Juarez (1939) - full transcript

The newly-named Emperor Maximillian, the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire, arrives in Mexico in the early 1860s with his wife Carlotta to face popular sentiment favoring Benito Juarez and popular demand for democracy. With an elite group of Mexican monarchists, Maximillian tries to appease the democratic Mexicans but he fails. Abraham Lincoln continues to support Juarez and asks the French to withdraw support for Maximilian. Carlotta goes to France to plead with Napoleon III, to no avail.

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I, Louis-Napoleon,
emperor of France

pledge our wealth
and the might of our army

not in a spirit
of selfish conquest

but in a crusade
to restore to our race

and the rest
of the civilized world

our ancient force and prestige.

Let the world know
that our conquest of Mexico

is only the beginning
of the fulfillment

of our holy mission.

What does this letter
mean to us, Louis?

What does it mean?

The American Civil War
may end at any moment..

and the North is going to win.

- What do you think it means?
- But we...

We undertook the Mexican conquest

on the theory
the South would be victorious

that a divided America
would be unable

to enforce the Monroe Doctrine.

You! You are responsible
for this, Randon.

You convinced us that the South
was certain to triumph.

And this Battle of Gettysburg
is incomprehensible.

It is your business
as minister of war

to know which side will win
a battle before it is fought!

Your Imperial Majesty

I-I admit my mistake, but I...


Mistake, you call it?

I cannot afford the luxury
of such things as mistakes!

Mistakes are
for constitutional monarchs

presidents and suchlike

not for a supreme autocrat.

Millions have been poured
into the Mexican conquest

millions for men, more men,
ships, munitions.

I could have conquered
half of Europe at less cost.

You and your banker friends
have got me into this mess.

Well, Your Majesty is unfair.

The collection of Mexico's debt
was of secondary importance.

Your Majesty intervened in Mexico

to block the spread
of American democracy.

Democracy, the rule of the cattle

by the cattle, for the cattle.

Abraham Lincoln.

Parliaments, plebiscites,

a mob intoxicated
with ideas of equality. Cattle!

Am I to be destroyed
by such filth? Am I?

Well, what do you advise now?

Shall we evacuate Mexico

admit the defeat
of French imperialism

at the hands of Benito Juarez,
an Indian bandit

and be engulfed by a revolution
here at home..

or should we wait
for the Yankees to destroy us

on the Rio Grande?

Well, if we evacuate Mexico now

we're certain
to have trouble here at home.

As I see it,
there's everything to lose

by an immediate withdrawal.

No doubt, that's the way
you do see it, de Morny!

Calm yourself, Louis.

We have no great problem
in this affair.

Does madame imply
that she sees a solution?

Take a lesson
from your uncle, Louis.

How did the first Napoleon
hold Holland?

By giving Holland a monarch.

How did he hold Sweden?

By giving Sweden a monarch.

Why shouldn't you hold Mexico
in the same way

by giving Mexico
a monarch of its own?

But, Genie,
you forget the Monroe Doctrine.

The Monroe Doctrine applies

only to the taking
of American territory

by European powers..

not to the internal affairs
of the American nation.

the United States would have

no legal grounds for complaint

were Mexico to have an emperor..

who happened to favor
French interests.

Well, no doubt the gentlemen of
the Mexican Conservative Party

whom Senor Montares represents

will be overjoyed
at the prospect of a monarch.

A monarch who would return to us

the lands which were seized
by Benito Juarez?

A splendid idea.


And since the idea
originated with madame

it should be her privilege
to nominate

the future emperor
of Mexico herself.

Then let us see.

There's Prince Albrecht
of Anhalt-Zerbst.

Oh, but he's a Protestant,
of course, and won't do.

The Margrave Karl
of Lippe-Detmold.

Too old.

The Archduke Maximilian
of Austria.

Oh, but he's a Habsburg,
of course, and couldn't accept.

Not even if the Mexican people
were to offer him the throne

through a plebiscite?

Let us try.

- What's your name?
- Jose de la Cruz.

- Can you write?
- No.

Put your mark here.

- What's your name?
- Juan Maleno.

Can you write?

Do not write your names,

You are being tricked!
We don't want an emperor.

We still have a president,
Benito Juarez

who helped us get lands.

If an emperor comes,
he will take them away!

Then we shall starve
and be slaves again!

Put your mark here.

- What's your name?
- Antonio Rosales.

- Write it here.
- I will not sign!

Viva Juarez!

I will not sign!
It's a trickery!

We don't want an emperor!

Viva Benito Juarez!

Viva la republi..

"The constitutional president
of the Republic

"to the people of Mexico.


"the guilt of Napoleon III

"whose lust for conquest

"has destroyed
thousands of Mexicans

"the guilt of those traitors
here at home

"who would sell
their birthright to foreigners

"for the privilege of exploiting
their fellow countrymen

'"the guilt of all
who have conspired'

'"to commit the gravest crime
against civilization'

"which is the despoiling
of the liberty of a free people

"now embodies itself
in the person of the usurper

"Maximiliano von Habsburg.

"Let him who would
come to our shores

"to rule over us as a tyrant

"know that the cause of democracy

"has not perished
and shall not perish.

"Let him know, that to us

"the defense of democracy
is an imperative duty

"since it is the defense
of our own honor

"the dignity
of our wives and children

"the honor and dignity
of all men.

"Let him know that the struggle
of right against might

"shall never cease in Mexico

"until the last patriot lies

"with the thousands
upon thousands

"who have already
laid down their lives

"for truth, liberty

"and justice.

'Done at Saltillo,
this first day of May, 1864."'

'Marechal Bazaine,
I can assure you'

'of His Majesty's
complete confidence.'

During my stay in Paris

he repeatedly
expressed his pleasure

in having you in command

of his troops here in Mexico.

I'm very grateful
for His Majesty's confidence.

Well, what is it?

Grand total of the plebiscites.

In favor of the monarchy,

Against the monarchy, 60,412

being a majority of 5,960,346.

In other words,
99% of the entire vote

an overwhelming majority

for your friend,
the archduke, senor.

Thanks to your cooperation

Monsieur le Marechal.

All we need do now
is to await the arrival

of His Imperial Majesty
Maximilian von Habsburg

by the grace of God
and the will of the people

emperor of Mexico.

On this historic occasion

as Your Majesties
first set foot upon this soil

the eager heart of Mexico

is too full of pride
and gratitude

to speak more than a single word


It is with a feeling
of profound reverence

that we set foot
upon this soil, senor

in the full consciousness
of our obligation to it

and to those who have
entrusted their destinies

to our hands.

With your Imperial Majesty's

the liberator of Mexico

le Marechal Achille Bazaine.

Your Imperial Majesties

it is my privilege and pleasure
to convey the congratulations

of the French Army of Occupation.

We are grateful
to the Army of Occupation

and to you personally,
Monsieur le Marechal.


It's alive.

It's one of Your Majesty's
most valuable servants.

The vultures of Mexico
are protected by law.

They are the scavengers
of its cities

consuming all garbage
and keeping its streets clean.

'Colonel Miguel Lopez'

'commanding the escort in charge'

of Your Majesty's
personal safety.

You have a large command,

Is there a possibility
we may be attacked?

Not the slightest, sire.

We only wish to secure
Your Majesties

against any intrusions.

We shall feel very safe
in your charge, Colonel Lopez.

Your Majesties will travel
over the exact route

that Hernan Cortes followed
in his conquest of Mexico.

