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Mata Hari (1931)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  26 December 1931 (USA)
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A semi-fictionalized account of the life of Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who was accused of spying for Germany during World War I.




(by), (by) (as Leo Birinski) , 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Lt. Alexis Rosanoff
General Serge Shubin
C. Henry Gordon ...
Karen Morley ...
Blanche Friderici ...
Sister Angelica (as Blanche Frederici)
Edmund Breese ...
Sister Genevieve
The Cook-Spy


During World War I, Mata Hari is a German spy, working in Paris. She has already seduced the Russian general Shubin, and has now set her eyes on lieutenant Rosanov, a young up-and-coming officer. In order to get her hand on secret documents in his possession, she spends a night with him. But the secret police is on to her, only waiting to get enough evidence to arrest her. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | mata hari | russian | german | dancer | See All (42) »


WHWN MATA HARI DANCED! Here is Greta Garbo's greatest picture---a romance based on the true life story of the exotic woman spy, Mata Hari. Truly all-star, this production will leave in mind and heart the memory of an unforgettable thrill! (original herald) See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 December 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mata-Hari  »

Box Office


$558,000 (estimated)


$931,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The third and final film in which Ramon Novarro and Lewis Stone both appeared, though they have no scenes together. See more »


Lt. Alexis Rosanoff: What's the matter, Mata?
See more »


Spoofed in The Glass Bottom Boat (1966) See more »


Oriental Shadows
Music by Montague Ewing
See more »

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User Reviews

Worth a watch
19 September 2005 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

German spy Mata Hari works in Paris during World War 1 under cover as an exotic dancer, and falls in love with a young Russian officer while she is taking advantage of him.

The script is rubbish, dialogue trite at best, and the treatment doesn't hold together well. Adrian's costumes are ridiculously improbable, but in a sinfully pleasurable MGM kinda way. You simply sit there and gape at Adrian's inventiveness and sense of kitsch. And William Daniels photographs them beautifully.

As he does his favorite subject, Greta Garbo. There is no way anyone could call Mata Hari one of the better Garbo roles, although she looks gorgeous at every turn, even in her slightly awkward Balinese dance in the beginning, all arms and legs. And still Garbo manages to be sexy! Notice the glance she sends Ramon Novarro as she draws the curtain of her bed. This was a short period in the history of Hollywood, when there was no functioning censorship, and it is always titillating to see what cinematographers, directors and stars made of it. And here they exploit it to the full.

Not a great film, not even in the Garbo canon, but still worth a watch, absolutely.

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