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'Lesson Plan' is a documentary featuring interviews of the original students and teacher of the 1967 Third Wave experiment. This exercise in fascism took place in Palo Alto, California. ... See full summary »


(as David H. Jeffery), (as Philip Neel)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview:
Ron Jones ...
Himself, professor, Stanford University
Scott Thomson ...
Sherry Tousley ...
Richard Schloss ...
Himself (as Rick Schloss)
Nancy West ...
Philip Carr Neel ...
Himself (as Philip Neel)
Steve Coniglio ...
Mark Hancock ...
Russel Mulock ...
Jo Ann Wood ...
Alyssa Hess ...
David Rose ...
Joel Amkraut ...
Wendy Brodie ...


'Lesson Plan' is a documentary featuring interviews of the original students and teacher of the 1967 Third Wave experiment. This exercise in fascism took place in Palo Alto, California. Within one week, 30 students grew to 200 as the Third Wave took on a life of its own, and the students unwittingly re-enacted the roots of the Third Reich. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

May 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lesson Plan: The Story of the Third Wave  »

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Philip Carr Neel: And then Mr. Jones had us sit at attention to wait for the party leader and in the front of the room was a television set, you know, probably a 19 inch screen, and he said 'The party leader is going to come on any minute now', and he left the room with it on, it was just snow.
Steve Coniglio: His bodyguards went out of the room, the reporters went out of the room, and there were all of these people looking at snow on a TV screen, and it was 12 o' clock.
Mark Hancock: And you're looking around and suddenly, Jones isn't there...
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User Reviews

very well done
26 May 2011 | by (Seattle, United States) – See all my reviews

This film will appeal both to baby boomers and their children. It recounts after several decades the effect Mr. Jones had on very malleable children. In an echo of the seven up series we see the theme "show me the child and I will show you the man." The experience left a lasting impression on the students. It involved: carrying cards, informing on each other, and the leader having body guards. The viewer is exposed to about a dozen narratives stitched together, and kept apart. We have kids who told their parents and were banished to the library, kids saluting each other in the hallways, and some believed that they were taking part in a revolution, and that their party leader would have a speech televised nationwide at the end of a week. Given that this was an era when people actually protested on the streets about the war, and the president listened. A good documentary will always show a snapshot of time and place, and more importantly makes the audience think, which this does admirably.

Phillip Neel was one of the original 30 students from "The Third Wave", graduated from UCLA in 1973 with a B.A. in Motion Picture/Television production. He started working at the CBS Network in various capacities. The seamless quilt of the narratives converging is part and parcel of Neel's three emmy nominations for editing. This is David Jeffery's first feature film, and impressive.

The closing credit soundtrack includes "Ballad of a Thin Man" by Dylan. As a child of baby boomer parents who sang folk music in coffee shops in Boston, the lyrics made me stop, listen intently, recommend the film to my parents.

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