MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,708 this week

Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  2 March 1940 (USA)
7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 958 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 7 critic

True story of the doctor who considered it was not immoral to search for a drug that would cure syphillis.

Director:

Writers:

(original screen play), (original screen play), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 24 Dec 2010
 
list image
a list of 92 titles
created 23 Jan 2012
 
a list of 533 titles
created 14 Nov 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)

Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mrs. Ehrlich
...
...
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
Charles Halton ...
Sensenbrenner
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

medical | libel | serum | laboratory | syphilis | See more »

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Dr. Ehrlich's family was so happy with Edward G. Robinson's portrayal of him that they gave Robinson a letter written by Dr. Ehrlich. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Dr. Paul Ehrlich: [about his fellow doctors] To argue with them is like discussing colors with the color-blind.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Magic Bullets (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Kunsterleben, Op. 316 (Artist's Life)
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauß
Played at Madame Speyer's dinner party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Warner Brothers' courageous bio of a gifted and important scientist
23 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet" is the story of the groundbreaking Nobel prize winner Paul Ehrlich, credited with many discoveries still critical in the practice of medicine today, and perhaps most importantly, for finding the cure for syphilis. This is an important film for the use of the word 'syphilis' which was the basis of a fight between the Hays code and Warners. But Ehrlich's story deserved telling, and you couldn't do it without using the word syphilis.

The beginning of the film shows Dr. Ehrlich in Germany futilely treating patients who have the disease, though nothing can really help them. It chronicles his rise up the scientific ranks through his use of staining organisms so that they could be seen under the microscope, his work in disease resistance, and finally, after long experiments with an arsenical compound - 606, in fact - the discovery of a cure for syphilis.

For me, one reason to watch bios is that I develop interest in the subjects and seek out more information; after all, some Hollywood stories are less factual than others. Though I'm sure a lot of Ehrlich's life had to be telescoped, the film certainly hits the highlights, and portrays him as a gifted scientist and vigorous innovator obsessed with his work.

Edward G. Robinson was always a good actor in the right role, but as Dr. Ehrlich, he is magnificent, totally immersing himself in the character and drawing the audience in. Stage actress Ruth Gordon, for whom movie stardom was about 28 years off, gives a lovely, understated performance as Ehrlich's wife. The rest of the cast is excellent, from Otto Kruger as a fellow scientist and friend, right down to a small role by Louis Calhern.

The movie is a little too sentimental at times by today's standards, I suppose, but the only thing that really bothered me was the lack of presence of Ehrlich's daughters at the film's end. At the beginning of the movie, we see them as youngsters, and reference is made to them later as being married. Would it have killed Warners to have two female extras at the end of the film? We would have known who they were.

I don't know if Ehrlich really said that diseases of the body will not be conquered until we conquer diseases of the soul, but it's a great and true thought. He was in fact a victim of a disease of the soul: there was a street in Frankfurt named after him, but the name was changed in the '30s because Ehrlich was Jewish. Later, it was reinstated.

This is a marvelous movie, a real must-see.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Soft Peddling Anti-Semitism mdudnikov
Discuss Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?