R | | Drama, Thriller
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.
Although no one died in the Stanford Prison Experiment on which the movie was based, the experiment was prematurely ended after six days out of a planned two weeks. The college students assigned (randomly) to be prisoners were "withdrawing and behaving in pathological ways" as a result of the degrading treatment they received. Quite a few scenes in the movie actually happened in the original experiment, including the early fire extinguisher scene and the prisoners being forced to clean the toilets by their bare hands.
Tarek Fahd, Häftling Nr. 77:
Test subjects wanted. Earn 4000 marks for a 14-day experiment in a simulated prison.
On the film poster Tarek is wearing number 82, but in the film he is number 77.
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"
€398,557 (Italy) (25 August 2002)
$141,072 (USA) (27 October 2002)