"Down to Earth" is a solidly entertaining Douglas Fairbanks vehicle. Around this time, he had a series of self-help books written under his name, reportedly, mostly for young boys, who were also his most reliable audience for his films (Jefferey Vance and Tony Maietta, "Douglas Fairbanks"). This film serves to give similar advice, in a humorous way. Doug decides to help a group of sanitarium patients become healthy, including the girl who rebuffs his advances. One thing that's always funny about these movies is the unexplained wealth of the lead; in this one, Fairbanks's character travels abroad and then escapes to his ranch to get over the girl's rebuke, and, then, he has no problem writing a check to buy just the patients from a sanitarium. He must be rich, but we never know how. Anyways, Doug decides to stage being trapped on a desert island with his patients to cure them, whether their ill be alcoholism, hypochondria, obesity, or other health problems due to lack of exercise and poor diet. The girl suffers from exhaustion from being a socialite and from smoking a lot-the smoking struck me as odd, since Fairbanks was in real life a heavy smoker, which likely contributed to his early death. Nevertheless, living near nature and using it as an example, to escape ills invented by society seems good advice.
Besides the appeal of Fairbanks's usual charm and exuberance and a serviceably amusing scenario, Anita Loos again touches up the picture with some witty and occasionally self-referential title cards. In the first scene, as a stock footage pan of a crowded arena is seen, one reads, "No, this is not a Pathé Weekly. It is part of our story. --- We first meet our boy and girl at a football game." Another title card reads, "Now good digestion wait on appetite, and health on both! ---Shakespeare again." Sometimes, Loos's writing gets even more poetic this time. But, I prefer the times when she exposes her films as an artificial construction with the turn of a phrase, such as this last response by one character: "There's nothing to do but go finish our nap - the story's over."