Even those who aren’t taking a course in psychology have probably heard of Professor Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971.

The experiment was a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. Out of 75 students, 24 male students were selected to adopt assigned roles of prisoner and guard in a mock prison that was situated in the basement of the Stanford Psychology Department building. Though the experiment was supposed to last for a period between 7 and 14 days, it was abruptly stopped after only 6 days as it affected the participants and the professor himself. It was also stopped due to the objections of Zimbardo’s then girlfriend and now wife, Christina Maslach.

The Stanford Prison Experiment


Certain portions of the experiment were filmed for a documentary while 2 movies inspired by this event have already been made. But unlike 2001’s German film “Das Experiment” and 2010’s American version “The Experiment”, Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s “The Stanford Prison Experiment” remains true to the source material by having a close participation of Dr. Zimbardo himself.

This upcoming psychological film assembled an extraordinary cast, with Billy Crudup portraying Professor Zimbardo and Ezra Miller starring as Prisoner #8612, the focal point for the emotional trauma in the film. It also stars a slew of rising young actors, including Michael Angarano, Tye Sheridan, Thomas Mann, Keir Gilchrist, Johnny Simmons, and Olivia Thirlby.

The official synopsis (via iTunes Movie Trailers) is as follows:

In this tense, psychological thriller based on the notorious true story, Billy Crudup stars as Stanford University professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo, who, in 1971, cast 24 student volunteers as prisoners and guards in a simulated jail to examine the source of abusive behavior in the prison system. The results astonished the world, as participants went from middle-class undergrads to drunk-with-power sadists and submissive victims in just a few days.

The movie premiered at The Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, winning both the “Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize” and the “Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award”. It was later picked up by IFC Films, which acquired the US rights to the film on 5th March 2015.

Watch the thrilling trailer released by the studio here:

Based on a screenplay by Tim Talbott, “The Stanford Prison Experiment” is slated for a limited release on 17th July 2015. It will also be released on VOD on 24th July 2015.


For more information, visit the movie’s official website.

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