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The Medusa Touch (1978)

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi  -  1978 (UK)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 3,022 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 38 critic

Psychological thriller about a novelist, a telekinetic, who causes disasters simply by thinking about them.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Brunel
...
...
Assistant Commissioner
Alan Badel ...
Barrister
Marie-Christine Barrault ...
Patricia
...
Parrish
...
Fortune Teller
...
Dr. Johnson
...
Duff
...
Publisher
Robert Lang ...
Pennington
Avril Elgar ...
Mrs. Pennington
John Normington ...
Schoolmaster
Robert Flemyng ...
Judge McKinley
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

O Toque da Medusa  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Top-billed actor Richard Burton only worked three weeks. See more »

Goofs

As Inspector Brunel watches the TV news a close-up of the screen reveals that the caption saying "Minster Cathedral" is actually stuck on to the TV screen rather than forming part of the TV picture. The letters cast shadows on to the glass. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
John Morlar: [voiceover] I am the man with the power to create catastrophe.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.6 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Lino Ventura (Inspector Brunel) GREAT!
20 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

'The Medusa Touch' fits as one of those films that certainly deserves to be called a masterpiece that became a well kept secret. If you are a fan of the genre and haven't seen it, what a rare find it is! Contributors to threads of a remake of this film are filled with screams against that idea. And deservedly so. Any attempt to remake this classic would be a travesty.

Richard Burton's excellent performance, and surly the role fits Burton's acting style like a well tailored glove. Casting him as an intelligent and well versed author, whose spoken (and written) dialog is scripted to delve deep into a profound command of the English language, is right up Burton's alley. I see much written here about Burton's outstanding performance and they are certainly correct.

It almost seems an oversight however, that the performance given by Lino Ventura (Inspector Brunel) is as fine a work of acting as can be. Officially a 'supporting actor' in the film, one could hardly tell. Cast as a French Exchange Detective who has a suspicious, slightly non-trusting relationship with his English Scotland Yard counterparts, Ventura turns in a nearly flawless role, and makes the idea work exquisitely.

Often while deep in puzzled thought and shock, mere facial expressions from Inspector Brunel are perfect additions to Ventura's role. To many thread do not topic Lino Ventura's excellent acting in this outstanding classic gem of a thriller. Perhaps due to many fans in the English speaking world never having heard of Lino Ventura, and figuring he was a 'small-fame' actor. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ventura was Italian citizenship and birth, while living the majority of his life in France.

Ventura was a hugely acclaimed and decorated actor in France, who played some iconic roles there. Casting Lino Ventura in this film was no stretch, as his timeless performance attests. The filmmakers were fortunate to land him. In many ways, Ventura's performance helped mold this movie into the hidden classic 'The Medusa Touch' will forever be.


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