7.8/10
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The Experiment (2001)

Das Experiment (original title)
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.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
14 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tarek Fahd - Häftling Nr. 77 / Prisoner #77
...
Robert Steinhoff Nr. 38
...
Günther Schütte Nr. 82
...
Joe Maier Nr. 69
Stephan Szasz ...
Häftling Nr. 53
Polat Dal ...
Häftling Nr. 40
...
Häftling Nr. 21
Ralf Müller ...
Häftling Nr. 15
Markus Rudolf ...
Häftling Nr. 74
Peter Fieseler ...
Häftling Nr. 11
Thorsten Dersch ...
Häftling Nr. 86 (as Thorsten J.H. Dersch)
Sven Grefer ...
Häftling Nr. 94
Justus von Dohnányi ...
Berus - Strafvollzugsbeamter / Guard (as Justus von Dohnànyi)
Nicki von Tempelhoff ...
Kamps - Strafvollzugsbeamter / Guard
Timo Dierkes ...
Eckert - Strafvollzugsbeamter / Guard
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Storyline

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 <armin@sfb288.math.tu-berlin.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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You Are Invited To Participate See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, disturbing situations, language, sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 March 2001 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Experiment  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$19,857 (USA) (20 September 2002)

Gross:

$141,072 (USA) (25 October 2002)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) | (cut) | (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(at around 15 mins) Oliver Stokowski (Schütte) is actually claustrophobic. In an early scene where the prisoners are crammed into the elevator, a hint of his genuine uneasiness is visible. See more »

Goofs

Tarek's eyeglasses continually disappear and reappear without any apparent reason. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tarek Fahd, Häftling Nr. 77: [voiceover, reading newspaper ad] Test subjects wanted. Earn 4000 marks for a 14-day experiment in a simulated prison.
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Connections

References Dumbo (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Are You Lonesome Tonight
Lou Handman / Roy Turk
(C) by Redwood Music Ltd. / Carlin Music Corp.
Mit freundlicher Genehmigung der
Greenhorn Musikverlag GmbH & Co. Munchen
(i.Hs.Warner / Chappell Music GmbH Germany)
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User Reviews

 
Zee Germans
29 November 2004 | by (Lakewood, NJ) – See all my reviews

This was a surprisingly intense film that I'm so glad I watched. The concept was great and this was even before I found out it was based on a true story. But once I heard that it makes me want to look into it a lot more and see what differed from actual life and such. Supposedly the movie was pretty accurate though. It's amazing that good foreign films blow the socks off of most Hollywood garbage any day of the week. They're more realistic and the characters act more like real people would in day to day situations. The love story in this might've been the only thing that I think could've been done better since it became a little weird here and there. Other than that the suspense kept me going and the thought that this could happen to anyone is really scary to ponder. I'm pretty sure I'd like to see this made into an American version only because I'm quite positive they'd butcher it and wouldn't contain anything near the desired effect as has usually been the case in the past. It was kept simple and because of that...it worked! The acting was great all around as it really was a job well done.

Final Import:

Movies: Not a possibility here in the U.S.

DVD Purchase: Worth looking into.

Rental: A wise choice my friend!


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