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The Harrad Experiment (1973)

At Harrad College, where controversial coed living situations are established, the students are forced to confront their sexuality in ways that society previously shunned. Part of the ... See full summary »


Ted Post


Michael Werner (screenplay), Ted Cassidy (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
James Whitmore ... Philip Tenhausen
Tippi Hedren ... Margaret Tenhausen
Don Johnson ... Stanley Cole
Bruno Kirby ... Harry Schacht (as B. Kirby Jr.)
Laurie Walters ... Sheila Grove
Victoria Thompson Victoria Thompson ... Beth Hillyer
Elliott Street ... Wilson
Robert Middleton ... Sidney Bower
Billy Sands ... Jack
Sharon Ullrick ... Barbara (as Sharon Taggart)
Maggie Wellman ... Cynthia
Michael Greene ... Yoga Instructor
Ron Kolman Ron Kolman ... Evan
Eric Server Eric Server ... Workman
Robert C. Ross Robert C. Ross ... Workman


At Harrad College, where controversial coed living situations are established, the students are forced to confront their sexuality in ways that society previously shunned. Part of the experiment is to pair incompatible members of the opposite sex as roommates in order to make them shun the traditional concept of monogamy. The film's primary two "couples" are the sex-crazed Stanley and ultra-timid Sheila, and insecure Harry and liberated Beth. In charge of the "experiment" are Prof. Philip Tenhausen and his wife, Margaret, who seem to enjoy the tension they instigate, as well as the graphic sexual episodes that unfold. Written by alfiehitchie & tipsyheadrinse

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Harrad College... where free, liberated relations between coed students are encouraged! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

11 May 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

College See more »

Filming Locations:

Pasadena, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Ice House comedy sequence was filmed after the director's cut. Producer Dennis F. Stevens brought in the improvisational group Ace Trucking Company to beef up William F. Nolan's suggested, revised ending. See more »


The wetness of Sheila's hair in the bathtub with Stanley. See more »

Alternate Versions

The late-1980s Wizard Video version contains the film completely uncut and unedited. This is the only version like this known to exist on video. See more »


Featured in Blood of 1000 Virgins (2013) See more »


Go Gently
Music by Charles Fox
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Sung by Lori Lieberman
See more »

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User Reviews

Slightly Dated Cult Movie
15 August 2000 | by jlabineSee all my reviews

Robert H. Rimmer's manifesto for the love and sex generation was brought to the big (drive-in) screen by low budget director Ted Post in 1973. Unfortunately the book would have been better suited to have been done in 1968 by someone like Radley Metzger. Because though it may seem dated compared to today's standards. I've a feeling the movie was almost as dated in 1973. The book was written in 1966 by a horny square guy, that tried to punt the book as a "real" experiment in a college that's hidden away somewhere, with 4 kids writing fantasy masturbatory tales of their opposites. Something that would have suited Mr. Metzger, and he would have probably added a dimension of good honest seediness that would have benefitted the film adaption. Instead we have (5 years, too late) Ted Post's treatment of the book. While I do find the film pretty entertaining unlike most of the reviewers, it's just not relevent. And it's all done, as if you were watching a "sexual awareness" film in your high school class. The characters are treated as if they were all blosoming sexual flowers, waiting to picked at the right moment of their maturing intellect. But in it's own dated way, it's kinda cool. Obviously the ideas expressed in this film are dangerous to today's idealogy, but it was made in 1973!!! So with this in mind, it's like watching a drive-in "Eight Is Enough" with nudity. When I was playing hookie from grade school, I would have loved for a film like this to come on TV! All the actors in the film are very likeable. "Eight Is Enough" actress Laurie Walters is believable as the shy virtuous virgin Sheila Grove. While Don Johnson's third film outing is far more confident, and adds an air coolness to the miniscule budget. His character Stanley (after the film "The Magic Garden Of Stanley Sweetheart" (1970), Don can't seem to escape the name Stanley??) is one of the more interesting ones, because he's far more open with his sexuality and the desire to get down with the ladies. Yet later you find that he's not very open with his emotions, and his emotinal attachment to Sheila. Hence the lesson learned. You cannot runaway from yourself. Having said that, there's basically no other lessons to be learned from this (Harrad) college. The rest of the film indulges in naked Yoga scenes (with people connecting through Zooms???), naked swimming in college pool, discussing and understanding relationships, playing jokes with the outside world, and Don Johnson trying to bed down with every lady on campus. Sounds like the perfect Drive-in movie to me! But as an intellectually stimiulating film, your better off watching a John Cassavetes film. If you prefer something less tame, your better off watching some real 70's porn by Radley Metzger. But if you're interested in a Cult classic that's cool in a early 70's retrospect...you might find it as entertaining as I did. Curiously, Don Johnson sings two songs on the soundtrack, was his agent trying to sell him as a pretty boy rock star (ie: Leif Garrett, David Cassidy, etc)??? Strange?? Sounds like a mix of James Taylor and Bread. Bruno Kirby in one of his earlier roles is pretty much a natural playing nerdy awkward types, so the movie tends to pick up a little when he's in the film. Tippi Hendren has a small role as the loyal wife/ assistant to the founder James Whitmore. Her daughter Melanie Griffith was a 14 year old extra in the film, though I've yet to actually spot her in it. Apparently an early 20's Don Johnson courted this 14 year old with mother Tippi's blessings. Now that's when truth is really stranger than fiction. Double strange! Great little curio film, though.

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