- 17,99 €
Description de l’éditeur
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 party hosted by the comedian in a San Francisco hotel, Rappe became fatally ill, and Arbuckle was subsequently charged with manslaughter. Ultimately acquitted after 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.
"This is a mystery story," states Hollywood historian Merritt in the introduction. And like an investigator on one of TV's acronymic crime shows, Merritt meticulously examines silent-film legend Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's role in the 1921 death of model/actress Virginia Rappe, a tale distorted by time and innuendo. (The title is a nod to the scene of the crime, Room 1219 in the exclusive St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, where the star hosted Rappe and others in his liquor-stocked Prohibition-era suite.) Merritt follows Arbuckle from his impoverished origins and meteoric rise through his arrest; three trials for manslaughter; and banishment from Hollywood. The author-detective examines medical records, court proceedings, newspaper archives, and pop culture books to construct a fuller picture of the scandal responsible for the morality code that followed. What emerges is a multifaceted portrait of not only Arbuckle but the early days of a burgeoning industry and the players (Griffith, Sennett, Chaplin, Keaton, etc.) who helped shape it a century ago. Lovers of film history, media studies, and true crime will enjoy the parallels between the film boom of the early 20th century and the tech boom of today. Photos.