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
The cathedral in the climactic scenes was given the fictitious name of Minster Cathedral (even though it was intended to be Westminster Abbey) because the director did not want anyone who was familiar with the architecture of the Abbey to say "But that's not Westminster Abbey", given that the scenes were actually filmed at Bristol Cathedral. 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 »
I remember seeing this on TV many years ago, and I'm glad I caught it at such a young age. Back then it was really scary, but even today - when we're blessed (or cursed) with visual effects that are so convincing - it is still capable of sending a shiver up my spine.
The film's pace is methodical, but Richard Burton admirably conveys a sense of quiet menace as he loses his grip on sanity during a series of flashbacks. The acting by the other leads is solid enough, but the film is all about Burton's chilling psychic powers, and when they are let loose at the film's climax, the result is genuinely shocking.
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Get to know the fractured films of Yorgos Lanthimos, director of Oscar-nominee The Favourite. And join us here for the IMDb LIVE at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, streaming at 7:30 p.m. EST/4:30 p.m. PST on Sunday, Feb. 24.