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Story of Louis Pasteur [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Muni, Josephine Hutchinson, Anita Louise, Donald Woods, Fritz Leiber
  • Directors: William Dieterle
  • Writers: Edward Chodorov, Pierre Collings, Sheridan Gibney
  • Producers: Hal B. Wallis, Jack L. Warner
  • Format: Black & White, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Language: English, French, Russian
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: March 7, 2000
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003OSTS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,111 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Screen biopic of the famous doctor who invented pasteurization and developed the first rabies vaccine.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
Paul Muni in his Oscar winning performance as Pasteur is brilliant.
Mike Donovan
This movie not only powerfully tells the story of one of the greatest minds in human history, but of the ordeals of one of history's greatest human spirits.
James McComb
He laid the groundwork for modern microbiology as well as scientific method.
R. Plemmons

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By James McComb on December 14, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This movie not only powerfully tells the story of one of the greatest minds in human history, but of the ordeals of one of history's greatest human spirits. The Story of Louis Pasteur didn't just teach me about Pasteur's brilliant insights and scientific accomplishments - it portrayed the incredible drama of a man who doggedly fought for truth and the relief of human suffering against incredible opposition, ridicule, and derision. Einstein said that "great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from men with mediocre minds" and no truer words could be spoken about Pasteur and his career. His bravery and self-sacrifice as portrayed in this classic movie could not be more poignant or inspirational. A must see for everyone!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James L. on March 23, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Paul Muni stars in another one of his famous biographical roles, this time as scientist Louis Pasteur. Pasteur became famous for his involvement, in among other things, demanding that doctors sterilize their instruments and wash their hands, in finding a vaccine for anthrax, and developing a treatment for rabies. In this film, we see how Pasteur struggled not only with the science behind these issues, but also with the medical establishment that did not want to give credit to a mere scientist. Muni is very good in the title role, impatient, demanding, wise, and impassioned at various moments. The screenplay manages to take a topic that could have easily been made boring (a scientist staring into a microscope looking for germs) and makes it great entertainment instead.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Eddins on July 22, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The Story of Louis Pasteur is an excellent movie. At first, I didn't know if I wanted to see it because it was in black and white, and I had stereotyped all black and white movies into the "boring" category. However, after seeing the movie, I feel so good about it that I want to add it to my movie collection. Louis Pasteur was a remarkable man, and his quest for knowledge to benefit people and not for monetary profit excited me and helped me feel grateful for the blessings I have (many of which can be attributed to him). He pursued knowledge and stuck by that knowledge even in the face of bitter opposition from his colleagues in science and medicine. I was so motivated by this movie, that I didn't just sit there and think, "Oh, what a nice movie," but I really wanted to learn worthwhile things, too. This is the kind of movie that I want my children to see and learn from. Louis Pasteur is truly a role model.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Martin Asiner on August 31, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Just as the world of science and medicine owes a debt to Louis Pasteur for his cures of anthrax and rabies so does the world of entertainment owe a similar debt to Paul Muni for dramatising the work of a much reviled French chemist in THE STORY OF LOUIS PASTEUR. Director William Dieterle brought to the screen the essence of a man who was not afraid to speak out against the political correctness of his day, as collectively symbolized by the French Academy of Medicine who refused to see the very evident proof of Pasteur's claims that he lay right under their arrogant noses. Dieterle and Muni were to collaborate again one year later in filming the life of yet another great Frenchman in THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA. Pasteur, as Muni plays him, is a doctor who insists that cleanliness, if not next to godliness, is at least next to safety during surgery. The louder Pasteur claims that unwashed surgeons' hands and unsterilized scalpels cause patients to die with infection, the more viciously he is attacked by the Academy, symbolized by the haughty Dr. Charbonnet (Fritz Leiber). Pasteur later finds a cure for anthrax, and one would think that Charbonnet and the other Academy members would recognize Pasteur's genius, but even after a conclusive experiment proves his claims, his colleagues still ridicule him. It is only when Pasteur finds a cure for rabies that even the nearsighted Academy must hail his results.
THE STORY OF LOUIS PASTEUR is the kind of movie bio that lets you know from the first scene that the hero will meet and later overcome considerable obstacles on the way to an upbeat ending. Dieterle was old-fashioned enough to end the film on a rousing call by Pasteur to the younger generation of scientists and doctors to work ceaselessly to find cures for mankind's illnesses.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Plemmons on September 7, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
An entertaining and reasonably accurate depiction of the triumph of Louis Pasteur over the entrenched naysayers in the French medical establishment of the day. The movie covers his support of the germ theory of disease and early efforts at antisepsis, but mostly focuses on his development of vaccines for anthrax and rabies. I can't think of another person in the history of biology and medicine who had a greater impact upon the human condition than this man. He laid the groundwork for modern microbiology as well as scientific method. This is a really entertaining movie that has you rooting for the focused and determined Pasteur through all of the ridicule and derision of the medical "luminaries" of 19th century France. A great movie for anyone with an interest in microbiology, medicine, or epidemiology, but just a terrific story for everyone.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cory D. Slipman on April 10, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Paul Muni, who had a propensity for being cast in roles of historical figures scored big in his Oscar winning portrayal in the title role of "The Story of Louis Pasteur". His acting style, honed by years in the Yiddish theatre was perfect for these grandiose parts.

Pasteur, a French chemist in the 1860's is ridiclued and scorned by the French Academy of Medicine for his theories postulating the microbial origins of infectious disease. With the rates of death during chilbirth soaring, Pasteur feels compelled to determine why. Although presenting convincing evidence that lack of sterilization is to blame, he is cast out from Paris at the insistence of Emperor Louis Napolean.

Pasteur settles in Abois where he perfects a vaccine for the prevention of an anthrax epidemic that is decimating the cattle and sheep population of the country. His discovery is hailed by the scientific community but there are still doubters.

His fiercest critic Dr. Charbonnet played superbly by veteran actor Fritz Lieber mocks him when he encounters difficulty formulating a vaccine for rabies. Muni finally successfully discovers a treatment for the dreaded disease. He uses his newly developed vaccine on an unfortunate lad played by Little Rascals regular Dickie Moore, in it's first human trial. The boy's recovery and use of the vaccine on a group of Russian peasants infected by rabid wolves wins Pasteur worldwide acclaim.
He is heralded by the French Academy lead by Dr. Charbonnet and noted epidemiologist Dr. Joseph Lister, as a monumental credit to humanity.

If not for the dated quality of this solid flick, it might have been more compelling. Muni was supported well in his starring role especially by the aforementioned Lieber and Josephine Hutchinson as his stalwart and caring wife.
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