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The Medusa Touch ()


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

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Cast verified as complete

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John Morlar
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Detective-inspector Brunel
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Dr. Zonfeld
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Assistant Commissioner
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Quinton - Barrister
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Patricia Morlar
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Edward Parrish
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Altropos - Fortune Teller
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Dr. Johnson
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Sgt. Duff
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Moulton - John's Publisher
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Pennington
Avril Elgar ...
Mrs. Pennington
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Mr. Copley - John's Schoolmaster
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Judge McKinley
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Dean
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Deacon
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Maj. Henry Morlar - John's Father
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Mrs. Morlar - John's Mother
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Lovelass
Wendy Gifford ...
Receptionist
Shaw Taylor ...
TV Space Reporter
Gordon Honeycombe ...
TV Newscaster
Mark Jones ...
Sgt. Hughes
Maurice O'Connell ...
Sgt. Robbins
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Nanny
Brook Williams ...
Male Nurse
Victor Winding ...
Senior Police Officer
Anthony Blackett ...
Mounted Police Officer
Denyse Alexander ...
Hospital Doctor
John Flanagan ...
Police Constable
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Police Doctor
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Detective in Street (as Ian Master)
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Van Driver
Cornelius Bowe ...
Young Morlar
Adam Bridges ...
10-Year-Old Morlar
Joseph Clark ...
14-Year-Old Morlar
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Parsons
Christopher Burgess ...
Pilot
Matthew Long ...
Co-Pilot
Colin Rix ...
Engineer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Malcolm Brownjohn ...
Man in Court Scene (uncredited)
Jeremy Coote ...
Policeman at Cathedral (uncredited)
Marc Furstenberg ...
Policeman (uncredited)
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Teacher (uncredited)

Directed by

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Jack Gold

Written by

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John Briley ... (screenplay)
 
Peter Van Greenaway ... (novel)

Produced by

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Anne V. Coates ... producer
Jack Gold ... producer
Denis Holt ... associate producer
Arnon Milchan ... executive producer

Music by

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Michael J. Lewis

Cinematography by

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Arthur Ibbetson ... (photographed by)

Film Editing by

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Ian Crafford

Editorial Department

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Anne V. Coates ... supervising editor
Jeremy Hume ... assistant editor
John Nuth ... assistant editor

Casting By

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Irene Lamb

Art Direction by

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Peter Mullins

Makeup Department

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Eric Allwright ... makeup artist
Ron Berkeley ... makeup: Mr. Burton's
Mike Jones ... hairdresser
Martin Samuel ... hairdresser: Miss Remick's

Production Management

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Colin M. Brewer ... production supervisor (as Colin Brewer)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Derek Cracknell ... first assistant director
Richard Jenkins ... second assistant director

Art Department

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Albert Blackshaw ... construction manager
Dave Jordan ... property master
Ron Quelch ... production buyer
George Richardson ... Sketch Artist
John Siddall ... assistant art director
Jack Stephens ... set dresser
Terry Ackland-Snow ... draughtsman (uncredited)

Sound Department

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Jonathan Bates ... sound editor
Gordon K. McCallum ... dubbing mixer
Ivan Sharrock ... sound recordist
Ken Weston ... sound boom operator
Nigel Galt ... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Graham V. Hartstone ... re-recording mixer (uncredited)
John Ireland ... foley supervisor (uncredited)
Nicolas Le Messurier ... re-recording mixer (uncredited)
John Scarlett-Davis ... sound assistant (uncredited)

Special Effects by

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Brian Johnson ... special effects supervisor
Nick Allder ... special effects supervisor (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

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Doug Ferris ... optical effects
Martin Bower ... model maker (uncredited)
Bill Pearson ... model maker (uncredited)

Stunts

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Eddie Stacey ... stunt arranger

Camera and Electrical Department

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Steve Claydon ... camera focus operator
Freddie Cooper ... camera operator (as Freddy Cooper)
John May ... electrical supervisor

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Elvira Angelinetta ... wardrobe mistress
Elsa Fennell ... wardrobe supervisor
Mike Jarvis ... wardrobe master
Jane Robinson ... costumes: Lee Remick's

Location Management

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Chris Kenny ... location manager

Music Department

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Michael J. Lewis ... conductor
John Dankworth ... composer: additional music (uncredited)

Script and Continuity Department

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Penny Daniels ... continuity

Additional Crew

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Richard Fell ... medical adviser (as Dr. Richard Fell)
Lew Grade ... presenter (as Sir Lew Grade)
Elliott Kastner ... in association with
Arnon Milchan ... in association with
Iris Rose ... production assistant
Jeremy Coote ... production assistant (uncredited)
Robin Demetriou ... cast and crew chef (uncredited)
Tina Simmons ... lee remick: stand-in (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

John Morlar (Richard Burton) is watching a 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. French Detective-Inspector Brunel (Lino Ventura) 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 (Lee Remick), 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 parents strolled on top of a cliff, Morlar watched as the family car suddenly pushed them off the cliff to their deaths. One evening, Brunel pores over the mysteries of Morlar's diary and through his scrapbook of disastrous events. Gradually, Brunel begins to develop an opinion of what Morlar was like and begins to wonder if he is chasing a murderer or a victim. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Keywords
Taglines Richard Burton is the man with the medusa touch ... he has the power to create catastrophe. See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • La grande menace (France)
  • Der Schrecken der Medusa (Germany)
  • Alarma: catástrofe (Spain)
  • Toque satánico (Mexico)
  • Atingerea meduzei (Romania)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 109 min
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Did You Know?

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Trivia Producer and Director Jack Gold did not want Richard Burton and instead suggested Nicol Williamson for the lead role. The producers told him it would be easier to get funding with Burton, who had just made his "comeback" movie Equus (1977). 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 »
Movie Connections Featured in Special Edition: Grease, Jaws 2, Animal House, Heaven Can Wait & The Best and Worst of 1978 (1979). See more »
Quotes John Morlar: I will bring the whole edifice down on their unworthy heads
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