7.5/10
1,146
27 user 10 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(original screen play), (original screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The biography of the pioneering French microbiologist who helped revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Paul Muni, Josephine Hutchinson, Anita Louise
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Starting with a small flock of carrier pigeons, nineteenth-century entrepreneur Julius Reuter turns his small company into Europe's most respected news wire service.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Edna Best, Eddie Albert
Madame Curie (1943)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Despite himself, accomplished physicist and avowed bachelor Pierre Curie falls for brilliant student Marie, and together they embark on the discovery of radium.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Albert Lewin
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Henry Travers
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

82 year old inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Alva Edison is honored in 1929 and he reflects back on his sixty year career of scientific achievement.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Rita Johnson, Lynne Overman
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Humble Abraham Lincoln gains the respect of his Illinois neighbors, growing in stature and respect until he is elected President in 1860 and departs for Washington.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart, Ruth Gordon
The Sea Wolf (1941)
Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Humphrey van Weyden, a writer, and fugitives Ruth Webster and George Leach have been given refuge aboard the sealer "Ghost," captained by the cruel Wolf Larsen. The crew mutinies against ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino, John Garfield
These Three (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two school teachers and the man they both love face ruin when a malicious student cooks up a lie.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon, Joel McCrea
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Signe Hasso, Hume Cronyn
Blackmail (1939)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

John Ingram, successful oil-field firefighter, is really a chain-gang escapee. Someone out of his past finds him...

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Ruth Hussey, Gene Lockhart
Sister Kenny (1946)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An Australian nurse discovers an effective new treatment for infantile paralysis, but experiences great difficulty in convincing doctors of the validity of her claims.

Director: Dudley Nichols
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Alexander Knox, Dean Jagger
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Chorus girl Eadie is determined to marry a millionaire without sacrificing her virtue.

Directors: Jack Conway, Sam Wood
Stars: Jean Harlow, Franchot Tone, Lionel Barrymore
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Young Jim Hawkins is torn between his loyalty to his benefactors and his affection for lovable rogue Long John Silver in their struggle to recover a buried pirate treasure.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Lionel Barrymore
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Dr. Hans Wolfert (as Sig Rumann)
...
Mittelmeyer
...
Dr. Lentz
...
...
Dr. Morgenroth
...
Judge
...
Dr. Brockdorf
...
Dr. Kunze
...
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

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:

Doktor Ehrlich  »

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

Paul 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 »

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: [His final message, on his deathbed, to his research team] There will be epidemics of greed, hate and ignorance. We must fight them in life as we fought syphilis in the laboratory. We must fight, fight. We must never, never stop fighting.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) 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

 
Excellent Warners biography of famed chemist- Robinson's best performance

Edward G. Robinson should have netted a Best Actor Oscar nom for his superb screen portrayal of the dedicated chemist and researcher, Dr. Paul Ehrlich. This is one of the great Warners screen biographies, along with THE STORY OF LOUIS PASTEUR, THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA, and MADAME CURIE. The screenplay is literate and well deserving of its Oscar nom. The direction is tight and the acting is excellent all round. Ehrlich introduced treatment with chemical, as opposed to herbal, substances and developed cures for diphtheria and syphillis. Altogether one of the most rewarding of film experiences. Go out of your way to see it - one of Hollywood's great films.


32 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?