others to hear it.
Now you'll want money.
You've got the wrong man.
- That's what they all say.
- Bribery. I don't believe in it.
- Have I asked you to give me anything?
- We're leaving, mister.
You're not going to be
one of them troublemakers, are you?
- Mrs Grubach?
- Good morning, Mr K. Breakfast is ready.
Ma'am, I wish you'd tell him.
If he really doesn't think that he's guilty,
he should keep it to himself.
At this stage,
this makes a very lousy impression.
- I'm afraid I owe you an apology.
- Oh, no, Mr K.
This is not going to happen again,
I can promise you that.
A lot of things happen in this world,
Mr K.
- Yes.
- You're my most valued lodger, Mr K.
- I think I owe it to you to be frank.
- By all means.
For your own good. I really have that
at heart, perhaps more than I should.
After all, I'm only your landlady.
Well... I managed to have a few words
alone with that Inspector.
- It seems you are under arrest, Mr K.
- Yes, I know that.
But not the way a thief's put under arrest.
No, with your arrest,
I get the feeling of something abstract.
It's so abstract,
I can't consider how it applies to me!
Of course not, Mr K.
Aren't you going to eat something?
Coming into my room the way they did.
I simply wasn't prepared.
Now in the office, for instance,
I'm always prepared.
You can't just crash in on me there.
People sometimes have to wait for weeks
even to speak to my secretary!
No, my mistake
was letting them start in on me
before I even had a cup of coffee.
Coffee is always ready on the stove, Mr K.
I keep it there for Miss Burstner
when she gets in from work.
Such ungodly hours she keeps.
- Well, that's her profession.
- I suppose so.
- The hours they keep are not her fault.
- Perhaps not.
Do you think
I ought to offer those men some coffee?
- What men?
- The ones from your office. In there.
In Miss Burstner's bedroom?!
My God, I thought you'd left.
What are you doing here?
Rabinstein! Put those pictures back
where you found them!
- Here's some coffee for the gentlemen.
- No!
These people are not friends of mine.
They came with the police.
- Please show them to the door.
- Yes, Mr K. This way, gentlemen.
What are you anyway? informers?
What would you have to inform about?
- You're still here!
- You're attracting attention, Mr K.
Attracting attention.
I'd appreciate the return
of my identification papers, please.
You seriously think
that we don't know who you are?
Really, Mr K.
You're not doing your case any good.
- What is this case you're talking about?
- I'm not talking about it.
- Why not? Why don't you talk about it?
- It's not for me to talk about your case.
- Inspector...
- Yes?
What's the charge?
Mr K,
you aren't claiming innocence, are you?
I'm also claiming invasion of privacy
and rank abuse of basic civil rights.
- Hold on...
- I don't know the legal terminology,
but I can get a lawyer to help with that.
A well-known advocate is a family friend.
- You aren't threatening a complaint?
- Yes, I am, I am!
And a rather clumsy attempt
to work me for a bribe.
There she comes.
Your friend, Miss Burstner.
Well, she's not exactly my friend,
not that it's any business of yours.
Are you going to stay all morning?
Take fingerprints?
- We can do that at the station.
- Station?
Where else could you register
an official complaint?
- We can forget about that.
- It's on the record.
- You did use the word "threatening".
- No, that was your word.
- What's this pornograph?
- Don't try to make anything from that!
- Not unless you have a dirty mind.
- Excuse me.
- No, no, y-you stay, Mrs Grubach.
- None of this will show up very well.
My men say you even tried to stop them
from putting this down.
I tried to stop one from making
a fool of himself. Ovular.
- Ovular.
- There's no such word.
Mrs Grubach's husband was a dentist.
Now what's that got to do with your case?
- I never said that it did.
- Then why mention such a thing?
Simply by way of explaining that ovular...
Ovular shape.
You go on solemnly writing it all down.
There has to be a record, doesn't there?
But this foolish babbling,
it's not going to make much of
an impression, I can tell you that, Mr K.
It won't look well at all. Gibberish.
I'm glad he's gone. I was worried
he might start in on Miss Burstner.
- Oh, she's on her way up.
- Later than ever.
Let's hope she was away
before those men came into her room.
What time does she go?
I believe she has to be dressed or
undressed for a performance at midnight.
- The supper show.
- I don't know what they call it.
- The supper show.
- I'm sure.
- That's what they call it.
- I've never been in one of those places.
Indeed, you may wonder why I rent my
second best room to a woman of that sort.
- What do you mean?
- Theatricals, Mr K.
This isn't really the place for them
as I'm sure you'll agree. I didn't know.
She came with her mother. A perfectly
respectable woman, or so she seemed.
And when she died, well, I...
I'm always too soft-hearted
for my own good.
- Mrs Grubach...
- Yes?
What are you trying to say?
You're hinting at something
concerning Miss Burstner.
Well, since you ask, Mr K,
she not only performs in that place,
but sits drinking afterwards with men.
What I asked, Mrs Grubach, was
whether or not you were casting aspersions
on the moral character of your own lodger.
- Oh, Mr K, you shouldn't put it that way.
- Good night, Mrs Grubach.
I wouldn't dream of giving her notice
without definite proof.
You have to admit, Mr K,
it's in the interests of all my guests
- to keep our house beyond reproach.
- Beyond reproach?!
Mrs Grubach, if you're going to start
throwing people out of this house,
you'd better begin with me!
Good night, Mrs Grubach.
- You didn't understand.
- Good night, Mrs Grubach.
- Good night, Mr K.
- Good night.
Miss Burstner?
- Mm?
- Good evening.
Or good morning, rather.
If you're stuck for something to say,
try, "Happy birthday".
Oh, is it your birthday? Is that why
you're coming home so much later?
I didn't know you kept track
of my hours, Mr...
Well, I didn't mean that.
Of course, it's none of my business.
It's nobody's business.
That's right. Good night.
Happy birthday.
Oh! Oh, excuse me. Excuse me, no.
No, no...
Well, that's what I
ought to have done, naturally.
- What ought you to have done?
- After I knocked, I should have waited.
Come in.
- You're not getting any funny ideas?
- Of course not.
- Just because I knocked on your door.
- Well, that's what I mean.
You did, didn't you? So why don't you?
You're a nice boy,
but I'm not in the mood for it.
It's been a long, hard night.
- Yes, I know.
- What do you know about it?
- I was talking about myself.
- That's what they all do.
What else do they ever talk about?
So give me a rest.
- All right.
- All right what?!
Well, I'll do whatever you say, but
if you don't talk and you won't come in...
How can I come in? That old bag's
just dying for a chance to throw me out.
- Throw you out? Mrs Grubach?
- She's always got one ear open.
What's wrong?
I told you, I'm tired.
I'm sorry.
- I forgot what I wanted to ask you.
- Maybe it'll come back to you.
Nothing ever comes back to me.
Big statement. Shut up, everybody.
- I'm sorry.
- You're sorry. You keep saying that.
- Who gives a damn?
- I know. I'm s...
- What's the big joke?
- I almost said it again. You're right.
Nobody gives a damn. I know you don't.
- I don't what? Hey, keep the door open!
- I was agreeing with you.
- What you just said.
- I don't know what I just said.
Oh, Jesus,
all that lousy national champagne.
- You know what they make it of?
- No.
Neither does anybody else.
No switching with the cold tea either.
Not tonight.
The customer knew all about that one.
He kept taking cute little sips
out of my glass
just to make sure
I was getting myself putrefied.
I'm sorry.
Damn! There I go again.
It's never any use, is it, apologising?
It's even worse when you haven't done
anything wrong and still feel guilty.
