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The Harrad Experiment

Where to Watch The Harrad Experiment


The Harrad Experiment is an unconventional blend of comedy and drama from 1973 that questioned the traditional norms about relationships, exploring both the notion of sexuality and themes of self-discovery. The film boasts a notable cast that includes a very young and pre-Miami Vice Don Johnson, seasoned actors James Whitmore and Tippi Hedren, and fresh faces like Bruno Kirby.

The film, directed by Ted Post, is based on the novel of the same name penned by Robert H. Rimmer. Set in an alternative universe, it captures the unusual happenings inside Harrad College, a fictional institute promoting a unique teaching and living arrangement, which is the 'Harrad Experiment'.

The plot revolves around the Harrad Experiment conducted by the college's founder, James Whitmore, playing the character of Philip Tenhausen. The experiment is a social experiment encouraging coed living to study and accept sexual feelings and relationships in a controlled environment. Whitmore brilliantly exhibits a unique and thoughtful balance between a somewhat eccentric education advocate and a compassionate mentor.

Tippi Hedren, most known for her iconic role under Alfred Hitchcock, presents the poised character of Margaret Tenhausen, Philip's partner and fellow academician. Her role stands out as she perceives this experiment from a female perspective, fine-tuning the college's teaching methodologies towards open-minded, liberal education.

The movie also introduces young talents Stanley, Sheila, Harry, and Beth, who voluntarily sign up for this experiment. Don Johnson, in one of his earliest roles, plays Stanley, a young man exploring his emotions and learning the complexity of relationships. His natural charm and charisma leave a lasting mark on the audience. The talented group of young actors includes Bruno Kirby, known for his roles in The Godfather and When Harry Met Sally, and Melissa Newman, who portray Harry and Beth respectively. Laurie Walters completes the quartet as the intelligent and thoughtful Sheila.

As the young quartet navigates their way through a unique mix of education, self-discovery, and evolving relationships, audiences can vividly observe their growth intellectually and emotionally. The juxtaposition of traditional vs. modern societal norms brilliantly displayed through these characters instigates the audience to question their notions of relationships and society.

The film widely celebrates diversity and understanding, aiming to break the taboo about openly talking about sex and relationships. The 'experiment' is a way of reincarnating the spiritual ideation of education where knowledge is not limited to textbooks and subject matter, but it also includes real-life experiences and emotional intelligence.

'The Harrad Experiment' has cinematography done by Richard H. Kline, who beautifully captures the essence of the story. The camera work adds depth to the narrative—the bright hues signifying the serenity and liberation the characters experience inside the college premises, and the dull tones aptly depicting the harsh reality that lies outside the experiment.

The dialogues, mostly drawn from Rimmer’s groundbreaking novel, are thought-provoking and often borderline controversial for the time period. Some scenes contain mild nudity and adult conversations as part of illustrating the experimental nature of the school's philosophy. Hence, the film may not be suitable for all audience demographics.

While the film does have some light-hearted moments, it primarily maintains a serious tone, highlighting the emotional turmoil the students experience during the experiment. The blend of drama and comedy is crafted well enough to not overshadow the film's core message.

For viewers who appreciate movies with thought-provoking themes and are curious about different societal norms, 'The Harrad Experiment' is worth a watch. It's a piece of cinematic expression that encourages open discussions about sexuality, relationships, and the art of learning, which is conspicuously relevant even in 21st-century societies. The film undoubtedly provides an intriguing glimpse into unconventional schooling places that might significantly deviate from traditional education norms.

In conclusion, 'The Harrad Experiment' stands out as a bold narrative with intellectually stimulating dialogues and exceptional performances. The film doesn't shy away from discussing topics that were considered taboos in 1970s society. It is a testament to human complexity and our ability to navigate through uncharted territories of human relationships, making it a unique viewing experience.

The Harrad Experiment is a Drama, Romance movie released in 1973. It has a runtime of 97 minutes. Critics and viewers have rated it mostly poor reviews, with an IMDb score of 4.6..

How to Watch The Harrad Experiment

Where can I stream The Harrad Experiment movie online? The Harrad Experiment is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent The Harrad Experiment for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Ted Post
James Whitmore, Tippi Hedren, Don Johnson, Bruno Kirby, Laurie Walters, Victoria Thompson
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