- John Schlesinger
- Nathanael West
- Waldo Salt
- Production Companies
- Paramount Pictures
- Long Road Productions
An art director in the 1930s falls in love and attempts to make a young woman an actress despite Hollywood who wants nothing to do with her because of her problems with an estranged man and her alcoholic father.
Life's flotsam and jetsam turn up at late 1930's Hollywoodland's door, once more, in this insightful tale of wannabes and desperadoes. Tod Hackett, artist, has inspirations to become noticed until he meets Faye Greener, blonde bombshell, and is immediately smitten. She has other ideas. She has Homer Simpson, victim, in her sights and cruelty and loneliness takes new meaning as all three are slowly sucked into the Hollywood system of sycophants, diggers and parasites, sucking the life from others as the life, and soul, is slowly sucked from them.
It's 1930s Hollywood, a town where many come to fulfill their dreams which largely do not only not get realized, but end up being the cause of tragedy. Two such dreamers are Yale educated Tod Hackett, who has just gotten a job in the art department at Paramount and who, like all his colleagues, wants to become an art director, and aspiring actress Faye Greener, who lives with her ex-vaudevillian father Harry Greener, who now uses his vaudeville clown shtick to sell tonic door-to-door. Faye's goal is to become both rich and famous, and as she has only been able to get work on screen so far as an extra, she figures she has to marry someone rich, although she is not averse to having fun with others not husband material along the way. Tod and Faye meet both being residents of the run down San Bernardino Arms, a bungalow court residence, he immediately attracted to her and quickly following falls in love with her. While she strings Tod and many others along for what she can get out of them, Faye ultimately enters into a business arrangement with accountant Homer Simpson, an outwardly religious man who is a repressed ball of nerves when it comes to anything social, let alone sexual. In his dealings with Faye and Homer, and in his effort to climb the studio ladder using whatever tools he has at his disposal, Tod is exposed to the good, bad and ugly of Hollywood life, that tragedy within this group inevitable with the proper proverbial trigger.
Tod Hackett, fresh out of Yale, wants to make it as an art director in late 1930's Hollywood - but he finds himself increasingly distracted by his new neighbor Faye, a would-be starlet with possible designs of her own on a lonely, morose accountant. As Tod is drawn deeper into the lurid private lives of studio bosses and film industry workers, he gradually becomes desperate to know if Faye - or anyone - is capable of real love.