At the surface, Hollywood Extra Girl is just a promotional tie-in to Cecil B. DeMille’s The Crusades. The short’s lead, Suzanne Emery, was an extra in The Crusades and the short suggests she might make it in Hollywood just because of that inclusion.
According to IMDb, she did not.
But the short also serves to let DeMille—who has the most dialogue in the short’s eleven minutes (mostly read from cue card)—foist his ego about. His acting’s hideous, which puts that whole idea of directors making good actors into severe doubt.
The film ends not on DeMille, however, but as an advertisement for young women to come out to Hollywood and try being a star. If they fail, they can always go back home. This ending suggestion is awkward after the film showed the misery of longtime extras.
Moulton’s got some nice camera moves, but it’s DeMille’s show.
Directed by Herbert Moulton; screenplay by Herman Hoffman, based on a story by John Flory; director of photography, Harry Fischbeck; produced by William H. Pine; released by Paramount Pictures.
Starring Cecil B. DeMille (Himself), Ann Sheridan (Genevieve), Suzanne Emery (Herself) and Clara Kimball Young (Grace).