Das Experiment

( 4 )

Overview

Olivier Hirschbiegel's taut thriller Das Experiment finally comes to American shores, courtesy of Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment. The DVD has a sharp widescreen transfer, preserving the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with sound options limited to a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. The good news is that unlike the kind folks at Miramax, TriStar appreciates the original language track, thus showing the film in all its German-language glory (with the assistance of English subtitles). Closed-captioned in English, the disc also ...
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Overview

Olivier Hirschbiegel's taut thriller Das Experiment finally comes to American shores, courtesy of Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment. The DVD has a sharp widescreen transfer, preserving the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with sound options limited to a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. The good news is that unlike the kind folks at Miramax, TriStar appreciates the original language track, thus showing the film in all its German-language glory (with the assistance of English subtitles). Closed-captioned in English, the disc also comes with three trailers -- Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, and Run Lola Run. Sadly, there is no original trailer for Das Experiment included on the disc.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Digitally mastered audio & anamorphic video; Widescreen presentation; Audio: German (5.1 Dolby Digital); Subtitles: English; Bonus trailers; Interactive menus; Scene selections
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
What happens when all of your human rights are taken away? How would you react if you've been handed complete control over others that have nothing? At one point, ordinary men were asked to role-play this scenario and it took only six days for things to get completely out of control. Based on the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971, where psychologists tested 20 men in a simulated prison system as inmates and guards for two weeks, director Olivier Hirschbiegel and his respected writers have taken that basis and crafted Das Experiment -- a thought-provoking thriller that's as engaging as it is entertaining. The film plays on the positions of power on a psychological level, thus blurring the lines of reality for each of the characters -- most of the time with dire results. And while the actors are spot-on, with exceptional performances by Moritz Bleibtreu (of Run Lola Run fame) as the rebellious inmate Tarek and a nasty turn from Justus VonDohnanyi as the Hitler-esque Berus, it's Hirschbiegel's direction and unexpected twists in the story that propel this claustrophobic tale. Each tension-filled turn drives the viewer deeper into the nightmare, which makes the inevitable ending that much more satisfying when it finally comes (something the film's detractors love to loathe). At times hard to watch, Das Experiment isn't for everyone -- but those that are willing to take the plunge into this kind of heavy territory might be surprised just how refreshing the trip really is.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/1/2003
  • UPC: 043396009646
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: Deutsche
  • Time: 1:59:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Moritz Bleibtreu Tarek Fahd
Christian Berkel Steinhoff
Timo Dierkes Eckert
Oliver Stokowski Schutte
Maren Eggert Dora
Jacek Klimontko Glaser
Wotan Wilke Möhring Joe
Justus VonDohnanyi Berus
Nicki VonTempelhoff Kamps
Stephan Szasz
Polat Dal
Andrea Sawatzki Dr. Jutta Grimm
Edgar Selge Dr. Klaus Thon
Antoine Monot Jr. Bosch
Andre Jung
Technical Credits
Oliver Hirschbiegel Director, Screenwriter
Don Bohlinger Screenwriter
Marc Conrad Producer
Christoph Darnstadt Screenwriter
Mario Giordano Screenwriter
Norbert Preuss Producer
Fritz Wildfeuer Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [3:18]
2. Dr. Jutta Grimm [2:08]
3. Tarek Fahd [4:30]
4. Dora [4:18]
5. Professor Klaus Thon [1:21]
6. The Guards [1:09]
7. The Prisoners [1:06]
8. The First Day [10:53]
9. Push-ups [1:47]
10. The Second Day [1:58]
11. 77, Out of Line [3:35]
12. Humiliation [5:49]
13. The Third Day [1:40]
14. Schutte [3:35]
15. Major Steinhoff [5:30]
16. A Serious Assault [4:05]
17. The Fourth Day [2:13]
18. Writing Letters [7:04]
19. 53 Wants Out [6:57]
20. The Fifth Day [7:01]
21. Visiting Day [5:10]
22. "Wouldn't it Be Nice" [2:49]
23. A Dirty, Rotten Nazi Pig [2:15]
24. The Black Box [4:56]
25. A New Prisoner [4:46]
26. The Breakout [8:34]
27. Mr. Eckert, Out of Control [2:24]
28. Experiment's End [7:51]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Subtitles
      English
      Subtitles Off
   Scene Selections
   Trailers
      Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary
      Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
      Run Lola Run
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Disorientation, Depersonalization, Sadism, Etc.

