Down to Earth ★★★

Douglas Fairbanks, healthy in mind and body, self reliant, and thriving on exercise, takes a group of hypochondriacs to a “desert island” and cures them of their mostly imaginary illnesses using fresh air, isolation, and hard work as the medicine.

Fairbanks’ films of the teens featured his characterization of the strong, vibrant, and positive thinking all-American boy. The film derives from a play, The Admirable Crichton (1902; J.M. Barrie), in which a group of aristocrats are marooned on an island and come to accept hard work and communal living under the leadership of their former butler.

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