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Down to Earth (1917)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 16 August 1917 (USA)
A healthy outdoors-type follows the girl he loves to a resort for wealthy hypochondriacs. In order to prove to her and the other patients that their "illnesses" are all in their minds, he ... See full summary »


John Emerson


John Emerson, Douglas Fairbanks (story) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview:
Douglas Fairbanks ... Billy Gaynor
Eileen Percy ... Ethel Forsythe
Gustav von Seyffertitz ... Dr. Jollyem
Charles McHugh Charles McHugh ... Dr. Samm
Charles K. Gerrard ... Charles Riddles - Ethel's Lover
William H. Keith William H. Keith ... Mr. Carter
Ruth Allen Ruth Allen ... Mrs. Fuller Jermes
Fred Goodwins Fred Goodwins ... Jordan Jinny
Florence Mayon Florence Mayon ... Mrs. Phattison Oiles
Herbert Standing Herbert Standing ... Mr. S.D. Dyspeptic
David Porter David Porter ... Mr. Coffin
Bull Montana ... Wild Man


A healthy outdoors-type follows the girl he loves to a resort for wealthy hypochondriacs. In order to prove to her and the other patients that their "illnesses" are all in their minds, he hatches a scheme to take them on a boat ride, then get them stranded in the wilderness, where he can show them that they can live without their pills, doctors and "cures". Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hypochondriac | See All (1) »


A satire on the indoor sports of society versus the close-to-nature idea. (Print Ad- Daily Republican, ((Cape Girardeau, Mo.)) 2 November 1917)


Comedy | Romance



Did You Know?


Film debut of Gustav von Seyffertitz. See more »


Referenced in Star Power: The Creation of United Artists (1998) See more »

User Reviews

Fairbanks boy scout - live healthy and die young
1 January 2018 | by kekseksaSee all my reviews

Although I am in general an admirer of the early comedies of Douglas Fairbanks and of the work of Loos and Emerson, this particular film represents the aspect of Fairbanks that I find least attractive -the rather facile advocate of optimism and self-help in the approved "boy scout" manner. In addition to this film Fairbanks produced a while stream of little books (ghost-written by the tubercular Kenneth Davenport), expounding his (extremely) home-spun philosophy of life. As his film were particularly aimed at an audience of young males, this "boy scout" image was was also an integral part of the Fairbanks system of self-publicity..

Davenport owed his tuberculosis in part to Fairbanks' open-air philosophy that he was now employed by a guilty Fairbanks to defend and might serve as a symbol of the somewhat fatuous nature of the Fairbanks philosophy. Fairbanks himself, despite his undeniable fitness and agility, as a young man, would die prematurely worn out at the early age of 58 after famously declaring ""I've never felt better.". He was not in the end quite such a good advert for the "boy scout" way of life.

Even at his feeblest, Fairbanks exudes charm and energy and the film has a certain distinctive quality that sets it apart from other "desert island" stories. One has to be a diehard Jeanette MacDonald fan or some kind of masochist to prefer the gruesomely corny musical comedy Let's Go Native, part (despite Leo McCarey) of the steady flow of detritus that flowed out of Hollywood in the immediate aftermath of the non-miracle of sound.

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None | English

Release Date:

16 August 1917 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Optimist See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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