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The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)

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

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Title: The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Josephine Hutchinson ...
...
Annette Pasteur
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

Plot Keywords:

microbe | vaccine | france | anthrax | rabies | See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Louis Pasteur  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Academy Award Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on April 13, 1946 with Paul Muni reprising his film role. 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

[about Pasteur]
Dr. Charbonnet: You remember a few years ago, he was the cause of a slight controversy on the subject of sour wine.
Napoleon III: Oh, yes, I recall.
Dr. Charbonnet: He claimed to have found little animals in it... infinitesimal beasts.
Napoleon III: But are there such creatures? Do they really exist?
Dr. Charbonnet: Your Majesty, microscopic organisms have long been observed. They spring into being of their own accord wherever there is putrid matter or fermentation. They are the result rather than the cause of disease. By heating wine to certain ...
[...]
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Connections

Spoofed in A Day at the Races (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Decent biography of Muni never mentions "pasteurized milk"...
11 October 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

PAUL MUNI gives an eloquent performance as Louis Pasteur in this abbreviated biography of his life which never has time to mention some of his other achievements, such as pasteurized milk. Instead, it concentrates on the difficulties he has of convincing any of the medical experts that microbes are the cause of disease. His experiments with finding a cure for anthrax and rabies are at the centerpiece of the story.

JOSEPHINE HUTCHINSON is his devoted and loyal wife who has to remind him to eat dinner when he's caught up in his experiments with animals to prove his theories. ANITA LOUIS and DONALD WOODS provide what little romantic interest there is in the tale, strictly cardboard characters little more than ciphers.

Muni ages convincingly without the use of heavy make-up and won a Best Actor Oscar for his detailed performance. HALLIWELL HOBBES as Dr. Lister, AKIM TAMIROFF as Dr. Zaranoff, PORTER HALL as Dr. Rossignol, and FRITZ LEIBER as his nemesis, Dr. Charbonnet, are excellent in supporting roles.

Nicely directed by William Dieterle.


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