Fatty Arbuckle's career came to a sudden halt amidst allegations that he raped and caused the death of a young starlet named Virginia Rappe. Though he was acquitted, the comedian, who was at one time second in popularity only to Charlie Chaplin, was ruined. Interviews with many of Arbuckle's contemporaries (including Minta Durfee, his first wife) and extensive research inform this serious study of the once-fabled comedian. His early days in the Keystone comedies and his relationship with Chaplin are recounted. The details of the Rappe trial and his life afterwards are also provided.