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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 1,432 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 6 critic

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

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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

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Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Louis Pasteur  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An electrician for Warner Bros. studio came up to Paul Muni after an advanced screening of the film and told him that his 9-year old son asked him to buy him a microscope because of Muni's performance. Even though he went on to win the coveted Oscar Muni said that this was the greatest compliment he had ever received and that all other accolades meant nothing compared to that compliment. 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

Spoofed in Have You Got Any Castles? (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

High-minded, idealistic, and very exciting!
17 January 2000 | by (Springfield, MA) – See all my reviews

What a pleasure to see a film so unabashedly idealistic! The film's emotional ending (a well-deserved and long-overdue tribute to Pasteur's work by his collegues) centers on a closing speech by Pasteur (Paul Muni) in which he explains, simply and with passion, that making a contribution to the wellbeing of mankind is the most important work of all.

Pasteur's discovery of the role of bacteria in spreading disease seems self-evident now, but he faced years of ridicule and isolation before his findings were accepted and played their part in transforming our world.

This film is a vaccine against the cynical, self-referential, "in it for me (and maybe my small circle of friends)" films of the recent decades. See it and feel good about being human.


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