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
Won three of the four awards it was nominated for at the Academy Awards, but lost Best Picture to The Great Ziegfeld (1936). See more »
This movie is about a Frenchman, and is set in France; however, the written and printed texts are in English. See more »
[addressing The Academy of Medicine - directing his remarks to the young men in the balcony]
Dr. Louis Pasteur:
You young men - doctors and scientists of the future - do not let yourselves be tainted by apparent skepticism; nor discouraged by the sadness of certain hours that creep over nations. Do not become angry at your opponents, for no scientific theory has ever been accepted without opposition. Live in the serene peace of libraries and laboratories. Say to yourselves, first, "What have I done for...
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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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