7.0/10
5,136
61 user 47 critic

The Medusa Touch (1978)

PG | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 April 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
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 (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... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

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:

7 April 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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut British movie of Italian Lino Ventura (Detective-Inspector Brunel). See more »

Goofs

When the 747 explodes after hitting the office block, the ends of the wings can be seen still suspended where the wires failed to detach. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

UNDERRATED SUPERNATURAL THRILLER
13 October 2002 | by creativeguy0123See all my reviews

Hmm. Some of the reviewers here have complained about the film's slow pacing. Well, yes...compared to the MTV style edited movies of the past 5 years, I'd have to agree. But, the pacing is also necessary in order to show the slow psychological breakdown of the lead character. It's a slow burn type of story, and the filmmakers were much more concerned with building a creepy atmosphere than bombarding us with CGI effects, blood and gore, and whatever else passes for supernatural horror these days.

Besides, Richard Burton on a bad day is better than most actors at their best.

If "Jason X" and other hollow, special effects driven films are your idea of horror...then this isn't the film for you. The Medusa Touch is a methodically paced thriller, aimed at genre fans who enjoy a more thoughtful kind of horror film. If you enjoyed "Don't Look Now," then this is the type of film for you.

If you have the rare opportunity to catch this obscure film, you should at least give it a fair shake. Then you can decide for yourself.


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