The Hypnotic Eye

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The Hypnotic Eye
The Hypnotic Eye.jpg
Theatrical poster to The Hypnotic Eye
Directed by George Blair
Produced by Charles B. Bloch
Ben Schwalb Birchwood
Written by Gitta Woodfield
William Read Woodfield
Starring Jacques Bergerac
Allison Hayes
Music by Marlin Skiles
Cinematography Archie R. Dalzell
Distributed by Allied Artists Pictures
Release dates
  • February 27, 1960 (1960-02-27)
Running time
79 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $365,000

The Hypnotic Eye (1960) is a horror film, released by Allied Artists on February 27, 1960, starring Jacques Bergerac, Allison Hayes, Merry Anders, Eric "Big Daddy" Nord, and Ferdinand Demara, billed as "Fred Demara".[1]


Mysterious hypnotist Desmond (Jacques Bergerac) comes to town to present his act, just as a series of women gruesomely disfigure themselves, apparently while in a trance. A local doctor and a detective try to find the reason.


Production background[edit]

Some scenes — showing Nord playing bongo drums and Lawrence Lipton as "King of the Beatniks" — were supposedly filmed at Nord's beatnik cafe, The Gas House, in Venice, California.

The film, which claimed to be filmed in the "HypnoMagic" process, has been called a "camp classic" and "misogynist". Bergerac was the former husband of Ginger Rogers and Hayes had just starred in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.

The consultant for the hypnosis used in the film was Gil Boyne. Gil Boyne founded the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners and the Hypnotism Training Institute in Glendale California, both of which still flourish today. Because Gil personally trained Bergerac, the hypnosis demonstrated in the film, in particular the live performance segments is very accurate. Although the film is a work of fiction, the hypnosis is very much the same as used in hypnosis stage shows touring the world today. Gil also performed live shows between screenings of the film at the opening at the Golden Gate Theater in San Francisco and went on a press tour to promote the movie appearing on numerous T.V. news and talk shows performing live hypnosis demonstrations.

The "Hypnomagic" part of the film although somewhat implied was not a filming process like 3D. "Hypnomagic" was advertised on the posters as an "Amazing New Audience Thrill" and although new to film was a much more organic and time tested approach than 3D. "Hypnomagic" featured the Bergerac character performing segments in the film where he looks directly into the camera and as such at the movie theater audience and performs some hypnotic suggestibility tests with them. These hypnotic suggestibility tests are still common in today's hypnosis stage shows. One suggestibility test presented in the film involved the use of a balloon with an eye printed on it, when the film was in its original run in theaters each theater goer received an eye balloon to use during the demonstration. The "Hypnomagic" suggestibility tests were just as effective with those who participated in the movie theater audience as they are with live audiences attending stage hypnosis shows today.

As a point of post history on the film, there is a scene in the film where a lady while in the trance state thinks her stove is her sink and washes her hair in the stove, receiving horrific burns and disfigurement. In the 60's the Kodak film company took that scene and using a then cutting edge process made a lenticular photo out of it. When moving the photo up and down the girls head would catch on fire. The photo was a little larger than business card size and used as a give away to buyers, to spotlight the new photo process that the Kodak company was promoting at the time.


Cinema Secrets of Hypnosis/American Council of Hypnotist Examiners 2011 International Hypnotherapy Conference/Michael Mezmer Clinical Hypnotherapist

External links[edit]