Castle, The (1968)

Castle, The (1968)

“There’s been a mistake; they say you’re here as a guest.”

When a man (Maximillian Schell) shows up ready to work as a land surveyor for a local castle, he is met with obstacles and hedging by local villagers.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • German Films
  • Living Nightmare
  • Maximillian Schell Films

Maximillian Schell produced and starred in this West German adaptation of Franz Kafka’s unfinished final novel. It’s a decidedly non-linear, nightmarish depiction of a man (“K.”) attempting to simply make his way into a job he’s been called for, but being foiled at every turn by bureaucracy, denial, and idiocy.

To K.’s credit (?), he never blows up at anybody despite his understandable frustration; instead, he simply moves from one spot in the village to another, continuously hoping that the next person he interacts with will provide him access. The snowy landscapes are beautifully desolate, and the interior sets appropriately surreal — however, your tolerance for this one will depend entirely on your interest in entering into Kafka’s bleak worldview.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Hertha Hareiter’s sets
  • Wolfgang Treu’s atmospheric cinematography

Must See?
No; only check this one out if you’re curious. Listed as a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.


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