Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet (1940)

Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet (1940)
Running Time: 103 Minutes
Dir. William Dieterle
Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Ruth Gordon, Otto Kruger
Genre: Biography, Drama

Screening Time: Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 10:20 a.m.


A fine biographical film about the doctor who discovered the cure for syphilis and forced the medical profession to take notice of it as a disease. A beautifully-told picture.


  1. IMDBReviewer

    January 10, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Edward G. Robinson should have netted a Best Actor Oscar nom for his superb screen portrayal of the dedicated chemist and researcher, Dr. Paul Ehrlich. This is one of the great Warners screen biographies, along with THE STORY OF LOUIS PASTEUR, THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA, and MADAME CURIE. The screenplay is literate and well deserving of its Oscar nom. The direction is tight and the acting is excellent all round. Ehrlich introduced treatment with chemical, as opposed to herbal, substances and developed cures for diphtheria and syphillis. Altogether one of the most rewarding of film experiences. Go out of your way to see it – one of Hollywood’s great films.

  2. tfsadmin

    January 10, 2017 at 9:19 am

    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.

  3. IMDBReviewer

    January 10, 2017 at 9:19 am

    It’s very hard to believe that this movie was made in 1940, as much of the plot centers on Dr. Ehrlich’s attempts to create a cure for syphilis. At times, the studio appeared to dance around the whole STD aspect of the disease, but it was extremely daring to try to cover such a taboo topic.

    It’s actually quite amazing that a story as seemingly mundane and medical research is as compelling as it is. I think this is due to excellent directing, writing and acting. In particular, Edward G. Robinson is a standout as the lead. This movie clearly demonstrates that his range far exceeded playing gangsters or that annoying Egyptian in The Ten Commandments.

  4. tfsadmin

    January 10, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Due to the enormous talent, tenacity and courage of Dr. Paul Ehrlich to persevere in his quest to develop a cure for venereal disease, the world was made a safer place. This outstanding biography relates Dr. Ehrilch’s quest to conquer disease which plagued 19th century populations.

    Edward G.Robinson heads a fine cast, which recognized an outstanding script and rose to the occasion. There is no overacting or exaggerated dramatics here, only earnest and sincere acting work, enhanced by a peerless Max Steiner score and James Wong Howe cinematography. William Dieterle’s direction is both sensitive and solid, wrapping up a fine production, presented by Warner Bros.

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