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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:

Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
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Cast

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

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1917 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Water Cure See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lone Star Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Alternate Versions

Kino International distributes a set of videos containing all the 12 Mutual short films made by Chaplin in 1916 - 1917. They are presented by David H. Shepard, who copyrighted the versions in 1984, and have a music soundtrack composed and performed by Michael D. Mortilla who copyrighted his score in 1989. The running time of this film is 24 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Chaplin's Goliath (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not just another drunken role…
26 April 2008 | by Anonymous_MaxineSee all my reviews

Before Chaplin got into films, he was well known on the English stage for his roles playing a drunk, yet these roles are undeniably the weakest performances of his early film career. The movie opens with him stumbling all over himself as an exasperated bellhop tries in vain to lead him into a hotel. There is the obligatory mayhem involved in getting through a revolving door, which goes on for as long as it can. Chaplin seems to have an almost prophetic knack for milking a gag until there's nothing left! Once inside, what seemed like just another drunk movie turns delightfully into something else.

Charlie reprimands a bellhop about to light a cigarette, and wags his finger at him, reminding him that smoking is bad for you health, and then casually opens a suitcase packed to the brim with every kind of alcohol imaginable. Needless to say, soon the bellhop doesn't seem to smoke much anymore, but spends most of his remaining screen time falling over drunk off of booze that he apparently "borrowed" from Charlie's suitcase. And by the way, seeing all of those bottles of 1917 alcohol reminds me of a long standing wish that I could have tasted Coca-Cola back in the old days, when it lived up to its name…

Soon Charlie checks into one of those establishments where you go to relax in the pool, spa, sauna, or get a massage, etc. I'm not sure what they're called in English, but I know that in Chinese it translates to "bath house." It's interesting to me to see what the place was like, because when I lived in America I never really spent much time in them, although I have been to some astonishingly nice ones in Colombia and China. It may be the third world, but I guess when a sizable portion of the population has no shower at home, public bathing spots are big business. There's an amusing scene involving a swimming pool and then a frighteningly vicious massage, which appears to be a mandatory experience in this particular bath house, and the massive masseuse chases Charlie all over the place, ultimately flat out fighting with him.

But the best part of the film is that Charlie doesn't just play a drunk, we see him the next morning, and his actual dependency on alcohol is brilliantly portrayed. There is a scene where he charms a young woman off her feet, and she offers him a drink which at first he refuses, given that he's still recovering from the night before. But he takes a sip anyway, and then downs the rest of the glass and pours himself another, eventually taking the whole jug and drinking it down in front of the young lady, who is unimpressed. It mirrors the end of the film, which quite literally illustrates the message of the movie, which is that too much alcohol will lead to your life falling "in the drink."


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