7.2/10
2,055
15 user 3 critic

L'homme à la tête en caoutchouc (1901)

A chemist carries out a bizarre experiment with his own head.

Director:

Georges Méliès (uncredited)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A band-leader assembles an orchestra by mystifying means.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Much to our amazement, an elegant and masterful illusionist detaches his own head effortlessly from his shoulders for a once-in-a-lifetime performance.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Bluebeard (1901)
Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young woman becomes the eighth wife of the wealthy Bluebeard, whose first seven wives have died under mysterious circumstances.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès, Jehanne d'Alcy, Bleuette Bernon
Short | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The leader of a marching band demonstrates an unusual way of writing music.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

With a brand-new deck of playing cards in his hand, an elegantly-attired thaumaturge, by fire and the pure power of illusion, transforms a plain nine of spades card into a full-size Queen of Hearts.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In this spectacular free adaptation of the popular theatre play "La Biche au Bois", the valiant Prince Bel-Azor pursues a baleful old witch to her impregnable castle, to save the beautiful young Princess Azurine.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès, Marguerite Thévenard, Bleuette Bernon
Short | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Using every known means of transportation, several savants from the Geographic Society undertake a journey through the Alps to the Sun which finishes under the sea.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès, Fernande Albany, Jehanne d'Alcy
Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

With the help of a magic cauldron, Mephistopheles conjures up a variety of supernatural characters.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Jehanne d'Alcy, Jules-Eugène Legris, Georges Méliès
Short | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An astronomer falls asleep and has a strange dream involving a fairy queen and the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Jehanne d'Alcy, Georges Méliès
Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

As an elegant maestro of mirage and delusion drapes his beautiful female assistant with a gauzy textile, much to our amazement, the lady vanishes into thin air.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Jehanne d'Alcy, Georges Méliès
The Black Imp (1905)
Short | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A traveler at an inn is harassed by a mischievous devil in his room.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Right in front of our very eyes, two attractive and feminine women metamorphose into two professional wrestlers who begin a no-holds-barred wrestling match.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Jehanne d'Alcy, Georges Méliès
Edit

Cast

Uncredited cast:
Georges Méliès ... The Chemist / The India Rubber Head (uncredited)
Edit

Storyline

After years of research and experimentation, a visionary scientist has finally found the way to inflate living organisms and body parts, so he uses his own head for one last test. Excited with the results and his unexpected discovery, he invites his faithful assistant to share his triumph and witness firsthand the amazing transformation, however, the enthralled helper's carelessness will have an unavoidable conclusion. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Release Date:

1901 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A gumifejű ember See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Star-Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The movie biz always gives 'em a big head
19 August 2015 | by pyrocitorSee all my reviews

It's safe to assume that Georges Méliès likely got the idea for The Man With the Rubber Head from jabs regarding his own 'swelling head' as self-styled filmmaker/magician extraordinaire. That same mischievous sense of playfulness pervades the short, aptly casting Méliès as 'mad scientist' on and off-camera, who toys with multiple exposure and a fascinating early tracking shot to create the illusion of inflating his own head with a set of fireplace bellows. What is the point of this experiment, both cinematically and narratively? Why, simply for the thrill of experimentation, and the joy of unusual visual marvels, naturally! And who could ask for anything more?

Fun supplants wonder as prime motivation here, as the mise-en-scène suggests a period-set skit as opposed to Méliès' usual fourth wall breaching 'magic trick' setup. There is no closing bow to the audience here, suggesting a more immersive, narrative-based approach to the medium, which Méliès would continue to push the envelope with in subsequent more story- based films such as the iconic Trip to the Moon. However, although the cinematic trickery is fun, even over a century after the short's release, it's really the physicality of Méliès himself – often overlooked as a talented physical comedian as well as groundbreaking filmmaker – that makes the short the most delightful. There's a great gag in the impromptu timing of his scientist's "Eureka!" gesture, seemingly arbitrarily interrupting his chemistry experiment to instead inflate his own head, and the rare early close-up of Méliès' expanded head indignantly writhing and waggling his moustache is endearingly charming in its own right.

Of course, the whole thing ends up a setup to a punchline that was likely predictable even in 1901, but it's still good fun, and sold with a classic slapstick boot to the rear for good measure. The Man With the Rubber Head may play as antiquated and gimmicky to contemporary audiences, but its cheeky, self-reflexive sense of humour is more than enough to deflate even the most curmudgeonly of critics, whose heads have probably had their fair share of being inflated themselves.

-8/10


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed