The Medusa Touch

Synopsis: 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
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Director(s): Jack Gold
  1 nomination.
105 min

I think they're about to lose radio contact

on the far side of the moon.

Despite the gravity of the situation

the flat American voices

retain their matter of fact tone

that has characterised so much...

It's unlocked, come in.

I thought you'd come, just a moment,

I don't want to miss this.

There's something coming through.

It's a response from Ferguson.

He's responding to control's suggestions.

I've poured you a drink.

We ought to be civilised about it.

Those were the lost words,

they've lost radio contact.

Achilles Six,

the Mission that was to inaugurate

man's first permanent station on the moon,

is locked into an orbit that,

unless some miracle occurs,

will produce

the first American disaster in space.

A response at last.

About two hours, I'd say.

He's still soft.

When it comes to violence,

there really is a common market.

I wouldn't spoil your breakfast.

Talk about beating somebody's brains out.

He was a writer.

Is that what you do with writer in England?


- That's the first one I've ever had.

- First what?

Writer. It's what you might call

a turn up for the books.


What did you find?

A neighbour reported to the Night Porter

who found the body and called us.

Let's speak to the neighbour.

Sergeant Duff.

Was the TV set on when they found him?

Yes sir, it was on when I came in.


THE WEST FRON I saw the door standing open,

it isn't wise these days.

I called the Porter.

You didn't see the body, Mr. Pennington?

- Did you know Mr. Morlar well?

- We were just neighbours.

- Very British.

- I am British.

Any visitors, girlfriends?

- None that I've seen.

- Boyfriends?

No. He may have been strange,

but not that way, I think.

Would you know if he had any visitors?


I can hear your TV set distinctly.

You would be able to hear anything in here

like laughter, argument, loud noise.

Not if my TV was on, it drowns the noise.

I see.

How did you discover what happened then?

I took my milk bottles out

during one of the commercial breaks.

His door was wide open.

I called the Porter.

Did you miss any of the programme?

What about your wife?

- My wife is dead.

- I'm sorry.

Thank you, Mr. Pennington.

What do you drink?


A drop of whisky. Why?

No reason.

Television will be the death

of crime detection.

- How's that, Inspector?

- No one hears anything any more.

Could I speak to the Porter now?


"There are more tears than smiles.

There is more sea than earth.

One day the insupportable grief of mankind

will sweep over the land

and an ark will float

on that liquid expression of misery".

What do you make of that?

I'm not much on modern literature.

He's turned his TV off,

we've made some progress.

It's not possible...

My God.

Call an ambulance quickly

and alert the hospital.

How we fight against it...

They're busy, Jumbo crash.

This is Sergeant Hughes,

he'll be on the first shift.

- If he speaks one word, I want it.

- Yes, sir.

The Porter?

He came up when Pennington called

and found the man dead.

He ran back down and called us.

Any reason not to believe him?

None I could see, but I'm checking him.

- What about visitors?

- He didn't have any.

He had one tonight.

- Zonfeld?

- he never heard of him.

Pick me up in the morning at 9.

As soon as they'll let you in there.

- So the TV wasn't on when it happened?

- Apparently not.

The Porter turned it on while waiting,

because the astronauts

had just gone behind the moon...

All right, but we can't put him

to the guillotine for that.

- were there any prints?

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John Briley

John Richard Briley is an American writer best known for screenplays of biographical films. He won the Academy Award For Best Original Screenplay at the 1982 Oscars for Gandhi. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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