Juarez

1939

Biography / Drama / History / Romance

99
IMDb Rating 7 10 1,978

Synopsis


Downloaded times
January 12, 2021

Cast

Bette Davis as Carlota of Mexico
Claude Rains as Napoléon III
Harry Davenport as Dr. Samuel Basch
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.08 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
125 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.01 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
125 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 6 / 10 / 10

Two Films Into One Is A Bad Fit

Juarez is a film that might possibly have been better served if the concept of a mini-series had been available back in 1939. Certainly his story in its entirety with Maximilian and Carlotta as just one part of it would be a mini-series. Benito Juarez who rose from being an illiterate Zapotec Indian from Oaxaca province in Mexico has developed into the Mexican statesman with the biggest popular appeal in American culture. Note how in the film, he is juxtaposed with Abraham Lincoln. Both men started from very humble background and rose to lead their respective nations at the same time, in times of great crises for their countries. Paul Muni makes an impassive and stoic Juarez. It certainly is atypical of the rest of his historical characters be it Louis Pasteur, Pierre Radisson, or Emile Zola where he is quite eloquent. It's so different than what you normally see from Muni. Juarez's story shares the screen with that of his counterpart the Emperor Maximilian. The real Maximilian was not as naive as Brian Aherne would have us believe. He knew very well his power was there while the French army was there. Yet in his own way with limited options he tried to govern as best he could. Aherne was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but lost to Thomas Mitchell for Stagecoach. Hollywood usually can't resist a mad act and Bette Davis might have been nominated herself had she not been already nominated for the much better Dark Victory. It really did happen that way, the high strung Carlotta just snapped when she returned to France to get help for her beleaguered husband. She lived in her private mad world for over 60 years, dying in the mid twenties of the next century. Claude Rains registers well as emperor Louis Napoleon and with this film played both Bonaparte emperors of France. He had played the first Napoleon in Hearts Divided. Marshal Achille Bazaine played well by Donald Crisp was withdrawn with his troops because France was very concerned, rightly so, about a growing threat from a uniting Germany and couldn't waste time with imperialist ventures. I do love the fact that the French seem so concerned about the Monroe Doctrine which was nothing more than an expression of U.S. policy, always has and always will be. It had no force of law behind it, but with the Civil War over and the Union Army at the point of Appomattox being the largest army in the world at that time, that had more to do with Napoleon deciding that the western hemisphere wasn't worth it. An interesting side note to that retrenchment policy, Louis Napoleon also withdrew French troops from Rome and the Papal States for the same reason at the same time because of threats to the home land. It removed the last block to a uniting Italy as well. If I have a favorite among the supporting cast it is Joseph Calleia who plays Juarez's slippery Vice President who tries a palace coup d'etat and falls very short. The one jarring note in the cast is John Garfield who sounds more like he's from the Lower East Side of New York than Mexican as Juarez supporter and future dictator of Mexico, Porfirio Diaz. Juarez as a film is overly ambitious, it tries to tell too much in the running time allotted. A film about Juarez and a film strictly from the Maximilian/Carlotta point of view would have been far better.

Reviewed by jjnxn-1 6 / 10 / 10

Not terrible but hampered by a leaden pace

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.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 6 / 10 / 10

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

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