7.7/10
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The Experiment (2001)

Das Experiment (original title)
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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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Director: Wolfgang Becker
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova
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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:

20 Männer. Zwei Gruppen. Eine Erfahrung, die du nie vergisst. 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

Filmed in chronological order. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie the Elvis Presley imitator gets knocked down and attached to a prison cell with handcuffs. But after that he suddenly is on the loose. 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

Referenced in Het glazen huis: Eigen agenda (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Mali Ghanni Aannak
Azeez Alnecheymi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A lesson for all humans
1 October 2005 | by inferno0020See all my reviews

Without fancy tricks and clichés, this movie tells us why riots occurs, why hatred spreads, and how to solve it.

In the beginning of this movie, the main character (prisoner no.77), an ex-journalist who hopes to take his job back, participates in a experiment in a mock prison for 2 weeks in order to record down this story, and publish it on the newspaper. Furthermore, he taunts and insults mock prison guards who are also the participants in this experiment so that he can make this story more interesting. However, things become worse and worse...

I am really surprised that this movie doesn't either glorify main characters, nor malign bad guys. Everyone has their characteristics, and their interaction is cruel but practical. We can see how the whole thing becomes worse. Don't stereotype this German story as a reflection of Nazism, because this movie is a warning for every culture which the power is overused. I am really glad that German dares to make this movie without too much clichés and fancy tricks. If you are tired of clichés in Hollywood films, this is a great movie for you.


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