From the novel The Phantom Crown by Bertita Harding
Well. This is a Mr. Otter fav, and since it was New Year’s Day (theme: 1939) we watched it; this was #5 that day.
On the good side, it’s evidently fairly historically accurate, since I didn’t see Historian-on-a-Stick (aka Mr. Otter) frothing at the mouth. Paul Muni (in heavy makeup) was excellent as the legally elected president of Mexico that’s been overturned by the French, who have placed an emperor under their control in charge of the country…and Bette Davis was great as his empress, Carlotta, who eventually goes mad…that’s an amazing scene, and worth the time spent on the whole movie.
Basically, this one starts out pretty dull and gets better. Revolutionaries, ho hum, france, hm, serious honey Claude Rains as Napoleon III, a little better, more politics, poor Mexican peasants, then Bette and her hubs show up, and it gets watchable…most of the interest is in seeing them go down to disaster, like watching a train wreck.