A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.
Taking place in the 1930s Soviet cinema world, centers on Constantin Dalmatov, a young assistant director who returns to Moscow from a long journey in the United States with his lover Mansourov, a famous homosexual film director. The Russian political police exerts loathsome blackmailing pressure on Dalmatov; and though he's allowed to realize his dreams of filming musicals, Dalmatov feels his life is constantly threatened. Thus, and in order to hide his homosexuality, he marries his leading female actress, Lidia Poliakova. Besides sudden and fake success, Dalmatov and Poliakova know nothing but fear and shame.
A comedy about a screenwriter (Wuhl) whose old movie script is read by a producer (Landau) and the search for financial backers begins. But it seems that each money source (Aiello, DeNiro, Wallach) has his own mistress that he wants put into the film. Gradually, the screenwriter is forced to make changes to his script to accommodate these backers until he finally sees no semblance of his original ideas in the writing.
A campy abbreviated remake of Sunset Boulevard.