Movie poster for the 1997 film "Touch".
Movie poster.
Directed byPaul Schrader
Screenplay byPaul Schrader
Story byElmore Leonard
Based onTouch
by Elmore Leonard
CinematographyEdward Lachman
Edited byCara Silverman
Music byDave Grohl
Distributed byMGM Distribution Co.
Release date
  • February 14, 1997 (1997-02-14) (US)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$5.5 million[1]
Box office$387,069[2]

Touch is a 1997 American black comedy drama film written and directed by Paul Schrader. It is based on a 1987 novel by Elmore Leonard. It stars Christopher Walken, Richard Schiff, Bridget Fonda, Skeet Ulrich, Tom Arnold, Gina Gershon, Lolita Davidovich, Janeane Garofalo, LL Cool J, and Paul Mazursky. It was shot in Fullerton, California.


A young man, Juvenal, is apparently able to cure the sick by the laying-on of hands. Mysterious stigmata appear from time to time on his flesh.

The former evangelist Bill Hill, tired of selling mobile homes for a living, persuades his friend Lynn Faulkner to befriend the innocent ex-monk and encourage him to aim for the big-time. But matters become complicated when the young couple falls in love, and even more complicated when fundamentalist August Murray takes exception to their relationship.



The soundtrack is composed and recorded by Dave Grohl and released on his Capitol Records imprint, Roswell Records.[3][4] Nine of the tracks are instrumental. The remaining four tracks feature lyrics. One has Grohl on vocals titled "How Do You Do," another has John Doe on vocals titled "This Loving Thing", and the other two songs titled "Touch" and "Saints in Love" feature vocals from Grohl and Louise Post of Veruca Salt. The release would also mark the first time Grohl used his pseudonym Late, as credited in the liner notes, since the release of Pocketwatch in 1992.


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 33% of 18 critics' reviews are positive.[5] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 56 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[6]

In a review that awarded 2 and 1/2 stars out of 4, Roger Ebert wrote, "The plot of 'Touch' sounds like a comedy. But the experience of seeing the film is subduing; the movie plays in a muted key. Actors like Tom Arnold, who approach their characters more broadly, sound like they're talking too loudly in church. The dominant tone is set by Skeet Ulrich, as Juvenal: He's sweet, soft-spoken, not sure what it all means. Schrader has said his movie has 'a whole cast of ironic characters, with an existential character in the center.' If the viewer doesn't figure this out, some scenes play very oddly."[7] John Petrakis of the Chicago Tribune labelled the film as "cryptic" in his 1997 review, and praised Ulrich's performance, stating that he "proves as gentle here as he was evil in Scream."[8] Touch was included in Magill's Cinema Annual 1998: A Survey of the Films of 1997, with the book describing the film as "too unconvincing and confused in tone to be truly satisfying."[9]


  1. ^ Skal, David (February 1997). "Touch". Cinefantastique. Fourth Castle Micromedia. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  2. ^ "Touch". Box Office Mojo.
  3. ^ "Touch - Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved August 20, 2023.
  4. ^ Young, Alex (July 29, 2009). "Cinema Sounds: Touch". Retrieved August 20, 2023.
  5. ^ "Touch". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Edit this at Wikidata
  6. ^ "Touch". Metacritic. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (February 14, 1997). "Touch". Retrieved August 20, 2023.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Fhaner, Beth A. (1998). Magill's Cinema Annual 1998: A Survey of the Films of 1997. Visible Ink Press. ISBN 9781578590568. Retrieved 11 February 2022.