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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)
Reviews
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

Taglines:

HE SOLD HIMSELF TO HIS WORST ENEMY...To Buy a Woman's Life From Man's Deadliest Public Enemies! (original print ad) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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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

When Pasteur returns home from the meeting with the Emperor, his family has prepared for him a birthday celebration. After his youngest daughter offers him flowers, she then breaks character and looks straight into the camera. 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?
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Connections

Featured in Breakdowns of 1936 (1936) See more »

User Reviews

Great Performances
28 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Story of Louis Pasteur, The (1935)

*** (out of 4)

Bio pic of chemist Louis Pasteur (Paul Muni) who found a cure for the black plague but was then blacklisted when he made the claim that childhood fever was caused when doctors didn't wash their hands before delivering babies. This is a pretty strong film from start to finish that features a terrific performance by Muni who rightfully deserved his Best Actor Oscar. I was really shocked at how well Muni was here because I was a little skeptical going in. God knows he's given countless great performances throughout his career but I was shocked at how well he play Pasteur who of course used his brains more than his muscles or mouth like many of Muni's other roles. There's not a single second where Muni comes off as himself but the entire film he gives the performance that we think we're actually watching Pasteur work. The supporting cast is also very good with Josephine Hutchinson, Anita Louise and Donald Woods all turning in good work.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Russian

Release Date:

February 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of 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
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