Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Edward G. Robinson portrays real-life German medical researcher Paul Erlich, the man who discovered and perfected "Formula 606," the cure for syphilis. The world at large would prefer to treat the disease as though it does not exist, so Erlich spends most of his life underfunded and frustrated. A no-nonsense dowager (Maria Ouspenskaya) has faith in Erlich, however, and thus provides the necessary funds to develop Formula 606. Once the serum is released to the public, Erlich's reputation is threatened when a handful of syphilitics die, ostensibly as a result of the "cure." Brought up on criminal charges, Erlich is exonerated by his old colleague Dr. Von Behring (Otto Kruger). Considered daring in its time for its exploration of a "taboo" subject, Dr. Erlich's Magic Bullet holds up as one of Warner Bros.' most solid biopics, with a convincing performance from a nearly unrecognizable Edward G. Robinson.
Classics , Drama , Special Interest
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Robert Stevenson
as Merk, Patient
Donald Crisp
as Althoff
Edward G. Robinson
as Dr. Paul Ehrlich
Ruth Gordon
as Mrs. Heidi Ehrlich
John Hamilton
as Hirsch
Louis Calhern
as Brockdorf
Otto Kruger
as Dr. Behring
Maria Ouspenskaya
as Franziska Speyer
Ann Todd
as Marianne
Cliff Clark
as Haupt
Louis Jean Heydt
as Dr. Kunze
Montagu Love
as Hartmann
Irving Bacon
as Becker
Edward Norris
as Dr. Morgenroth
Donald Meek
as Mittlemeyer
Charles Halton
as Sensenbrenner
Robert Strange
as Koerner
Norman Phillips Jr.
as Stable Boy
Douglas Wood
as Speidler
Paul Harvey
as Defense Attorney
Stuart Holmes
as Male Nurse
Herbert Anderson
as Assistant
Frank Lackteen
as Arab Man
Frank Reicher
as Old Doctor
Louis Adlon
as Hospital Attendant
Louis V. Arco
as Dr. Bertheim
Frank Jaquet
as Banker
Torben Meyer
as Kadereit
Theodor von Eltz
as Dr. Kraus
Frank Mayo
as Assistant
Greta Meyer
as Female Nurse
Theodore von Eltz
as Dr. Kraus
Sig Rumann
as Dr. Wolfert
Ann E. Todd
as Marianne
Brandon Tynan
as Doctor
Howard Mitchell
as Dr. Virchow
Hermine Sterler
as Miss Marquardt
Paul Phillips
as Patient
Rolf Lindau
as Patient
Ernst Hausman
as Hans Weisgart
Wilfred Hari
as Dr. Hata
Gretl Sherk
as Mother
John Henrick
as Dr. Bucher
Rolla Stewart
as Steffi
Elaine Renshaw
as Arab Woman
Ludwid Hardt
as Court Clerk
Fred Mellinger
as Court Stenographer
Louise Golm
as Nurse
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Critic Reviews for Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet

All Critics (1)

(Robinson's Dr. Ehrlich) accumulates knowledge much like an investigator, for him an oppositional role he'd later take for Wilder in Double Indemnity.

Full Review… | January 29, 2014
Film International

Audience Reviews for Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet

Well made if a tad stodgy bio-pic that has a great performance at it's center by Edward G. Robinson. How is it possible this man was never even nominated for an Academy Award?

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Solid bi-opic. Refreshing to see a younger Robinson portraying a decent fella. With an OK script and solid supporting cast.

Christopher Bergan
Christopher Bergan

Solid performance by Edward G. Robinson playing Dr.Paul Erlich, a German Medical Researcher who devoted his life to a taboo cure for syphilis that didn't make him popular,or make him wealthy ,but made a difference to the world.Instead of rewarding this patient & courageous Dr. for his contribution to posterity by finding a cure for a life threatening disease, he is brought up on charges & dragged into court to account for those who didn't live.I found the Film fascinating,albeit slow.

Marilee Aschwanden
Marilee Aschwanden

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