A heartless actor scrambles to the top of show business' sleazy summit in this drama. Frank Fane (Stephen Boyd) is a Hollywood leading man who is desperate to boost his career by winning an Academy Award, and he doesn't care who he has to betray to achieve his goals -- including his former best friend and PR man, Hymie Kelly (Tony Bennett), lonely acting coach Sophie Cantaro (Eleanor Parker), slimy agent Kappy Kapstetter (Milton Berle), and long-suffering girlfriend Kay Bergdahl (Elke Sommer). However, as Frank waits for his name to be called, certain that victory is in his grasp, fate has a little secret in store for him. The Oscar marked Tony Bennett's onscreen acting debut. The screenplay, based on the novel by Richard Sale, was written in part by award-winning author Harlan Ellison, who is known to often take comical potshots at the film, which he considers a low point in his career.
by Mark Deming synopsis