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The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)

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

Director:

William Dieterle

Writers:

Sheridan Gibney (story and screenplay), Pierre Collings (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:
Paul Muni ... Louis Pasteur
Josephine Hutchinson ... Marie Pasteur
Anita Louise ... Annette Pasteur
Donald Woods ... Dr. Jean Martel
Fritz Leiber ... Dr. Charbonnet
Henry O'Neill ... Dr. Emile Roux
Porter Hall ... Dr. Rossignol
Raymond Brown Raymond Brown ... Dr. Radisse
Akim Tamiroff ... Dr. Zaranoff
Halliwell Hobbes ... Dr. Lister
Frank Reicher ... Dr. Pfeiffer
Dickie Moore ... Joseph Meister
Ruth Robinson Ruth Robinson ... Mrs. Meister
Walter Kingsford ... Napoleon III
Iphigenie Castiglioni 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Russian

Release Date:

February 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Louis Pasteur See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

This movie is about a Frenchman, and is set in France; however, the written and printed texts are in English. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Louis Pasteur: [speaking to the Emperor] Sire, the hospitals of Paris are pesthouses. There's scarcely a doctor in the city who's not carrying death on his hands and instruments.
Dr. Charbonnet: Because of microbes, Monsieur? Your private menagerie of invisible beasts?
Dr. Louis Pasteur: Exactly. Doctor Charbonnet could see them for himself if he took the trouble to use his microscope. He could watch them multiply into murderous millions. They breed in filth. They may start from the gutters of Paris tonight and by tomorrow claim some mother ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in The Brothers Warner (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice film for biology teachers
19 June 2004 | by dougteachSee all my reviews

This is a great film that is also very historically and scientifically correct. Almost everything in the movie REALLY happened to the real Louis Pasteur. I am a high school biology teacher and I show this film every year when we study viruses and bacteria. When I tell the students that it is a black and white film from 1935, I get moans and words of disapproval. But every year after they have viewed the film almost all students come away legitimately liking the film.

Paul Muni's performance is extraordinary and may be the best performance of his entire career. I highly recommend watching this film. It was nominated for BEST PICTURE, Paul Muni won BEST LEAD ACTOR, it won BEST WRITER, and won BEST EDITING that year.


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