Strange, Max.

Many flags, many soldiers

but not a Mexican in sight.

General Lopez,
the streets seem to be empty

except for the soldiers.

Uh, why are there
no townspeople here to greet us?

It's because of the plague,
Your Majesty.

- What plague?
- Black plague, Your Majesty.

There's an epidemic in the city

and all public gatherings
have been forbidden.

What is it?


Since we set foot off the ship..

I have felt myself
surrounded by mystery..

as though
everything we looked at

possessed some... hidden meaning.

It has touched me, too, Max.

It's made me apprehensive
at having urged you so much

toward this undertaking.

But you must never
let my opinions

influence your own
best judgment, dearest.

But I rely
upon your influence, liebchen.

You have a comprehension
that lets you see

into the heart of things.

You were right
in setting me on the road

to my manifest destiny.

Max, it's getting colder
very quickly.

Let us have a rug.

'What's that?'

"If Your Serene Highness
is an honorable man

"I tell you
that you are the victim

"of a fraud

'"which was designed
to make you believe'

"that the people of Mexico
desired a monarch.

"And I tell you to leave Mexico

"and never to return

"in the role of an emperor.

"But if Your Serene Highness
is without honor

"and yourself
a party to this fraud

"I commend you
to your own conscience

"and to the tremendous judgment
of history.

'Benito Juarez."'

It was just after we left
the pueblo of San Vicente

and were going up
into the mountains

they found your letter,
Senor Presidente.

Maximiliano and Carlota
sat in troubled silence

for a long time
after they read it.

'Is his uniform very splendid?'

Yes, senor.
He is a magnifico.

Tall and fair with blue eyes

and a beard yellow
like the silk of the corn.

The Indians thought, many of them

that he was
the Fair God, Quetzalcoatl

come back again.

The blond god
of the Aztec Indians

who promised to return someday

when he sailed away
into the sunrise.

They will not think him a god
when he takes back their lands.

You should have seen
their entrance into Mexico City.

It was quite different
from the reception

they got on their arrival.

They were acclaimed, senores

even by many who hate the French.

'We know.'

The blood must be let out

of all that magnificence.

The servants in the palace say
that four times every day

Maximiliano changes his clothes
down to his skin

once in the morning
when he rides his horse

once when he sits
with his ministers

once when he walks with Carlota
by the pool in the park

and once again
before he eats dinner.

They walk by the pool
in the park, did you say?

Are they guarded
when they walk there?

- No, senor.
- Very good, Manuel.

Go now and find out
whatever else you can.

- Adios, senores.
- Adios.

There are thickets by that pool

deep thickets where a man
can wait with a knife.

Eh, senores?

No, Carbajal.

We're not assassins..

nor are we, as Napoleon
would have the world believe

a pack of savage bandits.

A responsible government
does not stab a man in the back.

His crime must be judged

according to the laws
of the land.

It is the Mexican people
who will punish the man

who calls himself their emperor.

You are quite right,
Senor Presidente.

Our cause has suffered enough

heaven knows,
from the impression in Europe

that none of us are persons
of culture and refinement.

I'm less concerned
about what Europe thinks

of our social graces, Senor Orale

than I am
about the Indians believing

Maximiliano to be a God.

Mexico was first conquered
because its people believed

a European to be a god.

And that is the inevitable
course of tyranny

from Caesar to Napoleon.

Tyrants always
make their appearance

in that guise, Palacio..

because to exist,
they must, like gods

be the objects
of the people's blind faith.

A faith which enslaves..

rather than uplifts.

And when a people
is sufficiently weakened

only then does the despot

dare unmask himself.

But it is too late..

for then the people are slaves.

It is our task to strip
the cloak of godliness from him

and show him
to the Mexican people

for what he really is.

That may not be so easy,
Don Benito.

We must not lose courage.

Buenas noches, senores.

Buenas noches, Senor Presidente.

'General Regules, Palacio.'

'Would you be good enough
to follow me'

'to my quarters, please?'

Thank you, Senor Tejada.

Don Benito.

What I must say to you,
I can express

only with deepest pain
and embarrassment

but as you yourself
would be the first to admit

the cause of liberty

must come
before everything else..

even personal affection.


Those of us close to you
are well aware of your wisdom

your humanity,
your capacity for government

but in the eyes of the world

in the eyes of many Mexicans,
you are an Indian.


Now, the influence
of this Habsburg

are the forces combating it
best represented by a figure

of one like yourself

an Indian?

Does it not make our cause
appear a racial struggle

instead of a struggle
of the whole people?


Don Benito, I'd sooner have
my tongue cut out than say it

but I believe you should
make room for another.

Yes, I would resign in favor
of someone of European blood.

You, as vice presidente
of the Republic

would naturally be my successor.

Whoever takes over the office

would do so in name only,
Don Benito.

You would continue
to be the real power.

Your voice would command,
your will would be obeyed.

Pure Spanish,
are you not, Senor Uradi?

Oh, yeah. There's not a drop
of any other blood in my veins.

There is much merit
in what you say.

Your concern is not unfounded.

It was, perhaps,
gross neglect on my part

not to remind the oppressed

and the starving who elected me

that because of my Indian blood

I was unfit to reclaim for them

their human heritage.

And they..

in their anxiety to be freed

from oppression and misery

overlooked that most important fact.

It is true, I'm a poor

ugly figure of an Indian,

to be opposing one
like Maximiliano..

one so magnificent

that he's taken for a god..

by my despised
and downtrodden brothers.

But is not the struggle
of any downtrodden element

the struggle of the whole people?

And certainly you

Senor Vice presidente

would not suggest

that I should abandon them now

only because I'm one of them.

Buenas noches, Senor Uradi.

Buenas noches.

It's understood, then

that the ermine border
of the mantle

must be increased by eight inches

with miniver tails
at intervals of six

instead of twelve inches.

That's to distinguish me
from an archduke, colonel.

Yes, Your Majesty,
you will forgive our ignorance

of such refinements
here in Mexico.

'Oh, I quite understand.'

Your Majesty,
it's time for your quinine.

You're a tyrant,
the way you rule me, Dr. Basch.

And do you happen to know
where Her Majesty is?

The empress is not in the palace

at the present moment,
Your Majesty.

Uh, where has she gone?

Upon the vainest of pilgrimages,
Your Majesty.

♪ Ah ah ♪

♪ Ave Maria ♪

♪ Ah ah ah ♪

♪ Ave Maria♪♪

Holy Mary.

Mother of God.

Harken unto me..

the least, the most humble
of thy suppliants.

Deny me not, I beseech thee..

the pain and the agony
which were thine.

Deny me not,
most blessed of women..

the joy and the ecstasy
which thou knew.

Endow me with a portion
of thy sanctity..

that I may bear unto my spouse..

a son.

And here..

I vow unto thee,
oh, queen of heaven..

a grateful, humble heart..

a chapel domed in lapis lazuli..

an altar of alabaster..

and thine own image
in finest gold..

to the glory

of thy holy name.


Samuel, old friend.

Sometimes I wonder if we have
been wise in not telling her

that she can never have a child.

Hope, Your Majesty,
even the vainest of hopes

is a great consolation
to a woman's heart.

Crush that hope and who can tell
what the consequences might be?

No, sire, I do not regret

that we have concealed
the truth from her.

Your Majesty,
Monsieur le Marechal Bazaine

and Senor de Montares
request an informal audience.

