Louis Napoleon III takes advantage of the American Civil War to circumvent the Monroe Doctrine and expand his power by helping Emperor Maximillian Hapsburg to add Mexico to his empire. of Mexico.



(screen play), (screen play) (as Aeneas MacKenzie) | 3 more credits »

Watch Now

From $9.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bordertown (1935)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Johnny Ramirez rises from bouncer to partner in Charlie Roark's border town casino. Charlie's wife Marie loves Johnny, but Johnny loves society woman Dale. Marie kills her husband, making ... See full summary »

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Margaret Lindsay
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two producers are putting together a wartime charity show with an all-star cast but the egotism of radio personality Eddie Cantor disrupts their plans.

Director: David Butler
Stars: Eddie Cantor, Dennis Morgan, Humphrey Bogart
The Sisters (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three daughters of a small town pharmacist undergo trials and tribulations in their problematic marriages between 1904 and 1908.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Anita Louise
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The lifestyles of Arlene and Valkyr Bradford, half-sisters from a respected San Francisco family, diverge markedly as Arlene takes up with criminals.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Bette Davis, Donald Woods, Margaret Lindsay
Biography | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A financially-strapped charter pilot hires himself to an oil tycoon to kidnap his madcap daughter and prevent her from marrying a vapid band leader.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: James Cagney, Bette Davis, Stuart Erwin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A German-born engineer, his American wife and their children travel from Mexico to the United States to visit his brother but their plans are complicated by a Romanian count.

Directors: Herman Shumlin, Hal Mohr
Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Lukas, Geraldine Fitzgerald
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A schoolteacher becomes the mentor of a talented young miner and seeks to get him into a university.

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: Bette Davis, John Dall, Nigel Bruce
The Great Lie (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After a newlywed's husband apparently dies in a plane crash, she discovers that her rival for his affections is now pregnant with his child.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Mary Astor
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A woman reporter tries to prove she's just as good as any man, but runs into trouble along the way.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Roscoe Karns
The Old Maid (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The arrival of an ex-lover on a young woman's wedding day sets in motion a chain of events which will alter her and her cousin's lives forever.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, George Brent
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two soldiers on sick leave spend three nights at the Hollywood Canteen before going back to active duty. With a little friendly help from John Garfield, Slim gets to kiss Joan Leslie, whom ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Bette Davis, John Garfield, The Andrews Sisters
Deception (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A piano teacher believes that her fiancé was killed on the battlefield. When he miraculously returns, they decide to marry, but are threatened by a wealthy, egotistical composer the piano teacher started dating on the rebound after she became convinced her love had died.

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains


Cast overview, first billed only:
General Marechal Achille Bazaine
Alejandro Uradi
Colonel Miguel Lopez
General Miguel Miramon
Dr. Samuel Basch
Le Marc
Walter Kingsford ...
Lady in Waiting
Jose de Montares


The newly-named Emperor Maximillian, the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire, arrives in Mexico in the early 1860s with his wife Carlotta to face popular sentiment favoring Benito Juarez and popular demand for democracy. With an elite group of Mexican monarchists, Maximillian tries to appease the democratic Mexicans but he fails. Abraham Lincoln continues to support Juarez and asks the French to withdraw support for Maximilian. Carlotta goes to France to plead with Napoleon III, to no avail. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See It Now ! You'll Remember It Always ! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

10 June 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juárez  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print) | (original release)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Brian Aherne, the film was to have been called 'Phantom Crown', after the novel by Bertita Harding which was one of the sources for the script. However Muni had a clause in his contract that permitted him to insist that the name of his character appear in the title. See more »


When Napoleon lll is informed in a letter that Robert E. Lee has been defeated at Gettysburg, he responds by paraphrasing Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address by calling democracy as government for the people, by the people, etc. He couldn't have known Lincoln's rhetorical flourish because the actual speech wasn't given until mid November 1863. See more »


Gen. Marechal Achille Bazaine: [to Uradi] If you dare to jeopardize the cause for your own political ambition, I'll let the breath out of your throat.
See more »


My Country Tis of Thee
Music attributed to Henry Carey (1744)
Played as part of the score when America is mentioned
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The last emperor
10 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

Although there are some mistakes historically speaking,this is an absorbing screenplay,with superlative performances by Paul Muni,Bette Davis and Brian Aherne,who should have been at the top of the bill too,for he has more scenes than his two co-stars.

Muni is almost frightening with his impassive face and his slow delivery.If looks could kill,his certainly would...

Davis ,although she does not look like Charlotte physically ,gives a captivating portrayal of the empress.The scene when she prays Virgin Mary is impressive ,but not true: she was not sterile,but she and the emperor used to sleep apart!Their relationship was much more complex than the one depicted by Dieterlé: actually,the emperor was often away,it seemed that their strange love worked from a distance.Little by little,Maximilian lost all interest in power and Charlotte was ruling while he was gone (which often happened)or was staying in his Cuernavaca "paradise" .

Aherne is Maximilian in the flesh.It's interesting to notice that his brother Francis-Joseph had deprived him of all his rights and his titles in Austria.Historians generally agree that he would not have accepted the Mexican throne,if Charlotte had not been his wife. the problem is that the film doesn't show us the couple BEFORE they get to Mexico:one thing to bear in mind is that Max did not accept the throne overnight;and many people in Europa (notably Queen Victoria and Empress Elizabeth aka "Sissi" ) had warned them it was more a curse than a blessing.Charlotte (Carlotta) ,someone reportedly said ,wanted to reign over any people anywhere.Sissi called her Max's black angel. Maximilian is depicted as a chivalrous noble sovereign which he was in a way.But of course ,he had lots of (Mexican)lovers since he didn't sleep with his wife

Dieterlé does not pass over in silence the obnoxious role played by Napoleon the Third (and wife Eugénie de Montijo).Charlotte does show her contempt:"He is an impostor,his family is not an old one like ours ".The famous scene of the orangeade is included .Today,no serious historian would put forward that the drink was poisoned.But it might be possible that she was poisoned before leaving Mexico.Davis shines when she plays these scenes of madness.The scenes in Paris are not thoroughly accurate though:Eugenie (an incredibly beautiful Sondergaard) met first Carlotta alone in the Grand Hotel -they did not invite her to the Tuileries,which meant a lot about what they felt-Metternich was not the person who helped Carlotta :she first took refuge in the Vatican where the pope had trouble to get rid of her,then her sister-in-law Marie -Henriette ,queen of Belgium,came to her rescue when she was treated almost like a prisoner in Miramar.

All that concerns Maximilian's death is accurate ,his last words were "poor Charlotte!"

Poor Charlotte indeed.She was to outlive almost everyone,even Empress Eugenie! She died in 1927,after years and years of insanity with occasional moments of lucidity ,notably during WW1.

Dieterlé's movie is by no means uninteresting,but it would be exciting to film a remake in the light of the recent works about the Mexican adventure.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
singer of La Paloma in Juarez guitry-1
DVD? dimkv_gr
Great Bette Antirrana
What Scenes Were Cut When the 132-Minute Original Was Slashed? OldFilmLover
They should have titled this movie... waltereckland
Juarez Overture robertshort_3
Discuss Juarez (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: