Le Roi du Maquillage

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Le Roi du Maquillage
Genre: Sperimental
Running Time: 3 minutes
Country: France
Release Date: 1904
Directed by: Georges Méliès
Written by: Georges Méliès
Distributed by: Star Films
Starring: Georges Méliès

Le Roi du Maquillage (eng. The Untamable Whiskers, lit. The King of Staging) is a french silent short movie directed by and starring Georges Méliès, released by Star Films in 1904.


Note: this a heavily detailed transcription of the plot of the movie, written for documentation and encyclopedic purposes. It is advised to not read, if you have not already seen the movie and plan to watch it.

The movie begins with Georges Méliès entering the screen in top hat and redingote. After he greets the viewers, he grabs chalk and board and makes a quick draw of a long haired man's face, he moves the board out of the screen, take his hat off and stands still in front of the camera with his arms crossed. His hair slowly transforms to match the ones of the face he previously drew.

Méliès takes the board and chalk again and draws the face of a man with a very long beard and uncombed hair, then he puts the board and chalk away again and stands still in front of the camera with his hands in his pockets. His face, along with his hair and beard, slowly changes to match the draw.

Apparently, though, the long hair house many head louse, so Méliès once again grabs the board and chalk and draws a gentleman with a monocle, and a beard that was in vogue in 19th century. He puts the board and chalk away and once again his face transforms in the one he drew on the board. He even takes out the monocle of one of his pockets.

Méliès takes the chalk and board again and writes "Comic Excentrique" (eng.: comic eccentric) on it. He puts them away and his face changes in a clown's one. After he does some funny moves, he stops and transforms into an admiral with long moustaches. A bicorne on his head appeared from nowhere. He stops, crosses his arms putting his hands on his chest and he transforms into a horned devil. He takes a cape that was at his feet all time long but was not visible to us, wraps himself in it and slowly disappears into thin air. 

Why It Rocks

  1. It is a document of unvaluable importance that let us see how special effects of the era were.
  2. Possibly the only movie made by Méliès in which just Méliès himself stars, not counting the ones starring him and copies/clones of himself or he and his heads.
  3. It has survived to our days in pristine condictions. Not a small thing, when you think this is a movie more than a century old.
  4. A delightful short movie overall that will not take much of your time, if you will decide to give it a watch.


  • In the top left corner of the screen, a card of Star Films with the company's logo can be seen. This was an early attempt by Méliès at copyrighting his works.