The Extra Girl

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Extra Girl
The Extra Girl.jpg
Directed by F. Richard Jones
Produced by Mack Sennett
Written by Bernard McConville
Story by Mack Sennett
Starring Mabel Normand
Ralph Graves
George Nichols
Cinematography Eric Crockett
Homer Scott
Distributed by Associated Exhibitors
Pathé Exchange
Release date
  • October 28, 1923 (1923-10-28) (United States)
Running time
68 mins.
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles

The Extra Girl is a 1923 American silent comedy film starring Mabel Normand. Produced by Mack Sennett, The Extra Girl followed earlier films about the film industry and also paved the way for later films about Hollywood, such as King Vidor’s Show People (1928). It was still unusual in 1923 for filmmakers to make a film about the southern California film industry, then little more than ten years old. Still, many of the Hollywood clichés of small town girls travelling to Hollywood to become film stars are here to reinforce the myths of Tinseltown.

Plot[edit]

Sue Graham (Normand) is a small town girl who travels to Hollywood to escape marriage, and in the hope of becoming a motion picture star. She wins a contract with a studio on the strength of a picture of a quite different (and very attractive) girl sent instead of hers; but when she arrives the mistake is discovered. Since the error was the result of another’s deception, the studio manager agrees to give her a job in the costume department. She eventually gets the opportunity to screen test, but it turns out disastrously – although in a nod to the actress behind the character the director calls her "a natural comedian." Sue's parents come out to California, and invest money with a shifty individual who swindles them out of their life savings. Sue and childhood friend Dave, who has also followed her, retrieve the money. Despite the unsuccessful film career, all turns out well.

Cast[edit]

Actors Billy Bevan and William Desmond appear as themselves. Producer Mack Sennett can be glimpsed briefly as a straw-hatted onlooker at Sue's screen test.

Production[edit]

Directed by F. Richard Jones, the film features several shots of semi-rural Southern California (the Edendale area along present-day Glendale Boulevard, where Sennett's studio was located) showing houses and streets of the early 1920s, and of a Hollywood studio in action. One shot in particular, a high-angle view, shows a film set, with actors, two cameras and operators, several production people, and a mood orchestra composed of a pianist and violinist, to set the proper mood for the actors. Another shows an open stage with crew scrambling up scaffolding to the sunlight diffusing panels above.

External links[edit]