7.5/10
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30 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:

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:

Two women stood by him while all the world jeered...a world he was trying to save! 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

This film generated controversy because many thought the subject of syphilis too scandalous a topic for a motion picture in 1940. See more »

Goofs

In this film's first part, newspaper headlines talk of diptheria (sic). Must be the same ones who spell "opthalmology" (sic). The etymology of both words comes from Greek which confirms an "h" which is missing in both misspellings. Properly spelled, they are "diphtheria" and "ophthalmology." See more »

Quotes

Dr. Paul Ehrlich: [about his felow doctors] To argue with them is like discussing colors with the color-blind.
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Connections

Referenced in Thank You Mask Man (1971) 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

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User Reviews

 
Edward G. Robinson does for Ehrlich what Paul Muni did for Pasteur.
28 January 2002 | by Peter22060See all my reviews

Hollywood in the 1930' s filmed the biographies of some of the world's greatest men. These recreations tower over the current A & E Biography series. The story of Dr. Ehrlich from staining the tubercular germ through the development of his theory of combating disease with so called magic bullets of chemicals is inspiring. His efforts in fighting Diphtheria and his long struggle against the devastating scourge of syphilis with a final discovery after 605 failed attempts is extremely rewarding.


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