Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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.


Edward G. Robinson
as Dr. Paul Ehrlich
Ruth Gordon
as Mrs. Heidi Ehrlich
Otto Kruger
as Dr. Behring
Donald Crisp
as Althoff
Maria Ouspenskaya
as Franziska Speyer
Montagu Love
as Hartmann
Sig Rumann
as Dr. Wolfert
Donald Meek
as Mittlemeyer
Louis Calhern
as Brockdorf
Edward Norris
as Dr. Morgenroth
Charles Halton
as Sensenbrenner
Douglas Wood
as Speidler
Hermine Sterler
as Miss Marquardt
Paul Harvey
as Defense Attorney
Frank Reicher
as Old Doctor
Torben Meyer
as Kadereit
Louis V. Arco
as Dr. Bertheim
Wilfred Hari
as Dr. Hata
John Henrick
as Dr. Bucher
Ann Todd
as Marianne
Ernst Hausman
as Hans Weisgart
Stuart Holmes
as Male Nurse
Elaine Renshaw
as Arab Woman
Ann E. Todd
as Marianne
Robert Stevenson
as Merk, Patient
Greta Meyer
as Female Nurse
Howard Mitchell
as Dr. Virchow
Louis Adlon
as Hospital Attendant
Frank Mayo
as Assistant
Ludwid Hardt
as Court Clerk
Fred Mellinger
as Court Stenographer
Rolf Lindau
as Patient
View All

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.

January 30, 2014 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…

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


An amazing tale of breaking through cultural taboos to do the right thing.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet Quotes

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