The Medusa Touch (1978)

PG  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  1978 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 3,628 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 40 critic

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



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Assistant Commissioner
Alan Badel ...
Marie-Christine Barrault ...
Fortune Teller
Dr. Johnson
Robert Lang ...
Avril Elgar ...
Mrs. Pennington
John Normington ...
Robert Flemyng ...
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


Horror | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

O Toque da Medusa  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was made two years after its source novel of the same name by Peter Van Greenaway had been first published in 1975. The movie is the only ever theatrical feature film adaptation of one of Greenaway's books. See more »


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 »


[last lines]
John Morlar: [voiceover] I am the man with the power to create catastrophe.
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Referenced in Behind the Scenes: Destroying the Abbey (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Slice of best British ham
24 March 1999 | by See all my reviews

This is the sort of movie that could only be British made.....with its cavalcade of great character actors, slightly dodgy special effects and bravura it's well worth watching. Richard Burton has lots of fun as a man cursed with the power 'To create catastrophe 'and Lee Remick is the psychiatrist who has to convince him he's got a fertile imagination and that he should relax a little.

After all how many horror films start with the main character getting his head bashed in, goes from there to the aftermath of a plane crash in central London, segues neatly through burning schools, failing space missions, goes back to the events leading upto the plane crash, quickly darts over to a cathedral collapsing and then builds to a crescendo where........nah, that'd ruin it for you. Watch it , there's so much going on in this film it's like watching one of those Amicus compilation movies, with several stories within the main plot. It'll never win any Oscars or credits from film luvvies but it is entertaining, it has a great soundtrack, all the cast give good performances and Lee Remick looks scared as only she could!

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