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Breaking the Mould (2009)

A historical drama that tells the story of the development of penicillin in the 1930's/40's, by a group of scientists in Oxford at The Dunn School of Pathology





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Howard Florey
Alexander Fleming
Ernst Chain
Norman Heatley
Margaret Jennings
Arthur Gardner
Amanda Douge ...
Ethel Florey
Charles Fletcher
Mr. Cox (as Peter McNeil O'Connor)
Albert Alexander
Ian Lindsay ...
Cecil Weir
Christopher Godwin ...
The Master
Joanna Horton ...
Sarah Ball ...


A historical drama that tells the story of the development of penicillin in the 1930's/40's, by a group of scientists in Oxford at The Dunn School of Pathology

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Drama | History





Release Date:

29 July 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Breaking the Mould: The Story of Penicillin  »

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User Reviews

Honouring the right men
21 August 2012 | by (Barcelona, Spain) – See all my reviews

I saw this TV movie as part of a documentary series on Catalan TV which specialises in docudrama and I'm still a bit confused as to which genre it belongs. Having said that, the film tells remarkably well the gripping story of how Howard Florey, Ernst Boris Chain and Norman Heatley developed penicillin between 1938 and 1942. This was after reading the paper in which Alexander Fleming made public his work with the the mould Penicillium notatum (in 1928). The film's clear aim is to honour Florey and his research team, painting a somewhat egotistic portrait of Fleming. The film transmits very well the despair of patients suffering from incurable infections before antibiotics became household items, aided by very efficient work by the make-up artists. It's peculiar to see Dominic West, usually an action man, play the Australian scientist Howard Florey yet he does very well and the film does quite fulfill its aim as a lesson in the history of science.

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