I can remember my father looking at me
straight in the eye. "Come on, boy.
"Exactly what have you been up to?"
Even when I hadn't been up to
anything at all, I'd still feel guilty.
The teacher, when something was missing
from her desk. "Who's the guilty one?"
It was me, of course.
I'd feel just sick with guilt.
And I didn't even know what was missing.
Maybe... yeah, that must be it.
Unless your thoughts are innocent, 100%.
Can that be said of anybody?
Even the saints have temptations.
- What do you think?
- I think you're crazy.
Maybe you're right. That would certainly
explain... No, I must reject that.
I must reject everything but facts.
I am sane. I am innocent.
I have committed no crime.
- Three cheers for you
- You don't believe me.
- Sure I believe you.
- Be honest. What do you really think?
- You've been out some place.
- Drinking, you mean?
Is that what you think? I'm drunk?!
Next time, come to my place.
I get a percentage on every bottle.
I have not left this apartment since
I got back from the office last night.
- And I am not a solitary drinker.
- Then what's your problem?
I'm under arrest.
- Yeah?
- Unbelievable, isn't it?
- Well, it happens.
- I don't know how it happens!
How do you know you're arrested? It isn't
something you notice, like bleeding gums.
- They woke me up and told me.
- Are you sure you were awake?
Yeah, just look at those photographs.
It's my mother in different poses.
Burstner's Birds. A real good act.
Let's leave my mother out of it.
Do you mind? No offence.
- What did they get you for?
- I wouldn't say they got me.
- They arrested you.
- That's what they told me.
- What's the charge?
- That's what they didn't tell me.
All I know is I'm supposed to appear
before some interrogation commission.
- That's only for serious crimes.
- That's what I thought!
- Did they tell you it wasn't serious?
- No, they didn't say that.
- Maybe it's a gag or something.
- That thought occurred to me at first.
Some of the fellas at the office.
Some sort of elaborate practical joke.
But I didn't really believe that.
I just wanted to.
It's awful
how easy it is to get demoralised.
Well, of course, that's what they want.
That's what they're counting on.
I'm not such a fool that I...
- You must have done something.
- Oh, don't you say that!
Or somebody's been telling lies about you.
Rumours always fly around for no reason.
At the office.
- What kind of rumours?
- You mean in my case?
- That's it. I haven't the faintest idea!
- Jesus! I hope it isn't political!
- Oh, no, nothing like that.
- Politics! Don't drag me into it!
- They were just talking in circles.
- It's not my fault! I don't want to talk.
- What are you doing in here?
- You invited me.
- That's what you say!
- Please...
Please what? Listen, if you're in trouble
I'm sorry, real sorry.
- But keep me out of it.
- I did! I am. I told them,
but they wouldn't listen. Then when they
messed with your mother's photographs...!
What?! Who's been messing around
with my mother's photographs?
Rabinstein, I think it was.
But also the police.
- The police?
- That's what I've been telling you.
- Miss...
- Get out!
- Get out of here!
- Please!
- Get out and leave me alone!
- What will the other lodgers think?
- Get the hell out of my room!
- I'm out!
- Mr K...
- I'll see people in a minute.
The Deputy Manager was looking for you.
And your cousin's here.
My cousin?
She's not supposed to come to the office.
She said it was serious.
- K.
- Oh, good morning, sir.
I was just arranging a birthday surprise.
In here? In this broom closet?
Well, I have this, this birthday cake
for one of my fellow lodgers.
- I didn't think I should carry it.
- Who is she?
If I'd only known about this lady before,
she'd have been included for tonight.
- The theatre tickets are all booked.
- Oh, I know, I know.
She'll understand I hope, the girl.
The cake is actually
by way of being a peace offering.
If she doesn't take it in the right
spirit, K, she's not the girl for you.
Who's that?
That... That's my cousin Irmie.
What's she doing here?
- Your cousin?
- Yes, from the city. Going to school...
From the country,
going to school in the city.
We'll have to keep an eye on you, old man.
- She looks pretty young.
- Yes, sir.
There's a place for everything, right, K?
Oh, she's never dared to come into the
office before. I can assure you of that.
You're a bright young man. On the way up.
Don't spoil things for yourself.
- No.
- How old is she?
- What? Irmie? She...
- She can't be more than 16. If that.
- Yeah.
- My God.
- Mr K, the young lady...
- Get her out of here!
- But she said that it's urgent.
- I don't care. Just get her out of here.
- Isn't that Miss Burstner's trunk?
- And what if it is?
I thought I recognised it.
You take the birthday cake.
- I have quite enough on my hands.
- That's what I mean. Let me help you.
- No, thank you.
- Please...
- No, thank you.
- Let me call you a cab.
Not everyone can afford taxi cabs, Mr K.
Oh, you know my name?
Excuse me, you are a friend of hers?
Could you tell me if she's home?
If by "home" you refer
to Mrs Grubach's establishment,
the answer to your question is no.
Marika has a home,
but not at Mrs Grubach's.
- Marika?
- Pardon?
I never knew her first name.
- How ironic.
- She has a home? Another home?
She has one now, luckily.
- I wish you'd let me help you with that.
- It's extremely heavy!
I'll take it to her myself, thank you.
- Take it to her? To where?
- I hope you don't intend to follow me.
- No, not at all.
- You've been dogging my footsteps.
Well, I hate to see a woman dragging
a great heavy trunk.
- Especially with a physical disability?
- No, not at all.
Since you find the spectacle
so unpleasant,
why not spare your feelings
and remove yourself
from the cause of your distress?
I'm sorry.
Listen, the last thing I want
is to annoy you, but...
I would like very much to know
if Miss Burstner is moving
or planning to move
and, if so, where to?
- Anything else?
- Yes, well, I'd like to know why.
And you have the unmitigated gall
to pretend you don't know.
Well, no, how could I?
I-I've just got home.
She didn't seem to be planning to move.
She wasn't, Mr K.
It came as a very nasty surprise.
You make it sound
as if I were responsible.
- You pretend it's nothing to do with you?
- I don't pretend anything!
All we did was talk. I did kiss her.
I hope you're not trying to tell me
that because I kissed her
she's changing her address?!
I mean, after all, she's a woman
of the world. She works in a nightclub.
What are you insinuating?
Well, nothing, but you have to admit
she's a grown woman, not a minor.
Somebody must have kissed her before.
Do you think this is a topic
to be shouted through the public streets?
- Hell! HELL!
- There is no need to curse.
Why am I always in the wrong without even
knowing what for or what it's all about?
That's not something
I'm prepared to discuss, Mr K.
Examine your conscience.
There's nothing wrong
with my conscience, thank you.
Marika has stayed with Mrs Grubach
longer than you have. Don't forget that.
She was very fond of that room.
My poor little room is dark and damp
and poorly heated.
- She won't be nearly as comfortable!
- Then why move, for God's sake?!
I'm a woman and a cripple,
but I don't need to stand for your abuse.
Go scream at that Grubach woman!
Wait a minute. You don't mean...?
Oh, hell, it's late.
I'll never get dressed for the theatre.
First, you've got to tell me the truth.
Did Mrs Grubach ask her to leave?
She did make a few uncalled-for remarks
about Miss Burstner.
I took exception to them.
I told Mrs Grubach she was out of line.
- Out of line, indeed!
- You mean she just threw her out?
Then I guess I am responsible.
Listen, Miss...
Er, Mrs...
Excuse me, sir.
Excuse me. I have a note here for you.
Yes, it's for you.
They passed it down.
Mr K.
Come with me, Mr K.
