Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The Movie Maker relates the last days of an old-fashioned Hollywood mogul. Mike Kirsch (Rod Steiger) built his studio from nothing in the 1920s; now, four decades later, he is on the way out, the victim of a corporate takeover. We follow Kirsch as he exercises his waning authority on a temperamental movie star (Sharon Farrell), browbeats his alcoholic wife (Anna Lee), rebellious daughter (Sally Kellerman) and longtime yes-man associate (James Dunn), and vainly attempts to push through an outdated pet movie project. Finally he is wrenched off his throne by a former assistant (Robert Culp), who is now in cahoots with the conglomerate buying the studio. Kirsch is left alone to weep in his projection room as one of his past hits plays upon the screen. The Movie Maker was originally a one-hour drama titled "A Slow Fade to Black," written by Rod Serling and telecast in 1963 on The Bob Hope Chrysler Theatre. To pad the running time to two hours, Universal filmed a series of badly written and acted flashback sequences set in the 1920s, with Michael Pataki delivering an overbaked Rod Steiger imitation as young Mike Kirsch.
film-industry, business, film-studio, Hollywood, starlet, alcohol, daughter, stars [celebrities]