As the Great War tore through Europe in the spring of 1916, the privileged stars of Broadway still wore the height of Paris fashions, danced the tango and drank champagne – and ignited a great debate: To stick to the noble tradition of the theater? Or to take the train west to a dusty crossroads called Hollywood and stake one’s fortunes in the new frontier of motion pictures?
Twilight of the Immortal tells the remarkable story of early Hollywood through the eyes of Rosemary McKisco, a wayward young heiress who throws in her lot with the great Alla Nazimova, the first openly lesbian star of stage and screen. Fleeing a respectable marriage to a wealthy Broadway producer on the eve of America’s entry into the Great War, Rosemary follows Nazimova to Hollywood, navigating her twilight world where women prefer women and men prefer men. It is the heyday of the Silent Era – a time of indulgent excess, of scandals and free love. For a shining moment, Rudolph Valentino reigns as the silver screen’s “Greatest Lover” and Rosemary is not immune to his magnetic charm. As his trusted confidante, she stands by him through the curses of his outrageous fortune, and barely survives his sudden, tragic death. By 1927, as Valentino’s infamous funeral fades from the daily headlines to become the less volatile stuff of legend, Rosemary makes her peace with Hollywood at last, but at what cost?