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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


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

An electrician for Warner Bros. studio came up to Paul Muni after an advanced screening of the film and told him that his nine-year-old son asked him to buy him a microscope because of Muni's performance. Even though he went on to win the Oscar for his performance, Muni said that this was the greatest compliment he had ever received and that all other accolades meant nothing compared to that one. See more »

Goofs

In the movie Pasteur's daughter Annette marries Matel. In actual fact Pasteur did not have any daughter by the name of Annette, her name was Marie Louise Pasteur,and she married René Vallery-Radot. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 40th Annual Academy Awards (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Live in the serene peace of libraries and laboratories."
17 July 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Enjoyable biopic about the famous chemist Louis Pasteur, played by Paul Muni. It doesn't focus on all of the man's life and achievements. But it tries to cover some of the highlights, including his fight against anthrax and rabies. Muni does a great job. He's backed up by solid actors like Donald Woods, Henry O'Neill, Fritz Leiber, and Halliwell Hobbes, as well as the lovely Anita Louise and Josephine Hutchinson. It's a well-written and directed film. There are liberties taken with the facts but this is a movie not a history book. As with the best of Hollywood's great old biopics, its focus is to tell the inspirational story of a historical figure in an entertaining way. It does just that. Fans of Paul Muni and fans of old school Hollywood biopics will love it.


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