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The Human Behavior Experiments (2006)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary  -  1 June 2006 (USA)
7.5
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Blass ...
Himself - Biographer
Herbert Winer ...
Himself - Milgram Experiment 'Teacher'
Buddy Stump ...
Himself - Mt. Washington Police Detective
Donna Summers ...
Herself - Former McDonald's Employee
John Darley ...
Himself - Social Psychologist
Charles Skoller ...
Himself - Former Queens Asssistant DA
Michael Carrington ...
Himself - Matthew Carrington's Father
Bibb Latane ...
Himself (archive footage)
Debbie Smith ...
Herself - Matthew Carrington's Mother
Greg Smith ...
Himself - Matthew Carrington's Stepfather
Michael Ramsey ...
Himself - Butte County DA
Thomas Resk ...
Himself - Medical Examiner
Gabe Maestretti ...
Himself - Matthew Carrington's Killer
Philip Zimbardo ...
Himself - Psychologist
Ken Davis ...
Himself - Abu Ghraib Veteran
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Good film about blind obedience that suffers from its own apparent blind belief in the Kitty Genovese myth
18 September 2010 | by (San Antonio, TX) – See all my reviews

This is a pretty good film, about several experiments in the field of social psychology and several real-world stories that demonstrate the extent to which most humans will blindly obey authority figures, or, more generally, either fail to refrain from doing something bad or fail to help someone in trouble when they believe the responsibility is diffused amongst others. For the most part, it's pretty compelling stuff that really everyone should know about.

However, the extent to which the psychologists interviewed in this film appear to blindly believe so firmly in the Kitty Genovese story as reported in The New York Times is somewhat reminiscent of the blind obedience to authority phenomenon criticized in the film.

If you are interested in what really happened the night Kitty Genovese died, as opposed to the myth, take 9 minutes and listen: http://www.onthemedia.org/episodes/2009/03/27/segments/127346 (several people did call the police that night, probably only one or two of the alleged spectators actually had any idea what was happening other than that some woman was screaming, the number 38 appears to have basically been just made up by a journalist, etc.)

The makers of this film would've done better to leave this particular story out of their otherwise very good film.


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