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A madcap portrayal of William Lightbody's stay at the health farm run by cereal king Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. William's wife, Eleanor, has persuaded him to go to Kellogg to have his system cleaned of impurities. Kellogg is very unconventional, and almost barbaric in his treatments. Written by
A Comedy Concerning A Popular Historical Health Through Eating Fadist
I rate the picture highly simply because it evokes the period and attitudes so interestingly. The tongue-in-cheek narrative follows the experiences of several people in and around the Battle Creek (Michigan) Sanitarium, that was operated as a health spa by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. A member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Dr. Kellogg was a firm believer in vegetarianism, no smoking, no drinking, regular exercise and abstinence from sexual activity as the roadmap to a healthy life. Much of what he was peddling was unscientific bushwa. But he did invent the breakfast cornflake, although it was his brother who successfully marketed it. The movie is set just after the turn of the 20th century, when the town of Battle Creek was host to dozens of wannabees who attempted to develop and market their own vegetarian breakfast foods. A well-meaning but gullible young man arrives to cash in on the breakfast food craze. A troubled young married couple visit the "San" to cure the man of his bowel troubles. Both find gratification not of the kind generally permissible under Dr. Kellogg's regime. The Dr.'s own family, that consists of he, his wife, and dozens of adopted children, is uniquely dysfunctional. One uncooperative child opposes the Dr. early on and later demonstrates peculiarly and emphatically what, exactly, in Dr. Kellogg he found repulsive. The movie is about sex. The regime is sexually repressive yet one finds sexual tension relieved at every turn. But, alas, there are no car chases.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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