Sonny Wexler (Reynolds) is an aging, washed-up, veteran producer with a pill-popping wife (Ann-Margret). In his heyday, Sonny produced an Oscar nominated movie, but now he finds he’s a “has been” in a Hollywood that’s been taken over by a younger generation, personified by studio executive Damon Black (Bratt) and foreign investors.
Knowing that he is soon going to die or be forgotten, he decides to wager all his strength in one last movie, something for which he can be remembered. His chance comes in the form of a brilliant script optioned from a promising young writer (Astin). But when Black (Bratt) undercuts the deal and eases Sonny out, Sonny has seventy-two hours to come up with enough money to purchase the script for himself. In desperation, he turns to the mafia to borrow the $50,000 he needs.