The Stanford Prison Experiment

The Stanford Prison Experiment

Streaming Video - 2015
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In 1971, Stanford's Professor Philip Zimbardo (Billy Crudup) conducts a controversial psychology experiment in which college students pretend to be either prisoners or guards, but the proceedings soon get out of hand.


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Nov 06, 2018

"We wanted to see what the psychological effects were of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. To do this, we decided to set up a simulated prison and then carefully note the effects of this institution on the behavior of all those within its walls."
Fitfully engaging re-enactment of the famous Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Philip Zimbardo in the early 70s. It's well-acted and the subject is intriguing, but you start to feel like you're trapped in a play. A documentary might have been more effective. Billy Crudup stars as Zimbardo, and Tye Sheridan, Olivia Thirlby, and Michael Angarano co-star. Also see "Experimenter" about Stanley Millgram.

Jan 03, 2018

This is not documentary video footage of the Stanford Prison Experiment. Rather, it is a reenactment by actors working from a script, causing it to lose credibility and impact. I spent five years in federal prison and the experience "documented" in this film (especially the violent behavior of guards/COs) does not occur. I disliked, even hated (some of) the guards in my prison, but not because they cracked batons against me! Prison guards do not even carry batons, and should they assault a prisoner (even once) in any way, they'd be fired.
You're more likely to get an accurate glimpse of prison life from an old James Cagney film.

Nov 18, 2017

A very scary reminder of what power can do to an individual, both with the kids who played the guards and for the professor overseeing the experiment.

Jun 19, 2017

The previous comment talked about it being worth only a 15 minutes docudrama. I disagree. If one is willing to be patient and see how while we all consider ourselves "good kind persons" lurking under our skin is a very deep possibility (please note I am not saying everybody has it but a large majority of us have it) to be corrupted by authority. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Really worth watching.

Jun 15, 2017

This story was so slow and redundant that I could barely wade through it to the end. It should have been a 15 minute short docudrama.

Feb 11, 2017


at a coin toss, the decision was made between the abusers and the abused.

The Psychologist looked like a caricature of the cartoons that show good and evil thoughts of someone when the devil is speaking to them. I recalled the book, “Why Christians Can't Trust Psychologist”, by Ed Buckley, Phd. CCHR booklet, "Unholy Assault", is a good reference. Foremost, a lot of Psychology involves the absence of God because there are a lot of atheist in their group. Page 51 PII, “Psychology rarely deals with established facts or truths, but with subjective opinions and interpretations of uncontrollable objectives...tainted by the unique freewill of the subject and the mindset of the researchers.”

Researchers often admit that negative outcomes are not reported because it would have a negative effect on the continuation and funding. It is a known fact that researchers skew their reports to make it appear to be more of a success to appease the pocketbook. Ref. Research misconduct

Psychology was developed in the minds of men who were godless rebels. (Romans 1:22). They are of carnal minds (Romans 1:28). Psychologist attempts to replace Jesus as the Healer of Souls.

“Setting Ethical Standards to Medical Research Involving Human Subjects”, by Ralph Slovenko, mentioned on page 36PII of “Biomedical Ethics”, by Dawn Laney, “Issues were raised regarding universally accepted principles for carrying out human experimentation.”

Precedent case regarding Informed Consent in 1957-Salvo V. Leland Stanford, Jr., University Board of Trustees

Henry Beecher (Harvard Professor, published article at 22 objectionable research points), states that the relationship between investigator and patient/subject is one that can be easily manipulated.

“A Nineteenth Century Physician Develops a Modern Formal Code of Medical Ethics”, by Thomas Percival, mentions on page 42 paragraph II, “The use of 'quack medicines' should be discouraged by the faculty, as disgraceful to the profession, injurious to health, and often destructive even of life...PIII, No physician or surgeon should dispense a secret 'nostrum' [cure], whether it be his invention, or exclusive property. For; if it be of real efficacy, the concealment of it is in consistent with the beneficence and professional liberality. And if mystery alone give it value and importance, such craft implies either disgraceful ignorance, or fraudulent avarice.”

Franln Nov 07, 2016

One of those stories where you can't quite believe this is based on actual events. Very fascinating and disturbing.

Oct 27, 2016

The film is based on one of the two most famous experiments in social psychology. There were no ethical guidelines at the time and this would never be allowed to be conducted today. The original study was filmed and is available on line. It is called Quiet Rage. That film is blurry and not that entertaining. I show this film in all Introductory and Social Psychology classes and then we discuss ethical principles. This version is more accessible and easier to watch. Anyone with an interest should go to the Stanford Prison Study website or to to see Zimbardo's films on 19 areas of psychology. Actually, the real Zimbardo is much more charismatic than the person playing him in the film. As for it not being a true experiment as someone has said--wrong! Participants were randomly assigned to conditions. It is a study of de-individuation and is a landmark study in Psychology.

Oct 03, 2016

Zimbardo has made, and continues to make, some great contributions (lectures online). I was shocked he let this simulation go as far as it did ... but I suppose that's part of the learning ... for all of us.

Aug 30, 2016

On the surface this appeared to be an intriguing film- even had nice cinematography. But when I started watching it, it was a joke. Wasn't a true experiment- no controlled or independent variables- just a professor ( who looked a lot like Charles Manson) who shabbily put together this "experiment" and let it go as a free for all. The actors were good for whatever roles they were given, but there was no character study or depth to the film. Anyone who sees this as a great film doesn't know great film.

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Jan 25, 2016

rem85 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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