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Books and the Big Screen Book Club

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Room 1219
Room 1219 ›
By Greg Merritt
Price 29.95


Published Sep 2013

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.

For the book clubs that have a bit of cinematic flair and like to pair their reading with their viewing, our Books & the Big Screen titles are great choices for when your club wants to talk about what's behind the camera, and then sit and watch the magic happen.

Whether it's reading about how a famous director created one of his cult classics or learning about the movies that have changed the lives of the movie makers we love, these books not only offer great reading but also great movie recommendations for a multimedia book group experience.

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