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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.

Director:

William Dieterle

Writers:

John Huston (original screen play), Heinz Herald (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:
Edward G. Robinson ... Dr. Paul Ehrlich
Ruth Gordon ... Mrs. Ehrlich
Otto Kruger ... Dr. Emil Von Behring
Donald Crisp ... Minister Althoff
Maria Ouspenskaya ... Franziska Speyer
Montagu Love ... Prof. Hartmann
Sig Ruman ... Dr. Hans Wolfert (as Sig Rumann)
Donald Meek ... Mittelmeyer
Henry O'Neill ... Dr. Lentz
Albert Bassermann ... Dr. Robert Koch
Edward Norris ... Dr. Morgenroth
Harry Davenport ... Judge
Louis Calhern ... 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 March 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doktor Ehrlich See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Referenced in Four Mothers (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Kaiserwalzer, Op. 437 (Emperor Waltz)
(1889) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played on piano by Hedy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fine Biographical Drama
3 June 2000 | by harry-76See all my reviews

Due to the enormous talent, tenacity and courage of Dr. Paul Ehrlich to persevere in his quest to develop a cure for venereal disease, the world was made a safer place. This outstanding biography relates Dr. Ehrilch's quest to conquer disease which plagued 19th century populations.

Edward G.Robinson heads a fine cast, which recognized an outstanding script and rose to the occasion. There is no overacting or exaggerated dramatics here, only earnest and sincere acting work, enhanced by a peerless Max Steiner score and James Wong Howe cinematography. William Dieterle's direction is both sensitive and solid, wrapping up a fine production, presented by Warner Bros.


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