7.5/10
1,240
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 »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
Manpower (1941)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two friends, who are members of a road crew employed by a Los Angeles power company, battle the elements to restore electrical power and trade punches over the same woman.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, George Raft
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When retired racket boss John Sarto tries to reclaim his place and former friends try to kill him, he finds solace in a monastery and reinvents himself as a pious monk.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sothern
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
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
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Prohibition ends, a beer baron sees the writing on the wall, quits the rackets, and tries to break into California society.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Mary Astor, Helen Vinson
Certificate: Passed 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
Larceny, Inc. (1942)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Three ex-cons buy a luggage shop to tunnel into the bank vault next door. But despite all they can do, the shop prospers...

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Jane Wyman, Broderick Crawford
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
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Living in India with her crude husband, a British aristocrat is reunited with an old flame at a party, though she truly has her sights set on a handsome doctor.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power, George Brent
The Sea Wolf (1941)
Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After being fished out of the sea by a sealer, three fugitives find themselves prisoners of the ship's brutal skipper who refuses to put them ashore and they hatch an escape plan during a crew mutiny.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino, John Garfield
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh, H.B. Warner
Edit

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
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:

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 »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Dr. Paul Ehrlich's family was so happy with Edward G. Robinson's portrayal of him that they gave Robinson a letter written by Dr. Ehrlich. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Ehrlich (Edward G. Robinson) is on trial, the prosecutor says: "We are not concerned with the rosy future Dr. Ehrlich paints; the revelant point is..." What he meant to say was "relevant". See more »

Quotes

Becker: You assistants seem to be doing all the work. What does Dr. Ehrlich do?
Dr. Hata: He thinks!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Patient Porky (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
an intelligent and interesting movie that was ahead of its time
6 June 2005 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

It's very hard to believe that this movie was made in 1940, as much of the plot centers on Dr. Ehrlich's attempts to create a cure for syphilis. At times, the studio appeared to dance around the whole STD aspect of the disease, but it was extremely daring to try to cover such a taboo topic.

It's actually quite amazing that a story as seemingly mundane and medical research is as compelling as it is. I think this is due to excellent directing, writing and acting. In particular, Edward G. Robinson is a standout as the lead. This movie clearly demonstrates that his range far exceeded playing gangsters or that annoying Egyptian in The Ten Commandments.


25 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed