THE TENTH LEVEL (CBS-TVM 4/3/76)
Inspired by the Stanley Milgram obedience research, this TV movie chronicles a psychology professor's study to determine why people, such as the Nazis, were willing to "just follow orders" and do horrible things to others. Professor Stephen Turner (William Shatner) leads students to believe that they are applying increasingly painful electric shocks to other subjects when they fail to perform a task correctly, and is alarmed to see how much pain the students can be convinced to inflict "in the name of science."
In the movie dramatization there were actually 25 levels of increasing voltage and pain. However, the so-called tenth level was significant in that it was always the first time in which the actual test subject heard the other (false) test subject cry out in pain.It was the TV debuts of Stephen Macht, Lindsay Crouse and a then-unknown John Travolta who has an uncredited part as a student. Also stars Ossie Davis, Lynn Carlin, Estelle Parsons. (94 min)