The Life and Death of 9413: a Hollywood Extra

The Life and Death of 9413: a Hollywood Extra

The Life and Death of 9413: a Hollywood Extra is a 1928 American silent experimental short film co-written and co-directed by Robert Florey and Slavko Vorkapić. Considered a landmark of American avant-garde cinema, it tells the story of a man (Jules Raucourt) who comes to Hollywood with dreams of becoming a star; he fails and becomes dehumanized, with studio executives reducing him to the role of an extra and writing the number "9413" on his forehead.


Mr. Jones (Jules Raucourt), an artist and aspiring movie star, arrives in Hollywood and is immediately star-struck by the film industry's glitz and glamour. He speaks with a film-studio representative, presenting a letter of recommendation and trying to speak on his own behalf. The representative cuts him off, however, and writes the number "9413" on his forehead. From this point on, 9413 speaks only in unintelligible gibberish and moves mechanically, mindlessly following the instructions of film directors and studio representatives. He goes on a series of casting calls, but is unable to find success; he is repeatedly confronted with signs reading "No Casting Today". A series of images are interspersed through these scenes: shots of Hollywood, cameras filming, the word "Dreams" written in the stars, and a repeating loop of a man walking up a stairway toward the word "Success" without ever reaching the top.