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Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  2 March 1940 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,026 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.

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(original screen play), (original screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)

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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
Charles Halton ...
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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although not covered in the film Ehrlich discovered the structural formula of atoxyl, a chemical compound used in the treatment of sleeping sickness. 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 felow doctors] To argue with them is like discussing colors with the color-blind.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Patient Porky (1940) 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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Biographical Melodrama Well Done
15 July 2005 | by (South Florida) – See all my reviews

How I long for the era when Hollywood was capable of producing films based upon the lives of great scientists and physicians. Current moguls may consider the material too trite, but that just proves how they misjudge quality cinema.

Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet is a great old biographical melodrama that probably does overstate certain emotional moments, nonetheless it helps recall the bigger-than-life accomplishments of scientists who otherwise would be forgotten.

Edward G. Robinson, though apparently too mature for the role, knew a good script when he read it, and ended up with the finest performance of his long career. Credit goes to the Warner Studio, too, for making a film about the cure for syphilis when even the mention of the disease was prohibited in motion pictures. Those who enjoy films like Edison, The Man will find this more involved with science and less with personal matters than the MGM/Spencer Tracy epic.

This is grand Warner's entertainment with a lesson or two for all of us.


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