The Four Troublesome Heads

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Un homme de têtes
Méliès, Un homme de têtes (Star Film 167 1898).jpg
Directed byGeorges Méliès
Written byGeorges Méliès
StarringGeorges Méliès
Release date
  • 1898 (1898)
Running time
20 meters/65 feet[1]

The Four Troublesome Heads (French: Un homme de têtes, "A Man of Heads") is an 1898 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès. It was released by Méliès's company Star Film and is numbered 167 in its catalogues.[1] An illegal print of the film, copied without authorization from Méliès, was released in America in 1903 by Siegmund Lubin under the title Four Heads Are Better Than One.[2]

The film features one of the first known uses of multiple exposure of objects on a black background on film, a special effect Méliès went on to use prolifically.[3]


Georges Méliès enters the frame and stands between two tables. He removes his own head and puts it on one of the tables, where it starts talking and looking around. Méliès repeats the action twice, with a new head appearing on his shoulders each time, until four identical Méliès heads are presented at once. Méliès then plays a banjo, and all four heads sing along. He then bashes two of the heads with his banjo over their obnoxious singing, making them disappear. He then takes off his head and tosses it aside before taking the other head from the second table, tossing it in the air and it lands back onto his neck. He bows to the viewers, bids them farewell and then strolls off.


  1. ^ a b Hammond, Paul (1974). Marvellous Méliès. London: Gordon Fraser. p. 138. ISBN 0900406380.
  2. ^ Frazer, John (1979), Artificially Arranged Scenes: The Films of Georges Méliès, Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., p. 71, ISBN 0816183686
  3. ^ Frazer, p. 70.

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