Juarez (1939)

Approved   |    |  Biography, Drama, History


Juarez (1939) Poster

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.


7.1/10
1,819

Photos

  • Bette Davis in Juarez (1939)
  • John Miljan in Juarez (1939)
  • Bette Davis and Paul Muni in Juarez (1939)
  • Bette Davis and Paul Muni in Juarez (1939)
  • John Garfield in Juarez (1939)
  • Bette Davis in Juarez (1939)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


19 July 2012 | TheLittleSongbird
6
| Flawed but lavish and interesting
What drew me into seeing Juarez in the first place were the cast and that Korngold wrote the music. And while it is far from perfect, there are definitely a lot of good things. It does look exquisite, not just in the lavishly rendered costumes and sets but also in the sweeping cinematography. Korngold's score is splendid also, full of the rich and rousing melodies he is famous for, if not quite on the same level as the scores he did for Prince and the Pauper, Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk and especially The Adventures of Robin Hood. The Mexican history is interesting and I did find it informative, and most of the acting is fine. In particular Bette Davis who is very compelling in her role, Brian Aherne's dignified Maximillian and Claude Rains who plays urbane better than anyone(except perhaps Cary Grant). Donald Crisp, Montagu Love and Joseph Calleia are excellent also. However there are debits, while the script is mostly literate it also suffers from being too talky and trying to tell us too much. The film is perhaps overlong, and is rather tedious in the pace at times. And two actors unfortunately didn't work for me. Paul Muni, wonderful in Scarface, The Good Earth and The Life of Emile Zola, not helped by very heavy make-up is far too stoic and stiff in the lead. And while he tries hard to give the honest intensity the small role of Porfirio Diaz, John Garfield just ended up being out of place. On the whole, a great cast, a splendid score and lavish production values are definite things to like, but Juarez is spoilt sadly by bad pacing, too much talk and two actors who don't convince as much as they should. 6/10 Bethany Cox

Critic Reviews



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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.


Quotes

Emperor Louis Napoleon III: Democracy! Government of the cattle, by the cattle, for the cattle!


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.


Alternate Versions

In 1952, the film was re-released and several key scenes were removed, particularly sequences that contained dialogue that criticized countries which, in 1939 had been regarded as totalitarian, but which, by the early 1950s had become Cold War allies of the United States and could therefore no longer be criticized as imperialist adventurers. Germany and Italy, especially, former enemies in the 1940s, were now the cornerstone of NATO. The removal of these scenes obfuscated the narrative considerably, in particular, removing any clear reasons behind the execution of the Emperor Maximilian at the conclusion of the film. This revised print runs 106 minutes and is the version released on video and generally available today. The 1939 version is preserved on nitrate stock in the Warner Archive.


Soundtracks

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

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Biography | Drama | History | Romance

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