Hollywood, 1935. Young screenwriter Harry Hubert has been called by producer Louis Lipton to discuss his newest script.
Lipton: Harry, my boy, this is terrific!
Hubert: Do you like it?
Lipton: Best script I read all year!
Hubert: That is great to hear...
Lipton: We just have to make a couple of changes before we can make it into a film.
Lipton: Nothing major, my boy! Nothing to worry about!
Hubert: What exactly are you talking about?
Lipton: This villain you have in there. Love it. Love everything about him.
Lipton: Just one thing, my boy. Why is the villain wearing a metal suit through the whole picture?
Hubert: Well, he's terribly disfigured...
Lipton: We can't have that, Hyman!
Hubert: Harry, Mr. Lipton.
Lipton: Err... Right, Harry. We can't have a cripple on the screen! You think the audience wants to see a cripple?
Hubert: Well, they won't, he's wearing a metal suit...
Lipton: Think about it, Harry. I am paying you to think, am I not?
Lipton: What actor am I gonna get to wear a metal suit for the entire motion picture?
Hubert: I was thinking...
Lipton: You were thinking? Am I paying you to think?
Lipton: No actor will wear that thing, Hyman.
Hubert: It's Harry, Mr. Lipton.
Lipton: Sure it is... Stop interrupting! Where was I?
Hubert: The suit...
Lipton: Yes, the suit! Ditch the suit, Harry.
Lipton: I don't want to hear any buts, my boy! Do you know who I got lined up to play the villain in this picture?
Lipton: Von Stronheim!
Hubert: Erich von Stronheim? The silent actor?
Lipton: The one and the same! Such a villainous face! He's been doing quite a few talkies now.
Hubert: But... he is a Jew who always plays Germans.
Lipton: What do you have against Germans?
Hubert: Well, I don't...
Lipton: You and your people! Germans this, Germans that!
Hubert: What I mean, Mr. Lipton, is that Mr. von Stronheim has a distinctive German look which will not work with the picture's setting...
Lipton: You are not thinking, Harry!
Hubert: I am not thinking?
Lipton: We change the setting!
Lipton: Germany, 1924. She is a down-on-her-luck opera singer. He is her brother, a hapless actor. In comes von Stronheim... a benevolent benefactor? Someone who is after something sinister? That's Hollywood gold, my boy!
Hubert: But... but...
Lipton: What are you babbling about, my boy?
Hubert: Well, in my script, the villain is revealed to be the father...
Lipton: HE IS?
Hubert: Yes, right here at the end of the second act...
Lipton: Well, we can't have that! Can you imagine, von Stronheim trying to seduce his own daughter!
Hubert: Seduce who now?
Lipton: Don't worry about the details, my boy! And the names, the names have to go. Vader? What kind of a name is that?
Hubert: But, but...
Lipton: Just minor, minor changes, my boy! Such a terrific script. We'll be in touch!
Hubert: ...Thank you?
Lipton: No, thank you, Harry! You watch, this will be the most talked about picture of the year, if my name is not Leo Lieber... — Louis Lipton!