We shall receive them
in our study.

Ah, Senor. Monsieur le Marechal.

Le Marechaland I
wish to consult you

with regard to the seating
of the foreign diplomats

at the coronation ceremony.

Oh, well, there should be
no great problem

about that, Senor Montares.

Now, let me see your list.

'Here it is, Your Majesty.'

Diplomats always take precedence

according to their
length of service at a court.

And I..

I find no provision here
for the representative

of the United States.

There is no representative
of the United States

at Your Majesty's court.

Do you mean they still look upon
Benito Juarez

as the head
of a legal Mexican government?

Whether they actually
have an envoy

accredited to Juarez,
I cannot say.

Marechal Bazaine,
how many men are with Juarez?

About twenty five thousand men
in his Northern armies.

Twenty five thousand men?

Yes, sire, and in the south,
about twelve thousand.


I had no idea.

No idea.

My understanding
was that the country

had been completely pacified..

that no such things as
organized Republican government

or, or organized
republican resistance

continued to exist.

The situation is not as serious

as it must seem to Your Majesty.

Of course not, Your Majesty.

The Republican Army
is an undisciplined rabble

poorly armed,
without leadership, without..

I am no militarist, Marechal.

I didn't come here to conquer
but to rule peacefully.

To that end,
let us enter into negotiations

with Benito Juarez immediately.


Your Imperial Majesty

might as well try
to come to terms

with some wild beast
in the jungle.

The whip, the bullet
and the bayonet

is the only language
his kind understand.

Your Majesty need trouble
his mind no longer

about Benito Juarez.

Within 30 days,
the Indian will be dead

captured or driven out
of the country.

I guarantee it.

The Emperor Napoleon
has reinforced me

to 50,000 men

with complete munitions
for a final offensive

which I am now ready to launch
on all fronts.

We're all ready, Don Benito.

Camilo, the picture.

The gringo?

Yes, Camilo.

The gringo.


We're hopelessly trapped

unless we can get
to the pass at Encantada

before Bazaine arrives.

What difference does it make if
we get through the pass or not?

The hour has come when we must
face the truth or perish.

What do you mean?

We should ask Bazaine for an armistice
come to terms with the emperor.

- Armistice.
- That's for Benitoto decide.

Don Benito.

Does he expect us
to resist two French corps

with a handful
of broken-down battalions?

I saw it coming long ago.

We are hopelessly defeated!

Are more and more lives to be
sacrificed for a dead cause

or shall we act now with wisdom
instead of brute courage?

Buenas noches, senores.

- Senor Juarez!
- 'Buenas noches.'

Don Benito, we must abandon
Saltillo immediately.

We hope to get through the pass
at Encantada.

When we get through the pass,
what then?


we shall begin all over again..

but what we will fight
no more pitched battles

with the French.

We shall stop
fighting Bazaine his way

and make him fight our way.

The army will be disbanded.

Officers and men will scatter
and return to their own states.

Lie low, but keep in touch
with one another

until they receive
orders from me.

Where the government will be,
I do not know.

A week here, a day there.

The capital will be on wheels..

my carriage.

Doubtless, it will be forced
further and further back

even to the border
of the United States..

but it will never
cross the border.

For as long
as a constitutional government

remains on Mexican soil

the Republic of Mexico

continues to exist.

French artillery!

French artillery.

- We are trapped.
- No, we are not.

- 'What are you going to do?'
- Attack the French.

Delay them until our army
can get through the pass.

It's sheer madness to risk any
lives in such a hopeless attack!

Adios, Senor Juarez.

Adios, Porfirio.


To victory or death!

'It was here,
Your Imperial Majesty'

that we took General
Porfirio Diaz a prisoner.

And Benito Juarez?

Is either a fugitive
in the deserts of Chihuahua

or has crossed the border
into the United States.

In other words, all organized
republican resistance

has ceased to exist.

Your Majesty, I guarantee it.

We are unqualifiedly grateful
to you, Monsieur le Marechal

and to the soldiers of France.

My humble thanks,
Imperial Majesty.

We are also grateful
to our loyal Mexican brigades

who participated in the campaign.

It is our wish
that General Miguel Miramon

shall become minister of war.

Thank you, Your Majesty.

General Tomas Mejia,
you will take rank

as commander in chief
of the Imperial Mexican Army.

It's too great an honor,
Imperial Majesty.

I cannot accept.

Being Indian, I am unworthy.

What has your race to do
with your fitness to command

General Mejia?

Everything, Your Majesty.

But I-I don't understand.

Being of noble Aztec stock,
no doubt

your heritage of blood is
the most ancient in this room.

It is our will
that you assume the post

to which you have been raised

and it is our trust
that you will do it great honor.

And now, senores, to civil matters.

Your Imperial Majesty..

may I present for your signature

the most pressing
of all enactments?

"An act restoring

to the legal owners
certain lands."

Uh, what does this
refer to, Senor Montares?

Those properties
which were confiscated

from the legal owners
by Benito Juarez.

Into whose hands
did these lands pass?

The hands of a million or more
peons, Your Imperial Majesty.

Uh, did Juarez divide the land
amongst them?

That is what it amounted to.

Actually, the lands were put up
at auction.

And, uh, who received the money
paid in at these auctions?

The owners, sire.

But what ridiculous sums!

Nothing like
the true worth of the lands.

How much land was involved in
these transactions, senores?

Eighty percent
of the best land of all Mexico.

And how many individual owners
are concerned?

Eighty five, Imperial Majesty

eighty five estates.

We cannot likely set our hand
to an instrument

which might well be against
the best interests

of a great majority
of our subjects.

Your Majesty!

The sanctity of vested rights.

But what of the peons
who would be without

if the land were taken away
from them?

What if they are without land?

They were without lands
for 300 years

before Benito Juarez.

Uh, senores..

when the vested rights
of 85 individuals

conflict with the welfare
of a nation

then the welfare of the nation
must prevail.

But those are the very words
of Benito Juarez!


Your Imperial Majesty

the abrogation of these sales
is a fundamental demand

of the Conservative Party

the party that put you
on the throne.

We are responsible to no
political party, Senor Montares.

Your Imperial Majesty, it would
cause us the deepest regret

to resign from the council

so early in Your Majesty's reign.

Your resignations
are accepted, senores.

We will permit no one
to infringe upon our prerogative

to protect the best interests

of a great majority
of our subjects.

"A great majority of our subjects."

In returning my portfolio
to your Imperial Majesty..

may I express the hope
that he may be able

to rely upon that same majority
of his subjects

in his hour of need?

You have our leave to go,

You have our leave to go.

We are Your Majesty's servants.

I am very grateful to you,

El presidente!

- President.
- Senor.

Has SenorTejada
not arrived from El Paso?

He should have important news
from Washington..

now that the civil war
has ended.

No, he has not arrived,
but here is the latest news

from Washington,
Senor Presidente.

General Escobedo.

All flags of the Republic
would be flown at half-mast.

All officers
and members of the government..

will wear black armbands..

to mourn the loss of a friend.

With him died our last hope
of aid from his government.

Don Benito.

Who is this boy?

And what does he want?

I am Pepe.

He's Pepe.

- Pepe?
- Yes.

My son.

He has a message for you.

From Senor Perez.

He says everyone in Oaxaca
will be ready to fight again

as soon as you send them
the guns and bullets.

You are a brave boy, Pepe.

- And a good shepherd, too.
- So?

I was a shepherd, too.

