Alan Alda wrote, directed, and starred in this satirical film about the corruption of the film industry's approach to history. Alda plays Michael Burgess, a college professor who has written a historical novel about the American Revolution. The book has been turned into a script, and a Hollywood film crew descends on his North Carolina hometown to make the movie. Predictably, the director and actors make a mess of his concept, and Burgess becomes frustrated as the town is turned upside down. Desperately, he tries to salvage his concept with some last-minute script changes. To make things more complicated, Burgess falls in love with the glamorous female lead in the film, Faith Healy (Michelle Pfeiffer). Meanwhile, his long-time girlfriend, Gretchen (Lise Hilboldt) is pressuring him to get married. The film's male star, Elliott James (Michael Caine), finally shows up in town and becomes Burgess's rival for Faith's affections. Silent film star Lillian Gish appears as Burgess' mother.