6.5/10
122
2 user

That Mothers Might Live (1938)

Approved | | Short, Biography, Drama | 30 April 1938 (USA)
It's the mid-nineteenth century. As long as there have been hospitals, the joy that women have felt having just given birth in a hospital may be quickly marred by their sudden death due to ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

(screenplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A man and his wife have a less-than-enjoyable time at the movies.

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Robert Benchley, King Baggot, Jack Baxley
Documentary | War | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A tribute to the courage and resiliency of Britons during the darkest days of the London Blitz.

Directors: Humphrey Jennings, Harry Watt
Stars: Quentin Reynolds, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Steve Raleight wants to produce a show on Broadway. He finds a backer, Herman Whipple and a leading lady, Sally Lee. But Caroline Whipple forces Steve to use a known star, not a newcomer. ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Robert Taylor, Eleanor Powell, George Murphy
Short | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

This Passing Parade entry tells the story of Dr. Joseph Goldberger (1874-1929), a Hungarian immigrant who devoted his life to finding the cause of pellagra, a disease that killed hundreds ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: John Nesbitt, Shepperd Strudwick, Barbara Bedford
Short | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of Dr. George Washington Carver (1864-1943), black educator and horticulturist. He is perhaps most well known for developing over 140 products from all parts of the peanut plant, ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Jesse Graves, Ben Hall, John Lester Johnson
Short | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This is the story of Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873), an American Naval officer, who developed the first maps that charted the oceans' winds and currents.

Director: Felix E. Feist
Stars: Carey Wilson, Tom Neal
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A 1934 GB production that was picked up in 1937 by Educational for 20th Century Fox distribution about the gannet, (a beautiful white and exceedingly graceful bird deemed the best fisherman... See full summary »

Director: Julian Huxley
Stars: A.L. Alexander
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dr. Semmelweis (as Sheppard Strudwick)
John Nesbitt ...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Edit

Storyline

It's the mid-nineteenth century. As long as there have been hospitals, the joy that women have felt having just given birth in a hospital may be quickly marred by their sudden death due to what is known as childbed fever (also known as puerperal infections, any bacterial infection of the female reproductive tract following childbirth or miscarriage). Dr. Semmelweis eventually discovered the reason for the illness was mere sanitation, and the need for doctors to wash their hands after each procedure. Coming to this realization and convincing the world, especially the established medical community, are two different things. Dr. Semmelweis, who published a book on the subject, may not have gotten the recognition for this discovery during his lifetime as he tried to make his findings known and accepted, but that word would eventually spread to be commonplace and taken for granted as truth today. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1938 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?


Soundtracks

Waltz #15 in A flat major ('Lullaby'), Op.39
(1865) (uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
Variations in the score often
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Semelweiss had an idea
2 January 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Long before as producer/director Fred Zinnemann won Oscars for A Man For All Seasons and From Here To Eternity as a young Viennese immigrant he toiled at the MGM studios doing short subjects. It was there he showed his promise directing this Best Short Subject for 1938 That Mothers Might Live.

Going to hospital was a dubious proposition as far as your health was concerned, especially for pregnant women to give birth. Infant mortality was high in those days for any number of reasons, one of them simply because hospitals were not kept sterile and newborns picked up all kinds of infections and died.

Ignaz Philipp Semelweiss working in a hospital in Budapest came to see that just washing hands cut down the death rate in maternity wards. He was on the right track but it would be left to better known scientists like Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister to fully develop the germ theory and the science of microbiology. It was left to Semelweiss to be ridiculed by his professional peers for most likely simply not taking the next steps that Pasteur and Lister did.

Sheppard Strudwick made his film debut in this short as the subject of same. It's a nice tribute to a forgotten and unappreciated man during his lifetime.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where can I find this? MGDicker
Discuss That Mothers Might Live (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page