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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
When Mr. Unpronounceable is dead, you can see him breathing. See more »
[Poultney Dab collapses in the street in front of the San]
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg:
Poult, I believe you've suffered a heart attack.
[checks his pulse]
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg:
Worse, much worse, you're dead, sir. Could you have picked a better place to die, Poult? Instead of out here in the street in front of everybody? Some poster child for biological living you are!
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I can't believe some of the reviews I've read on this site about The Road to Wellville. Some people complain that it was crude and disgusting, others complain that it didn't have a coherent plot, and still others whine that it wasn't historically accurate (concerning Dr. Kellogg's methods). Those reviewers clearly missed the boat.
As for those who thought the movie was crude and disgusting, what did you expect from a comedy set in a turn-of-the-century health sanitorium run by a well meaning but eccentric doctor? Such a movie is bound to contain scenes of patients vomiting, getting enemas, and having a sexual tryst or two, just as undoubtedly occurred in many health sanitoriums at that time. Furthermore, none of those scenes were graphic, so I don't understand anybody being offended by them.
As for complaints that the movie didn't have a coherent plot, it didn't need one. It was a comedy, not a drama! The health sanitorium setting was a perfect vehicle for satirizing turn-of-the-century attitudes about health, and it was the dialogue and comedic situations that held the movie together and kept it moving, not its plot.
Finally, for those who complain that the movie wasn't historically accurate about Dr. Kellogg's actual methods (such as his character's use of electric-powered machines for health therapy), the movie was a comedy, not a biography! It was meant to elicit laughs, and in that respect it was a smashing success. I haven't laughed so much during a movie in a long time.
Some people should take Sargeant Hulka's ("Stripes") advice and "lighten up." Good comedy is not dependent on plot or historical accuracy to be entertaining; all that matters is that it's funny, and Wellville was one of the funniest comedies I've ever seen.
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