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L'homme sans tête (2003)

With two fabulous tickets to tonight's ball in his hands, the solitary Mr Phelps needs to find the perfect head to please his charming date. Will he risk it all for love?


(as Juan Diego Solanas)



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8 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Laurent Bert ...
Un client du bar
Yannick Blivet ...
Le vendeur de journaux (voice)
Christophe Botti ...
Le vendeur de têtes bellâtre
Stephane Botti ...
La deuxième tête
Ambre Boukebza ...
La jeune femme
Patrick Béthune ...
Le fleuriste / Un docker (voice)
Damien Carrand ...
Le vendeur de journaux
Laurent Casanova ...
L'homme au vélo
Evelyne Chartier ...
Le corps de la cliente âgée au visage jeune
Jacques Cusin ...
L'acheteur de journaux
L'une des trois jeunes femmes (as Andrée Rozenn)
Alain Donadio ...
Un docker
Laure Dratler ...
L'une des trois jeunes femmes (voice)
Philippe Ferrandini ...
Un docker
Danielle Hazan ...
Les clientes / L'une des trois jeunes femmes (voice)


With two fabulous tickets to tonight's ball in his hands, the solitary Mr Phelps sees a ray of light shine in the bleak industrialised world he lives in--and without a single doubt--he already knows whom to ask for his date: the charming lady in the picture on his desk. Just by looking at her, his eyes gleam with joy and anticipation; tonight the elegant dancer shall summon up the courage to declare his undying love for her, and for this reason, he may even find a suitable head to match his feelings. Will he risk it all for love? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ball | lover | industrial | sea | bleak | See All (22) »


Short | Fantasy | Romance


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Release Date:

18 December 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre sin cabeza  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The post production lasted 900 days. See more »


Referenced in Upside Down (2012) See more »


All of you
Composed by Cole Porter (1954)
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User Reviews

A real visual and stylist treat with a meaning that, although not clear, will still have you thinking
30 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

A shy man lives in the big city alone. When he gets two free tickets to the ball he invites a girl he has had his eye on for quite a while. She agrees to meet him later and go as his date. He dresses well but he feels rather self-conscious because he has no head – and never has. He sets out to buy some flowers and a head before meeting his date, but finding a head that suits him is no easy task.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this film but, given that it was about a man with no head, I was quite sure that it would be a little out of the ordinary – and I was right! The film follows our man of the title getting ready for his date and trying to find the right head. He isn't happy with his choices at the shop and even the one he eventually settles on has problems; it is enjoyable, weird, moving and amusing but, what does it all mean. Well, that's the thing – I'm not entirely sure. I think it was about image and just being comfortable with who you are instead of trying to be what society or peers want you to be, a valid message (although if you are 25 stone and don't wash then you should give into some image pressure!) and certainly the one that appears to be being made here but this is not the sole appeal of the short.

If it was preachy or a little full of itself then I would have been turned off but it wasn't. Instead it is light, fanciful and imaginative. Technically the direction is very good although I'm sure experts will tell me that the 'no-head' effect is very simple. What isn't so simple is making a character out of a headless man – and in this the direction is even better. We care about this guy and we feel for him when he is shy, sad and temporarily happy. The film also serves us a practical feast as it establishes a wonderful urban world that is real but yet fantastic – the whole film looks amazing and I never took my eyes off it. The 'man' of the film is well done and the actors who play him do well with the body language. The dance moves are fitting with the fanciful nature of the film but special mention should go to the black head (bad turn of phrase but you know what I mean!) who really did well with one scene – I was convinced he was seeing himself for the first time.

Overall a very imaginative little short that is fun, fanciful, imaginative, emotive and interesting. The plot is open to interpretation but I think it is reasonably clear and, even if you don't bother to look for a message there is still plenty for you to enjoy here.

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