    This movie demonstrates how quickly a prisoner, no matter from what walk of life, can become disoriented, depersonalized, and deindividualized, and likewise, no matter from what stratum of life, how a prison guard can turn into a sadistic person. This German movie, "Das Experiment" or "The Experiment" in English, is based on a 1971 experiment that was headed by Dr. Philip Zimbardo and took place in the Standford University Psychology Department. The Stanford experiment was funded by the U.S. Navy in an attempt to understand conflicts within its prisons and, perhaps, in other U.S. military prisons. The participants for that experiment, like in the movie, were recruited via a newspaper ad which offered compensation for participating in a two-week experiment whereby some of the participants would be relegated to the role of a prison guard and the rest to the role of a prisoner. In the movie, twenty (20) people were selected, and of the twenty people, eight (8) of them were given the role of prison guards, while the rest were given the role of prisoner. Like in the Stanford University experiment, the scientists in the movie version created a life-like prison, and the guards were given a number of rules (around or exactly 6 in the movie) that they were told to be sure that the prisoners follow. One of the main rules in the movie given to both the prison guards and the prisoners was that NO violence was to be used. However, the experiment went awry, escalated too fast into first humiliation and then violence, and ended with the death of two people. (The Stanford experiment also ended early because of the quick escalation into extreme forms of sadism, and it was terminated within six days without anyone dying.) In the movie, the chief scientist/psychologist in charge of the experiment would not stop the experiment, even after his scientific collegues, who aided him with it, stated that the experiment was spiraling out-of-control and should be stopped. The movie's chief scientist's hubris was so great that he could only focus on getting a report done on the psychological effects from the experiment that he believed would bolster his career, and thus, he wanted the experiment to be done to completion (i.e, the full 14 days). The experiment, however, spiraled so fast out-of-control that he was forced to end it. Although this movie is based on the Stanford University Psychology Department's experiment of 1971 to study cognitive dissonance and the power of authority, at the very least, this experiment, as portrayed in the movie, is also reminiscent of Dr. Stanley Milgram's famous Yale University experiment of 1963. In that experiment, Dr. Milgram demonstrated that the vast majority of people will follow authority figures, even if it means acting against their moral conscience. (See Dr. Milgram's experiments, which have been replicated around the world with the same result.) In sum, this movie shows how quickly a person from any stratum of society can become disoriented, depersonalized, and deindividualized as a prisoner, while, on the other hand, can also quickly turn into a sadistic person as a prison guard. As for the acting, it was superb, especially that of Moritz Bliebtreu, who played one of the leading characters, as prisoner number 77, and that of Justus von Dohnanyi, who played one of the leading and the most sadistic prison guards. I recommend this film for those interested in psychology and have read up on the Stanford University experiment that it was based on, as well as Dr. Milgram's experiment regarding the power of authority. Otherwise, this film may simply come across as disturbing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply, an awesome thriller.

    Knowing Maurice Bleibtreau from Run Lola Run, I decided to catch this movie at the the local Art House Theater. I was blown away. I knew that it was loosley based on the 1970 Prison Experiement at Stanford University, but that was about the only similarity. This movie gets out of hand very quickly. The tension is heavy and ominous. A wonderful thriller.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Another...

    This is yet another German movie that surprised me greatly...I loved the plot, and especially the surprise twist at the end. Definite owner!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Different movie!

    The movie was ok, but kind of messed up I would not rent it again.

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