I just saw this underappreciated movie on network TV-it is a scream! Anthony Hopkins as the demented Dr. Kellogg was fantastic! I also liked the role that John Cusack played…good performances all around. I understand the movie was a pretty factual look at D. Kellogg’s sanatorium at the turn of the 20th century, and that Dr. kellogg was convinced that the eating of meat was the greatest source of human disease. I have a few questions:
-did Dr. Kellogg invent all of those breakfast cereals?
-where did they get allof those hilarious machines? I particularly liked that machine that electrocuted the Russian count! …“more amperage please”
-did rich people actually stay for a year or more at the sanatorium? It must have made them feel better!
-was eating meat really dangerous in 1900? I expect the lack of modern refidgeration made storing fresh meat pretty iffy-did a lot of people die from food poisoning?
Finally, did Dr. Kellogg actually believe that sex was dangerous?
The flick has to be seen to be believed…who played the cereal con man ? (the guy who defrauded John Cusack)?

<Finally, did Dr. Kellogg actually believe that sex was dangerous?
Yes he did,i’m sure someone has a better cite but he believed that masturbation was the cause of basically every disease.

He also wrote a book in which he recommended circumcision for males and burning out the clitrois and labia with acids for females,to stop it.

**-did Dr. Kellogg invent all of those breakfast cereals? **
Actually, his brother William came up with the corn flakes you know today but both brothers began with a cereal like flake that was copied by nearly 40 different companies (including what you know now as Post ceareal company). Actually they did not invent Frosted Flakes or Rice Krispies or any others. Those came much later made by the company his brother founded, Kellogg’s.

-where did they get all of those hilarious machines?
-If you look at the time he was in, the realm of quackary clashed with standard medicine daily. Everything from electrocution to submerging in freezing water to shaking the crap outta you in a chair was supposed to cure huge amounts of ailments. John Henry was actually quite a successful abdominal surgeon with large success even while mortality rates were high in all surgery (hence why Matthew Broddricks character survived the doctors surgery much to his surprise).

But with this success, John had his own beliefs that bordered a lot on quack practices. For a time, Kellogg promoted “Fletcherizing” or chewing food until it slithered down the throat. He changed his mind about Fletcherizing when he decided that excessive chewing destroyed the fiber content of the food.
One of which biggest obsessions was with the colon and bowel and the funky ways of trying to free up ailments as you see in the movie.

A quote from a colleague:
*From his earliest days as a doctor, Kellogg was fascinated with the bowel. “It was his favorite piece of anatomy,” John Deutsch has written, “his first love.” It held him in rapture. Once, when an Adventist interrogator framed all of his medical questions in terms of religious beliefs, Kellogg turned on him:

“Is God a man with two arms and legs like me?” he demanded. “Does He have eyes, a head? Does He have bowels?”

“No,” the Adventist answered, deeply offended.
“Well I do,” cried Kellogg," and that makes me more wonderful than He is!"
It was the bowel that got Kellogg’s undivided medical attention. Ninety percent of all illness, he would calmly explain, originated in the stomach and bowel. “The putrefactive changes which recur in the undigested residues of flesh foods” were to blame, he explained. Guests who arrived at Battle Creek soon learned that their once-pristine bowel was now a sewer of autointoxication, full of poisons like creatin, skatol and indol.
Kellogg’s influence and enthusiasm made the bowel not only an acceptable subject of polite conversation, but a national obsession. More and more people became convinced that their bowel must be given an antiseptic cleansing. Autointoxication begone! The medical wizard of Battle Creek could provide the answer. The bowel, poisoned by meat-eating, drinking, smoking and usually anything pleasurable, was poked, prodded and otherwise assaulted by attendants at the San.
Kellogg made sure that the bowel of each and every patient was plied with water, from above and below. His favorite device was an enema machine (“just like one I saw in Germany”) that could run fifteen gallons of water through an unfortunate bowel in a matter of seconds. Every water enema was followed by a pint of yogurt – half was eaten, the other half was administered by enema “thus planting the protective germs where they are most needed and may render most effective service.” The yogurt served to replace “the intestinal flora” of the bowel, creating what Kellogg claimed was a squeaky clean intestine.
If a healthy dollop of yogurt was not enough to do the trick, more drastic steps were necessary. If autointoxication persisted and poisons remained, the offending stretch of intestine was removed. Kellogg performed as many as twenty operations a day.
The result, Kellogg claimed, was nothing short of medical revolution. By pumping yogurt cultures into the rectums of America’s well to do, Kellogg claimed that he had managed to cure “cancer of the stomach, ulcers, diabetes, schizophrenia, manic depressives, acne, anemia … asthenia, migraine and premature old age.” There was nothing a clean bowel couldn’t handle.*
But it was not all him by no means. It was just the time they lived in as well as a well meaning but nonetheless slightly off kilter belief system developed by a doctor.

-did rich people actually stay for a year or more at the sanatorium?
-Yes indeed, and the sanitorium (which John actually coined the phrase) could house up to 600-700 people.

-was eating meat really dangerous in 1900?-did a lot of people die from food poisoning
-Yes and no…generally meat was packed in salt to keep it from spoiling but the time it could be used was still greatly reduced from modern refrigeration today. Food poisoning was great but there was no huge rise at anytime during that certain timeline, its always been around. It was the early days of mass canning and botulism did have a big effect on posiing cases but I believe there was enough ‘rule of thumb’ cooks to know when something did not smell or look right to prevent a huge spike in poisoning cases.

**Finally, did Dr. Kellogg actually believe that sex was dangerous? **
-Very true. He believed all fornication was bad and abistinence was your only way. That included masturbation and even sex in marriage (yea his wife did not get any!).

Unca Cece has done a column about him, I believe, and he was pretty whacked out. As for the actor you’re looking for, his name is Michael Lerner, and I have to say that out of the listed movies he’s done that I’ve seen, The Road to Wellville is probably his best role. As for the quack devices, I don’t know for certain, but I’d wadger that all of them did exist. Whether or not they were used at “The San” I don’t know, it seems reasonable to believe that some of them would have been. Oh, and you simply must watch the unedited version (I’m assuming they cut the nude scenes out)! Matthew Broderick’s hallucinations of Nurse Graves naked ( :cool: ) are well worth the price of the rental or purchase! (And seeing that its finally out on DVD, I’m most definately going to have to get a copy, my video tape’s about shot!)

“I was massaging my colon!” <—Favorite quote, uttered by none other than Chief O’Brien (long before he got a job on the Enterprise)

In the book “The Road to Wellville” (hardback edition) there is a picture of a group of people who are holding funnels to their mouth/nose, inhaling the contents within. The funnels are attached to a machine/box that is clearly labeled “Radium.” :eek:

Actually, Colm Meaney was playing O’Brien on Star Trek:TNG (1987-1993) for years before “Road to Wellville” (1994) came out.

I actually had a copy of one of Kellogg’s books, called “Cleansing the colon.” It was hilarious. A lot of talk about the strange things he had seen come out of people’s bowels. One person had 'thick ropey black things that looked like snakes - we tried to cut them with a knife, but they could not be cut!"

I actually had a copy of one of Kellogg’s books, called “Cleansing the colon.” It was hilarious. A lot of talk about the strange things he had seen come out of people’s bowels. One person had 'thick ropey black things that looked like snakes - we tried to cut them with a knife, but they could not be cut!"

Anybody remember the scene where Dr. Kellogg examines’s the poor guy’s schlong with that vibrating platform? He Dr. Kellogg) then prescibes a yoghurt enema! 15 gallons of yoghurt pumped up the poor guy’s ass!
Dr. Kellogg must have killed many of his patients!