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The Extra Girl 1923
Description: Sue Graham is a tiny city woman who wants to be a motion picture star. She wins a contract when a picture of a very cute woman is sent to a studio instead of her picture. When she arrives in Hollywood, the mistake is discovered and she begins working in the props department of the studio instead. Her parents then come out to California and invest some cash with a very shifty individual.
Released: 28 Oct 1923 Director: F. Richard Jones Writers: Bernard McConville, Mack Sennett (story) Actors: Mabel Normand, Ralph Graves, George Nichols, Anna Dodge Genres: Comedy
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See THE EXTRA GIRL (1923) -- Mabel on youtube.

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See Mabel Normand - The extra girl on youtube.

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See Mabel Normand, "The Extra on youtube.

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See The Extra Girl (1923) Lion Sce on youtube.

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See Mack Sennett's: The Extra on youtube.

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See Mabel Normand Film #192: The E on youtube.

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See The Extra Girl (1923) The Scre on youtube.

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See Hollywood Extra Girl - 1935 on youtube.

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See The Extra Girl Film"Comp on youtube.

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See Merry-Go-Round (1923) on youtube.

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The Extra Girl Reviews:

THE EXTRA GIRL (Pathe' Exchange, 1923), a Mack Sennett production, directed by F. Richard Jones, is a feature-length silent comedy starring Mabel Normand. With storyline and supervision by Mack Sennett, there's no traditional Keystone Kops nor climatic vehicle chases, but basically a semi-comedy of one girl's dream to become a film star and how almost everything seems to go in the wrong direction.Opening with a game card: "Between the Rocky Mountains and Pittsburgh, but a long method from Hollywood, lies River Bend (Illinois) where the Graham family lives," followed by introduction to characters: "Pa" Graham (George Nichols), who runs a River Bend garage that was once his blacksmith shop; Aaron Appleton (Vernon Dent), a well-to-do druggist and Graham's choice for his future son-in-law; "Ma" Graham (Anna Hernandez) a wife and mother who copes with her film struck daughter, Sue (Mabel Normand) by sitting back in her rocking chair and watching her act, as does Dave Giddings (Ralph Graves), Sue's childhood sweetheart and neighborhood mechanic. Realizing that their attachment to one other is more than "puppy love," "Pa" Graham insists Dave is to no longer visit Sue, and have Aaron calling and have her as his future bride. While answering a film contest advertisement, Sue submits her frightful photograph. About to email out her entry form, Sue finds she's unable to leave her parents and decides vs it. Wanting to see Sue fulfill her dream, Dave has Belle Brown (Charlotte Mineau), known as the "grass widow," submit the image herself. Wanting Dave all to herself and Sue out of the way, Belle substitutes her own image over Sue's instead. Having not heard anything about the film contest, Sue reluctantly agrees to please her father by marrying Aaron. Moments before the wedding is to take place, Dave arrives with a telegram that Sue has won the contest, and gotta catch the next train to Hollywood within fifteen minutes. With Dave's help, Sue escapes from her dreaded wedding and races over to the train station with Pa Graham and Aaron in hot pursuit. As the train pulls out, Sue watches her father at a distance and tearfully bids him farewell, with the old boy waving back with his rejected would-be son-in-law beside him. Arriving at the Golden State Movie Company, Sue meets with the studio manager who realizes the images have been switched. Instead of getting a screen test, the studio manager, saying Sue to return home, decides on giving her a break working in the wardrobe department. Sometime soon Dave comes to Hollywood, and to be near her, acquires employment at the same studio as a scene hand. As for the Grahams, it's Christmas and they become lonely for Sue. The couple decide to sell their home and accompany their daughter in the film capital of the world, in spite the fact that she's not yet acted in a motion picture. Cases become more complex when Sue falls into the clutches of T. Philip Hackett (Ramsey Wallace), who swindles her parents by investing their whole savings in some"worthless oil stock.Mabel Normand, whose film career began with comedy shorts as early 1910, was nearing the end of her career by the time THE EXTRA GIRL went into theatrical release in early 1923. With another films related in theme dealing with the ups and downs of a film hopeful (The 1926 release of ELLA CINDERS starring Colleen Moore, being one of the better ones), THE EXTRA GIRL goes a step further, taking a realistic approach as to what happens when a talented tiny city woman fails to succeed. Not precisely as sad as it all seems, THE EXTRA GIRL does show itself with some nice intentional comedy. The most popular one involving Mabel mistaking a lion for a tamed one called Teddy, toggling the lord of beasts on a rope behind her, eventually leading to a wild chase around the studio set after she discovers that she has the wrong lion. This five minute sequence gotta have stirred roars of laughter back then. Other funny stage finds Mabel making her screen use opposite actor William Desmond in a period setting wearing her hoop skirt and pantelettes. During the filming, she accidentally sits on a black glove leaving a hand print on her bottom tush, conveniently captured on movie whenever she bends down. A screen use for a costume drama provokes laughter from the staff working behind the camera, but distresses the director, of course. Aside from appearing a bit too old to be wearing those Mary Pickford curls during most of the story, indicating that the hero of Sue Graham being a teenager or a woman of her early twenties, Mabel Normand, does present signs of exhaustion and worry, possibly due to private issues of her own or over extensive retakes during production. THE EXTRA GIRL, at 70 mins (possibly longer in its initial premiere), was one of thirteen chosen silent details to be presented during the summer months in the PBS weekly series of "The Silent Years" (1971), as hosted by Orson Welles, accompanied with an organ score by Jack Ward. In soon years it turned up on cable television's Turner Classic Films (TCM premiere: September 20, 2012, with piano score). As for her final screen appearance in a detail length comedy, the film itself isn't as nice as one would wish it to be, but in spite of mixed comments and reputation, it can only be enjoyed by those who appreciate rare finds like Mabel Normand as THE EXTRA GIRL. Accessible on video and DVD from Kino International. (***)


