Scott Elliott isn’t the only one who thinks Bebe Brooks, producer Marcus Pioline’s hot new box-office prospect, is a royal pain. Director Max Froy is exasperated by the havoc the temperamental starlet is playing with his shooting schedule. Writer Ella Engelhart is sick of hearing her lines mangled. Co-star Lillie Lacey is tired of all the retakes, and even more tired of seeing her daughter Jewel upstaged by a no-talent bimbo. But it’s only Elliott, an ex-leading man whose 15 minutes of Hollywood fame were over back when Bebe was a baby, who puts his job—and maybe more—on the line by retrieving Pioline’s precious from Vegas, where she’s gone AWOL with Chicago mobster John Remlinger. Backed up by his Hollywood Security Agency boss Paddy Maguire, Elliott (Come Back Dead, 1996, etc.) fast-talks his way past Remlinger’s right-hand thug and snatches Bebe out from under his nose. But his victory is short-lived. Within a week, Bebe is killed in a plane crash en route to Pioline’s desert hideaway. Local law enforcement, in the person of ancient, leathery Sheriff Tyler, would like to rule the crash an accident. But Elliott knows that the gust lock that brought the plane down wasn’t left on accidentally; pilot Clay Ford removed it himself before turning the controls over to Pioline. Now Elliott has to solve the case himself before Remlinger finds out the woman he loved was murdered, and exacts his own terrible revenge.
The brisk pace and sneaky puzzle make up for some flaccid, less-than-credible Hollywood types.