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The Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra (1928)

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This short experimental film tells the story of a man who comes to Hollywood to become a star, only to fail and be dehumanized (he is identified by the number 9314 written on his forehead),... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jules Raucourt ...
9413 (as Raucourt)
Voya George ...
The Star (as Voya)
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Storyline

This short experimental film tells the story of a man who comes to Hollywood to become a star, only to fail and be dehumanized (he is identified by the number 9314 written on his forehead), after which he dies and goes on to Heaven where the number is removed. Written by George Schneiderman

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Plot Keywords:

avant garde | number in title | See All (2) »

Genres:

Short | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

17 June 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Hollywood Extra  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Connections

Referenced in Wilson: The Life and Death of a Hollywood Extra (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A satiric fantasy about a man who wants to become a Hollywood movie star.
14 April 2008 | by (Chinatown, California) – See all my reviews

Miniature expressionist sets are the real star of Life & Death of 9413: A Hollywood Extra (1927), & render this partially a work of animation. It's on the National Registry as a work of cultural significance.

The thirteen-minute story symbolically criticized the maltreatment of Hollywood extras.

Our naive hero, John Jones (Jules Raucourt), arrives in Art Deco Hollywood all smiles & dreams.

He has a letter of introduction that gets him hired by a casting agent (Robert Florey being quite antic in the film he wrote & co-directed).

As an extra he's known thereafter as 9413, the number being printed right on his forehead. Now begins the endless wait for his number to come up.

Other numbers become automatons with fading dreams, but 9413 struggles to remain an individual.

Earning no money, falling deeper in debt for his rent, he is slowly starving to death, while imagining he is surrounded by scorpions.

At last he dies, but continues dreaming even in his coffin. He dreams he is ascending to heaven, or perhaps he really is ascending in the form of a heroic paper cut-out silhouette. In the firmament he becomes a shining star, with wings.

Reportedly filmed for $97.00, one reason it looks so incredible is thanks to cinematographer Gregg Toland, who went on to such amazing camera work on films like Citizen Kane.


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