Trial and Error

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  • 1962
  • 1 hr 28 min
  • 6.2  (590)

Trial and Error is a classic comedy film from 1962, starring three of the top actors of the time: Peter Sellers, Richard Attenborough, and Beryl Reid. The movie revolves around the character of an inept barrister called Richard Courtenay played by Peter Sellers, who is tasked with defending a group of rebellious Labor Party activists accused of arson in a small British town called Ashby.

The story begins with Richard Courtenay, a young and ambitious lawyer, deciding to take on the case of a group of twelve accused, who are described as "the dirty dozen." The case promises to be his big break, and he eagerly dives into preparing his defense, ignoring the advice of his more experienced friend and mentor, Melville Farr, played by Richard Attenborough.

As the trial begins, Courtenay quickly finds himself in over his head, struggling to manage his unruly clients, who are determined to turn the courtroom into a circus. The accused group, led by Beryl Reid's character, Tottie, consistently disrupt the courtroom proceedings, leading to various antics and comedic moments throughout the film.

Despite their best efforts, the case quickly falls apart, and Courtenay finds himself at the mercy of the ruthless prosecutor, played by Terry-Thomas. As the trial continues to unravel, Courtenay's desperation grows, leading him to take increasingly desperate measures, leading to further hijinks.

Throughout the film, the acting from all three leads is nothing short of superb. Sellers, in particular, is at his best, delivering a masterful performance as the hapless barrister, Richard Courtenay. Attenborough is equally impressive, portraying the wise and experienced Melville Farr with great subtlety and depth. Beryl Reid is also brilliant as the passionate activist Totttle, bringing a spunky energy to the role that adds to the comedy and charm of the film.

One of the most impressive aspects of Trial and Error is the way in which it balances its comedic moments with genuine dramatic tension. The trial scenes are expertly crafted, always keeping the audience guessing as to the outcome of the case.

Another notable feature of the movie is its timeless message about the importance of standing up for what we believe in and fighting for justice in the face of oppression. The activists in the film may be reckless and rowdy, but they are also shown to be passionate and committed to their cause, making them sympathetic characters despite their flaws.

In conclusion, Trial and Error is a classic comedy film that stands the test of time. With stellar performances from its three lead actors, well-crafted humor, and nuanced storytelling, it is a must-watch for fans of the genre and a great introduction for anyone new to classic film.

Trial and Error
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (590)