Based on the true story of San Francisco-based adult entertainment entrepreneurs Jim and Artie Mitchell. The story follows the Mitchell brothers from their troubled childhoods to their success in the porn industry. They fix up an old theater to show their movies--The O'Farrell Theater. A series of raids and arrests by the police leads the brothers to win a landmark case for freedom of expression. A jealousy begins to form when it seems to Artie that Jim is getting all the credit. They produce "Behind the Green Door" in 1971 to great success. As the brothers get wealthier, they succumb to the easy availability of drugs and sex. The drug abuse gets out of control and destroys both their marriages. In the '80s, their movies begin to lose money; now in their early 40s, drugs and still controlling their lives and lead to constant fighting. Jim goes into detox, but Artie continues to fall more deeply into drugged-out dementia and becomes increasingly dangerous, leading to one brother killing the other.