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Chance Wayne has youth, good looks, virility, and complete self-confidence--four qualities he feels certain will make him a Hollywood star. After drifting for several years, he goes to Florida and picks up Alexandra Del Lago, an aging film star. Convinced that her comeback picture is a failure, Alexandra has taken to drinking vodka, smoking hashish, inhaling oxygen, and keeping young lovers. She promises to help Chance in Hollywood, and he drives her to the small southern town of his birth. Here he plans a reunion with his girl friend, Heavenly, the only daughter of a corrupt and powerful politician, "Boss" Finley. Chance quickly learns, however, that he is unwelcome. (He does not know that following his last visit Heavenly became pregnant and had an abortion.) While Finley and his hoodlum son, Tom Junior, consider their revenge, Heavenly's Aunt Nonnie arranges several meetings between the young lovers. In the meantime, Chance continues to nurture his relationship with Alexandra, and he records her drugged confessions with a view to future blackmail. Suddenly Alexandra learns from Walter Winchell that her comeback film is an unqualified triumph and that she is once more in demand. Her old self again, she rejects Chance, ignores her promises, and prepares to leave. As she does so a giant political rally is turned into a brawl when Finley's discarded mistress, Miss Lucy, exposes his ruthless tactics and reveals Heavenly's abortion. Sensing the impending violence, Alexandra offers to take Chance away, but he refuses to leave Heavenly. A group of thugs headed by Tom Junior beat Chance into senselessness and badly disfigure his face. Chance is finally able to face the truth about himself, and he leaves with Heavenly.