About this item
The last of the series of William Dieterle's well-made series of biopics at Warners, which included THE STORY OF EMILE ZOLA and THE LIFE OF LOUIS PASTEUR, JUAREZ was intended to convey a warning to Hitler about the danger of European incursions into Latin America. Although the film was originally supposed to focus on Maximilian, Muni's choice of the part of Juarez made it the starring role and altered the nature of the film. Hapsburg emperor Maximilian (Brian Aherne) and his high-strung wife, Carlotta (Bette Davis), arrive in Mexico in the 1850s at the behest of France's emperor Louis Napoleon III (Claude Rains), who wishes him to assume power and secure the country as a French colony. But the Europeans have severely underestimated the tremendous popularity of the Zapotec Indian statesman, who is the duly elected president. Although they are able to remove him from office with the backing of the French army, Juarez retaliates with a guerrilla force, to the surprise and consternation of Maximilian. Despite a well-intentioned attempt to show a Latin figure in a positive light, Muni's expressiveness is limited by heavy makeup, and John Garfield is seriously miscast as Porfirio Diaz, in a film that is often heavy going. Davis and Rains, however, are typically excellent in their roles.
Movie Category: Feature
Movie MPAA Rating: Nr
Movie Studio: Warner Bros. Digital Dist
Movie Genre: Drama
Movie Type: Biopic [feature]
Movie Theme: Political Unrest, Crowned Heads
MPAA Warnings: Suitable for Children
Run Time: 120 (minutes)
Software Format: DVD
Street Date: November 1, 2011
Item Number (DPCI): 246-07-4274
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