Sorry – due to licensing restrictions,
this clip can't be viewed outside New Zealand.

Thankfully most of NZ On Screen's content
can be viewed from anywhere: browse and enjoy!

We're sorry, but something went wrong

Please try reloading the page

We're sorry, but your browser is unable to play this video content.

If this continues please try upgrading your browser or contact us for assistance.

We're sorry, but this video is currently unavailable on mobile.

Hero image for Mesmerized


Film (Excerpts) – 1984


A young woman in colonial New Zealand (played by Jodie Foster, post-Taxi Driver pre-Oscars) flees an orphanage to find herself trapped in an arranged marriage to an older businessman (fellow US actor John Lithgow). Voyeurism, hypnotism and dodgy doctoring feature in the thriller from US director Michael Laughlin, from a screenplay by Jerzy Skolimowski. Mesmerized was made in NZ as an international co-production with RKO during the 80s tax break era. It was released in the US as My Letter to George in 1986. Laughlin also shot cult horror Dead Kids (1981) in NZ.

I don't like contemporary, eccentric, modern — call them what you will — movies. I believe in the rules for a genre picture. I like to improvise and put my own personal touches and twists to them so I can play the melodies a little differently. But I always stick to the ground rules.
– Director Michael Laughlin, interviewed by Alan Jones for Starburst magazine, Issue 66, February 1984, p34

Key Cast & Crew

Generic Profile image for Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster

As: Victoria, Co-producer

Profile image for Antony I Ginnane

Antony I Ginnane


Generic Profile image for Michael Laughlin

Michael Laughlin

Writer, Director

Generic Profile image for Derek Hardwick

Derek Hardwick

As: Longwood

Profile image for Trevor Haysom

Trevor Haysom

As: Doctor at autopsy

Profile image for Jonathan Hardy

Jonathan Hardy

As: Burley

See all 22 credits

Produced by

  • Orinward

  • RKO Pictures