Tell me, Pepe.

Was it a good spring for
the grass of Oaxaca this year?

No. It was very bad, Don Benito.

I had to take my sheep
to the high country

and a timber wolf
killed three lambs.

Hm. What did you do?

I set my dogs on him..

but at first, they didn't know
the right way to fight him.

Then they learned the right way.

And what was the right way, Pepe?

They found out he would turn to
chase whichever of them bit him.

So they made a big ring around him.

When he chased Malo

Pinta came down
and bit his hind legs!

And when he turned after Pinta
Chico came up and bit his flank!

And when he turned after Chico

Fea came up and bit his other flank!

And when he turned after Fea

Malo rushed in

and it began all over again!

Then when he was too tired
and too torn to run anymore

they all closed in
and killed him!

Yes, Pepe.

That is the right way
to fight the wolf.

'A peaceful enough country town
on the surface, Your Majesty.'

'The plaza no quieter,
no noisier than usual.'

Everything just the same
as any other weekday.

an inferno breaks loose.

The garrisons of Salinas,
of Zamora, of Santiago

of 50 other places is wiped out.

The supports, when they arrive,
find nothing but a deserted town

and nobody for miles around

who knows anything
about what happened.

Well, these outbreaks,
are they local revolutions

or is Benito Juarez behind them?

Undoubtedly, Juarez
is behind them, Your Majesty.

Look at the map.
They commence in Michoacan.

I send reserves there
from the south.

The outbreaks cease
and commence in the east.

I send men to the east

the outbreaks cease
and begin in the west.

The locations of the outbreaks

and the order in which they occur

show beyond question
they're all part

of a devilish plan.

So Juarez is not finished.

'What measures
have you in mind, Marechal?'

Repressive ones, Your Majesty.

We are no longer opposed
by legitimate forces

but by an enemy masquerading
as peaceful citizens

by treachery.

It must be put down mercilessly.

Now, do you want my signature
to this decree?

Yes, Imperial Majesty.

Monsieur le Marechal

the death penalty
is not for those who act

however misguidedly,
from principle.

Your Majesty must face reality

put down his weaker feelings

and act with strength
and resolution.

We must destroy the enemy
before he can destroy us.

But the instinct
which prompts patriotism

is one of the noblest
in human nature.

Those who believe they are
fighting for their country

are not to be used as criminals.

'But, Your Majesty... '

Would you consider a man
like the prisoner

General Diaz, for example

to be a criminal?

Why, my physician, Dr. Basch,
who attended his wound

says that the sincerity of Diaz
is no more to be questioned

than his military reputation.

The empire will have a place
for him and for others like him

when they can be convinced
of my equal sincerity.

It will not be upon the gallows,
Monsieur le Marechal.

No. I shall never sign
such a decree.


Your Majesty,
I shall speak bluntly.

We have no time to waste
in putting down

all resistance
to your reign here.

The American Civil War has ended.

And unless Your Majesty's government
is established without opposition

the United States may find
that your presence in Mexico

is in violation
of the Monroe Doctrine.

What has the Monroe Doctrine
to do with my presence here?

It applies only to the extension
of European systems

to the Americas.

I am responsible to no power
outside of Mexico.

The United States
might hold otherwise.

Well, how can they?

In the light
of so democratic a means

is the plebiscite upon which
I accepted the throne.

What significance
has a plebiscite

in a country like this
where 80% of the people

cannot read, write
nor understand?

Do you mean that the plebiscite
was not a true expression

of the vast majority
of the Mexican people?

Most of the vast majority

which voted in Your Majesty's favor
were ignorant peons

who did not know whom or what
they were voting for.

Am I to understand..

..that coercion was used?

We bid you good day,
Monsieur le Marechal.

Oh, Carlota.

What is it, Maxl?

I have just learned something
which places me

as emperor of Mexico..

in a terrible light.


The name of Habsburg has been used
to conceal an iniquitous enterprise.

Napoleon has made us his dupes.

Then Juarez's letter is true?

Yes, Carlota.

I was brought to the throne of
Mexico by a pretended plebiscite..

a fraud!

And now I am expected
to maintain myself upon it

by the slaughter of subjects

who neither acknowledge
nor desire me.

Maxl, dear..

There must be something we can do.

I have no choice.

There is but one course
in keeping with my honor.

I must abdicate.


A Habsburg is not a usurper.


Sovereignty is the most sacred
obligation of man.

By abdicating you might
cause the world to think

that when you accepted the crown

you knew full well
the plebiscite was false..

and that after plotting
with Napoleon

you became fearful of failure

and proclaimed your innocence
at his expense.

Am I to impose myself
upon a people for that reason?


What was the oath you swore
when they placed

the crown of Mexico on your head?

"To protect
and defend her people..

even to the shedding
of my life's blood."

Well, do so, then.

Show the world
that no earthly consideration

can keep you
from fulfilling that oath.

Think, Maxl, think..

not of abandoning your
country in her time of necessity

but of a way to deliver her
from the hands of her enemies!

There may be a way.

I think there is a way.

General Porfirio Diaz.

'I am Maximilian von Habsburg.'

I want to talk to you.

What have we got to talk about?

Much, I think.

I deeply regret

that this meeting had to take place
in a prison cell.

Where else could it take place
but in a prison cell

or on the battlefield?

Then from all accounts, senor

it is as well for me
that we meet here.

If my generals are to be believed

you are the best soldier
in Mexico.

I do not fight for glory,
but for liberty.

That is why I need your help.

My help? At what price,

A command in your army,
a medal or merely money?

If any material consideration
could buy you, General Diaz

I should not be here.

How can I help you?

In bringing peace to Mexico.

Only one man
can bring peace to Mexico

Benito Juarez.

What is he, Benito Juarez

that he inspires such men
as yourself, General Diaz?

Tell me.

What is he?

He is an ugly little man

in a black frock coat.

He is Benito Juarez.

He was born in misery

'to live
on a few grains of corn a day.'

He labored for an education.

He used it to help his own people

and they elected him
as their representative.

He was imprisoned
and exiled by a dictator

but he helped to destroy
the dictator and free Mexico.

He wrote the constitution.

He became president of Mexico.

He ruled it justly and well

till traitors and landowners
and speculators

brought the French to depose him
and put you in his place!

You! Maximiliano Von Habsburg.

What is it that he wants?

To put an end to the things
that he himself has endured

to educate, to liberate
to uplift through democracy.

Then all that lies between us
is a word, General Diaz

for otherwise, Benito Juarez
and I are in accord.

A word, senor?

Only a word.


I agree with Benito Juarez

that in theory
it is the ideal system..

but in practice

government by the people
can become the rule of a mob

a mob which follows whatever
demagogue will promise most.

From such as these, General Diaz

only a monarch
can protect the state.

Why a monarch
more than a president?

Because a president is a politician

and must answer to his party

but a king
is above factions and parties.

A president may be poor

and therefore open to temptation

but a king, having everything

desires nothing.

Do you mean to say there can be
no such thing as a corrupt king?

What about your friend, Napoleon?

Uh, Napoleon
is not a true monarch, senor

any more than he is
an aristocrat.

Kings are born to their thrones.

Napoleon took
the crown of France by force.

'Napoleon is a dictator.'

'And dictators
do not govern with justice'

but with contempt.

It is different with a king
who is a king.

A greater obligation rests upon
him than upon those of lesser birth

the obligation
to defend his own honor

which is the honor
of his ancestors

and the honor
of his posterity, as well.

