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Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard (2006)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography | 27 April 2006 (USA)
In his first public interview in more than a decade, pop culture icon of the 1970s and 80s, Werner Erhard breaks his long silence about his ideas, his life and his controversial program "... See full summary »


Robyn Symon


Robyn Symon

On Disc

at Amazon




Credited cast:
Warren Bennis Warren Bennis ... Himself
Jeff Bridges ... Himself - est Graduate (archive footage)
John Denver ... Himself - est Graduate (archive footage)
Joe DiMaggio Joe DiMaggio ... est Trainer (archive footage)
Anita Erhard Anita Erhard ... Herself
Werner Erhard Werner Erhard ... Himself
Claudette Faison Claudette Faison ... Herself
R. Buckminster Fuller R. Buckminster Fuller ... Himself (archive footage)
Gary Grace Gary Grace ... Himself
Valerie Harper ... Herself - Emmy Awards (archive footage)
Michael Jensen Michael Jensen ... Himself
Mark Kamin Mark Kamin ... Himself
Don Lattin Don Lattin ... Himself
Martin Leaf Martin Leaf ... Himself
George Leonard George Leonard ... Himself - Co-Leader of Esalen


In his first public interview in more than a decade, pop culture icon of the 1970s and 80s, Werner Erhard breaks his long silence about his ideas, his life and his controversial program "est"that became "the thing" to do among celebrities and middle America and fueled today's multi-billion dollar personal growth industry. With exclusive and rare footage, you'll step inside controversial est seminars, hear provocative interviews with participants, family members, and experts. Viewers will be very surprised to learn how Erhard's transformational ideas are still in the mainstream today-in our language, advertising campaigns and in personal growth seminars yet few people know its origin. Written by Robyn Symon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"Culture icon and the founder of est pulls back the curtain on his life, his ideas and what forced him to leave the country." See more »


Not Rated


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

27 April 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Трансформация: Жизнь и наследие Вернера Эрхарда See more »

Filming Locations:

Ireland See more »


Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,460, 29 July 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$25,460, 29 July 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$975,000, 1 December 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Color (NTSC Color)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Randy McNamara: People had no idea what the course was going to do for them, none. And most people were very very very uptight.
See more »


References 60 Minutes: Werner Erhard (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Informercial for Werner, but interesting
22 April 2010 | by weberweinSee all my reviews

An obsequious puff piece on Werner Erhard, the guru of the est training. They bring in Rick Ross for a few seconds to criticize the cult-like nature of some of his followers, and a SF Chronicle journalist who admits that they were fawning of the self-improvement groups.

They save the bulk of the film for former est graduates who have doctorates to call Werner a "genius" and a world-changer.

The best parts of the film involve former est trainer Randy McNamara who tells great stories. Also it is eye-opening to see how the Scientologists and media went after Erhard with false charges.

How Werner dealt with such a blow to his reputation and career is inspiring, in spite of the puff-piece feeling of the movie. I left with a real sense of admiration for Mr. Erhard

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