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The Top of His Head (1989)

3:20 | Trailer
A satellite dish salesman desperately attempts to find the radical woman he has fallen in love with while both of them are being pursued by the police.



3 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview:
Christie MacFadyen ...
Lucy Ripley
Gus Victor
David Fox ...
Gary Reineke ...
Berge (pursurer)
Robert (henchman)
Joey Hardin ...
Joey (henchman)
Cherie Cemp ...
Telephone Operator
Nora Currie ...
Telephone Operator
Julie Wildman ...
Mrs. Victor
David Main ...
Mr. Victor
Alexander Malden ...
Justin Miller
John Paul Young ...
The Car Salesman
Diana Barrington ...


Augustus Victor is a young and successful satellite dish salesman who is only 3 sales away from his company's most coveted sales award. On the day he expects to close a deal that will secure him a comfortable future, he meets a mysterious woman named Lucy on the beach. Despite being polar opposites, Gus immediately falls in love with the elusive woman. Lucy vanishes unexpectedly and leaves behind a cryptic note forcing Gus to abandon his structured life and logical thinking to go and find her. He learns that she is a radical nature-loving performance artist whose performance pieces of aesthetic terrorism espouse environmentalism. The police are pursuing Lucy for her subversive activities, and by association, Gus as well. As Gus becomes increasingly involved in the pursuit, his perception of the world shifts. He moves away from his artificial and materialistic lifestyle, away from routine and rigid social codes into the spontaneity of nature and toward his object of affection. Written by pr1mal_1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

3 August 1989 (Switzerland)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Changing Perspectives with Cinematography
23 April 2004 | by (Lancaster, UK) – See all my reviews

I have today become determined to go out and discover more about the work of Peter Mettler. My previous familiarity with Mettler's work was limited to his 11th film The Top of His Head from 1989.

Gus a successful satellite dish salesman is entirely caught up in the capitalist material world, until he meets the mysterious and alluring Lucy, who is wanted by the cops for her radical performance pieces that espouse environmentalism. ...but any description of the plot really doesn't cover it.

It's a film about breaking away from perceptions and finding other ways of seeing the world. Peter Mettler shows us this world through his cinematography. It's about God as a satellite. It's about working out which side of the net the fish is on. It's about a rust map. It's about last looks at the world. ...and it's about giving birth on a train to a monkey with a port on the top of his head.

The visual imagery is so rich that it becomes a valid substitute for plot in the film. Although Kathryn, who fell asleep two out of the three times I tried to make her watch this film, would probably beg to differ. I remember fondly for example the scene where there is a plasic curtain on the other side of which there appears to be a strobing light. As we pass the thick plastic we see that the strobe effect is created by a half naked man swinging an enormous storm lamp around and around on a very long metal chain.

I realised that one of the reasons I'd liked the top of his head was the cinematographer-writer-director Peter's expression of the looking (and the perspective of looking) changing the thing that it seen. The painting of Gus by his uncle for example, and the fish in or out of the nets.

This quote is from his most recent film: "Maybe there is a difference between looking for something and looking at something, when you are a part of what you are looking at, and you look at it and it looks back at you." (Gambling, Gods and LSD, 2002).

The Top of His Head does for Mairzy Doats what Reservoir Dogs did for Stuck In The Middle With You.

Mairzy doats and dozy doats And liddle lamzy divey, A kiddlely divey too, wouldn't you? Mairzy doats and dozy doats And liddle lamzy divey, A kiddlely divey too, wouldn't you?

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