The Medusa Touch (1978)

PG  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  1978 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 3,567 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to trade paper 'Variety', "Apparently due to French financial participation in this film", the English Scotland Yard Detective character of Inspector Cherry from the film's source novel was changed to a Frenchman called Detective Brunel for this movie. 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 »


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


Referenced in Behind the Scenes: Destroying the Abbey (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

I have a gift for disaster.......
29 May 2000 | by (Nicosia, Cyprus) – See all my reviews

The Medusa Touch is a film that i could just watch over and over again. The story, acting and directing (as well as the effects for the time) were truly brilliant. Richard Burton once again showed all the other Hollywood actors what he is worth (and i bet deep down inside they knew too). The film is basically about an odd, private man who has the evil power to inflict death just by looking at them. The build up to the film is superb as is the actual way the French investigator (Leo Ventura) goes about investigating Morlar's (Burton) death. The film was filmed entirely in England and has that very British feel to it but watching Burton in that film makes me feel sad that he is not alive today because only Anthony Hopkins can be compared to this true gem of an actor.

26 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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