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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:

Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$205
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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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

Although not covered in the film, Paul Ehrlich also 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: [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 Patient Porky (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Wein, Weib und Gesang, Op. 333 (Wine, Women and Song)
(1869) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played when Paul and Hedy dance
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent story about medical discovery
28 September 2005 | by tanstaafl2004See all my reviews

I saw this movie a few times, years ago when they had a lot of old movies on TV (pre-cable). There is much more in it than the cure for syphilis.

Dr. Ehrlich also discovered some amazing new ideas: dye for viewing bacterial slides and identifying those germs; the process of vaccination as a prevention against disease and the difficulty in changing the views of the medical community even with valid & objective scientific evidence.

Edward G. Robinson did an excellent job and the portrayal is artfully and humanely done as a early medical pioneer. The scientific discoveries may seem too banal for today's average person but the work was a milestone in medical science.


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