An entertaining tiny comedy starring Mabel Normand, the pretty funny woman who in her heyday was as popular as Chaplin but who is sadly mostly remembered today as a footnote to the spate of sex and drug scandals that afflicted Hollywood in the early twenties. At nearly thirty she does looks a bit old to be testing an ingénue, but she's nevertheless quite appealing as the scrappy but naïve farm woman Sue with her old fashioned ringlets and homemade dresses who is determined to take Hollywood by storm. She doesn't, and the film rather than being a rags to riches chronicle you might have been expecting becomes a relatively prosaic acc of the fate of thousands of women who tried to create it in Hollywood, failed but ended up satisfied enough with ordinary lives as wives and mothers. The film doesn't dwell too much on its more realistic elements, however, and viewers are most likely to remember those amusing set pieces as when Sue's overbearing father attempts to force her to receive out of bed and dress for her wedding or (the highlight of the film) when Mabel, actually working as a lackadaisical prop girl, mistakes a lion for a dog dressed up in a shoddy lion's costume and nonchalantly leads it about the set on a leash to the horror of onlookers."The Additional Girl" is nice introduction to the work of a talented comedienne who deserves to be better know today.


Cute, fast-paced romantic comedy starring Mabel Normand as a tiny city woman who wants to be an actress and has two local rivals for her affections - Aaron Applejohn (Vernon Dent), not exactly a heartthrob, but well-to-do (her dad's choice for a son-in-law, of course) and Dave (Ralph Graves), her handsome longtime sweetheart who she loves. Mabel decides to email in her image to a Hollywood film contest, but the "Widow Brown" decides to support things along and hopefully receive Mabel out of city (and receive Dave for herself) by switching the image in the envelope to one of a pretty young girl (hmmm - I think Mabel is pretty too, so why the switch?!). Anyway, in the meantime dad decides to MAKE her marry Applejohn (and is now ready to take his belt to her!) when the telegram from Hollywood arrives telling she won the contest - just in the nickname of time! When she arrives and the film studio sees that she is not the same woman, she is place to work in the costume department. Later her parents, and Dave too, are all in Hollywood with her - but nothing works out the method she expects.Well, this movie is well done and full of fun - Mabel is a charmer in this, as usual, I just love her expressive face! There is a lively, quick chase at one point, where Mabel is trying to receive to the train station before she has to receive married, with dad and Applejohn in hot pursuit - all well done on true rural (looked like suburban twenties L.A.) streets. I also enjoyed the stage where Mabel leads a lion through the studio, under the belief it is now "Teddy the dog" in a lion suit - quite amusing. The DVD ver of this I saw featured a very decent looking print and perfect piano score by composer Ben Model that really suited the movie well. A very entertaining film.



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