Paul Ehrlich isn't the hero type. Yet, using intellect and compassion as weapons, Ehrlich is the greatest of heroes - one who conquers disease and prejudice and save tens of thousands of lives.
Tuberculosis. Diphtheria. Syphilis. Ehrlich's work led to medical breakthroughs in each. But other foes blocked his battle against the last of these plagues: scientists who naysayed his progressive formulations. Edward G. Robinson portrays Ehrlich, his favorite role in a long career. And William Dieterle directs this work that breaks the era's taboos and stands alongside - perhaps eclipses - his The Story of Louis Pasteur and The Life of Emile Zola."
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.
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