I think the reviewers so far have largely sold this film short. Yes the idea of hypnotic inducement to crime is pretty dubious, but in 'Whirlpool' it's really just a plot point embedded in a broader study of trust, pathology, and love. Conte's characterization is maybe clouded or undermined by his history as an actor cast primarily in proletarian-type roughneck roles, but the complicated chemistry of Bickford, Ferrer, and Tierney is compelling enough to imbue the movie with its necessary suspense -- its dread even (there's a moment maybe 4/5 of the way through where the case on Tierney seems closed and one really gets to thinking that the whole affair is going to collapse into devastation unthinkable for a typical Hollywood film). Preminger maybe fails in scripting Bickford's character as alternatively resigned and resourceful, creating an aftereffect not of psychological complexity but of semi-routine B-picture mental machinations -- more narratively functional than inherently interesting. Still, 'Whirlpool' has an appealing darkness and pays at least small dividends of thematic satisfaction.