This one started slowly, but can you blame me? I opened the puzzle for the first time while seated at an outdoor table at a Brasserie in Paris, sipping a cold beer under a hot heat-lamp, waiting for Frannie to come back from her trip to the bookstores and bouquinistes of the Rive Gauche. I filled in about six things, at least three of which turned out to be wrong, then closed the iPad and people-watched for an hour.
The first thing I entered was "fist in air" for 15A: Classic symbol of rebellion" (IRONCROSS), but is an Iron Cross really a symbol of rebellion? It just makes me think of the Third Reich. I guess it's used by motorcycle gangs, but is that really rebellion?
But I don't mean to grouse. I liked this puzzle just fine. All the other nine-letter answers were very good. I loved the lower stack, with STRETCHER (62A: Battlefield transport), WEARISOME (65A: Yawn-inducing), and FRYOLATOR (67A: Greasy spoon appliance). Those are all excellent. The crosses are just ok, except for SMELTER (43D: Where to get the lead out?) - which I loved.
PHOTOBOMB (48A: Laugh-inducing pic) is great, SHOEBOX (40D: Holder of many a diorama) is nicely clued, and is unusually tied to 5D: Last name on a 40-Down (MCAN). And speaking of tie-ins, we noticed only after getting OPERA (16A: "Bluebeard's Castle," e.g.) that it was pretty much given to us with 53A: "Bluebeard's Castle" librettist Balázs (BELA). I mean, what else has a libretto?
Did not enjoy APODAL (11D: Without feet), SMEARER (47D: Mudslinger), or TITFER (49D: Bit of headwear, in British lingo) (huh?) (oh, ok... Cockney slang. Still, though...), but there was more bad than good, so thumbs up!
Favorite clue: 36A: Opening piece (KNOB). We needed K_OB before that one came clear.