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Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox (2006)

Dr. Bronner , Sara Lamm  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dr. Bronner
  • Directors: Sara Lamm
  • Producers: Sara Lamm, Cheri Anderson, Matt Aselton, Yana Collins Lehman, Zachary Mortensen
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Reckon So Prod.
  • DVD Release Date: November 10, 2009
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014NA52A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,313 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Dr. Emanuel Bronner was a master soapmaker, self-proclaimed rabbi, and, allegedly, Albert Einstein's nephew. In 1947, after escaping from a mental institution, he invented the formula for "Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap," a pepperment-infused, all-natural, multi-purpose liquid that can be found in every American health food store. On each bottle of his soap, he printed an ever-evolving set of teachings he called "The Moral ABC," designed, in his words, "TO UNITE ALL MANKIND FREE!" A human story about a socially responsible company, this film documents the complicated family legacy behind the counterculture's favorite cleaning product.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moral ABC's - You'll Learn That Phrase July 9, 2009
This is an unusual documentary. It holds your attention pretty well for the first 45 minutes. Round that 45 minute mark (halfway) and all of a sudden there's a ton of repitition. I got very tired of hearing Dr. Bronner repeat the Moral ABC's and One God For All phrase.

Now, I wish that Amazon had some ability to format reviews, because this review deserves to be in a bright blue block with white type and at 7 point. How fun would that be to read?

So, if you have used the Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap - the pepermint or lavendar castile soap - and, like me, spent an hour in the bathtub reading that white 7 point type on a blue background; you must be dying to know more about this mythical Dr. Bronner and his company. Well you are overly served with this documentary. The director, Sara Lamm, did a wonderful job of capturing the genius / insanity behind the corporation. She is clearly in awe of what the Bronner's have accomplished.

My complaint about this film, the story line is horribly disjointed. There doesn't seem to be a begining and an end; it just sort of wanders all over Dr. Bronner's life; tossing in childhood one moment, grandchildren the next, adulthood next, and then children another. After watching this film, I'm hard pressed to tell you Dr. Bronner's life history.

The great part about this film - this is a company that genuinely cares about doing the right thing, which translated into success. The Bronner company does some magnificent things - fast forward to the last chapter of the DVD, 4 minutes left. The things they do is remarkable (70% of net profits are given to charity; no executive of the company makes more than 5 times the salary of the lowest paid vested worker) - now that's putting your money where your mouth is.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the soap, now we know its history better March 15, 2008
If you've ever went camping or trekking and sat around the camp with time on your hands, the Dr. B's soap bottle is interesting read. Until I watched this DVD, didn't know what was the motivation behind those words. This is a story from the long line of genius/eccentrics mistaken for lunatics, and how the lucky escape brought about a huge positive for the world--a cohesive philosophy, product, and company in the best sense of the environmental movement. The story behind the father-sons relationship is very touching, and effectively humanizes (humorously in some parts, to boot) this film. The word concept that came to my mind as I watched Dr. B spoke: metaphysical -kinetic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See for Everyone March 31, 2011
I had always wondered about the soap in the store with the somewhat ranting label. I loved this amazing story. This documentary has such an uplifting message, that absolutely nothing can stop you from pursing what you
truly believe in. I also absolutely love the way that the company is run. That the family has capped their salaries to be no more than 5 times what the lowest salary wage is. Can you imagine what an amazing world we could live in if other companies adopted this? I am sharing this find!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding August 6, 2009
An astonishing film about a remarkable family. Sara Lamm has done more than document the strange journey of the Bronners and their iconic soap. She's created a heartful meditation on madness & vision, meaning & legacy, and how to make a damned difference in this world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More, please. August 6, 2009
I went and saw this film because I wanted to know what the jargon on the bottle was all about. I came away with a lot of questions, and this is the sort of film I enjoy. The film provided me with a general study of the man behind the words as well as his son, Ralph, who took over the business. Don't expect a studio production. This woman hit the road with a video camera in search of some answers, and I think she did a great job. Also, I loved the weird piano man scene. That's the kind of thing that gets me on a filmmaker's side. I think it spoke nicely to the sort of psychological wounds the film deals with. What's this lady doing next? Anyone know?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative, inspiring, and filled with ideas February 25, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'd never heard of Dr. Bronner or his soap prior to watching the documentary on Netflix, but I loved the story behind the product so much that I told all my friends about the movie and watched it several more times myself before finally buying a copy of my own.

