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The India Rubber Head (1901)
"L'homme à la tête en caoutchouc" (original title)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  1901 (France)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,312 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 3 critic

A chemist in his laboratory places upon a table his own head, alive; then fixing upon his head a rubber tube with a pair of bellows, he begins to blow with all his might. Immediately the ... See full summary »

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A chemist in his laboratory places upon a table his own head, alive; then fixing upon his head a rubber tube with a pair of bellows, he begins to blow with all his might. Immediately the head increases in size and continues to enlarge until it becomes truly colossal while making faces. The chemist, fearing to burst it, opens a cock in the tube. The head immediately contracts and resumes its original size. He then calls his assistant and informs him of his discovery. The assistant, wishing to experiment for himself, seizes the bellows and blows into the head with all his might. The head swells until it bursts with a crash, knocking over the two experimenters. Written by Anonymous

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Short | Comedy

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1901 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A gumifejű ember  »

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Featured in Le grand Méliès (1952) See more »

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ka-boom!
22 March 2002 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Melies had a sense of playfulness about his films, and this is one of the more amusing ones: Melies takes a head -- which is Melies' head -- attaches it to some bellows, and blows it up like a balloon. True, there's no deep thought involved, but there needn't be. It's less than a minute and easily sustains the one joke.

Melies was inventing techniques as he went along, borrowing from other media, just as D.W. Griffith shortly would. There is an exuberance in seeing something done for the first time that is sorely lacking in later uses of the same editing effect. I suppose it's because Melies was having fun himself.


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