"Four long years in this shed!"
A young Polish woman named Marie (Greer Garson) comes to France to study and is introduced to a scientist, Pierre Curie (Walter Pidgeon), who will have great impact on her life. Although the early sections of the movie are a little tedious with all the scientific jargon, eventually Madame Curie builds up interest and an emotional current. After her marriage to Pierre, Marie is convinced that she has discovered a new active element, radium, and Pierre drops his own research to assist her. In a poorly heated, leaky shed the two spend years trying to isolate this element, performing literally thousands of experiments, and even then seem to be met with failure... There is a certain amount of dramatic license taken, time and events juggled, altered and compressed, but the basic facts are there, and the movie is well-done and well-acted, especially by a marvelous Garson. Pidgeon, though never in her league, is better than usual. Robert Walker has a small role as Pierre's lab assistant, and Van Johnson has practically a bit as a reporter who interviews Marie when she is on vacation. Madame Curie is decidedly a woman of historical and scientific importance for many reasons, although nowadays the practical uses of radium are rather limited. [She also discovered polonium, named after her native Poland.]
Verdict: Garson is always watchable. ***.