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
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 »
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 »
Edward G. Robinson does for Ehrlich what Paul Muni did for Pasteur.
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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