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While serving in the Army in Vietnam, aspiring actor Johnny Taylor saves the life of a Hollywood writer who rewards him with an original screenplay to be sold only to a producer who will cast Johnny in the lead role. When Johnny returns to California, however, he discovers that while many studios want the script, no one wants him. One evening he rescues Diane Patton, the daughter of a famous producer, from a motorcycle gang. To show his gratitude, Mr. Patton agrees to finance the film and sends Johnny to agent Mori Thompson; but Thompson's favorite client is actor Deek Stacey, the leader of the motorcycle gang, who also wants the part. Deek and Mori conspire to murder Johnny at Patton's Halloween party. They spike the punch with LSD, and Johnny finds himself in a dungeon facing a knife-wielding Deek, but the housekeeper helps him escape. Later, when Patton announces that the picture has been cancelled, his alcoholic wife, Gloria, disgusted with the way her husband uses people, tries to kill him by tampering with the cable car that leads from their house to the beach below. Deek arrives seeking revenge, and he and Patton fight in the cable car, which crashes to the rocks, killing Deek and injuring Patton. Shocked into realizing how much trouble he has caused, Patton is reconciled with his wife, and Johnny and Diane pledge their love.