An alcoholic checks into a health spa and his antics promptly throw the establishment into chaos.

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(uncredited)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
The Inebriate (as Charlie Chaplin)
...
Eric Campbell ...
The Man with the Gout
Henry Bergman ...
Masseur
John Rand ...
Sanitarium Attendant
James T. Kelley ...
Sanitarium Attendant
Albert Austin ...
Sanitarium Attendant
Frank J. Coleman ...
Head of Sanitarium
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Storyline

Charlie goes to a spa to dry out, but he takes a trunk of liquor with him. He tangles with another's gouty foot in a revolving door. Later he thinks the gouty man is making love signs to him (he doesn't Edna, the real object of the man's efforts), so he signs back. He interpets a massage to be a wrestling match. When management throws his liquor into the fountain, when flow the healthful waters, everyone gets drunk. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 April 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Water Cure  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Outtakes show that the original premise was to have Charles Chaplin play one of the employees at the clinic, but switched the roles with John Rand (who was to play the inebriate) after an uninspired performance. Chaplin himself specialized in drunken characters in the English music hall where he grew up. See more »

Goofs

When the Man With the Gout (Eric Campbell) falls into the spa well and struggles underwater, it is a stunt man that is struggling. Eric Campbell is one of the people who pull the stunt man out. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
The Inebriate: [closing title card] Forgive me! That well was full of liquor! Please don't.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Unknown Chaplin (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Charlie's Restful Retreat
22 March 2015 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

THE CURE (Mutual Studios, 1917), Written, directed and starring Charlie Chaplin, his tenth comedy short (20 minutes) for the Mutual studio, is one of his all time greats. For a title that indicates one to be set in a hospital with Charlie as an unruly patient who flirts with the nurses and drives his doctors crazy, in essence, it takes place in a sanitarium that wherever Charlie goes, trouble follows. For THE CURE, Chaplin breaks away from his traditional tramp character with derby and cane for straw hat, white suit and cane retained, stirring as much trouble as he can, intentionally or not, to those around him.

The story opens at a resort with an assortment of female gossips gathered together seated around the health spring where enters the new resident, the drunken Charlie (Charlie Chaplin), arriving for a rest cure, to nearly fall into the water well on the ground. After being escorted to his room by a frail and thin bellboy, Charlie opens his crate that reveals an assortment of liquor bottles. Once the bottles are discovered with the bearded bellboy found drunk in Charlie's room, the superintendent (Frank J. Coleman) orders the bottles thrown out. The attendant (Albert Austin) takes him literally and throws the bottles out the window where they end up inside the water spring below. In the meantime, Charlie makes his rounds about the resort, encountering an attractive woman (Edna Purviance) being annoyed by the burly gout (Eric Campbell), thus, saving the day by becoming a big annoyance for the big man and hero to the girl. Later at the massage parlor, Charlie begins to have second thoughts of treatment when witnessing how the sadistic masseur (Henry Bergman) works on one of his customers. Following a series of unforeseen circumstances, Edna, whose about to meet with Charlie, discovers, to her disbelief, the refined residents and attendants having way too much fun for themselves in the lobby without knowing the reason why. And if that isn't enough!!!

While there's not much plot nor character background development to go around, THE CURE is non-stop comedy, pure and simple. The carefully planned-out gags are enough to guarantee solid laughs with Chaplin stock character types in their proper roles for background support. As much as Chaplin is the sole attraction when it comes to both character and gags, Eric Campbell should not go unnoticed for his achievement in villainous comedy. Campbell, better known in later years as "Chaplin's Goliath," partakes in some of the greatest sight gags imaginable, including the revolving door, his reaction towards Charlie's misconducts involving his bandaged foot, his involvement with Charlie in both lobby and massage parlor, his trip down the stairs in a wheelchair, among others. Aside from Edna Purviance as Chaplin's frequent female co-star, other members of the cast include James T. Kelly, John Rand, Janet Miller Sully and Loyal Underwood.

In the well documented three-part 1983 documentary, "Unknown Chaplin," there are some detailed moments capturing behind the scenes preparation for THE CURE, with Chaplin directing various sequences that were rehearsed and filmed, but not making it to the final print, and how changes to THE CURE developed into what has become one of Chaplin's finest gems, especially when properly scored on the musical soundtrack.

When presented on public television in the sixties and seventies, this and other Chaplin's Mutual comedies (1916-17) were broadcast with sound effects and musical score taken from 1930s reissue prints. For THE CURE, underscoring consisted of current hit tunes of the day ranging from "Happy Feet" to "Happy Days Are Here Again." These reissue prints later became part of the Blackhawk/ Republic Home Video package dating back to the 1980s. In latter years, Chaplin's Mutual comedies were restored to accurate silent projection speed (25 minutes) with new orchestral score from KINO Video, the prints that have played on Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: December 6, 1999). After listening to different scores from various distributors, nothing comes off better than those orchestrated ones from Blackhawk for that bad scoring takes away the impact for such a fine comedy, considering how these twelve Chaplin shorts for Mutual are simply the cure for what ales you. (****)


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