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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Benito Juarez was only 4ft 6ins tall (1.37 m). See more »
About 72 minutes into the film the Imperial Mexican soldiers are committing executions in a village. A young boy tears down a posting of an Imperial Decree and flees. The commander of the Imperial soldiers draws a Colt Model 1873 Single Action Army and shoots the boy down. As the film is set in 1865, this pistol will not be invented for another eight years. See more »
The original roadshow version of the film ran 132 minutes and in addition, included a six minute overture created by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. This overture was performed live, conducted by Korngold, at the Hollywood Premiere of the film on April 25, 1939. Roadshow prints had a recording of this overture placed before the film's main titles. See more »
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Music by William Steffe (circa 1856)
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1862)
Played as part of the score when Abraham Lincoln is mentioned
Extensively played when news of Lincoln's assassination reaches Juarez See more »
Well appointed but lumbering, miscast drama. Bette is fine, all spit and fire but John Garfield, who was embarrassed by his forced casting, is completely out of place as Porfirio Diaz with his New York accent still firmly in place. Paul Muni, a very fine actor in modern dress roles, does what he always does when heavily made up; he lets the makeup do the acting for him. The best performance is delivered by Brian Aherne but he is hampered by a bizarre beard which distracts the viewer whenever he's on screen. The lack of fluid direction makes this feel more like a history lesson than a dramatized story of an actual series of events. A good try but stodgy.
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