7.0/10
4,861
56 user 44 critic

The Medusa Touch (1978)

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

Director:

Jack Gold

Writers:

John Briley (screenplay), Peter Van Greenaway (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
3,085 ( 6,666)

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Burton ... John Morlar
Lino Ventura ... Detective-inspector Brunel
Lee Remick ... Dr. Zonfeld
Harry Andrews ... Assistant Commissioner
Alan Badel ... Quinton - Barrister
Marie-Christine Barrault ... Patricia Morlar
Jeremy Brett ... Edward Parrish
Michael Hordern ... Altropos - Fortune Teller
Gordon Jackson ... Dr. Johnson
Michael Byrne ... Sergeant Duff
Derek Jacobi ... Moulton - John's publisher
Robert Lang ... Pennington
Avril Elgar Avril Elgar ... Mrs. Pennington
John Normington ... Mr. Copley - John's 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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

O Toque da Medusa See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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

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

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

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User Reviews

It was scary then, and it's still scary now.
20 February 2001 | by manxmikeaSee all my reviews

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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