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The Road to Wellville (1994)

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A story about the ins and outs of one unusual health facility in the early twentieth century, run by the eccentric Dr. John Harvey Kellogg.

Director:

Alan Parker

Writers:

T. Coraghessan Boyle (novel), Alan Parker (screenplay)
Reviews
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Hopkins ... Dr. John Harvey Kellogg
Bridget Fonda ... Eleanor Lightbody
Matthew Broderick ... William Lightbody
John Cusack ... Charles Ossining
Dana Carvey ... George Kellogg
Michael Lerner ... Goodloe Bender
Colm Meaney ... Dr. Lionel Badger
John Neville ... Endymion Hart-Jones
Lara Flynn Boyle ... Ida Muntz
Traci Lind ... Nurse Irene Graves
Camryn Manheim ... Virginia Cranehill
Roy Brocksmith ... Poultney Dab
Norbert Weisser ... Dr. Spitzvogel
Monica Parker ... Mrs. Tindermarsh
Jacob Reynolds ... Young George Kellogg
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Storyline

A madcap portrayal of William Lightbody's (Matthew Broderick's) stay at the health farm run by cereal King Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (Sir Anthony Hopkins). William's wife, Eleanor (Bridget Fonda), 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 Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy of the heart and other organs.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sex-related humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 October 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Road to Wellville See more »

Filming Locations:

North Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,580,108, 30 October 1994

Gross USA:

$6,562,513

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,562,513
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Nicholson was considered to star as Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Unpronounceable is dead, you can see him breathing. See more »

Quotes

William Lightbody: Oh, no, no, I can't eat fifteen gallons of yoghurt.
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg: Oh, it's not going in that end, Mr. Lightbody.
See more »


Soundtracks

Canzonetta
By Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (as Felix Mendelssohn)
Arrangement by Alfred Pochon
Performed by The San String Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
one of the best comedies I've ever seen
5 March 2005 | by barnfife-1See all my reviews

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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