I found it to be an inspirational story about a man facing some troubling issues in his life. His emigration to the United States seemed to offer promise, but his mental fixations and obsessions quickly turned him into a social outcast -- until the soap.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap became an underground alternative sub-culture staple, and it offered the creator a way to have his unique voice heard. The marketing concept of packing a product wrapped in a philosophy appealed to my inner marketing geek, and I'll be looking for opportunities for clients of mine to follow some of the techniques inspired by Dr. Bronner.

It's a worthy watch for multiple reasons and I happily recommend it as a favorite documentary!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Man Behind the Crazy Soap Label October 6, 2010
If you've ever wondered about the crazy guy that writes all that crazy stuff on the labels of Dr. Bronner's Soap, this movie is worth watching. Turns out that the real Dr. Bronner is even more wild, hyperventilating, fire-breathing, kooky and eccentric than even the crazy soap labels hint at.

Including Bronner's children and grandchildren was a genius move on the film-maker's part, because the soap company can be understood through their point of view much better than Dr. Bronner. I think the real reason he sold soap was to have an audience for his soap labels - the Moral ABC was his real product. He certainly doesn't seem to care for profits. The soap company is a non-profit, and from what I can tell, is one of the more socially responsible companies in the country today, with their profits going towards dozens of deserving charities.

Although the film is brief at 88 minutes, I just watched the first 30 minutes then skipped to the end. The film tends to keep repeating itself. Still, very informative, and I'm glad I watched (the first 30 minutes). The movie inspired me enough to want to go out and buy a big bottle of the peppermint soap today.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it or Leave It, but do Soap Up!
Most interesting! We love Bronner! David Bronner Rocks and we are so thankful his grandpa created such a fine product. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Carolyn
5.0 out of 5 stars REAL MAGIC
Great story about this unique product! I have even purchased the soap and now we use it daily. I'm going to be adding this soap as a Christmas surprise for family this year. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Dan Caulfield
5.0 out of 5 stars great doc
Really interesting documentary about the guy behind all those soaps. It was great to finally learn what it was all about after using the soap forever.
Published 21 months ago by Rudolphin
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting information & history of the Bonner family
Dr. Bonner has given us soap from his heritage and he gave his family a heritage that they are continuing and enriching.
Published 21 months ago by CJ
4.0 out of 5 stars The Story Behind The Man
For the children of the 60's, this gives the story behind bath tub status symbol. As the movie shows, I know the sayings on the labels were great reads and we used the soap or... Read more
Published on May 10, 2012 by Daniel Hucks
4.0 out of 5 stars The story of the man behind those rambling labels on the hippie soap...
DR BRONNER'S MAGIC SOAPBOX is a documentary on the life and thought of Emmanuel Bronner (1908-1997), the German immigrant who made the soap popular with 1960s counter-culture and... Read more
Published on February 25, 2012 by Christopher Culver
5.0 out of 5 stars not a soap opera
sometimes you buy soap from the store.. and then sometimes you buy some from this guy.. who happens to be nuts-awesome. love the stuff and have used it for years!
Published on March 22, 2011 by N. Ward-Bopp
5.0 out of 5 stars "All One!"
DR. BRONNER'S MAGIC SOAPBOX (2006) is a film like so many recently released ones, that give me great pleasure to see finally here at Amazon. Read more
Published on March 19, 2011 by E. Hernandez
3.0 out of 5 stars this is more than magnificent--in fact, it's mediocre
If you're looking to watch a very average documentary that rambles on and on the more you watch of it, add this to your Amazon shopping cart. Read more
Published on August 20, 2009 by Matthew G. Sherwin
5.0 out of 5 stars See This Movie
This documentary does what the best ones do: discover a corner of the world that has touched many of us, but hasn't received much attention. Read more
Published on August 10, 2009 by Ted Rose
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