7.3/10
1,707
34 user 10 critic
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.

Director:

William Dieterle

Writers:

John Huston (screen play), Æneas MacKenzie (screen play) (as Aeneas MacKenzie) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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

Embittered when prejudice cuts short his nascent law career, once-idealistic Johnny Ramirez leaves his home in Los Angeles and ends up in Mexico. He quickly becomes the invaluable ... See full summary »

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Margaret Lindsay
The Sisters (1938)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mary Donnell, a young legal secretary with a past, elopes with a client's son, but his father has the marriage annulled without knowing she's pregnant.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Anita Louise
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The film is about divorce but with flashbacks as to why divorce occurs.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Bette Davis, Barry Sullivan, Jane Cowl
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When his fiancée Valentine dumps him, prominent lawyer Geoffrey Sherwood goes on a bender and winds up married to a stranger, Miriam Brady. They decide to give their marriage a chance. ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Bette Davis, Ian Hunter, Colin Clive
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sir Walter Raleigh overcomes court intrigue to win favor with the Queen in order to get financing for a proposed voyage to the New World.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Bette Davis, Richard Todd, Joan Collins
Housewife (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Nan Reynolds encourages her copywriter husband Bill to open his own agency. Nearly out of business, he finally gets a client. Former girlfriend Patricia Berkeley writes a very successful ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: George Brent, Bette Davis, Ann Dvorak
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
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
June Bride (1948)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A magazine's staff, including bickering ex-lovers Linda and Carey, cover an Indiana wedding, which goes slightly wrong...

Director: Bretaigne Windust
Stars: Bette Davis, Robert Montgomery, Fay Bainter
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An actor of the stage finds himself pursued by a lovestruck fan while trying to patch up a tempestuous relationship with his actress lover.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Muni ... Benito Juárez
Bette Davis ... Carlota of Mexico
Brian Aherne ... Maximilian I of Mexico
Claude Rains ... Napoléon III
John Garfield ... Porfirio Diaz
Donald Crisp ... General Marechal Achille Bazaine
Joseph Calleia ... Alejandro Uradi
Gale Sondergaard ... Empress Eugénie
Gilbert Roland ... Colonel Miguel Lopez
Henry O'Neill ... General Miguel Miramon
Harry Davenport ... Dr. Samuel Basch
Louis Calhern ... Le Marc
Walter Kingsford ... Prince Richard Metternich
Georgia Caine ... Lady in Waiting
Montagu Love ... Jose de Montares
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Warner Bros. present The Picture That Shows How Great The Screen Can Be! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

10 June 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Juárez See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Orry-Kelly designed costumes for Bette Davis which changed in tone as the film progressed: from white at the beginning, changing to gray in mid-film, and then to black at the end when she goes insane. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Emperor Maximilian von Hapsburg: [to Diaz in his prison cell] I want to talk to you.
Gen. Porfirio Diaz: What have we got to talk about?
Emperor Maximilian von Hapsburg: Much, I think. I deeply regret that this neeting had to take place in a prison cell.
Gen. Porfirio Diaz: Where else could it take place but in a prison cell or on the battlefield?
Emperor Maximilian von Hapsburg: Then from all accounts, sir it is well that we meet here. If my generals are to be believed, you are the best soldier in Mexico.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

My Country Tis of Thee
(uncredited)
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

 
rousing historical epic
11 October 2009 | by mukava991See all my reviews

JUAREZ, despite playing fast and loose with certain historical facts, is nevertheless rousing and sumptuous epic film-making about the struggle for justice - on the one hand by the Mexican people and on the other by their hapless monarch.

The people are represented by Paul Muni impersonating Mexican president Benito Juarez; his expressionless face and slow, monotonous line readings are almost laughable; he comes across as a sort of Unconquerable Zombie of the People. He almost always appears in the same frame as a portrait of his hero and contemporary, Abraham Lincoln. As others have pointed out, his most powerful moment comes when he walks purposefully toward a line of armed soldiers in one of those moments of truth at the core of all successful revolutions: the refusal of the armed forces to defend the established regime.

The hounded monarch, Archduke Maximilian, is played by Brian Aherne in what may well be the best casting he was ever assigned on film. His performance is letter perfect as the idealistic puppet of Napoleon III who stuck to his outmoded principles despite overwhelming odds in much the same way as Nicholas II did in Russia decades later. In another parallel to the later Russian events, his domineering wife Carlotta (played by a beautifully photographed, no-holds-barred, black-bewigged Bette Davis) takes matters into her own hands to support his flimsy but ardent claim to the leadership of the country; Aherne, like Muni, is also frequently seen in proximity to a framed portrait - of his wife.

This is an expensive production with lavish costumes, stunning set pieces, gorgeous music, literate dialogue, a who's who of excellent supporting players, and breathtaking photography (the latter by veteran cameraman Tonio Gaudio, some of whose visions, especially Carlotta's prayer to the Virgin Mary and her final scene in a sunlit chamber, recall the most ethereal imagery of the silent era). All of these elements work together to get our blood surging in sympathy for the downtrodden Mexican peasantry as they rise up against cold hearted official corruption. And on a smaller level we feel equally moved by the personal plight of Maximilian.

With so much stuffing, not everything works perfectly. John Garfield, one of the best film actors of his time, is unconvincing as a Mexican general. There is a problem with pacing and informational overkill. Muni's sleepwalking performance contributes to a sense of sluggishness. Whenever he appears you brace yourself for a plodding and profound dose of Great Truth. At least these Truths are not banalities, so they are somewhat worth waiting for.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed