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The Story of Louis Pasteur

Released Nov 23, 1935 1h 25m Biography List
90% Tomatometer 10 Reviews 76% Audience Score 250+ Ratings French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur (Paul Muni) is on a quest to cure the ailments of the 19th century. But he's thwarted at every turn by skeptical fellow scientists, chief among them Dr. Charbonnet (Fritz Leiber). He draws scorn when he supports the germ theory, advocating that doctors should wash their hands and sterilize their instruments before working on patients. But Pasteur perseveres, and when anthrax becomes a scourge, he holds the key to solving the epidemic. Read More Read Less

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The Story of Louis Pasteur

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Critics Reviews

View All (10) Critics Reviews
Otis Ferguson The New Republic Continually disappoints with a wasting of its substance, with a transmission of the feeling that whatever has been gained, too much has been lost, that what should be vital and arresting has been made hollow and dull. May 23, 2024 Full Review Frank S. Nugent New York Times An excellent biography, just as it is a notable photoplay, dignified in subject, dramatic in treatment and brilliantly played by Paul Muni, Fritz Leiber, Josephine Hutchinson and many other members of the cast. Rated: 4/5 Apr 4, 2011 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Expert casting and splendid production are the points in the film's favor, primarily. Paul Muni in the title role is at his very top form. Apr 4, 2011 Full Review Aurelio Pego Cine-Mundial A true cinematographic creation. [Full review in Spanish] May 6, 2021 Full Review Meyer Levin (Patterson Murphy) Esquire Magazine A tender service to science, depicting the life of the great chemist. Some remarkably lucid expositions of the principles of bacteriology... Apr 16, 2020 Full Review Ann Ross Maclean's Magazine A truly remarkable picture. Jul 23, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (28) audience reviews
Stephen C LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/23/23 Full Review Audience Member "The Story of Louis Pasteur" is pretty good at attempting to show the French scientist as a one man against the medical world. It shows us that Paul Muni was one of the great actors of his time. He could transform into almost any role. There are a lot scenes where Louis is confronted with a situation, mocked by all doctors, and he proves them all wrong. While he was indeed an immensely important person in the advancement of understanding how germs work, the film suffers from a sense that this is a highly fictionalized version of his life. It steers away from his controversies such as his bullying and deception against rivals. I liked Muni's performance, I was interested in the subject matter and learning who he was. In the end I didn't really learn anything on a science level. It all seems pretty obvious to us now. I guess I learned that Paul Muni ia a great actor. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/09/23 Full Review Audience Member While the actual details of the life of the great chemist, Louis Pasteur, are mixed up in this glossy MGM biography, the general facts are all there and the film is both captivating and inspiring. In many ways, the movie DR. EHRLICH'S MAGIC BULLET (starring Edward G. Robinson) is Warner Brother's answer to this MGM film and BOTH are well worth seeing and are about equally entertaining. Paul Muni plays Pasteur, though much of his earlier career is left out of the film. Instead of his many advances and breakthroughs, the film focuses on three--his sterilization crusade, his inoculation for Anthrax and his cure for Rabies. This is probably not a bad idea, since the film never would have fit into the a standard length otherwise. I also assume that some of the characters in the film were fictitious, as I tried doing an internet search on Dr. Charbonnet as well as read up on Pasteur and could not verify some of the film's details--this isn't at all unusual for a bio-pic from the 1930s plus none of this fundamentally changed the overall facts. The film is well-written, compelling and makes science kind of cool. So, if you want to expose kids to culture and science, this is a good and relatively painless way to do it. By the way, the actor that played Joseph Lister is pretty much dead-on to the real Lister--right down to the muttonchops! Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review steve d Powerfully acted and deeply engaging Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Ken R Surprisingly, it's said this prestigious production had a relatively small budget but it's hardly at all obvious. For anyone interested in cinematic history or those who know what to expect (or how to watch) movies made in this era, 'Pasteur' should be pleasing viewing. The story of this important and dedicated chemist is essential for all to know - and be surprised by how ignorance of every day hygienic practices, within the medical fraternity, cost so many lives. Paul Muni is in top form with his award-winning performance, and a handpicked cast of reliable Warner character actors backs him to perfection. Director William Dieterle set a quality standard for many Warner blockbusters that would follow, notably, one year later the best picture Award winner; ‘The Life of Emile Zola' - this classic, features what has to be one of the greatest single take readings in the history of film – with Muni reciting Zola's famous, impassioned courtroom plea for justice in the scandalous Dreyfus case. There's little reference to Pasteurisation but many of his other dramatic medical achievements are covered, Birth Deaths, Rabies, etc, - as well as the shameful ridicule he suffered from the medical association of the day! Tony Gaudio's B/W cinematography looks grand. While the music score is uncredited, it seems most was composed by Bernard Kaun. The Warner Archive DVD is mostly OK but does have some subsonic sound rumble in certain scenes. Otherwise quite reasonable. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 07/19/20 Full Review Audience Member The best inspiring movie ever made! With the best movie character ever portrayed: Paul Muni as Louis Pasteur! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Story of Louis Pasteur

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Cast & Crew

Disraeli 83% 40% Disraeli Sunrise at Campobello 88% 62% Sunrise at Campobello The Life of Emile Zola 92% 74% The Life of Emile Zola Cardinal Richelieu 80% % Cardinal Richelieu Rembrandt 75% 75% Rembrandt Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur (Paul Muni) is on a quest to cure the ailments of the 19th century. But he's thwarted at every turn by skeptical fellow scientists, chief among them Dr. Charbonnet (Fritz Leiber). He draws scorn when he supports the germ theory, advocating that doctors should wash their hands and sterilize their instruments before working on patients. But Pasteur perseveres, and when anthrax becomes a scourge, he holds the key to solving the epidemic.
Director
William Dieterle
Producer
Henry Blanke
Distributor
Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Co
Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
Genre
Biography
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Nov 23, 1935, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Jun 3, 2019
Runtime
1h 25m
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