Paul Muni won his only Oscar from his third nomination of five total nominations for playing French chemist Louis Pasteur.
The Story of Louis Pasteur follows Pasteur as he fights for the recognition of germs, discovers the vaccine for anthrax and later the vaccine for rabies. The film is not really that compelling, and although Pasteur work was incredibly important his life story is not extremely amazing. I still enjoyed the film though, just as an old fashioned biopic.
Paul Muni is not amazing as Pasteur, but he is good. He does not do a French accent, but nobody really did that back then. Pasteur as written in this film, is not really a character who requires that difficult of acting. Muni plays Pasteur basically the same way through, as a self-confidant chemist, who struggles to get support but never really loses his stature. Muni is just fine with what he has to do but he does not have really that much to do. He shows the little emotion he has to, and is properly determined but again there is nothing amazing about his performance. I still liked how Muni did everything in the film. I never thought he was not trying as hard as he needed to be. I thought he played the part as well as anyone could have played it.