You may be honest, excelencia.

I believe you are..

but I am no politico
to understand such matters.

Who knows what tyrant will
follow you sent by Napoleon?

You have no son.

You have our word as a Habsburg

that the succession
will be regulated immediately..

without foreign influence

and in the best interest
of the nation.

General Diaz

will you carry a message for me
to Benito Juarez?

A message?

What message?

Tell him..

I want him to be
Prime Minister of Mexico.

He should reach Juarez
within three weeks' time.

If he accepts, all Mexico
will be in your hands.

Napoleon, Bazaine,
the Conservatives

they all must bow to you.

Oh, Maxl, what a sublime stroke
of statecraft.

It's destiny that I should
join forces with Juarez.

We're opposites, yes

but united opposites

like magnetic poles.

We shall augment each other.

Yes, Carla, it's destiny.

It's greatness, my dear

but not beyond my faith
in your capacity to be great.

You will be the enlightened
ruler of a new era in monarchy.


Listen, Maxl.


"La Paloma."

The song of the dove.

It's the loveliest melody I know.

I wonder who's singing.

Who knows?

The wife of some gardener.

The sweetheart of some soldier.


If to your window
should come a dove..

treat it tenderly, for it is I.

Tell it of your love,
my life's enchantment.

Crown it with flowers,
for it is I.

It must be terrible to be
separated from one's love.

I don't think I could
live apart from you, Maxl.

It all began in Brussels..

where a little girl
with big, staring eyes

used to follow you around
her father's palace

like a beagle.

Oh, Maxl.

It's like a fairy tale, isn't it?

Here stood
the very Halls of Montezuma..

the feathered emperor himself.

And down there in the park below

are living trees
which actually saw him.

Oh, I wonder
what they think about us

you and me.


At this moment,
I could be the happiest woman

in the world... if..

- Carlota.
- Yes?


I am going to ask you to join me

in a great sacrifice.

- A sacrifice?
- Yes.

It is necessary that the nation
should be given some assurance

as to the succession..

e-even if it means
that the crown will not pass

to our own...
possible descendants.

Not pass to our own?

You may recall having read
of the ill-fated Emperor Iturbide

who attempted to establish
a monarchy in Mexico

some 40 years ago.

Well, it appears
there is a grandson of his

a mere child

whom I think
it might be well to consider..

since he has some color
of title to the throne.

Is it so urgent, then?

I think it might help
to bring peace to Mexico

if we were to take this child
of good Mexican blood

under our protection

and train him for the future.

Do you mean..


There would inevitably
have to be some, uh

legal formality.


with whom
have you been consulting?

Not with Basch!

Not with Basch!



Perhaps in God's infinite wisdom

it's all for the best.

Perhaps it is better that Mexico
should have a successor

of Mexican blood.

Send me away!

Marry someone
who can give you a child.

A Habsburg son of your own.

I love you enough to go..

to be glad to go for your sake.

I love you enough for anything.

There will be no child of my blood
that is not yours, Carla.

Oh, Maxl!

Let me arrange it, then.

Let me bring him to you.

The little boy-child, Iturbide..

as if he were our own.

'Sign here, sign here.'

General Diaz!

Don Porfirio!

General Diaz.

Senor Juarez.


It has been a long ride
to reach you here on the border.

So you escaped, Porfirio?

No, Senor Juarez.
I was given my freedom.

Maximiliano ordered it.

Maximiliano himself.

You saw him?

He came to the prison,
to my cell..


He talked.

At first, I suspected trickery,
but afterward...

What did he talk about?

About his ideas of government.

I doubted my own ears

for what I heard,
was you speaking

your words out of his mouth.

Like you, Senor Juarez,
he wants to help our people.


By protecting them from those
who would oppress them.

Virtue is a formidable weapon
in the hands of an enemy.

But he's not your enemy.

Your aims are his aims.

He says only a word democracy
lies between him and you.

Only a word?

He is honest, Senor Juarez.

You will know how honest
when I tell you his message.

So... there is a message?

He wants you to be
Prime Minister of Mexico..

in a monarchy
founded upon the principles

of your own constitution.


it's the constitution
of a republic, Porfirio.

Well, he swear
she will defend its principles

against the politicos
and selfish interests.

He says that such principles
must always be defended

by someone like himself

someone who is above
all factions and parties.

Maximiliano says

only a word

stands between him and me

only the word democracy.


What does it mean,
this, this word?


Why, it means liberty

liberty for a man
to say what he thinks

to worship as he believes.

It means equal opportunity.


No, that cannot be
its meaning, Porfirio.

Maximiliano offers us
all these things

without democracy.

What is it, then,
that he would withhold from us?

O-only the right
to rule ourselves.

Then that must be the meaning
of the word, Porfirio..

the right to rule ourselves..

the right of every man
to rule himself

and the nation in which he lives.

And since no man
rules himself into bondage

therefore liberty flows from it
as water from the hills.

I understand, Senor Juarez.

I say, to entrust one's fate
to a superior individual

is to betray
the very spirit of liberty

the spirit by which each man

may raise himself
to that level of human dignity

where no man
is the superior of any other..

where even
the lowliest is uplifted

to the worth of his manhood..

and is able to rule with wisdom

justice and tolerance
toward all men.

Should I not know it, Porfirio?

Am I not of the lowliest?

I was a fool, Senor Juarez.

Only a word

democracy may stand between

Maximiliano von Habsburg
and myself..

but it is an unbridgeable gulf.

We represent
irreconcilable principles..

one or the other of which
must perish.

You see, Porfirio..

when a monarch misrules

he changes the people.

When a presidente misrules..

the people change him.

Marechal Bazaine, we have
received word from General Diaz

that Benito Juarez's answer
will be in our hands

at four o'clock this afternoon.

How can any reliance be placed
on the word of Benito Juarez?

You will be tricked,
Your Majesty.

We don't think so.

Colonel Lopez, you will arrange

to deliver the message
during the ceremony.

'Yes, Your Majesty.'

Should it come before our appearance
on the balcony with the crown prince

we hope to announce to our people
the end of hostilities

and the establishment of peace
in Mexico.

The only way to establish peace,
Your Majesty

is to sign the decree
authorizing me

to take repressive measures.

I told you that I shall
never sign such a decree.

You may withdraw, marechal.

Is Augustin ready for his
investiture this afternoon?

Yes, Your Majesty.

Has he memorized
the words of his oath?

Repeat them to your father.

'I am thy liegeman'

'of life and limb
and earthly honor.'

No message, Colonel Lopez?

Not yet, Your Imperial Majesty.

It shall be brought to you
the moment it arrives.

I am thy liegeman

of life and limb

and earthly honor.

Here we present
for your recognition

'our son..'

'His Imperial Highness Augustin'
'crown prince of Mexico.'

- 'Viva Augustin!'
- Viva!

May I caution Your Majesty
not to venture forth?

- Some fanatic might attempt...
- Thank you, Lopez.

It is our happiness
to present to you

Augustin, crown prince of Mexico.

His person shall be a guarantee
for the future of this realm

a future of peace

based firmly
upon unity within Mexico

and not upon the presence
of a foreign power.


What has happened?

Juaristas disguised as citizens

have overcome the guards
and blown up the powder magazine!

There's your answer from Juarez.


the decree.

'It says that all republicans'

'taken prisoner will be shot.'

