The Experiment

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Oliver Hirschbiegel
Production: Samuel Goldwyn Films
  14 wins & 13 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min

Subjects wanted!

4000 mark,

for a 14 day during experiment. a spurious jail.

Crown Plaza, please.


- Take care.

- You too.

Fighting dogs, fighting dogs?

Where for does someone need fighting dogs?

In former days the Romans used to have fighting dogs.

Sorry, don't I know you?

Hold on, B&S, cola, Spiegel and

don't take me wrong...

...Hubba Bubba, right or am I right?


Hey, now I know. Aren't you from

that booth down Aachenerstrasse?

And you are Tarek, right or am I right?

Yeah, that's right.

Yes, I know every cabdriver in this town.


I was one either some day.

Good day gentleman.

I am doctor Grimm, the scientific

assistant of this experiment.

You all know what you are here for?


The experiment is painless.

There's no need for medication.

It's about group-behaviour in an

imprisoned situation.

Are we playing guards or imprisoners?

You are divided into groups.

The computer will decide that.

We are doing a series of tests to

examine your psychic condition.

Previously I need to make the following remark:

Willing to participate in this experiment

means you will renounce

your private life and fundamental rights.

Anyone having problems with that?

Ok, then let's start.


No, ground personnel.

then it's about time!

Mr. Faahd?..


come with me please.

It says here you drive a cab.


Is that your real job or just temporary?

What you mean, temporary?

I mean, aren't you having any other jobs

besides driving a cab?


I'm just asking, because it says here also that

you have studied philosophy, architecture and sociology.

Yes, that is correct, it's true.....


Good Mr. Fahd, your moral values are almost all

within the norms and you have a good condition.

That is important,

you can during the experiment

being exposed to very extreme situations.

Extreme situations?

But you will watch over me, don't you?

Uhm, the experiment will be guarded 24 hours

a day by video.

So nothing will happen to me.

Oh no!

- Yes!

He lives!

You've owed me 500 for two years.

I know, you'll get it.

Sounds interesting.

They say the army is behind it.

With plenty of money.

What do you want?

Start again? Say "sorry"?

Kind of late after two years!

l had stress.

You drive a taxi.


And you want to be

locked up for two weeks!

But it's a good story.

Ten thousand. lncluding photos.

No expenses.



-Hi, Fahd. l called.

l told you, don't jump on the sofa!

Press right:
freeze frame.

Press left:
continuous motion.

Receiver and recorder disguised

as a Walkman. The transmitter...

...has a range of 100 meters.


Ready for tomorrow?

- Sure.

This is a reference test.

We'll do it again after the experiment.

Don't worry. It's not unpleasant.

Don't you feel well?

It's okay.

Do you have a problem

with enclosed spaces?

Everything okay, no problem.


Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t!

Are you injured?

You had red!

You could've been dead!

This is my father's car.

He'll be happy you're alive.

I'm coming from his funeral.


Where were you going?

- To Zandvoort.

Maybe you shouldn't go there.


I don't believe in coincidences.

Nothing just happens in life.

Even the worst things somehow

make sense.

l, for example,

should no longer drive a taxi.

This will hurt a little.

Funny, it seems to be deep,

but there's no blood.

lf you're right, why is he dead?

What sense does that make?

Don't know.

Worst thing is, l couldn't

talk to him anymore.

Didn't see him for four years,

couldn't talk to him anymore.

Maybe that wasn't necessary.

He was 65. He had a good life.

'Dora, be glad, he had a nice death.'

But I'm not glad.

I'm not here any more.

Sometimes life doesn't go on.

That's okay.

Can l lie down somewhere?

Are you going to stay here?

Yes, I'll be next door.

- No, l mean here.

Please meet Professor Thon,

the director of this experiment.

Gentlemen, l would like to thank

all of you for participating.

You are brave men.

You laugh, but I'm serious.

The next two weeks will be

a new experience for you.

You'll undergo and exert pressure.

Some of you will have

no civil rights for two weeks.

Do not underestimate that.

lf anyone wants to go now,

it's your last chance.

Your safety is number one priority.

Violence must not be used!

Whoever gets violent... out of the experiment.

Is that clear?

Fine. Would the following

gentlemen please stand up:

Are we prisoners or guards?

Please, gentlemen.

Guards! Cool!

Please put on your uniforms.

But we get 4000 too?

Four? I get 8000!

No, we have to pay.

Hands on your back, legs spread!


You are now guards

at a penitentiary.

Your job is to maintain

peace and order,

to make sure the rules are obeyed.

Take it seriously! The experiment

succeeds or fails with you!

lf you don't do your job right...

...the experiment makes no sense

and we can stop it right now.

You don't play guards,

you are guards!

Your first task:
to explain

the situation to the prisoners.

Please turn around!


Next one, please!

Go over there!

Put on the dress!

What about underwear?

- No underwear!

Can l have number 69?

- Quiet!

I hope it's a mixed sauna!

They're crazy, women's coats!

Maybe we have to piss sitting down!

Quiet, 69!

Let's go!

Everyone out, please!

Really cool!

The 1st day

Keep going! Everyone in line!

Is there Pay-TV?

They're nuts, look at this!

Keep going, please. Quickly!

Did you imagine this?

- No. Quite a professional slammer!

Now we're in deep sh*t.

Stand in a row on the marker line!

What happens now?

Prison rules. One: The prisoners

address each other by numbers only.

The prisoners address

the guards as "Mr Prison Guard".

At "lights out",

the prisoners must not talk.

Then we'll sing!

- Quiet!

Meals are to be

eaten up completely.

Read the menu to us!


Each order of the guards

is to be obeyed immediately.

Failure to obey the rules

will result in punishment.

What kind of punishment?

We'll see to that. We're flexible.

And now cell assignments.

When l call out your number

go to the cells!

I'll tell you, l snore.

- Great.

You get the bottom bunk.

- Alright.

I'm Joe.

- Tarek.

And you?

- Thirty-eight.

Why do you want to take

part in this experiment?

Because l think it

can be very interesting.

You can really relax and

experience something new.

You have to be open to ideas

and I need the money.

It might be lots of fun.

Because of the bucks.

General interest.

l was never in prison.

Me? No!


No, really.

Jeez! I'm a regular guy!

I have a kiosk, corner of

Brussels and Aachen Street.


I have a few people

working under me.

I'm a school teacher.

I perform as Elvis.

l work for an airline.

Here's my card.

In seven years I was never late.

Where's the next cigarette machine?

Downstairs and to the right!

Hey, Elvis.

Sing something!

Yes, sing a song!

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Mario Giordano

Mario Giordano (born 19 June 1966) is an Italian journalist and writer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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