William Holden, Hollywood screen writer down on his luck, encounters Gloria Swanson, demented, onetime silent screen queen, now living in luxurious, egocentric seclusion and dreaming of a comeback, which she hopes will be accomplished through a screenplay she has written. She retains Holden to work on the script, falls in love with him and virtually enslaves him through her lavish expenditures and her all-demanding egomania. Meanwhile, fighting for a life of his own, Holden secretly is working on a film story with Nancy Olson, young and personable studio story analyst. When the relationship ripens into love, Holden tries to walk out on Gloria, by now violently insane, who kills him. The yarn unfolds in a flash-back technique, starting with the murder.
This is it... The most compellingly dramatic story ever unfolded on the screen... A tale of heartache and tragedy... Love and ambition... Told against the fabulous backdrop of Hollywood. Paramount 115 min.