Review: ‘Doctor Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet’

Here is a splendid production, with much care and attention to detail. Historical biography is based on the life of Paul Ehrlich, famed bacteriologist, whose most noteworthy contribution to medical science was the search for, and eventual discovery of, 606, which proved to be a positive cure for syphilis.

Here is a splendid production, with much care and attention to detail. Historical biography is based on the life of Paul Ehrlich, famed bacteriologist, whose most noteworthy contribution to medical science was the search for, and eventual discovery of, 606, which proved to be a positive cure for syphilis.

The social disease is intelligently handled for effective presentation of its disastrous effects on humans prior to Ehrlich’s discovery. Despite its straightforward presentation, there is nothing offensive in either action or dialog. Script, which necessitates care in combining the events of Ehrlich’s career with scientific fact, is an excellently moulded screen biography.

Edward G. Robinson’s portrayal of the famed Ehrlich is a distinguished performance. In tracing the scientist’s accomplishments, story traces through a span of about 35 years. Robinson makes the gradual transition down the years in great style.

Ruth Gordon is a most sympathetic and understanding wife of a scientist absorbed in his work; Otto Kruger is excellent as Ehrlich’s close friend and colleague; Donald Crisp is the health minister, and Albert Basserman is the noted scientist, Koch, who takes Ehrlich on his staff in the early part. Albert Basserman, well-known German actor, gets his first American role here.

Doctor Ehrlich's Magic Bullet

Production

Warner. Director William Dieterle; Producer Hal B. Wallis, Wolfgang Reinhardt; Screenplay John Huston, Heinz Herald, Norman Burnside; Camera James Wong Howe; Editor Warren Low; Music Max Steiner; Art Director Carl Jules Weyl

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1940. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Edward G. Robinson Ruth Gordon Otto Kruger Donald Crisp Maria Ouspenskaya Albert Basserman
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