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The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)

Unrated | | Biography, Drama, History | February 1936 (USA)
The biography of the pioneering French microbiologist who helped revolutionize agriculture and medicine.



(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Jean Martel
Fritz Leiber ...
Dr. Charbonnet
Dr. Rossignol
Raymond Brown ...
Dr. Radisse
Dr. Zaranoff
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Dr. Lister
Dr. Pfeiffer
Ruth Robinson ...
Mrs. Meister
Walter Kingsford ...
Iphigenie Castiglioni ...


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

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Release Date:

February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Louis Pasteur  »

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Technical Specs


(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 (Dieterle was German, Curtiz was Hungarian) was also in this exclusive club. See more »


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 »


Dr. Louis Pasteur: [to his assistants] Remember our aim: Find the microbe - kill the microbe.
See more »


Featured in Breakdowns of 1936 (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

good film
17 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

Much better than The Life of Emilie Zola and Juarez. This movie stars Paul Muni in an Oscar winning performance as a scientist who is looking for a cure for anthrax and then rabies, all the other doctors laugh at him. Paul Muni does a good job and this is the same director of Life of Emilie Zola and Juarez.

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