'It says that all people'

'found with arms in their houses'

'will be condemned
and put to death'

'within 24 hours. It says..'

Have mercy on us.

Deliver us from the emperor

who killed my son..

through his unholy decree.

Viva Benito Juarez!

Look and remember.


The guards!

Camilo, come quickly.
It's your boy, Pepe.

We found him wounded
on the road to Chihuahua.



Take me..

to Don Benito.

Don Benito..

the French took Chihuahua.

'They burned the houses.'

They shot the men.

They said..

it was the law..


because it is written here..

all men with arms..

His excellency Mr. John Bigelow

minister from The United States
of North America.


Your excellency will forgive the
informality of this reception.

Monsieur Meissonier's
canvas must be completed

for the opening of the salon.

He insists.

It seemed more important
to comply

with your excellency's
urgent request for an audience

than to stand on ceremony.

Undoubtedly, Your Majesty.

Be seated. Now continue.

'I have been instructed
from Washington'

'by the secretary of state... '

Ah, that excellent
Monsieur Seward.

I've been instructed to ask you

why the French flag
is still in Mexico?

And what is your connection
with the Archduke Maximilian

who calls himself
emperor of Mexico?

Um, um..

T-t-the archduke
is an Austrian, of course

and claims
independent sovereignty.

The French troops aided him
to maintain order

only so that the collection
of debts might be made.

But Your Majesty is aware
that under the Monroe Doctrine...

I do not see
how the Monroe Doctrine

has any bearing on the present
circumstances in Mexico.

My government
takes a contrary view

and is now prepared
to enforce it if necessary.

General Grant has been ordered
to concentrate four army corps

on the Mexican border.

Uh, how soon will Your Majesty's

collections in Mexico
be completed?

Shortly, very shortly.

The matter would appear
to all intents and purposes

to be approaching a conclusion.

It is to be hoped so,
Your Majesty

since my government
has sanctioned

the raising of a $30 million loan

for the equipment
of the Republican Armies

of Mexico. Good day, sire.

'And another shipment of field
guns' 'rifles and gunpowder.'

We may consider the equipment
for the army of the north

as complete, then,
General Escobedo.

It will be complete
as soon as General Carbajal

takes over 10 more batteries

of American field guns
at Matamoros.

Senor Presidente,
your message to the people

regarding help
from the United States

is ready for your signature.

Don Benito, you cannot sign it.

Why not?

Because your term of office
has expired.

You have no legal power to act.

'You no longer are presidente.'

What are you saying?

Senor Uradi has in mind
the, the constitutional provision

that in the absence
of an election

the vice presidente
shall succeed to the presidency.

I defer to Don Benito in all things
relating to the constitution

since he wrote it.

The date
for a presidential election

is, however,
some five months past.

H-how could
an election have been held

with most of the country
in the hands of the enemy?

And why did you
make no mention of this matter

before now, Senor Vice presidente?

Is it because you preferred
to sit back and wait

until the plum
was ripe for picking?

It is not the question
of my aspiring to the office

but whoever holds it
must have the power

to act with absolute legality

if the country's affairs
are to be carried on.

What you forget, senor

is that when the congress
was forced to disband

it bestowed unlimited powers
upon Senor Juarez

to protect
the constitution of Mexico.

He cannot relieve himself
of that duty

until it is possible
for the congress to meet again.

Don Benito

do you consider that such powers

were intended to extend

beyond your legal term of office?

- I do.
- Hm.

Others will challenge
that opinion.

If you dare
to jeopardize the cause

for your own personal ambition

I'll let the breath
out of your throat.


You must not
misunderstand Alejandro.

The question he raises

cannot be answered
with bitterness.

You must respect his sincerity

for he is a companero

an old friend of the cause.

He would do nothing
to betray it now.

Is that not so, Alejandro?

Why, of course, Don Benito.

Max! Max, good news.

Your Majesty, Uradi
has broken away from Juarez.

The enemy armies
are in rebellion.

Has this been verified, colonel?

Yes, Your Majesty,
Uradi has captured

the Juarista munitions base
at Matamoros

and all the supplies
from the United States

are pouring into his hands.

This is our opportunity.

Bazaine will strike now

and bring hostilities to an end.

Thank you, colonel, thank you.

Your Majesties.


- This means victory.
- Yes, victory.

And it's through
your faith, Carla.

It is your own faith
which is to be thanked

for what's happened, Maxl.

Marechal, we have
already heard the news.

The enemy's at your mercy.

No doubt you're leaving
for the north immediately

to deliver the final blow in person.

With Your Majesty's permission.

Do you know what this letter
contains, marechal?

I have some idea, Your Majesty.

My orders are to concentrate
all French troops

for the immediate evacuation
of Mexico.


Do you mean that you will
withdraw your forces

at the very moment when complete
victory is within your grasp?

I am a soldier, Your Majesty,
and must obey orders.

Your emperor has no power
to withdraw without our consent.

We deny his authority to do so

and we refuse
to receive his communication.

There is a treaty
between Napoleon and ourselves

the Treaty of Miramar..

which guarantees that French
troops will remain in Mexico

until the empire
has been made secure.

That is between Your Majesty
and my imperial master.

It cannot affect my actions.

So you would leave us
at the mercy of our enemies?

There is no question of being
left to the mercy of enemies.

His Majesty can abdicate

and leave Mexico under the
protection of the French Army.

Monsieur le Marechal
since signing the decree

I have a responsibility to Mexico
which may not be shirked

a responsibility for the
slaughter in which you indulged

under the authority of my name.

No, I shall not abdicate!

Nor will you evacuate Mexico

Monsieur Marechal

because I am going to Paris
to confront your Napoleon

with his obligations
under the Treaty of Miramar

because if he refuses
to live up to them

I shall expose him
before the courts of Europe

because I shall tell the world
how he lured us to Mexico

with misrepresentation
and false promises

how he used the name of Habsburg
to give face to a shady enterprise

because it will be the ruin
of your master

Monsieur Marechal,
if you dare move a man!

Those are my instructions,

You have our leave to go.


you are not at fault
for anything.

It was I who said,
accept the crown..

and it was I who said,
do not abdicate.

I alone am responsible.

And I will help you now.
I must go to Paris immediately.

- Carlota, I can't...
- It must be that way.

It must be!

It will not be for long, Maxl.

I can't imagine
existence without you.

Our thoughts will bridge
the distance between us.

My own will never leave you.

Open your soul to me
and I shall be with you

kneeling beside you in the chapel

riding beside you in the park
every morning..

and walking beside you
at dusk on the terrace.

My soul shall always
be open to your love, Carla.


Bye, mama. Goodbye!

- Goodbye.
- Bye.

Goodbye, little Augustin.

Don't spoil him too much.

And, Maxl, promise me
you'll obey Basch.

Be careful of your health
in every way.

- Promise?
- I promise.

Take your quinine regularly.



- Buenos dias, Tejada.
- Buenos dias.

You arrived at an evil hour,
Senor Tejada.

The munitions you purchased
for us in the United States

have been seized by Uradi
who has proclaimed himself...

I have heard all, companero.


Uradi is a traitor.

We must attack Matamoros at once.

No, Carbajal.

Without munitions, we should
be defenseless in a few days.

Our forces will be dispersed

and it will be the end
of the republican cause.

We could go back
to our guerrilla warfare.

With two claiming the presidency

we should be divided from within
and discredited without.

We will not go down without
a fight, whomever we fight.

There is only one hope, senores.

