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Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | 2 March 1940 (USA)
True story of the doctor who considered it was not immoral to search for a drug that would cure syphillis.

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Writers:

(original screen play), (original screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Maria Ouspenskaya ...
Montagu Love ...
Sig Ruman ...
Dr. Hans Wolfert (as Sig Rumann)
...
Mittelmeyer
Henry O'Neill ...
Dr. Lentz
Albert Bassermann ...
Edward Norris ...
Dr. Morgenroth
...
Judge
...
Dr. Brockdorf
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Dr. Kunze
...
Sensenbrenner
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HE DREAMED THE GREATEST ADVENTURE MAN HAD EVER KNOWN...and made that dream come true! (original print ad - mostly caps) See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doktor Ehrlich  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film generated controversy because many thought the subject of syphilis too scandalous a topic for a motion picture in 1940. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Ehrlich (Edward G. Robinson) is on trial, the prosecutor says: "We are not concerned with the rosy future Dr. Ehrlich paints; the revelant point is..." What he meant to say was "relevant". See more »

Quotes

Defense Attorney: So while no cures can be attributed to '606,' 38 deaths resulted from it's use?
Dr. Emil Von Behring: 39.
Defense Attorney: 39? You know of another death?
Dr. Emil Von Behring: Yes, syphilis. The death of syphilis itself.
Dr. Hans Wolfert: Dr. von Behring you have written and lectured against the Ehrlich theory.
Dr. Emil Von Behring: Yes, I did, Dr. Wolfert, but you must understand it is the task of science to discover the truth. There is no shame attached to the recognition of error.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dick Van Dyke Show: What's in a Middle Name? (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Du, du liegst mir im Herzen
(uncredited)
Traditional 19th century German folk song
Played on piano by Hedy at the end
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
an intelligent and interesting movie that was ahead of its time
6 June 2005 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

It's very hard to believe that this movie was made in 1940, as much of the plot centers on Dr. Ehrlich's attempts to create a cure for syphilis. At times, the studio appeared to dance around the whole STD aspect of the disease, but it was extremely daring to try to cover such a taboo topic.

It's actually quite amazing that a story as seemingly mundane and medical research is as compelling as it is. I think this is due to excellent directing, writing and acting. In particular, Edward G. Robinson is a standout as the lead. This movie clearly demonstrates that his range far exceeded playing gangsters or that annoying Egyptian in The Ten Commandments.


23 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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