7.7/10
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The Experiment (2001)

Das Experiment (original title)
Trailer
1:45 | Trailer

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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.

Writers:

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

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Cast

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

Taglines:

Nach einer wahren Begebenheit. 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German | English

Release Date:

8 March 2001 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Experiment See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,857, 22 September 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$141,072, 27 October 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) | (cut) | (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christian Berkel originally auditioned for the part of Schütte but was then cast as Steinhoff. See more »

Goofs

(at around 20 mins) Tarek took one of the prisoner's milk bottles with his left hand, then he's holding it in right hand. While giving back the milk bottle, it's in his left again. 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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The first cinema version had an insert in the beginning of the movie which stated "This is based on the Stanford Prison Experiment". Since Prof. Philip Zimbardo wasn't asked by the filmmakers - and the movie doesn't really show the true experiment, but an exaggeration, the insert was changed to say "This movie is based on the novel Black Box" See more »

Connections

Version of The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

One Step Closer
Chester Bennington / Rob Bourdon / Brad Delson / Joseph Hahn / Mike Shinoda
Linkin Park
Mit freundlicher Genehmigung der
Zomba Enterprises Inc. / Zomba Songs Inc. / Rob Bourdon Music
Nondisclosure Agreement Music/Big Bad Mr.Hahn Music / Kenji Kobayashi Music
(all adm. by Zomba Songs Inc.) und der Wea Records, ein Geschaftsbereich
von Warner Music Germany GmbH
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Zee Germans
29 November 2004 | by frankwhatSee 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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