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A comedic 1994 film about some early twentieth-century visitors to a singular health sanitarium run by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the
crankish iconoclastic inventor of the corn flake. Kellogg is played by Anthony Hopkins, and in his own way is almost as scary as Hannibal Lecter. Fellow star Matthew Broderick is reported to consider this film an Old Shame.
Based on a novel by American author T. Coraghessan Boyle.
- Acid Reflux Nightmare Will Lightbody suffers from these in the early parts of the novel due to a bad ulcer and being a recovering opium addict.
- All-Star Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Matthew Broderick, Bridget Fonda, John Cusack and Colm Meaney!
- Animal Wrongs Group: Kind of. Doctor Kellogg thinks it's possible to make wolves to vegetarians. Then, he proudly presents a quite emaciated-looking wolf who doesn't want to eat meat anymore. (Even scarier if you wonder what he may have done to make the wolf abhor from eating meat.) This may have inspired a similar scene in Futurama.
- In the novel, there's also a chimpanzee at the sanitarium that's been "conditioned" against eating meat in the same way, i.e. by offering it to them and then beating them until they cringe at the sight of it. During the climax, both of them escape and maul Dr. Kellogg.
- Ass Shove
Kellogg: Nurse Graves?
Graves: Yes Doctor?
Kellogg: Take Mister Lightbody immediately to the yogurt room and give him fifteen gallons.
Lightbody: Oh no, no. I can't eat fifteen gallons of yogurt.
Kellogg: Oh it's not going in that end, Mr. Lightbody.
- Babies Ever After
- Chew Toy: Poor Charles just can't catch a break.
- Black Comedy: The movie runs on this.
- Bunny Ears Lawyer Dr Kellogg himself, apparently.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Kellogg's assistant tries to politely warn him that George is throwing 'projectiles' at the sanitarium's guests. When Kellogg presses him as to what the 'projectiles' are, he panics and blurts out, "HE'S THROWING BOXES OF SHIT AT THE GUESTS!"
- Con Artist: Bender, Bender, Bender. He spends all the Perfo company's seed money on his expensive hotel room, booze and fine dining, while convincing Charles that he needs to glad-hand to get support for the company. In the end, he disappears, leaving Charles with an empty coffer and his enormous hotel bill, and wanted by the police.
- Death by Irony: Dr. Kellogg, dying of a heart attack while trying to prove how healthy he is.
- Even the Rats Won't Touch It: A group of somewhat shady businessmen try to produce a new brand of cornflakes, in competition with the very John Kellogg. Since their... products are anything but tasty, they feed them to some pigs. Who won't eat it either.
- Fan Disservice
- Fur and Loathing
- Henpecked Husband: Will Lightbody.
- Herr Doctor Dr. Spizvogel unt seins Handhabung Therapeutic!
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Colm Meaney plays a sleazy vegetarian activist.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: In the book, 1907 Battle Creek is reminiscent of 1999 Silicon Valley, with cereal manufacturing companies instead of dot-coms.
- The Insomniac: The novel and film both open with Will Lightbody suffering from severe insomnia due to his ulcer and opium withdrawal.
- Kick the Dog: Kellogg does this in the climax of the novel when he drowns his rebellious adopted son George in a vat of macadamia nut butter.
- Also in the film, when his associate dies of a heart attack in front of the sanitarium:
Kellogg: ...You're dead, sir. Could you have picked a better place to die, Poult? Instead of out here in the street in front of everybody? Some poster child for biological living you are! [kicks him]
- Large Ham Dr. Kellogg
- Nausea Fuel: The movie jumps from a shot of Will Lightbody receiving an enema to a shot of dark beer being poured into a glass.
- Also note that Kellogg grabs Will's tongue with the same gloves he wore while handling a stool sample earlier.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Mrs Lightbody made her husband take a medicine against his lack of appetite. Which contained mostly alcohol, so he became The Alcoholic. Wanting to fix that problem, she found another medicine that promised to cure alcoholism. Which it did - only problem: It contained opium.
- Also Dr. Kellogg's 'treatment' for Ida Muntz's 'greensickness' - radium enemas. She dies of radiation poisoning.
- No Sex Allowed: One of Dr. Kellogg's most vocal proscriptions. In the movie, and in Real Life, he condemned all forms of sexual intercourse, even for procreation, as being unhealthy.
- Politically-Correct History
- Spared by the Adaptation: In the novel, Dr. Kellogg kills George.
- Squick: The novel's depiction of Homer Praetz getting electrocuted in the 'sinusoidal bath'. His eyes explode and he bites off his tongue.
- Steampunk The medical gadgetry, theories & practices seem farfetched enough to count.
- The Edwardian Era
- The Unpronounceable That's Mr. Unpronouncable
- Upperclass Twit Endymion Hart-Jones