We're making every reasonable effort
to keep from interfering unnecessarily
with the normal pattern of your life.
For instance,
so you wouldn't have to request
special leave of absence from your office,
we've arranged
to fit in these interrogations
outside your normal working hours.
Step into the light, Mr K.
Who are they?
I can't expect you to know where
the Interrogation Commission is sitting.
That's right. I don't.
I filled this out in your name and
so you won't get lost I've drawn a map.
- Present that immediately on arrival.
- And when is that?
- Immediately.
- Tonight?
I hope you won't have
too much trouble locating it.
- If I do, these two can set me straight.
- What exactly do you mean?
Aren't they supposed to trail around
after me, observing my movements?
No, they aren't going to follow you.
That isn't their job.
Go right in there.
I'd better close the doors after you.
Nobody else must come in.
You should have been here
one hour and five minutes ago!
These delays must not occur again.
Please step up.
- You are a housepainter?
- No.
The question from the Examining Magistrate
about my being a housepainter is typical
of this so-called trial
that's being foisted upon me.
Why, the very notebook of the Examining
Magistrate confirms what I say!
These are
the Examining Magistrate's records!
What's happening to me
is of no great importance,
but it is representative of what is
happening to a great many other people.
And it is for these others that I take
my stand here, not for myself alone.
That's it, boy! Give them hell!
I have been arrested and perhaps,
considering the opening statement,
perhaps they had orders to arrest
some housepainter as innocent as I am!
They tried to get me to bribe them,
to steal my clothes and shirts from me!
I managed to keep calm.
I asked them very simply
why I was arrested.
And what was the answer
of your self-styled Inspector?
If he were here,
he would have to back me up in this.
He answered, in effect, nothing at all.
He'd arrested me. That was enough.
I notice your Examining Magistrate
has just given some of you a secret sign.
I don't know if it was meant to be
a signal for applause or hissing,
but I hereby publicly empower him
to address his hired agents out loud!
Let him say hiss now or clap now!
Can there be any doubt
that behind my arrest
a vast organisation is at work,
an establishment which contains a retinue
of civil servants, officers, police,
perhaps even hangmen!
I notice you all have the same badge, so
every damn one's an official of some kind.
That means you've all come rushing here
to nose out what you can about me.
Half of you clapped just to lead me on!
Get out of my way!
Maybe you wanted some practice
in fooling an innocent man.
Perhaps you found some amusement
in my expecting an interest in justice!
One moment!
I merely wish to point out that tonight
you have thrown away with your own hand
all the advantages
which an interrogation confers
on an accused man.
Just you wait.
Oh... Oh, no...
- Sir!
- What are you doing here?
- We're going to be flogged.
- You what?!
- It's all because of you, mister.
- Your fault. You told the authorities.
- You accused us of corruption.
- You lodged a complaint.
- I only mentioned to the Inspector...
- And to the Examining Magistrate.
- Accused us of soliciting for bribes.
- Well...
If you knew what we have to live on!
- I've got a family to feed.
- It's custom to get the prisoner's linen.
- What difference can a few shirts make?
- Nothing!
Nothing at all!
But still you had to denounce us.
It wasn't anything personal.
I was defending a principle.
- I told you...
- Shut up!
Even with a few shirts
if the authorities had found out
nothing would have happened
if you hadn't denounced!
- It's because of you!
- What kind of justice do you call that?
We've all got clean records.
Me, especially.
Take him. If anyone complained about him,
would he be where he is now?
- Imagine how painful it is...
- You two, strip.
I have to take off my clothes!
- Look...
- What do you want?
If... if you could see your way through
to letting them off, I'd appreciate it.
What are you trying to do?
You'll complain against me?
No, I haven't lodged any complaint.
If I wanted those men to be punished,
I could leave right now, close the door
and forget about the whole thing,
but they're not to blame.
It's the people above them,
the authorities, the whole organisation.
If it were one of the high judges,
I'd even pay extra to encourage it.
I don't take bribes in any circumstances.
Please, please.
Please, please, try to get me off.
Frank's older than I am.
His nerves are better.
He's been punished before.
I won't wait any longer!
He won't give you any trouble.
He knows better.
Don't leave me! Don't...!
Please... Don't go! Don't go!
- Mr K!
- What...?
There's a man in your office.
He says he's your uncle Max.
Uncle Max?
- Well, my boy.
- What brings you into town?
Josef... it true?
Yes, it's...
Yes, it's true enough, I'm afraid.
And you're under arrest?
Please, Uncle Max.
We'll talk about it later.
Very well, then.
Just go ahead with your work, my boy.
Don't mind me.
- It's not a criminal case, is it?
- It is.
That's what they tell me.
And you just coolly sit here?!
- If you won't think of yourself...
- What?
If you won't think of yourself,
think of the family, our good name.
How did you... find out about it?
Irmie called me
on the long-distance telephone.
- Irmie.
- Yes! Poor little Irmie,
who you wouldn't so much as receive here!
I can't hold lengthy conversations
with family relatives
during working hours.
- I suppose that applies to me, too.
- Oh, Uncle Max...
My only thought when I made this long,
exhausting trip was to help you, but no...
You don't even want to see me.
Yes, of course I do, but...
you must realise how difficult it is...
during working hours.
Well, it looks to me as though
your working hours are over, Josef.
Come on.
After all, Josef,
I'm the nearest thing to a parent
and a father that you can lay claim to.
Oh, I don't forget it, Uncle Max,
believe me.
We've got to get
some competent legal advice, Josef.
Things like this don't happen
right out of the blue.
- In a criminal case...
- Please, Uncle Max. People are listening.
- What's that up there?
- The computer.
One of those electronic gimmicks?
That can give you the answer to anything?
- Well...
- Well what?
You want to know about your case,
don't you? Ask the machine!
- It wouldn't be allowed.
- These things can always be arranged.
What would I ask?
Uncle Max, I... I don't even know
what I'm charged with.
Well, that's one question. The brain thing
ought to be able to figure it out.
Well, she'd need the data -
economic, sociological, psychological.
Still, she might be able to handle it.
She processes personality tests.
An awful lot of material
would have to be fed to her.
- It's a she?
- That's the way the experts talk.
I see. Like for a car or a boat.
Kind of affectionate.
- Respect, really. More than that.
- Love? Terror?
- I don't know.
- If she's a woman, I'd be careful.
W-Wait, wait a minute.
It's a... It must be a dog somewhere.
It's the little dog in the courtyard.
He's putting adhesive tape over our
mouths. You won't hear any screaming.
This gentleman says he's in charge
of the electronic brain.
- Not in charge...
- One of the technical experts, anyway.
You talk about data and facts.
Crime is a fact.
- Suppose I committed a crime...
- Uncle Max, these men are extremely busy.
It seems they work in shifts.
- After 11, they could show you around.
- That's all right. Thank you. Come on.
I agree with you, Josef.
All these fancy electronics, they're all right,
but not for anything practical.
You can't diddle your way out of
a criminal charge with an adding machine.
Open up! We're friends of the Advocate.
We've got to see him
on very important business.
I don't care how busy he is.
K is the name. Announce us, will you?
She doesn't look like a maid to me.
More like a nurse.
- The Advocate is ill.
- Ill? You say he's ill? His heart again?
He never was too healthy.
This may be a strange hour
to pay a professional call,
but old Hastler isn't going to
hold that against me.
We were at school together.
He's had quite a reputation in his time.
- Leni?
- No, it's Max.
I told you, I'm too ill for visitors!
Don't let these people in.
- Go away!
- Albert, don't you remember me?
It's your old friend, Max.
- Who's that with you?
- Albert, what's wrong? Had...?
Had another of your attacks?
Don't worry. You always get over them.
Are they looking after you properly?
It's terribly gloomy. No lights.
Power failure, of course.
And what about this nurse of yours, eh?
Mm, Leni?
Leni's a good girl.
A very good girl indeed.
Leni takes excellent care of me.
Don't you, darling?
Miss, be kind enough to leave us alone.
I must speak to the Advocate.
- He's ill. You can't talk business now.
- You damn little... Miss!
We could discuss anything
in front of Leni.
- Ssh!
- Leni, Leni...
- This doesn't concern myself.
- Whom does it concern?
My nephew. I've brought him here with me.
Josef K.
Josef K?
I didn't notice you. So...
So you came to see me about this case?
That's good.
- It's a most interesting affair.
- Careful now, Josef.
- You know about my case already?
- How's that?
I don't understand.
I'm the one that doesn't understand.
It is your case, isn't it,
that you want to consult me about?
- Of course it is!
- Advocate Hastler has heard of my case.
Oh, in the circles I move in, all sorts
of different cases come up for discussion.
The interesting ones stick in my mind.
Particularly the nephew of an old friend.
Of course, that's logical, Josef.
You say you move in these circles.
Does that mean you are
actually connected with the courts?
With whom else should I associate
if not men of my own profession?
That's certainly incontrovertible.
I'm handicapped these days by illness,
but good friends from the law courts
still visit me from time to time.
I learn many interesting things from them.
For instance, there's a dear friend
of mine visiting me at this very moment.
We were chatting here together when
you two burst in and took us by surprise.
He preferred to withdraw with his chair
and his table into the corner.
The Chief Clerk of the Law Court.
- Where?
- There he is.
I beg your pardon, sir.
I forgot to introduce you.
This is my old friend K
and his nephew.
I know, sir, that you are interested
in this case. Josef K. Leave us, Leni.
The Chief Clerk is a very busy man,
but perhaps he'll stay for a moment
and advise us?
- Yes, we'd certainly be honoured.
- I can stay for only a few minutes.
I know how pressed you are for time,
but the Chief Clerk will tell you,
my dear old friend,
I've defended a great number of
these cases, Max, and won a few of them.
- At least partially.
- Partially.
It's important to get our first plea ready.
That often determines proceedings.
However, in actual practice, the first
plea is not usually read by the court.
- Oh? And why is that?
- Very often they simply file it away.
Your friend should be warned that the case
of Josef K is likely to be followed
through any number of courts.
And sometimes the case...
I broke the glass.
- Why did you do that?
- To attract your attention.
I wanted you to come here to me.
I was thinking of you, too.
In there,
you couldn't keep your eyes off me.
And yet you left me to wait.
I couldn't just get up and
walk out of the room without any excuse.
- That's not mine...
- You did it, though.
Yes, I did. That's not my coat.
If you're going out, you'd better take it.
You weren't wearing a coat.
I'm not going out. I can't even stay here.
I've got to get... back to them.
I know you don't really like me,
but I'm going to make love to you
and then you won't be able to go.
Yeah, but what will they say back there?
You don't like me at all.
Well, "like" is a very feeble word.
- You've got a sweetheart?
- No.
I'll bet you do have one.
A boy like you is bound to have somebody.
- Well, as a matter of fact...
- Tell me about her.
There isn't much to tell.
I don't know where she lives.
- I've got her photograph.
- Ah, you've got her photograph.
What is she? Some kind of an actress?
No, a dancer.
She's not so young, is she?
I don't think I like her.
She looks hard and selfish.
A girl like that wouldn't be able
to sacrifice herself for a man.
Certainly not for me.
Has she got any physical defect?
- What?
- Has she got any physical defect?
Why, no, of course not.
If you don't know where she's gone,
I guess she doesn't mean much to you
or you'd find out.
I'll find Out.
I've got a physical defect.
I'll show you. Come on.
The skin between my two middle fingers.
It's like a web.
A web.
What a pretty little paw.
- You'd better go.
- Go?! Are you serious?
I'll say you weren't feeling well
or something.
That you needed some fresh air.
I'll be back in a minute to let you out.
I've got to get the keys.
- The keys? Are we locked in here?
- I don't want you locked out.
The keys are to let you in yourself
during the nights.
- Whenever you feel like it.
- Good.
Who's that?
- My big picture?
- Yes.
- That could be my judge, I suppose.
- I know him.
He's not a big man like that.
He's little. Almost a dwarf.
But look at the way
he had himself painted.
He's vain.
Of course, like everybody else here.
I'm vain myself.
And it bothers me
that you don't like me more than you do.
High Court judges come here to see you?
- Oh, no. Just an Examining Magistrate.
- Only an Examining Magistrate?
The higher officials
certainly keep themselves well hidden.
His fancy robes and the throne
are just an invention.
Actually, he sits on a kitchen chair
with an old horse rag doubled under him.
- Ow!
- Must you always brood over your case?
- Probably I don't think enough about it.
- That's not the mistake you're making.
You're too stubborn and too much
of a troublemaker. That's what I hear.
Who told you that?
You mustn't ask me for names.
Just take my warning to heart
and try to be a little more co-operative.
Co-operative? Brother!
The first chance you get,
you ought to make your confession.
Until you do that, there isn't a hope
of getting out of their clutches.
Not a hope. And even then you'll need
a lot of help from the outside.
- Leni!
- Josef!
- Josef!
- Leni, where are you? Leni, darling?
Max is leaving.
I want the keys for the door.
- Good night.
- Good night.
Albert, go on with what you were saying
about advocates.
Oh, they do everything they can
to discourage us.
You should see the room
they have for advocates.
No ventilation.
Just a tiny skylight up high.
You have to have some other advocate
to hoist you up on his back.
For more than a year now
there's been a hole in the floor!
If you stumble into it, your leg hangs
down into the corridor below.
- Very embarrassing with a client.
- I had no idea of the difficulties.
Yes, it's all...
...very humiliating.
I only wish
my nephew could be hearing all this.
- Who's that man?
- What man?
- That man in there.
- You shouldn't have opened that door.
- Well, who is he?
- He doesn't matter. Come here.
What do you mean he doesn't matter?
Oh, no, no. I've got to go.
All right.
These are the back stairs. You'd better
pretend you were waiting in the street.
Say you'd begun to feel faint
and needed some fresh air.
- What's he doing in there?
- Waiting. He's a client.
Here's your key.
Josef! Well?
- Well what?
- You know she's the Advocate's mistress?
You're facing a criminal charge.
Do you want to make enemies?
Do you want to lose your case?
Looking for somebody?
What's wrong? Isn't the court in session?
- Not today.
- Why isn't the court in session?
- It'll be sitting tomorrow.
- Are you sure?
- My husband's a guard here.
- The man who was kissing you?
That wasn't my husband!
That was a law student,
but even so he's got influence.
- Influence, huh?
- He's important.
He must be. You were making love
in the middle of the crowd.
I guess we ruined your speech,
but what could I do about it?
Once he gets started, it's...
Hey! You can't touch those books!
- They belong to the Examining Magistrate.
- We'll see.
It's not my fault. It's the rules.
You do remember me, don't you?
From last night? My name is Hilda.
These are probably law books.
I mustn't read any law.
I must be condemned not only
in ignorance... How dirty they are.
Oh, they really are dirty.
And these are the men
that sit in judgment on me!
Listen, I'll help you.
- Wouldn't you like me to?
- How, if your husband's a guard here?
I want to help you.
That's why I came in here.
