Dr. Paul Ehrlich was the German physician who developed the first synthetic antimicrobial drug, 606 or Salvarsan. The film describes how Ehrlich first became interested in the properties of the then-new synthetic dyes and had an intuition that they could be useful in the diagnosis of bacterial diseases. After this work met with success, Ehrlich proposed that synthetic compounds could be made to selectively target and destroy disease causing microorganisms. He called such a drug a "magic bullet". The film describes how in 1908, after 606 attempts, he succeeded. Written by
Dr. Sahachiro Hata, portrayed in the film by Wilfred Hari, is co-credited with Ehrlich in the development of Salvarsan 606. See more »
In this film's first part, newspaper headlines talk of diptheria (sic). Must be the same ones who spell "opthalmology" (sic). The etymology of both words comes from Greek which confirms an "h" which is missing in both misspellings. Properly spelled, they are "diphtheria" and "ophthalmology." See more »
Edward G. Robinson does for Ehrlich what Paul Muni did for Pasteur.
Hollywood in the 1930' s filmed the biographies of some of the world's greatest men. These recreations tower over the current A & E Biography series. The story of Dr. Ehrlich from staining the tubercular germ through the development of his theory of combating disease with so called magic bullets of chemicals is inspiring. His efforts in fighting Diphtheria and his long struggle against the devastating scourge of syphilis with a final discovery after 605 failed attempts is extremely rewarding.
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