This year at Sundance, there were two films about controversial psychological experiments. There was the unsettling “The Stanford Prison Experiment” which is now playing in limited release, and Michael Almereyda‘s (“Hamlet,” “Cymbeline“) pointedly named “Experimenter.” And the first trailer for the latter has arrived.
Peter Sarsgaard leads a stellar ensemble cast which includes Winona Ryder, Jim Gaffigan, Taryn Manning, Anton Yelchin, Kellan Lutz, John Leguizamo, Anthony Edwards, Dennis Haysbert, and more, in the dramatized tale of Stanley Milgram’s “obedience research” at Yale in the 1960s. Here’s the official synopsis:
In 1961, social psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted the “obedience experiments” at Yale University. The experiments observed the responses of ordinary people asked to send harmful electrical shocks to a stranger. Despite pleadings from the person they were shocking, 65 percent of subjects obeyed commands from a lab-coated authority figure to deliver potentially fatal currents. With Adolf Eichmann’s trial airing in living rooms across America, Milgram’s Kafkaesque results hit a nerve, and he was accused of being a deceptive, manipulative monster. EXPERIMENTER invites us inside Milgram’s whirring mind, beginning with his obedience research and wending a path to uncover how inner obsessions and the times in which he lived shaped a parade of human behavior inquiries.
“Experimenter” opens on October 15th. Check out the trailer and a clip from the film below.