For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.
The movie is based on the infamous "Stanford Prison Experiment" conducted in 1971. A makeshift prison is set up in a research lab, complete with cells, bars and surveillance cameras. For two weeks 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards. The 'prisoners' are locked up and have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the 'guards' are told simply to retain order without using physical violence. Everybody is free to quit at any time, thereby forfeiting payment. In the beginning the mood between both groups is insecure and rather emphatic. But soon quarrels arise and the wardens employ ever more drastic sanctions to confirm their authority. Written by
Although no one died in the Stanford Prison Experiment on which the movie was based, the experiment was prematurely ended after six days out of a planned two weeks. The college students assigned (randomly) to be prisoners were "withdrawing and behaving in pathological ways" as a result of the degrading treatment they received. Quite a few scenes in the movie actually happened in the original experiment, including the early fire extinguisher scene and the prisoners being forced to clean the toilets by their bare hands. See more »
Tarek's eyeglasses continually disappear and reappear without any apparent reason. See more »