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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 »
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

Paul Ehrlich's cure for syphilis, Salvarsan 606, became the most prescribed drug in the world until the discovery of penicillin in the 1940s, when it became the preferred treatment for the disease. 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

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

Connections

Referenced in The Dick Van Dyke Show: What's in a Middle Name? (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Remarkable movie about a remarkable discovery.
25 May 2002 | by michaelRokeefeSee all my reviews

Edward G. Robinson will always be remembered for LITTLE CAESAR(1930), but this movie features probably the best acting of his career. This is based on the true story of Dr. Paul Ehrlich, a Polish born German bacteriologist that discovered the cure for syphilis. Stubborn dedication paid off on the 606th test that provided Dr. Ehrlich's 'magic bullets' to fight a silent killer of society. Not only was Robinson in top form, but other cast members provided strong support: Otto Kruger, Ruth Gordon and Donald Crisp. Highly recommended.

Note: It was a daring risk that this movie made it to the screen. In a time when a man and a woman could not share the same bed...here is a movie about finding a cure for venereal disease.


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