Peter Sarsgaard (Black Mass) and Winona Ryder (Black Swan) star in the big screen science drama Experimenter. Based on a true story, the film follows the controversial work of famous social psychologist Stanley Milgram (Sarsgaard), who designed a psychology experiment at Yale University in 1961 that continues to impact society. Individuals participating in the experiment were told it was about memory and were deceived into believing they were delivering electric shocks to an affable stranger strapped to a chair. The experiment was really about conformity, conscience, and free will. In his attempt to come to terms with the Holocaust, Milgram was testing people's propensity to comply with authority.
After his obedience findings were reported in The New York Times, there was an enormous backlash and Milgram was subsequently vilified in the media.
According to the Experimenter website: "A bold use of voice-over and rear-screen projections mirrors Milgram's inner life and reflects his insights into human behavior, social structures, the interplay of reality and illusion."
The cast also features Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show), Edoardo Ballerini (Boardwalk Empire), Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Saga), Dennis Haysbert (Backstrom), John Leguizamo (Ride Along), Anton Yelchin (Star Trek Into Darkness), and Taryn Manning (Orange Is the New Black).
The film was written and directed by Michael Almereyda, who most recently wrote and directed the Ethan Hawke crime drama Cymbeline.
Experimenter will open in theaters on Oct. 16, 2015.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock