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In a public place in Constantinople at the corner of a bazaar, the executioner is seated upon a stone and is resting from his daily labors while eating a crust of bread. Suddenly there come running into the place a lot of Turkish men and women preceding some Turkish policemen, who drag along four prisoners in chains. The policemen shut up the four prisoners in the pillory. Their four heads stick up through the huge plank, which is provided with four openings. One of the policemen urges the executioner to decapitate the prisoners. He accordingly seizes a mighty sabre and cuts off by a single stroke the four heads, which roll upon the ground.
Cast & Crew.
Le Bourreau turc, sold in the United States as The Terrible Turkish Executioner, or It Served Him Right and in Britain as What Befell the Turkish Executioner, is a 1903 French short silent film by Georges Méliès. It was sold by Méliès's Star Film Company and is numbered 534–535 in its catalogues.Méliès himself plays the executioner in the film, one of several Méliès works involving disembodied heads. The special effects are created with substitution splices. The execution in the film emulates an effect popular for two centuries in magic lantern shows, in which severed heads or similar phenomena could be shown in motion using overlaid glass slides.In a study of Méliès, Elizabeth Ezra notes that the film "exploits the stereotype of Oriental despotism and cruelty," with the prop heads giving "a visceral immediacy closer to Tarantino's lurid (though ironic) gore than to Méliès's standard dancing Disney-style body parts."
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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_Terrible_Turkish_Executioner", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.