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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.

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(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay)
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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:
...
...
...
...
Dr. Jean Martel
Fritz Leiber ...
Dr. Charbonnet
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Dr. Rossignol
Raymond Brown ...
Dr. Radisse
...
Dr. Zaranoff
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Dr. Lister
...
Dr. Pfeiffer
...
Ruth Robinson ...
Mrs. Meister
Walter Kingsford ...
Iphigenie Castiglioni ...

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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)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After playing a series of hard-bitten roles in films like Scarface (1932) and Black Fury (1935), Paul Muni lobbied hard for a change of pace. Jack L. Warner, head of Warner Brothers, wasn't keen on his star taking such a change of direction but eventually relented, effectively opening up a tidal wave of biopics that became the mainstay of Warner Brothers' output in the late 1930s and early 1940s. See more »

Goofs

A newspaper is shown announcing that the government (of France) is appropriating grazing land. The text surrounding the featured item mentions dollars and the Bronx, indicating the text was likely taken from a US newspaper. See more »

Quotes

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

Featured in The 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003) 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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