Juarez Movie Analysis

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The movie Juarez, starring Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Brian Aherne and Claude Rains, has the perfect story line. There’s action, love, violence and heartbreak, but most importantly, it brings attention to a piece of history that is rarely recognized: monarchs in Mexico. Louis Napoleon III of France, played by Claude Rains, saw the American Civil War as an opportunity to advance the French government. Louis wanted to establish French influence in Mexico, which he knew was against the Monroe Doctrine. He took advantage of the fact that America was in a weak state due to the war, and could therefore not intervene as per the Monroe Doctrine. In the film, he discusses with his wife, Empress Eugenie, about who should fulfill the duty
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Upon Colonel Lopez’s arrival, the Republicans had followed close behind and showed up, surrounding Maximilian and his men. Maximilian and his men walk down to meet the troops, and at first they allow him to go. Feeling that escaping is the wrong thing to do, Maximilian hands over his sword and tells them that he is their prisoner. The Republicans find him guilty of accepting the crown from a fraudulent ruler and sentence him to death. Maximilian asks for a pardon for himself, as well as Miramar and General Mejia who were also sentenced to death. President Benito Juarez denies his pardon. When Basch, (Maximilian’s advisor) gets furious about this, Maximilian says that it’s alright, and that if Juarez didn’t pardon him, then he wouldn’t be an honest man. Before he dies, he asks for one last thing, to hear “La Paloma”, a song that he had heard when he was with Carlotta.
Carlotta was not around during this time, as she was still in France. After talking to Napoleon about trying to save the monarchy in Mexico, she stayed in France because she had become mentally ill. In the movie, she shows signs of paranoia, calls Napoleon and Eugenie “the evil ones” and is convinced they are trying to murder her with poison in her water glass and then again in a bowl of soup. Her brother had the best doctor for mental illness come to France, from Vienna, to treat Carlotta, but she was clinically insane and had to be looked after. In one scene, she goes to a window and yells out