7.5/10
1,261
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:

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

This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Tuesday 4 September 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Cincinnati Saturday 6 October 1956 on WKRC (Channel 12), in Portland OR Wednesday 2 January 1957 on KLOR (Channel 12), in Los Angeles Saturday 16 March 1957 on KNXT (Channel 2), and in Honolulu Tuesday 20 August 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13). 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 fellow doctors] To argue with them is like discussing colors with the color-blind.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Thank You Mask Man (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Kunsterleben, Op. 316 (Artist's Life)
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played at Madame Speyer's dinner party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.


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