- Even though it's forbidden.
- I wouldn't want you to get in trouble.
No, you mustn't go away like that.
Not yet. You've got
the wrong ideas about me.
Am I such a nothing in your eyes
that you won't stay just a little longer?
Well, I've got plenty of time. I only came
thinking the court would be in session.
You mustn't be offended when I ask you
not to do anything about my case.
I don't care at all how it comes out.
If they sentence me, I'll just laugh.
Not that it'll ever come to that.
They might hope to get money out of me,
but they're wasting their time.
You could tell that Examining Magistrate
that nothing could induce me to give money
to those precious judges. Nope.
But you said the only ones who could
do you any good were the higher-ups.
I'm afraid so.
He's always writing reports.
They must go up to the real authorities.
Last night, when the others had left,
he stayed on here real late, writing away.
I had to bring him a candle.
Then my husband came home and
started to move furniture back in place,
neighbours came in with some beer
and we got to talking by candlelight
and we just forgot about
the Examining Magistrate altogether.
Then, in the middle of the night, I woke
up and there he was standing by our bed
and shielding the candle with his hand
to keep the light from my husband.
Not that he needed to bother.
Once my husband gets to sleep,
nothing wakes him.
I was so startled, I almost let out
a yell, but the Magistrate was real kind.
He whispered he'd been in there
all the time, writing,
and now he'd come to return the candle,
and as long as he lived
he'd never forget the picture I'd made.
That's what he said. The picture
I made lying asleep in the bed.
He's so busy writing
these great, long reports.
The one last night must have been
about you. And somebody must read it.
Besides, he's starting
to take an interest in me.
Maybe I could do you some good, eh?
This morning
he sent me a pair of stockings.
Look, I've got them on now.
Look out.
- It's Bert.
- Bert?
I know. He's ugly.
Did you get a look at those legs of his?
All the same, I gotta go and be with him.
I'll come back soon.
Then I'll go with you wherever you like
and you can do with me whatever you want.
What's wrong? Don't you believe me?
Why should I?
This could be a trap.
- Are you afraid?
- Who is this law student? A henchman?
- What of it?
- I-I-I-I was thinking.
Don't think.
It would be kind of a nice revenge
to take you away from both of them.
Why not?
Then some night after the Magistrate
has been staying up late
filling out those long, lying reports
about me, he'd come to your bedside
and he would...
Why don't you go?
- You should have left when I came in.
- You think so?
That's what you're supposed to do.
When I come in,
you get the hell out of here.
I seem to detect the insolence
of a future official of the court.
You shouldn't be allowed to run around.
That was a mistake. I told the Magistrate.
- Come on.
- Don't try to be funny! Come on!
Wait a minute!
- It's no use!
- What do you mean?
He sent for me! The Examining Magistrate.
- The Examining Magistrate?!
- He won't let me go!
Sorry! What can I do?!
- Now listen...
- Leave him! You want to ruin me?
He's obeying the Examining Magistrate.
All right. Take her to him!
You lied to me.
- Why should I lie?
- Being taken to the Magistrate
- Yes, I am!
- He's waiting in a place like that?!
Of course he is! These are the law court
offices. Where else would he be?
Law court offices? In a place like...?
- You're the defendant?
- My name is K.
You're... the court room guard.
Yes, I'm her husband.
It's Sunday night.
I'm not supposed to work on Sunday night.
But just to get me out of the way
they send me off
on these long, useless errands.
That student.
If my job didn't depend on it,
I would have squashed him flat
against the wall here long ago.
Right there.
Just a little bit above the floor.
All splashed in blood
with his arms and his fingers
and those bandy legs of his
all twisted out
and writhing...
like a smashed cockroach.
He used to carry her off
for his own pleasure,
but now it's the Examining Magistrate!
- Isn't she to blame as well?
- She throws herself at him.
In my position, there is nothing I can do.
But if somebody gave him a good thrashing,
just once, he's a coward, you know.
He'd never touch her again.
Only a man like you could do it.
A man like me? What do you mean?
- They've arrested you, haven't they?
- Yes.
That just gives me more reason
to be afraid of him.
- I heard about that speech of yours.
- What about it?
I wouldn't have thought
you'd be afraid at all.
I'm not. I'm not afraid,
not of him personally.
I'm not afraid of any of them.
But he does have influence, so they say.
God knows,
my case is prejudiced enough.
None of our cases are prejudiced.
Well, I'm afraid
I'd have to disagree with you about that.
- But it wouldn't necessarily stop me.
- I'd be very grateful. Come.
These are the law court officers.
That's where they are,
my wife and the Magistrate.
I don't have a key for this one.
Who are these people?
The accused.
- You. Why are you here?
- I'm waiting.
- What are you waiting for?
- I handed in several affidavits.
That was some time ago.
I'm waiting here for the result.
- You're taking a good deal of trouble.
- Yes, you see, it's my case.
What makes you think
that kind of thing is necessary?
I can't say exactly,
but I handed in my affidavits.
- You don't believe I'm under arrest.
- Oh, yes, certainly.
Why not?
Why don't you believe I'm under arrest?
What do you take me for?
You think I'm a judge?
Back to your seats, all of you!
Keep the passage clear!
Can you tell me how to get out of here?
I've had enough of this place.
You're going already?
But you've hardly seen anything yet.
I don't want to.
I just want to get out of here.
Well, you keep to the right
through that passage...
...and then you go to the second corner
and then left along the lobby
to the fourth.
You'd better show me yourself.
There are so many passages
and lobbies, I'll never find the way.
I've got a message to deliver
and I've lost a lot of time.
- Come with me!
- Not so loud.
You want to bring the officials
down on us?
If they ask who you are, you'll have
to admit you're one of the accused.
I'm not trying to hide it.
- What will I tell them?
- The truth maybe.
I only came here because I wanted to see
if the inside of this famous legal system
was as loathsome as I guessed it was.
And now I'm too depressed
to want to see anything more.
I just want to get out of here
and be alone.
- What's wrong? You feel a little dizzy?
- Yes.
Don't worry. Almost everybody has
an attack like that on their first visit.
It's the air. Then all sorts of washing
is hung up here to dry.
You can't forbid the tenants
to wash their dirty linen.
There's just nothing
we can do about that, I'm afraid.
Where are you going?
- You want to be taken to the sick room?
- Please don't trouble yourself. I...
I'd feel fine
if I could just get some air.
It's not far now.
Here's the door right in front of you.
Why don't you go out?
That's what you wanted.
Yes. Thank you.
I'm not used to the fresh air.
Irmie! What are you doing here?
- Well, I've been looking for you.
- But why?
Uncle Max, I suppose, checking up on me.
He keeps writing, nagging at me for news.
He hasn't heard a thing about your case
for a long time now.
So naturally, he's worried. We all are.
Well, tell him not to worry.
Gee, I gotta write something.
Just something.
- Tell him everything's under control.
- But is it?
I don't know. I...
I hate to be a drag, but you know
how he carries on about things -
now it's the honour of the family
and all that jazz!
- Maybe he's right.
- Oh, sh...
I hope you didn't say what I thought you did.
You shouldn't use that language.
- How old are you, anyway?
- 16, practically.
You're 15. You certainly shouldn't
have come out here alone.
I wouldn't be here if you hadn't got
in trouble with the law.
- Don't they check up on you at school?
- They try to.
- You sneak out after hours?
- You're not the only crook in the family.
- That's not funny.
- OK, you write home
and say what a delinquent I am,
but what do I say about you?
There must be some kind of news.
Well, I...
I'm thinking of getting rid of your
father's old school chum. Tell him that.
