The Story of Louis Pasteur

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The Story of Louis Pasteur
The Story of Louis Pasteur poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by William Dieterle
Produced by Henry Blanke
Written by Pierre Collings
Sheridan Gibney
Starring Paul Muni
Josephine Hutchinson
Anita Louise
Donald Woods
Music by Leo F. Forbstein
Cinematography Tony Gaudio
Edited by Ralph Dawson
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • February 22, 1936 (1936-02-22)
Running time
87 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Story of Louis Pasteur is a 1936 American biographical film. It starred Paul Muni as the renowned scientist who developed major advances in microbiology which revolutionized agriculture and medicine. It was written by Pierre Collings and Sheridan Gibney, and Edward Chodorov (uncredited), and directed by William Dieterle.

Muni won an Academy Award for Best Actor, while Collings and Gibney won for Best Screenplay and Best Story. The film was nominated for Best Picture.

Muni also won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor from the Venice Film Festival in 1936.


In nineteenth century chemist Louis Pasteur (Paul Muni) believes that diseases are caused by unseen microbes. His radical theory is dismissed by most doctors, particularly his most vocal critic, Dr Charbonnet (Fritz Leiber, Sr.). Nonetheless, Pasteur carries on, with the assistance of a small group of loyal researchers, and finds a cure for anthrax. He also campaigns to have doctors wash their hands and sterilize their instruments before operating.

Charbonnet is so certain that Pasteur is a quack that he injects himself with some of the rabies virus. When a triumphant Charbonnet shows no sign of contracting rabies, Pasteur is puzzled, until his wife suggests that the sample may have gotten weak with age. This sets him on the right path to finding a cure. When a frantic mother begs him to try his untested treatment on her son (Dickie Moore), who has been bitten by a rabid dog, Pasteur risks imprisonment and possibly the guillotine to save the child. Even Charbonnet finally concedes that he is right. In the end, Pasteur is honored for his accomplishments.



The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Radio adaptations[edit]

Paul Muni reprised his role in two radio play versions of the film: the November 23, 1936, episode of Lux Radio Theater and the April 13, 1946, episode of Academy Award Theater.


  1. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  2. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-14. 

External links[edit]