Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet Reviews

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January 31, 2019
The best inspiring movie ever made!
Super Reviewer
February 1, 2014
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?
½ January 26, 2014
Solid bi-opic. Refreshing to see a younger Robinson portraying a decent fella.
With an OK script and solid supporting cast.
½ August 2, 2011
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.
January 2, 2011
If you've only seen Edward G. Robinson in gangster films, give this one a chance and see his range as an actor. Here he portrays German physician and researcher Paul Ehrlich, a pioneer at the turn of the 20th century in the treatment of infectious diseases and the man who found a cure for syphilis. Ehrlich starts out as a general practitioner employed by a hospital in order to provide a stable living for his family but whose real love is for research. His inquiring mind and nonconformist views ultimately makes him a leader in his field, but not before his pioneering ideas get him in trouble with the medical establishment in his country. Robinson has excellent support here with Ruth Gordon (known in latter years as Maude of "Harrold and Maude") playing Ehrlich's adoring wife. Otto Kruger ably portrays Emil Adolf Von Behring, Ehrlich's friend and colleague who find himself at odds with his good friend's professional ideas.

The film was controversial at the time for mentioning the disease "syphilis" by name, and I'm sure a little bit of sensationalism is why Jack Warner thought that Dr. Ehrlich's biography would be good material for a film, but there's something more subtle going on here. Made in 1940, after the Nazi menace had been recognized by many but before America had been attacked, there are many not so subtle digs at Germany to be found here. Early in the film several of Ehrlich's colleagues are ratting him out to the head of the hospital for not following hospital rules. Specifically, Ehrlich realizes that the sweat baths prescribed as the treatment of syphilis at the time - 1890 - are of no value whatsoever. When a patient of Ehrlich's says that the baths sap his strength and may cost him his job, Ehrlich says that he can skip the baths. This humane act of deviating from a useless treatment is the "rule" Ehrlich has broken, and what gets him called on the carpet by the head of the hospital. The whole incident is one of several that make the Germans look rigid and inhumane. The issue of Ehrlich's colleagues doubting his abilities because of his religion - he was Jewish - also comes up a few times. Finally, when the state budget committee that is financing Ehrlich's lab comes by for an inspection they chastise Ehrlich for hiring a "non-German" doctor. It's very effective but subtle criticism of the Germans that Warner Brothers did so well in the years leading up to the war.

One bone that Warner Brothers did have to throw to the censors because of the open discussion and showing of syphilis patients in various stages of the disease is that they could not show any female patients. They were only allowed to show male sufferers. I guess these guys all got this from "an inanimate object" as Dr. Ehrlich says is possible at one point in the film to downplay the sexual transmission angle of this disease.
January 2, 2011
Surprisingly well-made with strong performances and screenplay...
December 21, 2010
Slow and steady wins the race.
½ July 15, 2010
A pretty good Golden Age biopic. Edward G. Robinson gave another solid performance, and being one outside of the Gangster-genre, I would say it is one of his best.
February 14, 2010
True story rendition of an individual who fought paradigm and routine to save lives. The quote, from an egyptian: "I no die from snakes...it is Allah's will."
½ February 12, 2010
This was Edward G.s fav film he once said. Had big effect on me as a kid. It opened my mind..to science, medicine and research...and the brilliant and determined (very) minds who discover things despite the opposition of others. And yes...the anit-semitism was notable..yet not yet rampant at that time yet in Germany.
½ July 18, 2009
It would be (very) easy to say that this film is some third-rate uninteresting romantic bore; which technically speaking I just did. But this films may still be worth seeing for a few reasons:
? E.G. Robinson is unrecognizable with his beard, really amazing.
? It a film shot in 1940 presenting a series of German characters (if not all of them) under a normal and actually fairly positive light.
? It's a film about a Jewish doctor in Germany shot in 1940 in which his religion is only mentioned once.
? It is an attempt to introduce the masses to some basic ideas about science while remaining entertaining.
½ March 2, 2009
Just like the Curie biopicture from the same decade, only replacing radium with syphilis. A great movie, though, and unlike every tagline I have come across. Maybe I missed the parts with the Nazis? "Two women stood by him while all the world jeered...a world he was trying to save!" And yet the only lady he truly loved... was SCIENCE.
Super Reviewer
½ July 24, 2008
An amazing tale of breaking through cultural taboos to do the right thing.
July 17, 2008
Look at the synopsis, syphillis, nazis and the woman from Harold and Maude. This is the best film biography ever made.
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