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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 »
Reviews
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:

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 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

Defense Attorney: So while no cures can be attributed to '606,' 38 deaths resulted from it's use?
Dr. Emil Von Behring: 39.
Defense Attorney: 39? You know of another death?
Dr. Emil Von Behring: Yes, syphilis. The death of syphilis itself.
Dr. Hans Wolfert: Dr. von Behring you have written and lectured against the Ehrlich theory.
Dr. Emil Von Behring: Yes, I did, Dr. Wolfert, but you must understand it is the task of science to discover the truth. There is no shame attached to the recognition of error.
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

 
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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