Films by Harold Pinter
The Trial 1989


Directed by David Jones

Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Anthony Hopkins, Jason Robards

Based on the novel by Franz Kafka

Screenplay by Harold Pinter published in Collected Screenplays 3


What is it about Kafka and The Trial? What is it that makes this pair-one of the masters of 20th Century literature, and his most famous piece of work-such a worrisome, burdensome thing? Kafka's most remarkable achievement is to have inundated the century with his morbid self. So much so that we've now had it with Kafka.

Harold Pinter, too, one might expect to identify very closely with the Kafka world view. Pinteresque, after all has entered the language to describe a literary mood, not far from the Kafkaesque. And for the opening scene of the new version of The Trial, directed by David Jones from Pinter's scrupulously faithful script, there is a dramatic blurring of their two worlds.

Richard Combs, The Guardian, July 15th 1993


Kyle MacLachlan

This is one of the great philosophical works of the century, and Pinter's adaptation is faithful and respectful, rising to magnificence in the penultimate scene when K (Kyle MacLachlan) is prepared to meet his doom by the counsel of the prison priest (Anthony Hopkins).

Iain Johnstone, The Sunday Times, June 20th 1993


Further Reading

'Harold Pinter on 'The Trial' by Francis Gillen (Pinter Review 1992-3)

The Trial' by Jeanne Connolly (Pinter Review 1994)

Comments on Harold Pinter's adaption of Franz Kafka's 'The Trial' by Frederick R. Karl (Pinter Review 1994)

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