The Road to Wellville (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Road to Wellville (1994)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Road to Wellville Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

This adaptation of the comic novel by T. Coraghessan Boyle is the story of real-life Corn Flakes inventor Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (Anthony Hopkins), an eccentric health nut in the early 20th century. Convinced of the benefits of holistic health practices (mostly involving irrigation of the bowels and colon), Kellogg opens a spa in Battle Creek, Michigan that immediately attracts the well-to-do of his time, including Will (Matthew Broderick) and Eleanor Lightbody (Bridget Fonda). A young couple with sexual and marital problems, the Lightbodys aren't helped much by the forced separation of sexes at Kellogg's sanitarium, and the situation is further exacerbated by Will's obliging nurse (Traci Lind) and Eleanor's encounters with a group of German sex therapists. Also at the spa are Charles Ossining (John Cusack), an ambitious con man who sees a fortune in Kellogg's cereal, and the unwashed, cretinous George Kellogg (Dana Carvey), one of the doctor's several dozen adopted children. A spoof as obsessed as its protagonist with its scatological subject matter, The Road to Wellville was an unusual effort for director-composer Alan Parker, known better for darker dramatic material and musicals.more
Rating: R
Genre: Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Alan Parker
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 10, 2002
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Anthony Hopkins
as Dr. John Harvey Kell...
Bridget Fonda
as Eleanor Lightbody
Matthew Broderick
as Will Lightbody
John Cusack
as Charles Ossining
Dana Carvey
as George Kellogg
Michael Lerner
as Goodloe Bender
Colm Meaney
as Dr. Lionel Badger
John Neville
as Endymion Hart-Jones
Traci Lind
as Nurse Irene Graves
Camryn Manheim
as Virginia Cranehill
Roy Brocksmith
as Poultney Dab
Norbert Weisser
as Dr. Spitzvogel
Monica Parker
as Mrs. Tindermarsh
Jacob Reynolds
as Young George Kellogg
Michael Goodwin
as Dr. Frank Linniman
Marshall Erwin Efron
as Bartholomew Bookbind...
Alexander Slanksnis
as Mr. Unpronounceable
Carole Shelley
as Mrs. Hookstratten
Gabriel Barre
as Desk Clerk
Robert Tracey
as Ernest O'Reilly
Ann Tucker
as Hannah
Jemila Ericson
as Mrs. Kellogg
Joanne Pankow
as Laughing Lady
George Nannarello
as 2nd Reporter
James Bigwood
as 3rd Reporter
David Kraus
as Laughing Instructor
D. Anthony Pender
as Waiter on Train
Mary Lucy Bivins
as Woman on Train
Richard H. Thornton
as Mr. Abernathy
Lisa Altomare
as Mrs. Portois
Jim Bath
as Bartender
Madeline Shaw
as 1st Waitress
Barbara Phillips
as 2nd Waitress
Lindsay Hutchinson B...
as Breathing Instructor
John Henry Scott
as Bath Attendant
Richard K. Olsen
as Fox Fur Man
Ann Deagon
as Fox Fur Woman
Thomas Myers Jr.
as Process Server
Beth Bostic
as Miss Jarvis
Kerry Maher
as Doorman
Sam Garner
as Farrington
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Road to Wellville

Critic Reviews for The Road to Wellville

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (10)

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

July 7, 2005
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 8, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Road to Wellville

Quirky comedy that suggests that most health fads are based, at root, on a desire for more sex, and further that most "professionals" in that game are willingly consenting. Except for the leader, here played with anal retentive glee by Anthony Hopkins, buck toothed, insistent on colonics for everyone, and strangely matched against Dana Carvey as his unhappy, rebellious, recaltrant adopted son. The star though is hapless Matthew Broderick as the outsider with whom we are introduced to the misguided cult and its adherents. John Cusack is in here too, though I'm unclear as to just why. It's kinda fun, but no more.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Another extravagantly underrated film, Funny & fun, A wonderful satire & a pretty good comedy with great perfs, I still feel that I've rated it a bit low, Don't miss this movie

Arash Xak

Super Reviewer


I can't believe some of the reviews I've read on this site about The Road to Wellville. Some people complain that it was crude and disgusting, others complain that it didn't have a coherent plot, and still others whine that it wasn't historically accurate (concerning Dr. Kellogg's methods). Those reviewers clearly missed the boat.

As for those who thought the movie was crude and disgusting, what did you expect from a comedy set in a turn-of-the-century health sanitorium run by a well meaning but eccentric doctor? Such a movie is bound to contain scenes of patients vomiting, getting enemas, and having a sexual tryst or two, just as undoubtedly occurred in many health sanitoriums at that time. Furthermore, none of those scenes were graphic, so I don't understand anybody being offended by them.

As for complaints that the movie didn't have a coherent plot, it didn't need one. It was a comedy, not a drama! The health sanitorium setting was a perfect vehicle for satirizing turn-of-the-century attitudes about health, and it was the dialogue and comedic situations that held the movie together and kept it moving, not its plot.

Finally, for those who complain that the movie wasn't historically accurate about Dr. Kellogg's actual methods (such as his character's use of electric-powered machines for health therapy), the movie was a comedy, not a biography! It was meant to elicit laughs, and in that respect it was a smashing success. I haven't laughed so much during a movie in a long time.

Some people should take Sargeant Hulka's ("Stripes") advice and "lighten up." Good comedy is not dependent on plot or historical accuracy to be entertaining; all that matters is that it's funny, and Wellville was one of the funniest comedies I've ever seen.

Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

The Road to Wellville Quotes

– Submitted by monsieur r (2 years ago)
– Submitted by monsieur r (2 years ago)

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