What hope, Don Benito?

That I go to Matamoros alone.

'To Uradi?'

- 'For what purpose?'
- We shall see.

It'll be like an ant walking
into the nest of a tarantula.

He will kill you, Don Benito.

That may be.

I, Alejandro Uradi

of the Republic of Mexico..

guarantee the true spirit

of constitutional government.

What did I say?

Read it back to me.

Senor Presidente!

Benito Juarez is here.

You mean, we are being attacked?

No, Senor Presidente.
He is here alone.

- Alone?
- Except his coachman.

Are you out of your senses?

I spoke to him,
he wants to see you!

Call my military staff!

El Presidente Juarez!

This is some kind of a trick!

Perhaps he's come
to make a bargain with you.

Juarez does not bargain.
I tell you it's a trick!

Why should he put his life
into your hands?

He must know
he will never get away alive.

You are right, general.

He will never get away alive.

El Senor Juarez.

Don Benito Juarez.

- He must be mad to come here.
- They will kill him.

Here he comes, with the crowd,
toward the plaza.

They must be kept away.

General Negroni.

- Fire if need be.
- On the townspeople?

They must be kept off the plaza
whatever lengths we have to go.

- Do you hear?
- Yes, Senor Presidente.

Halt or we'll fire!





'Fire, you fools!'


What's the matter?
What's the matter?

Why don't they fire?

Fire! Fire!

- He's coming in here.
- I don't want him to come here!

Bar all doors!

Senor Uradi accuses me

of misusing
the extraordinary powers

bestowed by congress..

to establish myself
as a dictator.

He accuses me of sacrificing
the cause of the Republic

to my own vanity and ambition.

I have come here
to confront Senor Uradi

in the presence of you all..

so that you yourselves
may judge.

Command him to come out.

Uradi, come out!
Are you a coward?

If you don't come out,
we'll drag you out!

Come out and answer!

You must go out.
You've got to face him.

Senor Uradi

I have come here
to denounce you as a traitor

before the people
whom you have deceived.

You have conspired
with Senor Montares

and his landowners
to betray the Republic.

You are receiving their support.

And the price
you have agreed to pay

is the lands of the peons.

He lies, amigos!

It is a trick!

What proof has he to offer?

The proof

that I now stand here
before you, compatriotes.

For would you not kill the one
you believe has betrayed you?

Arrest him.

I said, arrest him!

'Viva Benito Juarez!'

No, no, no.

Louis, she will never be
persuaded to leave Paris

without seeing you.


Her presence here
is an incredible menace.

If the public learned
the truth about Mexico now

there would be barricades
in the streets.

We must get rid of her.

Let her go
to her brother in Brussels

the Austrian court, anywhere.

Louis, it's you and I
who must leave immediately

before she can present herself
for an audience.


Arrange for a bulletin
in the court gazette

Monsieur le Duc

advising that His Majesty
left for Vichy this evening

at the insistence
of his physicians.

For an indefinite stay, de Morny.

Get out of my way!
How dare you!

We are here, sire, upon a mission

which affects Your Majesty's honor
as much as our personal interest.

His Majesty and the members of
our council will be pleased to hear

how France can further serve
Your Imperial Majesty.

Through living up
to the terms of the treaty

which induced
Maximilian von Habsburg

to assume the crown of Mexico.

In what specific regard,
Your Majesty

have we failed to meet them?

By instructing
Marechal Bazaine's army

to evacuate Mexico.


You do not comprehend
the situation, you cannot.

Otherwise, you would immediately
revoke the order of evacuation.

The Juarista armies
are all but defeated.

Only a final blow
remains to be struck.

To avoid it would be
such a criminal waste

of all that's gone before

plans and money and lives!

'I must disagree with Your Majesty'
as to the military situation.

Our position in Mexico

is extremely precarious
at the moment.

To secure it would require
heavy reinforcement.

Can it be you're not aware
that Uradi and his followers

have revolted against Juarez?

Can it be that Your Majesty
has not been informed

of the more recent happenings?

Uradi is dead.


His followers
have rejoined Juarez

who is now approaching
San Luis Potosi.

I do not believe it.

If the Juaristas
are at San Luis Potosi..

more than an empire
is in danger.

My husband's life.

And knowing this
you could abandon him?

Answer me, sire!

of my personal sentiments

I am, as you see, madame
in the hands of my ministers.

In the hands of your ministers?

Was it you or your ministers
who conceived the plan

to mask your infamies behind
my husband's noble name?

Who tricked him
into accepting the throne

by means
of a pretended plebiscite?

Who assured him of French troops
and French funds

until the day
that the empire of Mexico

could take her place
among other nations?

- Answer me, sire!
- 'Carlota, please... '

Was it the names of your ministers

which were affixed
to the Treaty of Miramar?

Did your ministers
sign this letter?

"I urge you to count upon
my everlasting friendship.

"You may rest assured
that my support

"will not fail you
in the accomplishment

which you are
so courageously undertaking!"

- Answer me, sire!
- It is useless, madame.

Not another franc,
not another man.

We are through with Mexico!

What else
might a Habsburg have expected

from the word
of a bourgeois Bonaparte!

You charlatan!

But you will not dare let him die!

I will denounce you
in every court of Europe

for what you will be, a murderer!

A murderer!

It's poison.

You're trying to poison me.

He wants to poison me.
He wants to poison me.


Your Imperial Majesty.

Your Imperial Majesty

it is I

Prince Metternich.


Prince Metternich.

They want to kill me.

Who wants to do such a thing?


Who is he, Your Majesty?

The evil one.

He wants to poison me.

But why, Your Majesty?

Because he is afraid
I will tell his real name.

People think he is an emperor

because he wears
a crown on his head..

but I know better.

He hates mankind.

His purpose is to debase humanity

to rob men of their godliness

till they turn
against one another

and destroy themselves
like beasts.

Goodbye, um..

I must go to my husband quickly
and tell him all I know.

Only he has the power and the
virtue to overthrow the evil one.

Your Majesty.
A cup of bouillon.

You see, Prince Metternich

how he is everywhere
to poison me.

Every instant I am in danger
until I get to Maxl.

Help me.

Help me, Prince Metternich.

Help me to get home..

to get home to my husband.

I will arrange
for Dr. Riedel of Vienna

to come here immediately.


'Maxl, Maxl!'

It's cold in this room.

Shall I light the fire?

I-if you please.

Your Majesty, I'm intruding
against your orders.

Very well, I am intruding,
but it is my duty.

Then discharge your duty,
Monsieur le Marechal

as briefly as possible.

Your Majesty.

Forget all personal resentments
if you can.

Take my advice for what it is worth.

Four enemy armies
are converging upon you.

All that will stand
between them and the capital

when we are gone
are your native Mexican brigades.

The empire is doomed,
Your Majesty.

I tell you as a soldier,
your fight is lost.


We shall not abdicate.

Your Imperial Majesty..


The post, Your Majesty.

At last.

I hope the empress' letter
will influence you

toward abandoning
this most unhappy venture.

It's my duty to remain, Samuel.

There's nothing here
from Her Majesty.



have you ever heard
of a Dr. Riedel of Vienna?

Yes, indeed, Your Majesty.

He is the most celebrated
European specialist

in mental diseases.

What is it?




'Your Majesty.'

The dream.

The dream I had last night..

I was in the midst of darkness.

And out of the darkness..

her voice..

"Maxl, Maxl.."

repeated over and over again

as if in terror.

