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
Ehrlich's cure for syphilis, Salvarsan 606, became the most prescribed drug in the world until the discovery of penicillin in the 1940s, when it became the preferred treatment for the disease. See more »
When Rhineland Chemical is shipping boxes of 606 to cities around the world, one box is labeled "St. Mary's Hospital, Sidney, Australia." A second box to a different hospital shows the city correctly spelled as Sydney. See more »
This film is generally forgotten because the only star in it that is remembered today is Edward G. Robinson. While he gives an outstanding performance, it is the entire cast who should receive accolades. Dieterle's direction, the photography, a truly excellent script and Steiner's music are all part of a near-perfect biography. Most highly recommended!
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