The famous advocate Hastler isn't doing
anything, except encourage the delay.
But he's your lawyer.
How can you get rid of your lawyer?
Easy. Just dismiss him from the case.
- And then what?
- I don't know.
Isn't there something more definite
I can write home about?
- No.
- You've got to have a lawyer.
Influence is all that counts
in the long run.
Hastler always brags about his personal
connections, but what's he really up to?
I'm not stupid. I can defend myself.
Look at the position I've got at the office.
Don't be surprised if you hear I've become
deputy manager of my entire department.
All I've got to do is apply those
same abilities to this case of mine.
If I get rid of the Advocate,
I can draw up my own plan
and keep after the officials myself.
- This is where I leave you, Irmie.
- You're not going to work now?
Things keep piling up.
This case is taking such a lot of my time.
I've got to finish my work somehow.
I ought to walk you back to your school.
That's all I need -
to be seen with a man!
- But I'm your cousin.
- Cousins get married.
- You wouldn't want to marry a criminal.
- Crooks get married, too.
- So long now.
- So long, Josef.
It's him.
- Who are you?
- My name is Block.
- Are you employed here?
- No, I'm only a client.
I don't belong to the house.
I'm here on business.
- In your shirt sleeves?
- Excuse me, please.
- Have you been making love to Leni?
- No. No!
You look like an honest man.
What did you say your name was? Block?
Yes, Block.
- That's your real name?
- Of course. Why shouldn't it be?
I don't know. You might have
some reason for concealing it.
- Do you know who that is?
- Yes, a judge.
- A judge of the high court?
- Yes, it must be.
That shows how much you know.
Among judges that's the lowest of the low.
Yes. Yes, of course, now I remember
I've been told about that before.
You've been told all about that before.
Of course you have.
Yes, sir, I have been told this.
Where is she now?
Come on, where's Leni?
Where is she hiding?
I don't think she's hiding, sir.
She must be in the kitchen.
Yes, that's where she ought to be.
She must be making soup for the Advocate.
- Why didn't you tell me?
- I'm taking you there.
- Don't think you're being clever.
- I don't think I'm clever at all.
Lead the way then.
Go on.
- Good evening, Josef.
- Leni...
- Who's that man?
- His name is Block.
You were in your nightgown.
Is he your lover?
I want an answer!
Come to the study
and I'll tell you about it.
No, I want you to tell me in here.
You aren't jealous of poor little Block?
You can see what he is - nothing.
I just have to pay
a little attention to him
because he is one
of the Advocate's best clients.
- You're going to spend the night with me?
- The eggs are burning.
It's just as well. Eggs are bad for you.
If you really want to see the Advocate,
I'll tell him you're here.
- He's been asking after you.
- I'll bet he has.
Where have you been all this time?
I've got some information for you, too.
Things I've found out.
But first, let's get off that jacket.
Shall I announce you
or give him his soup first?
Give him his soup. He'll need it
by the time I'm through with him.
So you are one
of the Advocate's clients?
- What's it got to do with you?
- You be quiet, Rudy.
I'll give him his soup now,
but he may fall asleep right afterwards.
What I have to say to him
will keep him awake.
As soon as he's finished eating,
I'll announce you.
- I want to get you back with me.
- Keep your seat.
You're, uh...
- You're one of the Advocate's clients?
- Oh, yes.
Yes, a very old client indeed.
How long has he had charge
of your affairs?
Affairs? Business affairs?
Oh, he's been my representative
since the very beginning.
But my case, that's what probably
you're thinking about.
I have it all written down here.
I can give you the exact dates.
It's very difficult to keep all that
in one's head, so...
I never realised that Hastler had
an ordinary commercial practice as well.
Of course.
Why, yes, you know that they even say...
They even say that he's a better advocate
for business than for the other kind.
- Yes?
- Oh, yes.
You won't give me away?
I'm not an informer.
He's a revengeful man, very revengeful.
Surely he wouldn't... He wouldn't think
of harming one of his own clients?
Yes, yes.
Yes, once he's aroused, he'll do anything.
He doesn't draw any distinctions.
What was it you wanted to tell me?
You'll have to tell me
one of your own secrets.
So we can trust each other to keep quiet.
OK, I'll give you something.
I have other advocates.
- Other advocates as well as Hastler?
- Five of them.
You know...
- Listen...
- Yeah?
Hastler, yes...
You notice he's always...
Ssh! Wait a minute.
Hastler is always referring to the others
in his own circle as great advocates.
- No?
- No.
- No?
- Of course not.
- But in the real protocol of the court...
- Yeah?
- He ranks where?
- Where?
Among the small advocates. For sure.
Well, the real great advocates
whom I've never seen...
- You were working on your own behalf?
- Oh, yes.
I'd like to ask you about that.
- How do you do that?
- It's exhausting.
It's just that they need a court
to try to keep an eye on things.
Too much for one man.
I'll be there often enough myself
after this, I suppose.
I can't expect the special treatment
I got the first time.
Everybody stood up.
They must have taken me for a judge.
It was the guard you were with.
He's the one we all stood up for.
- There's that ridiculous superstition.
- What superstition?
You're supposed to be able to tell
from a man's face,
and from the line
of his lips especially,
how his case is going to turn out.
So people were saying
that from the expression on your lips,
they could tell
that you'll be found guilty.
- Yes, in the very near future.
- The Advocate is waiting for you.
- Let him wait!
- Talk to Block later. He's sleeping here.
- Sleeping here?
- Everybody isn't like you...
Expecting to be granted an interview
at any hour of the day or night!
And the Advocate sick as he is, too.
Your friends do you favours
and you just take them for granted.
Not that I ask for any thanks.
All I want...
Well, I want you to be fond of me.
I'm fond of you.
I don't know. Why shouldn't Hastler
be willing to see me?
He's my lawyer, isn't he?
What kind of a favour is that?
- That's not the question...
- It's his day for being difficult.
Do you know why the Advocate has agreed
to see him, Leni? It's because...
...his case is still at a hopeful stage.
Oh, yes, Leni.
- He'll see the difference later on.
- You talk too much.
That's his trouble.
That's why the Advocate can't bear
to see him.
Oh, he does see me occasionally.
But you never know.
That's what's so nerve-wracking.
You never know
when he'll be willing to receive you.
It could be any time - day, night.
And if I'm not right here on the spot
when he does take it into his head
to send for me,
I've lost my chance.
Then I have to wait much longer
than before.
That's why I let you sleep here.
Well, I guess one gets very dependent
on one's advocate as time goes on.
Well, the truth is he likes it.
- Leni...
- Maybe not the waiting.
But you do enjoy spending the night,
now, don't you?
Want to see his room?
So you sleep in the maid's room?
Yeah, she lets me have it, yes.
It's very convenient.
Put him to bed.
Mr K, wait!
- Wait, Mr K!
- Rudy!
Mr K! Mr K!
Please... You forgot your promise.
You were going to tell me
one of your secrets.
All right, I'll give you a secret.
I'm dismissing the Advocate.
- The Advocate?
- What?
I'm going to dismiss him from my case.
I'm tired of all these delays.
Hastler's done nothing.
- No, you can't.
- He's too old, sick or indifferent.
- He's not indifferent.
- He's dismissing the Advocate.
- Wait!
- He's dismissing the Advocate!
No, Josef!
You stay out!
Leave him alone, Leni.
- Has she been pestering you again?
- Pestering me?
She finds all accused men attractive.
It's a peculiarity of hers.
She makes up to all of them,
makes love to all of them.
And when I allow her to,
she tells me about these affairs
to amuse me.
