Hypnosis. Subconscious Suggestion. Somnambulism.
In this film Professor LF Beck of University of Oregon conducts a live experiment in hypnosis on an obviously pliant participant.
Upon watching it, one viewer recently called the film sadistic, like some sort of proto-Ludovico Treatment slouching towards Clockwork Orange.
To modern eyes, he could be seen as a latter day Dr. Caligari.
However, Beck was known in psychoanalytic academic circles during the 1930s and 40s for his seminal work, Hypnotic Identification of an Amnesia Victim.
In it he disputes, “in general, however, the hypnotized person has been depicted as an automaton, and memory disturbances hypnotically induced have been attributed to the instructions the hypnotizer gave.”
Beck considered the hypnotic technique to be a potential tool in uncovering suppressed memories in victims of amnesia, giving new hope to advertisers and marketers everywhere.