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Room 1219: The Life of Fatty Arbuckle, the Mysterious Death of Virginia…
by Greg Merritt
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"Part biography, part true crime narrative, this painstakingly researched book chronicles the improbable rise and stunning fall of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle from his early big screen success to his involvement in actress Virginia Rappe's death, and the resulting irreparable damage to his career. It describes how during the course of a rowdy three-day party hosted by the comedian in a San Francisco hotel, Rappe became fatally ill, and Arbuckle was subsequently charged with manslaughter. Ultimately acquittedafter three trials, neither his career nor his reputation ever recovered from this devastating incident. Relying on a careful examination of documents, the book finally reveals what most likely occurred that Labor Day weekend in 1921 in that fateful hotel room. In addition, it covers the evolution of the film industry--from the first silent experiments to the connection between Arbuckle's scandal and the implementation of industry-wide censorship that altered the course of Hollywood filmmaking for five decades"-- "In 1921, one of the biggest movie stars in the world was accused of killing a woman. What followed was an unprecedented avalanche of press coverage, the original "trial of the century," and a wave of censorship that altered the course of Hollywood filmmaking. It began on Labor Day, when comic actor Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, then at the pinnacle of his fame and fortune, hosted a party in San Francisco's best hotel. As the party raged, he was alone in room 1219 with Virginia Rappe, a minor actress. Four days later, she died, and he was charged with her murder. ROOM 1219 presents the crime story from the day of the "orgy" through the three trials. Relying on a careful examination of documents, the book finally reveals, after almost a century of wild speculation, what most likely occurred in room 1219. In addition, ROOM 1219 covers the creation of the film industry--from the first silent experiments to a studio-based system capable of making and, ultimately, breaking a beloved superstar"--
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