The Cure

The Cure (1917)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Slapstick  |   Release Date - Apr 16, 1917 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 24 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Phil Posner

In Charlie Chaplin's 10th film in his series for Lone Star/Mutual, and one of the funniest, he plays a gentleman of means who is at a health spa to take the cure, presumably for his alcoholism. His costume is somewhat different from that of his classic Tramp's: he wears a light-colored jacket and a straw boater. The baggy pants and oversize shoes are there and his derby is in evidence in his trunk. The main feature of the sanatorium is the health-spring well, around which the rich guests sit and take the waters. Charlie is pushed onto the scene in a wheelchair and soon gets caught up in a revolving door, where he traps and incurs the anger of a large, gouty patient, Eric Campbell. Shown to his room by an attendant, he is present when his trunk is delivered and he checks the contents for damage -- bottle upon bottle of liquor, which astonishes the elderly bellhop who delivers it. Taken down to the well again he's cajoled by another attendant (Albert Austin) and a pretty nurse to try the waters, resulting in his immediate departure to his room for a drink. The bellhop has obviously been into the trunk, and Charlie ejects the old fellow. He makes his way downstairs where he encounters a beautiful fellow visitor (Edna Purviance), rescuing her from the advances of the amorous Campbell, almost getting himself thrown off the premises. Edna steps in to rescue him, refuting Campbell's protestations to the manager. Charlie is brought to the steam room/gymnasium, where a huge masseur, Henry Bergman, terrifies him as he works on a rubbery fellow-patient (actually a contortionist Chaplin hired for the part). He escapes damage himself as he mock-wrestles with the burly masseur and his assistant and pushes everyone, including Campbell, into the pool. Meanwhile the manager searches Charlie's room, and, finding the trunk full of liquor and the drunk bellhop in the bed, orders all the liquor thrown away. This is done by the now equally drunk Austin who has obviously been partaking of Charlie's stash. He throws the bottles out the window and into the health spa well. Now sober, Charlie departs the gym, but in the lobby there's a party going on -- the waters have had "a strange effect" and everyone but Charlie and Edna are drunk. Charlie rescues Edna again from the clutches of two aggressive drunks, and the two repair to the well to escape the festivities. Edna urges Charlie to drink from the spring to keep sober for her sake. Eagerly downing jug after glass of the spiked waters transforms Charlie, and he begins to chase Edna too, but he gets caught up in the revolving door and ends up revolving his way all the way to the gym and into the pool. The next morning the hangover reigns supreme over all the guests. Edna apologizes to Charlie for making him drink the water that was full of liquor, and at her entreaty, Charlie promises not to sample the waters again. The two walk off confidently, arm in arm, until Charlie steps into the well, bobbing up and down as the film fades out.




patient [medical], wheelchair, door, alcoholism, cure