Sunday, June 19, 2011

Richard Burton & Lee Remick in The Medusa Touch (1978)

Obscurity factor: 7

Author, John Morlar (Burton) has a peculiar gift. He can induce calamity and disaster at will. Perhaps that's why someone bludgeoned him to within inches of death. By all accounts he should have died but he's kept alive on machines in a hospital where his brain scans are remarkably active. Inspector Brunel (Lino Ventura) leaves no stone unturned in his search for Morlar's assailant. His search eventually leads him to Dr. Zonfeld (Remick) who gives him accounts of their sessions to try and help Brunel find leads. It's through her that we learn, in flashback, of Morlar's gruesome past.
My thanks to Oliver Hazen for suggesting this title. It has a dark outlook that's heightened considerably by taut performances by the leads. The quality of the acting covers up some inconsistencies in the plot, such as why a psychiatrist is counseling her patient on the circumstances and not the motives of the past. All in all, it's a good thriller with some fun disaster sequences and edge-of-your-seat tension.

It's available on DVD, though only in a format playable on region 2 players. You can also watch it in full at The trailer is above, uploaded to YouTube by hideseek124.

Obscurity factor: 7 (known better in Great Britain than the US, on DVD, available on line)

1 comment:

  1. Glad you enjoyed it too. Lino Ventura was a huge star in France in the 70s, one blockbuster after another, like Gene Hackman here. Lee Remick was in her second prime following The Omen (she had been a nymphet 20 years earlier), before she became the queen of quality TV movies in the early 80s. Burton was in his campy decline, but he kept your attention for sure.

    Maybe it's because I was young and easier to please, but to me the 70s were a great decade for movies. Even in a synthetic and packaged film like The Medusa Touch, there is much to enjoy.