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Madam Curie

Madam Curie

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Madam Curie  Biopic of the famed scientist and the work she did with her husband Pierre in the discovery of radium. Marie was a student at the Sorbonne studying for her Master’s degree in physics when they first met. She received permission to use space in Professor Pierre Curie’s laboratory. They soon fall in love and are married, working together on trying to isolate a radioactive substance Marie has identified as radium. Years of painstaking research and experimentation led to success and Marie and Pierre Curie shared the Nobel Prize in Physics. Sadly, Pierre was killed crossing the street in the rain when he was run over by a horse and wagon. Marie continued to work and make major contributions to science.

Garson and Pidgeon, A Perfect Fit

Madam Curie  For their third MGM collaboration, Walter Pidgeon and Greer Garson were cast as Pierre and Marie Curie in this epic biographical drama about the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in science. The Curies contribution to science was a newly discovered element radium which did nothing less than alter how we think about matter itself.

The film carries the story of Marie Curie’s life when she was a young student at the Sorbonne from Poland under her maiden name of Sklodowska. The mere fact she was a student there and a brilliant one was highly unusual for women in the 19th century. Her brilliance attracts the attention of young instructor there Pierre Curie, first her mind and then her heart.

Pierre and Marie Curie seem such a perfect fit for each other mainly because Pidgeon and Garson worked so well together on screen. Both got nominations for Best Actor and Actress for 1943, repeating what they had done for Mrs. Miniver in 1942. This was Pidgeon’s second and last nomination. They lost to Paul Lukas and Jennifer Jones in their respective categories. The film itself was nominated for Best Picture but lost to Casablanca.

What I like most about Madame Curie is that you don’t need a degree in physics to understand what’s happening. The actors, the direction by Mervyn LeRoy and the script all are at their best.

Look for up and coming MGM stalwarts like Robert Walker and Van Johnson to play brief roles. Easy to tell why both became stars.

I think Madame Curie and her husband would both have liked the way they were portrayed in this film.

Notorious


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