All about them.
You came here this evening
for a specific reason?
Yes, to tell you
that I'm dispensing with your services.
We mustn't be in too much of a hurry.
You've done everything you can for me
and I appreciate it,
but more energetic steps
will have to be taken.
- That's a plan we can discuss.
- It's not a plan, it's a fact.
How many times have I come here?
What have you done for me? Nothing.
How many of my clients have reached
the same point in their cases as you
and stood there before me
saying exactly the same things?
Maybe they had a reason to. They were
probably as much in the right as I am.
It's true, you know.
Accused men... are attractive.
Not that being accused
makes any immediate change
in a man's personal appearance.
But if you've got the right eye
for these things,
you can pick out an accused man
in the largest crowd.
It's just something about them.
It can't be a sense of guilt.
You can't all be... guilty.
Some are more attractive than others,
but all are attractive,
even that wretched creature Block.
Let's get him in here. It's time you
learnt how other accused men are treated.
Get Block in here, Leni.
Go and fetch Block.
- My decision is final.
- You'd better think about it, Josef.
The Advocate wants to see you.
- Go on.
- Oh, thank you, thank you.
- Is that Block?
- Yes, sir.
What do you want?
- You were sent for, weren't you?
- Yes, sir, I was.
- You've come at the wrong time.
- Sir, I came immediately.
The minute I heard my name.
- Do you want me to go away?
- You're here, aren't you?
Yes, sir, I'm here. I...
- Then stay.
- Yes, sir.
Yesterday, I saw my friend,
the third judge.
I managed to work the conversation
around to your case.
- Do you want to hear what he said?
- Oh, please.
In these matters,
there are so many conflicting opinions
that the confusion is impenetrable.
At a certain point by an old tradition,
a bell must be rung.
Yes, a bell.
The judge holds that this marks
the official opening of the proceedings.
There are many arguments against this
opinion, but you wouldn't understand them.
- Sir...
- No!
- Who is your advocate?
- You.
- And beside me?
- No one, sir. No one was...
- Then pay no attention to anyone else.
- Fall on the floor for him if you like.
No, you're not to talk to me like that.
Not in front of the Advocate.
How dare you! How dare you!
How dare you!
Don't you know he's trying
to humiliate you to show off his power?
- Pay no attention to anyone.
- Let him go!
Do what your conscience tells you
is right.
- Let me go!
- I'm on my knees, Advocate.
I'm on my knees, Advocate.
I'm on my knees, sir.
I'm on...
Huh? Oh...
How has he been behaving today?
He has been quiet and hardworking.
What's he been doing all day?
I kept him locked up in the maid's room,
so he wouldn't disturb me in my work.
It's where he usually stays anyway.
Then you can't say with your own
knowledge what he's been doing.
I peeked in on him now and then
through the ventilator.
He was kneeling all the time on his bed...
studying the book you let him borrow.
There wasn't much light,
so the way he stuck to his reading shows
that he does what he's told.
Did he understand what he was reading?
Well, he was following the lines
with his fingers.
All I could tell was he never goes
past the same page the whole day.
I guess the book
is very hard to understand.
The scriptures are very difficult.
They're only meant to give him
a bare inkling of the complications
I must struggle with on his behalf.
- Did he read without stopping?
- Almost without stopping.
Once he asked me for a drink of water
and I handed it to him
through the ventilator.
Then about eight o'clock, I let him out
and gave him something to eat.
You're praising him too much, Leni.
You're making it even harder for me
to tell him the truth.
The judge's remarks were
by no means favourable.
Not favourable? How can that be?
He was even annoyed
when I mentioned Block's name.
"You're wasting your time with that man,"
he told me.
"His case is hopeless."
I refused to believe that.
"Block is most conscientious," I told him.
"It's true that personally
he's rather repulsive."
"His manners are bad and he's dirty,"
"but as a client," I said,
"he's beyond reproach,"
which was, of course,
a deliberate exaggeration.
And here's what the judge replied to that:
"Your client has a kind of low cunning."
"He's learned through the years
how to go on manipulating the situation."
"What do you think he'd say
if we were to tell him"
"that the bell marking
the start of the proceedings..."
"..hadn't even been rung?"
- I...
- Quiet there, Block!
Have you no shame
to behave like that in front of a client?
You're destroying his confidence in me.
What's wrong with you?
You're still alive, aren't you?
You're still under my protection.
I hope you realise
I'm dispensing with your services.
You can still change your mind
about that.
To be in chains...
is sometimes safer than to be free.
- Where do you think you're going?
- Open the door.
- You must be crazy.
- Open the door!
- There's no place for you to go.
- He's crazy.
If I hadn't made up my mind,
that performance would have settled it.
To think it was all put on for my benefit
to win me over!
How far do you think you could get
without him?
How far am I now?
- Not far away.
- You'd better see him.
- The high court judge?
- Don't be funny. Of course not.
I mean Titorelli. He's the official
court painter. He knows them all.
They all come to his studio
to sit for their portraits.
Nobody has more influence with the judges
than Titorelli.
- You really think he could help me?
- That's his profession.
- As much as painting, helping people.
- Unlock the door.
- Wait till the morning.
- Where are the keys?
The Advocate keeps the keys.
- Goodbye, Leni, and thanks.
- You'll be back here.
- No, no.
- You won't have any choice.
No, Leni, I've seen what it is
to be one of his clients.
I've seen what happened to Block.
He's not a client. He's the Advocate's dog.
- E-E-Excuse me, is there a Mr Titorelli?
- Who?
An artist living here?
- Do you know the painter Titorelli?
- What do you want him for?
- I want him to paint my portrait.
- Your portrait?
Just get in. I'll get rid of the girls.
Nasty little pests.
Out! I see you!
This is no time for your silly games!
The gentleman wants to talk business. Out!
Why can't you play
in somebody else's studio?
I can see you!
I can see you.
Don't think you're fooling Titorelli!
Out! Every last one of you!
Get out of my studio!
You really must apologise.
Out! Out!
Out! I got home late last night.
That's why everything is in such a mess.
Just as I was tucking myself
under the covers,
a dreadful little claw reaches up and
seizes me. She was under the bed waiting.
- Titorelli, can we come in now?
- No, you can't!
- Not even me?
- No!
I know some little pussycats
who won't be so pretty
when Titorelli is through with them.
Some dirty-minded little pussies will wish
their mums had drowned them in a bucket!
I'll get my ice pick.
Remember my ice pick?
Now what can I do for you, chum?
I...I thought you might be able
to give me some advice.
You wouldn't want to buy
one of my pictures?
Oh, certainly.
You're working on a painting now?
A portrait, not quite finished.
Oh. It must be a judge.
Judges are my speciality.
What... what does that repre... represent?
You can see for yourself - justice.
Yes, there's the... There's the bandage
over the eyes, but aren't those...
Ouch! Aren't those wings there on heels?
My instructions were to paint it that way.
Flying? Justice ought to stand still,
don't you think?
Or the scales will waver
and a just verdict won't be possible.
It's justice and the goddess of victory
combined. What does she look like to you?
Like the goddess of the hunt. In full cry.
Titorelli, can we come in now?
- Nasty thing, we're busy!
- You aren't really busy.
You're going to paint him? Please don't
paint him. Not another one like that!
- These girls belong to the court.
- What?
Well, Joey, practically everything
belongs to the court.
But it's behind the scenes,
here in this very studio,
that's where you get your results.
I forgot to ask you
what kind of acquittal you want.
Ostensible or definite acquittal
or deferment?
Definite acquittal is the best,
but I can't influence that kind of verdict.
