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The Medusa Touch (1978)

PG | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 1978 (UK)
Psychological thriller about a novelist, a telekinetic, who causes disasters simply by thinking about them.



(screenplay), (novel)

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1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Assistant Commissioner
Fortune Teller
Avril Elgar ...
Mrs. Pennington
Judge McKinley


John Morlar is watching the British television broadcast when an anchorman states that American astronauts are trapped in orbit around the moon. Suddenly someone in Morlar's room picks up a figurine and strikes him on the head repeatedly. His blood splatters the television screen. A French police inspector, Brunel, arrives at Morlar's apartment to begin an investigation. At first he thinks Morlar is dead, but soon he hears him breathe. At the hospital, Morlar is hooked up to life support systems, one machine in particular monitors the activity of his battered brain. Brunel discovers that Morlar has been in psychological analysis because of his history of being witness to many disasters, other people's disasters. Dr. Zonfeld, Morlar's analyst, explains that Morlar's delusions had begun when he was a child. He believed that he had caused a hated nanny's death. Morlar's childhood delusions were reinforced at a resort when he overheard his parents discussing him with disapproval. When his... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Richard Burton is the man with the medusa touch ... he has the power to create catastrophe.


Horror | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

O Toque da Medusa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Boeing 747 model used was a 9ft long former travel agents window model made out of perspex by Space Models of Feltham. The model was suspended 20ft above the floor of Shepperton Studios, for its 50 yard run to the Office block. See more »


During the end scene when the cathedral is collapsing, large pieces of masonry are falling about the place. However during the panic you can clearly see people pushing on the blocks of stone. However they move very easily. They were made of plastic, Plaster of Paris, polystyrene and Papier-mâché. See more »


Doctor Johnson: [sees Brunel] Oh, Inspector Brunel, what a pain in the derrière you're being.
See more »


Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Remembering Gene Siskel (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

13 October 2002 | by See all my reviews

Hmm. Some of the reviewers here have complained about the film's slow pacing. Well, yes...compared to the MTV style edited movies of the past 5 years, I'd have to agree. But, the pacing is also necessary in order to show the slow psychological breakdown of the lead character. It's a slow burn type of story, and the filmmakers were much more concerned with building a creepy atmosphere than bombarding us with CGI effects, blood and gore, and whatever else passes for supernatural horror these days.

Besides, Richard Burton on a bad day is better than most actors at their best.

If "Jason X" and other hollow, special effects driven films are your idea of horror...then this isn't the film for you. The Medusa Touch is a methodically paced thriller, aimed at genre fans who enjoy a more thoughtful kind of horror film. If you enjoyed "Don't Look Now," then this is the type of film for you.

If you have the rare opportunity to catch this obscure film, you should at least give it a fair shake. Then you can decide for yourself.

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