Jim and Artie MitchellFounded San Francisco's world-famous O'Farrell Theater in July, 1969. Author and journalist Hunter S. Thompson was its most devoted regular. He praised it as "the Carnegie Hall of public sex in America."
In 1971, the brothers produced the porn classic Behind the Green Door, launching the career of adult film actress Marilyn Chambers. It cost $60,000 and grossed almost $30 million. The film was the beginning of a long series of successful feature-length productions for the Mitchells. They never claimed to be making masterpieces. "The only Art in this business is my brother," Jim claimed.
At some point, they hired Terry Zwigoff and Robert Crumb to assemble a documentary of Hunter S. Thompson. The brothers had already shot a bunch of footage of Thompson lecturing at a university. Unfortunately, the Mitchells had neglected to record any audio of the speech, having been accustomed to adding all the sound for their movies in postproduction. Then the brothers hired Zwigoff and Crumb to write a porn screenplay, which was abandoned just as quickly.
The brothers produced a sequel to Behind the Green Door in 1986, entitled Behind the Green Door: the Sequel. Its primary gimmick revolved around the promotion of safe sex practices: condoms and dentals dams figured as prominently in the film as its star, newcomer Missy Manners. In her previous life, Manners was known as Elisa Florez, aide to Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.
In February 1991, Jim drove to his little brother's house in Corte Madera and shot him dead. Artie's body was discovered laying in bed. Jim had fired eight rounds from a .22 rifle, three of which were found in Artie's arm, abdomen, and brain.
At trial, the prosecution presented a computer-generated video recreation of the crime. After the defense team objected that the human figure representing Artie was not gesturing in a menacing manner (as Jim claimed), the judge ordered that Artie's avatar be replaced with a featureless polygon.
After seeing a computer-generated Jim shoot and kill a nightmarish monster from geometry class, the jury convicted him of voluntary manslaughter and weapons charges. He spent a total of three years in San Quentin for his act of premeditated fratricide.