- Nobody can.
- Why?
I've never in my life heard of a case
of definite acquittal. What's wrong?
Is there a window,
something we can open?
Plenty of air comes in
through those chinks.
If you want some ventilation,
open that door behind you.
The judge I'm painting now
always comes in by that door.
I've had to give him a key for it
in case I happen to be out.
His Honour usually arrives very early
when I'm still asleep.
It's not exactly a soothing experience
to wake up in the morning and find a judge
all dressed up in those crazy
ceremonial robes climbing over your bed!
- He's taken off his jacket.
- They think I'll paint your portrait.
- That's why you've taken off your jacket.
- What are the other alternatives?
- Ah, you mean the legal alternatives?
- Yeah.
I told you - ostensible acquittal
or indefinite deferment.
- Deferment...
- What's wrong? Aren't you feeling well?
Must... must... must be...
the heat.
If I open that door,
we'll have those girls all over us.
- Don't do that.
- Well, now, with ostensible acquittal,
I write out an affidavit of your innocence
and make the rounds
of all the judges I know personally,
beginning with the one I'm painting now.
I explain to him that you're innocent
and myself guarantee that innocence...
- And if he believes you?
- As he very well might.
No, we mustn't be too pessimistic.
Some of them are bound to believe me.
Yes, and I'd be free?
Ostensibly. Ostensibly free.
Naturally, the judges I know
all belong to the lowest grade.
They haven't the power reserved to
the highest court to grant a final acquittal.
- The highest court?
- Chum, that court is inaccessible to you.
To me, to all of us. What the prospects
are up there, well, we just don't know.
And we don't want to know.
I'm sure you understand.
- No, I'm not sure that I do.
- What they can do for you
is to relieve you
of the burden of the charge,
lift it from your shoulders for a time,
but it does hover up there above you.
You see, in definite acquittal,
all the documents are annulled.
But with ostensible acquittal,
your whole dossier continues to circulate.
Up to the higher courts,
down to the lower ones, up again, down.
These oscillations and peregrinations,
you just can't figure 'em.
No use in trying either, I suppose.
Not a hope.
I've known cases of an acquitted man
coming home from court
and finding the cops waiting there
to arrest him all over again.
But theoretically, it's always possible
to get another ostensible acquittal.
The second acquittal
wouldn't be final either.
It's automatically followed
by the third arrest,
the third acquittal
by the fourth arrest...
And so on.
Do you think a deferment
would suit you any better?
- I couldn't really say.
- You can't overlook a case for ever.
Measures have to be taken.
Questions, interrogations, observation,
more interrogations, evidence collected.
- Going already?
- I'll be back to see you again very soon.
I'll keep you to your word,
you know, Joey.
Otherwise I'll call in at your office
and you wouldn't like that.
Unlock this door, will you?
You don't want to be bothered by the girls.
We'll slip you out this other way.
- Now, wait.
- What for?
Wouldn't you like to see
some of my pictures?
I'm sure there's at least one or two
of them you'd want to buy.
It's modern, you know.
It's an action painting.
I call it "Wild Nature - A Heath"...
- I'll buy it.
- Here's the companion picture.
- I'll take them both.
- You seem to like the subject.
Yes, I do. I'll...
I'll hang them in my office.
By a lucky chance,
I've got another on the very same theme.
- How much for the three?
- We'll settle that the next time.
Today, you're in such a hurry,
but we're going to keep in real close touch
with each other from now on,
aren't we, Joey boy?
This is the law court office.
That seems to surprise you.
I think what surprises me most
is how ignorant I am
about everything concerning
this court of yours.
For an accused man, that's a mistake.
He should never be caught napping.
Never for a minute
let his eyes stray to the left
when, for all he knows,
a judge or somebody like that
can be lurking a little bit to the right.
Oh, you...
I make...
I make you very uncomfortable, don't I?
It distresses you
to find me in your company.
Yes, I've been told about that.
Before, I thought you took me for a judge
or at least an official of the court.
I even thought you were afraid of me,
but what you're feeling is pain.
You don't like what you see, do you?
It's my mouth.
You think you can tell from my mouth
that I'm condemned,
that I'm going to be found guilty?
Josef K!
- You are Josef K?
- Yes.
You're an accused man?
- So I've been informed.
- Your case is going badly.
My first petition
hasn't been offered yet.
Your guilt is assumed to have been proved.
But I'm not guilty.
For that matter...
how can any man be called guilty?
We're all simply men here,
one as much as the other.
The guilty always talk like that.
What do you propose to do now?
- Get more help.
- Help?
There are several possibilities
I haven't explored yet.
You expect too much from outside help,
especially from women.
Women have influence.
Take that examining magistrate.
If he sees a woman,
he'll climb over the bench
and knock down the defendant
just to get his hands on her.
That's an aspect of the courts
you probably don't know about.
Where's the door? I have to catch up
with my work at the office.
After all... I'm assistant manager
of my department.
What are you doing in church?
Am I still in church
or is this part of the law court offices?
- I left my sick bed.
- Well, go back to your sick bed.
You don't seriously believe
you can defend yourself?
- Great choice. Defend myself or defy you.
- But defy the court?
All of you. What's this?
- We use these visual aids.
- Lectures and sermons.
Yes, how your particular delusion
is described in the writings
which preface the law.
Before the law, there stands a guard.
A man comes from the country
seeking admittance to the law,
but the guard cannot admit him.
Can the man hope to enter at a later time?
I've heard it before.
We've all heard it.
The man is dying of old age
still waiting there.
And just at the end, the guard tells him
the door was meant only for him.
The guard tells him,
"No one could enter this door."
"And now I'm going to close it."
Some commentators have pointed out
that the man came to the door
of his own free will.
We're supposed to swallow all that?
It's all true?
We needn't accept everything as true,
only what's necessary.
God, what a miserable conclusion!
It turns lying into a universal principle.
By attempting to defy the court
by such an obviously mad gesture,
you hope to plead insanity?
You've laid some foundation for that claim
by appearing to believe yourself
the victim of some kind of conspiracy.
- That's a symptom of lunacy, isn't it?
- Delusions of persecution.
- Delusions?
- Well...
I don't pretend to be a martyr, no.
Not even... a victim of society?
I am a member of society.
You think you can persuade the court
that you're not responsible
by reason of lunacy?
I think that's what the court
wants me to believe.
Yes, that's the conspiracy.
To persuade us all
that the whole world is crazy.
Formless, meaningless, absurd.
That's the dirty game.
So I've lost my case. What of it?
You... You're losing, too.
It's all lost. Lost!
So what?
Does that sentence
the entire universe to lunacy?
Can't you see anything at all?
Of course I'm responsible.
My son...
I am not your son.
You expect me to take the knife
and do the job myself?
No, you'll have to do it.
You, you dummies!
You'll have to do it!
You'll have to kill me!
Come on, come on!
This film, "The Trial",
was based on the novel
by Franz Kafka.
The actors,
in the order of their appearance,
were Anthony Perkins,
Arnoldo Foe,
Jess Hahn, William Kearns,
Madeleine Robinson, Jeanne Moreau,
Maurice Teynac, Naydra Shore,
Suzanne Flon,
Raoul Delfosse, Jean-Claude Remoleux,
Max Buchsbaum, Karl Studer,
Max Haufler, Romy Schneider,
Fernand Ledoux, Akim Tamiroff,
Elsa Martinelli, Thomas Holtzmann,
Wolfgang Reichmann, William Chappell
and Michael Lonsdale.
I played the Advocate
and wrote and directed this film.
My name is Orson Welles.