Orry-Kelly designed costumes for Bette Davis which changed in tone as the film progressed: from white at the beginning, changing to gray in mid-film, and then to black at the end when she goes insane.
An English version of Franz Werfel's play titled "Juarez and Maximilian" opened on Broadway at the Guild Theatre on October 11, 1926 and ran for 48 performances. This stage version's cast included Alfred Lunt and Edward G. Robinson. The film is an extremely loose adaptation of Werfel's play. Juarez never appears in the stage version. The only one of Werfel's works to be quite faithfully adapted into a Hollywood film was "The Song of Bernadette", in 1943. (Werfel's play "Jacobowsky and the Colonel" was filmed by Hollywood as a Danny Kaye vehicle and retitled "Me and the Colonel".)
Because the film shows many of Maximilian's generals to be Mexican, many viewers attribute it to typical Hollywood historical distortions. It is, however, indeed accurate. It's a little-known fact that, although Maximilian was eventually overthrown and executed by Mexican revolutionaries, there were actually more Mexicans fighting on Maximilian's side than against him. This was due in large part to the Catholic Church's strong support of the French occupation of Mexico and its "encouraging" Mexican Catholics to fight against the revolutionary forces by joining Maximilian's army, which they did in large numbers.
Extensive research was done to provide accuracy. The writers had a bibliography of 372 books. Art director Anton Grot made 3,643 sketches from which 7,360 blueprints were prepared for exterior and interior settings. A complete Mexican village was built on the Warner Bros. ranch in the San Fernando Valley.