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Juarez is the story of three men – Benito Juarez (Paul Muni), Napoleon III (Claude Rains) and Emperor Maximilian (Brian Aherne) – driven by political passions. And of a woman, Empress Carlota (Bette Davis), driven to madness. John Garfield and Gale Sondergaard join the illustrious cast of this epic, directed by William Dieterle (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Life of Emile Zola) and set against a backdrop of revolution and royal ambition, with Mexico as the prize. All the leads earned critical plaudits, but many reviewers singled out Davis for one bravura sequence in which, as the mentally fragile Empress, she confronts Napoleon, demanding he save her husband’s life. “Her final flitting away into the darkness of madness is the most unforgettable moment in the picture” (James Shelley Hamilton, National Board of Review).

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WAA24074 Juarez DVD (1939/Bette Davis) $19.95