Being John Malkovich is based on Craig Schwartz (John Cusack), an unemployed puppeteer, discovering a portal in his office at LesterCorp which transports the person in it into the mind of John Malkovich.

Among the numerous oddities of the floor 7(1/2) in the LesterCorp building, one of the most interesting is the low ceilings. The movie does somewhat explain the reason for the unique structure, however, I don't understand how it holds any significance in the movie.

What does this unique 'structure' signify?

  • Probably related question on Sci-Fi: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/9404/… Feb 24, 2016 at 12:05
  • It’s interesting to note - after the bizarre orientation video about the industrialist and his wife (the story of the 7 1/2 floor) Maxine says “unfortunately the story is not true” - so what is the real story behind 7 1/2, how does Maxine know, and how does Lester Corp leverage all this to accommodate their plan. The floor holds some significant power, as shown by the portal physically being there. There is no clear correlation
    Jul 27, 2019 at 1:23

1 Answer 1


The reference to 7 1/2 seems to be an homage to Fellini's film "8 1/2" which also deals with a similar concept (e.g. going inside the mind of a genius and seeing its inner workings) albeit in a very different fashion.

What's also quite interesting is that according to Malkovich the script wasn't written specially for him, nor did the Director know that he'd be available at the time of shooting. It just happened to be the first name that popped into Charlie Kaufmann's mind when he was putting together the screenplay, as can be read in Charlie Kaufman: Confessions of an Original Mind by Doreen Alexander Child.

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