Release dateFebruary 27, 1960 (1960-02-27) WriterGitta Woodfield, William Read Woodfield ScreenplayWilliam Woodfield, Gitta Woodfield CastJacques Bergerac (Desmond), Allison Hayes (Justine), Marcia Henderson (Marcia Blaine), Merry Anders (Dodie Wilson), Joe Patridge (Det. Steve Kennedy), Guy Prescott (Dr. Philip Hecht) Similar moviesStir of Echoes, Hipnos, Two Evil Eyes, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, Brainscan, Communion
TaglineBEWARE HIS HYPNOTIC POWER that turns human flesh into helpless robots!
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".
the hypnotic eye 1960 dressing room hypnosis scene
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.
Jacques Bergerac as Desmond
Allison Hayes as Justine
Marcia Henderson as Marcia Blaine
Merry Anders as Dodie Wilson
Joe Patridge as Det. Sgt. Dave Kennedy
Guy Prescott as Dr. Philip Hecht
Fred Demara as Hospital Doctor
Jimmy Lydon as Emergency Doctor
Lawrence Lipton as King of the Beatniks
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.
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. 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 TV 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. 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.
Influence on popular culture
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 1960s the Kodak film company took that scene and using a then cutting edge process made a lenticular photograph out of it. When moving the photo up and down the girls head would catch on fire. The photograph was a little larger than a business card and used as a giveaway to buyers, to spotlight the new photo process that the Kodak company was promoting at the time.