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The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)

Unrated  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  February 1936 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,443 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 6 critic

The biography of the pioneering French microbiologist who helped revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Josephine Hutchinson ...
...
Donald Woods ...
Dr. Jean Martel
Fritz Leiber ...
Dr. Charbonnet
Henry O'Neill ...
Dr. Emile Roux
Porter Hall ...
Dr. Rossignol
Raymond Brown ...
Dr. Radisse
...
Dr. Zaranoff
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Dr. Lister
...
Dr. Pfeiffer
...
Joseph Meister
Ruth Robinson ...
Mrs. Meister
Walter Kingsford ...
Iphigenie Castiglioni ...
Empress Eugénie
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Storyline

In 1860 Paris, chemist Louis Pasteur is considered a quack within the medical community for advocating that doctors and surgeons wash their hands and boil their instruments to destroy microbes that can kill their patients. He came across this belief when discovering microscopic organisms in sour wine, the organisms which could be killed if heated sufficiently. The belief among the scientific community at large is that the organisms are the result of disease and not the cause. This belief is despite the fact that thirty percent of women die in childbirth due to child bed disease, accounting for twenty thousand annual deaths in Paris alone. The debate takes Pasteur all the way to a meeting with Emperor Napoleon III and his physician, Dr. Charbonnet, who is one of the leading opponents of Pasteur. Several years later - France now a republic - much of Pasteur's reputation changes as a government sanctioned experiment with anthrax and sheep shows that a vaccine created by Pasteur proves ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Louis Pasteur  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film propelled William Dieterle to the top rank of directors at Warner Brothers, meaning he was given the plum assignments. Fellow European émigré Michael Curtiz was also in this exclusive club. See more »

Goofs

Pasteur refers to the "rabies virus" prior to completing development of his vaccine and immunization of Joseph Meister in 1885, but the idea of a non-bacterial pathogen didn't exist until 1892, and the term "virus" itself was coined when the first (tobacco mosaic) was isolated in 1898. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Louis Pasteur: Will you try and explain to Dr. Radisse what we are doing?
[sarcastically]
Dr. Louis Pasteur: He's a member of the Academy of Medicine, so you'll have to use very simple language.
Dr. Emile Roux: We're convinced, Doctor - after eight years of experimenting - that this vaccine, when injected into the animal, will set up an immunity.
Dr. Radisse: Ridiculous! It would take eighty years to convince me.
Dr. Louis Pasteur: Eighty? Aren't you a little optimistic?
See more »

Connections

Featured in History Brought to Life (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice film for biology teachers
19 June 2004 | by (Iowa) – See all my reviews

This is a great film that is also very historically and scientifically correct. Almost everything in the movie REALLY happened to the real Louis Pasteur. I am a high school biology teacher and I show this film every year when we study viruses and bacteria. When I tell the students that it is a black and white film from 1935, I get moans and words of disapproval. But every year after they have viewed the film almost all students come away legitimately liking the film.

Paul Muni's performance is extraordinary and may be the best performance of his entire career. I highly recommend watching this film. It was nominated for BEST PICTURE, Paul Muni won BEST LEAD ACTOR, it won BEST WRITER, and won BEST EDITING that year.


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