Down to Earth (1917)

Genres - Adventure, Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Comedy, Romantic Adventure  |   Run Time - 68 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Douglas Fairbanks recalls James M. Barrie's The Admirable Crichton in the 1917 silent Down to Earth. Billy Gaynor (Fairbanks) takes over an asylum where his girl, Ethel (Eileen Percy), is resting after a supposed nervous breakdown. "Doctor" Gaynor realizes that Ethel is perfectly healthy; all that's wrong with her is that she has become soft and spoiled thanks to modern living and too-rigid adherence to passing fads and foibles. He arranges for Ethel and the rest of the hypochondriac patients to take an ocean voyage, then stages a shipwreck, forcing these pampered creatures to fend for themselves on a "desert island" (actually a wooded glade just off a main California highway). Sunshine and hard work does more good for the patients than all the psychiatrists and so-called experts in the world. Having proven his point, Billy claims his girl and bids the other patients a jaunty farewell.

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Keywords

asylum [mental hospital], doctor, mental-illness, poor-little-rich-kid, psychiatry, rescue, shipwreck, spoiled, wilderness