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The Cure (1917)

Unrated | | Short, Comedy | 16 April 1917 (USA)
An alcoholic checks into a health spa and his antics promptly throw the establishment into chaos.

Director:

(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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

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

Title Card: [opening title card] The health spring.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Unknown Chaplin: The Happiest Years (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"The waters have a strange effect"
18 March 2010 | by (Ruritania) – See all my reviews

At this time, he may have been making his most effective story-based short pictures like Easy Street and The Immigrant, but Charlie Chaplin still had time for a good old chaotic mess around, such as was the staple in his days at Essanay studios.

In fact The Cure is very much like his Essanay pictures, in that it takes an established environment, which Charlie's character then invades and turns topsy-turvy, much as he did in His New Job, Work, A Night in the Show and more. However it is done with the polish and professionalism of the Mutual pictures. The scene is set with a couple of brief images of prim Edwardian ladies sipping daintily at the waters of a health spa. This is the world Charlie will overturn. When Chaplin arrives we are treated to over five minutes of uninterrupted gags, all in a seamless flow. He lampoons revolving doors, pummelling masseurs, and of course Eric Campbell, before building up to a grand scale bit of mischief as the whole clientele and staff become unwittingly intoxicated. What makes it extra funny is the way Chaplin whirls around seemingly unaware of the trail of destruction he leaves behind him.

You can also see in The Cure how neat and effective Chaplin's use of space and timing is now. He first pulls up in a wheelchair quite far back in the shot. In the foreground is that badly-placed waterhole, like an accident waiting to happen. Chaplin builds up a kind of comic suspense in making us wonder how long it will be before he puts his foot in it. There's also a great little arrangement in the shot where Eric Campbell is flirting with Edna Purviance and Chaplin comes walking down the stairs. Campbell is the most animated in this shot, but the camera tilts down as Chaplin descends. Thus are eyes are drawn to Eric but we are also made conscious of Charlie's arrival on the scene.

There's little else to say – this is an all-round good effort, and perhaps Chaplin's best "just for fun" picture yet.

But we mustn't forget the all-important statistic – Number of kicks up the arse – 1 (1 for)


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