It remains arguably the most notorious psychological experiment ever conducted by students and to this day sends chills down the spine of many a shrink. In 1971, Stanford University conducted an experiment in which student volunteers were put into a simulated jail where some of the students were made to be prisoners and others were made to be guards as an attempt to study human nature and reaction to authority.
What they failed to anticipate was that the human element went out the window in just days as the personalities of those involved quickly changed to their new roles, the guards becoming sadistic abusers and the prisoners meek and submissive victims.
Now a new indie film has been made which documents the famed incident with Crudup starring as psychologist Philip Zimbardo who was behind the experiment. Olivia Thirlby, Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, Jesse Carere, Keir Gilchrist and Thomas Mann also star. The film, which premiered at Sundance, hits cinemas and VOD on July 24th.