I answered her..

but she couldn't hear me.

I know she couldn't hear me

because the cries were repeated

in the same tone of terror.

"Maxl! Maxl!"

I shall come, liebchen.

We shall sail for Europe
as soon as my abdication

can be arranged.

"We, Maximilian von Habsburg
"archduke of Austria..

"do hereby renounce
for ourselves and our heirs

"all right, title and claim
to the throne of Mexico forever."

Good faithful, Lopez.

Your Majesty,
I do not weep alone.

Tomas Mejia, the Indian..

he weeps.

Does Your Majesty know
what that means..

tears from an Indian?

Why, even as children
they do not cry.

Yes, Tomas Mejia weeps

forgetful of his certain fate

only out of sorrow at his loss.

His certain fate?

What do you mean, Lopez?

Surely Your Majesty realizes
what is in store for Tomas Mejia

Miguel Miramon, Marquez, Mendes..

and all of us who would
lay down our lives

for Your Majesty.


Does Your Majesty not realize

what will happen
when you have departed?

Our cause will collapse
for lack of the one person

who can hold it together.

Without a cause,
there can be no unity.

Our forces will scatter.

And Juarez..

Juarez will relentlessly pursue
and find and kill each one of us.

Your Majesty!

Basch, I have been blind
to my true responsibilities.

It took Lopez here
to open my eyes.

My love for my wife

because of it, I would
have deserted the cause

for which she has already
given more than her life.

What cause?

It suited the purposes
of other people

for you to think
there was a cause.

From first to last
you've been deceived

deceived by everybody,
yourself included!

Basch, please.

You're being induced
to jeopardize your life!

Exactly, Basch.

And is it not the sacred duty
of a monarch

to sacrifice his life
for his people?

Your people? What have
you to do with Mexico?

You're an Austrian!

Your single duty
is toward yourself

and your wife!

Dr. Basch, you forget yourself.

You may withdraw.

Senores, it is our decision
to remain amongst you.

- VivaMaximiliano!
- Viva!

- Viva el emperador!
- Viva!

We shall seek a final
and decisive action

with Benito Juarez..

which shall decide the fate
of Mexico, once and forever.

General Miramon?

Your Majesty, I beg to report

that my command was engaged
by Porfirio Diaz

and that these
are its sole survivors.

Diaz surprised us
at San Lorenzo and was on us

slaughtering us
before we even knew who he was.

His advance guard
is on our heels.

Then our line of retreat is cut!

We are trapped, Your Majesty.

Well, senores?

Assault, I say.
Let us cut our way out.

That is impossible!
We shall all be killed!

Some of us will get through

those who die
will die like soldiers.

Then let the men
decide for themselves.

It is my express command

they be told there is no dishonor
if they choose to remain behind.

Take only those who volunteer.

Your Majesty, what you are
contemplating is certain death.

There's a better way.

Your Majesty and all the others
can steal through the enemy lines

disguised as peons.

I know that you speak
out of love for me, Lopez

but what you suggest
is not possible.

I implore, Your Majesty.

Senores, make all arrangements

for an attack at midnight

but first..

let's dine together.

I have a few bottles of wine left.

We'll take this occasion
to open them.

Good evening, senores.

Your Majesty.

Surely Your Majesty
doesn't intend wearing

a white uniform in the attack

I do.

But it will make you
the target of every rifle.

Uh, who is missing?

Colonel Lopez, Your Majesty.

Where is he?

Halt! Who goes there?

'Colonel Miguel Lopez and patrol.'

Advance and be recognized!

Pass, Colonel Lopez.

To Mexico.

- Viva Mexico!
- Viva.

- Viva el emperador.
- Viva.

The wine is cloudy and disturbed.

I know that wine in the bottle is
affected by the change of seasons

but the Mexican vines
are not in flower now

are they, General Miramon?

No, Your Majesty.

They were in flower a month ago.

They're flowering
along the Danube, though.

Hm, well, of course
they are, Basch

but how does that affect
the wine in my glass?

This is the first vintage
of the mature Austrian vine

Your Majesty planted in Mexico.

Uh, yes, I know

but why do they not respond
to the seasons of Mexico

instead of to those of a land
thousands of miles away?

Because a vine
is a living thing, Your Majesty

and no matter
how far a plant is carried

something of its homeland,
its sun, its soil

its seasons,
will remain in the vine

and the wine
from the vine forever.

Quick! The enemy's below!

'Save His Majesty!'

Surrender your arms!

General, the officers
of my following

are guilty of nothing
but doing their duty.

I ask that they be spared
all harm.

I do not know you, senor.

I am the emperor.

There is no emperor in Mexico.

Companeros, let these
two senorespass.

They are citizens.

You, Lopez?

Yes, Your Majesty.

It was I who betrayed the city..

to save your life.

Come, Your Majesty.

Our escape is prepared. Hurry.

General, remain in charge.


I demand
that you accept my sword.

I am Maximilian von Habsburg.

Mariano Escobedo,
commander in chief.

I am your prisoner.

'Senor Presidente,
I beg to report'

that the city of Queretaro
has fallen

that the Archduke Maximiliano
is a prisoner in our hands.

It is the sword of a Habsburg,
Senor Presidente.

It is the sword
of a descendant of Charles V

whose armies
first conquered Mexico.

And we must not forget, Don Benito

it is also the sword of a man
who decreed

that those taken with arms
in their possession

should die within 24 hours.

Maximiliano von Habsburg
will be judged

according to the laws

of the Republic of Mexico.

General Diaz.

You will be responsible
for the custody of the prisoner.

"It is the verdict of the court

"that the accused,
Maximiliano von Habsburg

"is guilty of having accepted
the crown of Mexico

"from a fraudulent minority.

"He's guilty of having usurped

"the sovereignty
of the Mexican nation

"and laid waste the territories.

"He's guilty of having engaged

"in a war of conquest
against the Republic

"aided by generals
Miguel Miramon and Tomas Mejia.

"And finally,
he's guilty of open rebellion

'"against the lawful government.'

'"Therefore, the said
Maximiliano von Habsburg'

"is sentenced
to be executed at dawn

"by a military firing party

on the 19th day of June, 1867."

And may God have mercy
upon his soul.

'So instead of the priest
comforting Maximiliano'

'it was Maximiliano
who comforted the priest.'

Senor Juarez.

You cannot let him die.

He is not guilty in his soul.

The only accusation
to be made against him..

is that he was deceived
by others.

He prays that after all the blood
that has been shed in Mexico

his may be the last to flow

and begs you to extend clemency

toward Miguel Miramon
and Tomas Mejia.

Is that all?

That is all.

Archduke Maximiliano

it is my duty to inform you

that the president
of the Republic

has refused to sign the pardon

'that the sentence
is ordered to be executed'

'tomorrow morning at dawn.'

What about Miramon and Mejia?

Their sentence will be
carried out at the same time.

Is there anything
I can do for you?




There is a song
I should like to hear again.

"La Paloma" is its name.

It, uh..

It was a favorite of my wife's.

Would that be possible?

I can't believe it.

How can Juarez refuse?

Because he is honest.

If he were otherwise..

ambitious, self-seeking..

he would have set me free

and won the plaudits
of the world.

But Juarez is honest.

My dying proves that he is honest.





Has Your Highness anything to say?

Distribute this money
among your men, captain.

Ask them to aim at my heart.

Tomen armas!




Forgive me.