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Charlie Chaplin's "The Cure"


Charlie Chaplin's 60th Film Released April 16 1917 The Cure is a short comedy film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin plays a drunk who checks into a health spa to dry out, but his suitcase full of alcohol does not aid him in this pursuit. Along the way he aggravates a large man and seduces a young lady, as Chaplin's characters are often wont to do. The film featured Chaplin's frequent co-stars Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Henry Bergman, John Rand, James T. Kelley, Albert Austin, and Frank J. Coleman.

The Cure is a 1917 short comedy film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin.


Chaplin plays a drunkard who checks into a health spa to dry out, but brings along a big suitcase full of alcohol. Along the way he aggravates a large man suffering from gout, evades him and encounters a beautiful young woman who encourages him to stop drinking. However, when the hotel owner learns his employees are getting drunk off Charlie's liquor, he calls an employee and orders him to have the liquor thrown out the window.
The drunk employee hurls the bottles through the window, straight into the spa's health waters. The well becomes spurious with alcohol, sending the spa's inhabitants into a dancing stupor. Chaplin, encouraged by his new love to get sober, drinks from the spurious spa, gets drunk and offends her. She leaves him in anger and walks away. Charlie walks back to the door unsteadily, when he bumps into the large man, tripping him off his wheel chair and landing him into the alcoholic well.
The next morning there are plenty of hangovers, but Chaplin turns sober, walks out and finds the lady. Realizing what had happened, she forgives him. They walk ahead, just then he accidentally steps into the liquor-laden well.
One introduction which has since been added to the film explains that in 1917 drunkenness was a serious problem in the working class, so to keep it funny Chaplin changed from his "Little Tramp" character to an upper-class fop. Gout was at the time believed to be a disease of the wealthy, which is why Eric Campbell (actor)'s character has it.

Sound version

In 1932, Amedee Van Beuren of Van Beuren Studios, purchased Chaplin's Mutual comedies for $10,000 each, added music by Gene Rodemich and Winston Sharples and sound effects, and re-released them through RKO Radio Pictures. Chaplin had no legal recourse to stop the RKO release.

Preservation status

On September 4, 2013 a missing part of the end of the film was found and will be released on a future DVD. A restored version of The Cure was presented at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival on January 11, 2014.


  • Charlie Chaplin as The Inebriate
  • Edna Purviance as The Girl
  • Eric Campbell (actor) as The Man with the Gout
  • Henry Bergman as Masseur
  • John Rand (actor) as Sanitarium Attendant
  • James T. Kelley as Sanitarium Attendant
  • Albert Austin as Sanitarium Attendant
  • Frank J. Coleman as Head of Sanitarium

See also

  • Charlie Chaplin filmography

  • Category:1917 films
    Category:American films
    Category:1910s comedy films
    Category:American comedy films
    Category:American silent short films
    Category:Black-and-white films
    Category:Films about alcoholism
    Category:Films directed by Charlie Chaplin

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