IMDb > Mata Hari (1931)
Mata Hari
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Mata Hari (1931) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Down 23% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Benjamin Glazer (by) and
Leo Birinsky (by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Mata Hari on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 December 1931 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
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 »
Plot:
A semi-fictionalized account of the life of Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who was accused of spying for Germany during World War I. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
One Legend Portrays Another See more (26 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Greta Garbo ... Mata Hari

Ramon Novarro ... Lt. Alexis Rosanoff

Lionel Barrymore ... General Shubin
Lewis Stone ... Andriani
C. Henry Gordon ... Dubois
Karen Morley ... Carlotta
Alec B. Francis ... Caron
Blanche Friderici ... Sister Angelica (as Blanche Frederici)
Edmund Breese ... Warden
Helen Jerome Eddy ... Sister Genevieve

Frank Reicher ... The Cook-Spy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Mischa Auer ... Firing Squad Victim #3 (uncredited)
William Bailey ... Dubois' Aide (uncredited)
Roy Barcroft ... Extra (uncredited)
Reginald Barlow ... Prosecutor (uncredited)
Frederick Burton ... Major at Executions (uncredited)
Harry Cording ... Ivan (uncredited)
Cecil Cunningham ... Lady Gambler Selling Ring (uncredited)
Gordon De Main ... Ambassador's Aide (uncredited)
Maude Turner Gordon ... Madame Durand (uncredited)
Anthony Jowitt ... Young Officer, Mata's Admirer (uncredited)
Isabelle Keith ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Sarah Padden ... Nursing Sister Teresa (uncredited)
Lennox Pawle ... DiSignac (uncredited)
Michael Visaroff ... Jacques (uncredited)
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Directed by
George Fitzmaurice (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Benjamin Glazer (by) and
Leo Birinsky (by) (as Leo Birinski)

Doris Anderson (additional dialogue) and
Gilbert Emery (additional dialogue)

Produced by
George Fitzmaurice .... producer
Irving Thalberg .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
William Axt (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
William H. Daniels (photographed by) (as William Daniels)
 
Film Editing by
Frank Sullivan (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Cullen Tate .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
George Fitzmaurice .... continuity drawings supervisor (uncredited)
Alexander Toluboff .... continuity drawings supervisor (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
James Brock .... sound (uncredited)
Fred Morgan .... sound (uncredited)
Paul Neal .... sound (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Milton Brown .... still photographer (uncredited)
Clarence Sinclair Bull .... still photographer (uncredited)
Al Lane .... second camera operator (uncredited)
William Riley .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Albert Scheving .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Other crew
B.P. Fineman .... supervisor (uncredited)
Frank Hansen .... assistant: Ramon Novarro (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
USA:89 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:G | Australia:PG (DVD rating) | Finland:K-12 (1990) | Finland:K-16 (1932) | Norway:16 (1932) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2006) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #5419-R, July 1939 for re-release) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The third and final film in which Ramon Novarro and Lewis Stone both appeared, though they have no scenes together.See more »
Quotes:
Andriani:The only way to resign from our profession is to die.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Indiscreet (1958)See more »
Soundtrack:
When The Clock Is Striking TwelveSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
31 out of 32 people found the following review useful.
One Legend Portrays Another, 18 May 2002
Author: Ron Oliver (revilorest@juno.com) from Forest Ranch, CA

Seductively mysterious, the exotic dancer MATA HARI pays the ultimate price for being the most famous spy of World War One.

Coming only fourteen years after the execution of its title character, here is a densely plotted film given the full MGM gloss & glamour. Production values are excellent, even if the script strays a bit too much into fiction to tell its story.

Languid & languorous, Greta Garbo slinks across the screen like a large cat, almost purring her dialogue rather than speaking it. Utterly fascinating, it is easy to see why she dominated her generation & why her legend still endures. Finally coming fully alive during a penultimate murder scene, Garbo exhibits the frenetic energy of which she was capable on screen. Fortunately, she is only required to dance once, leaving to the imagination the full impact of Mata Hari's original private performances.

Ramon Novarro, who receives co-equal billing with Garbo, had been an important movie celebrity far longer than she, but her rising sun tended to obscure most other stars in her orbit and Novarro has to work hard to get much notice in their joint scenes .As always, MGM's chameleon actor (this time he plays a Russian) gives a very competent performance, but as a romantic pair they make a rather unusual couple - which simply means that Novarro's sexual ambiguity is perfectly mirrored by Garbo's intrinsic androgyny.

Lewis Stone is quite effective as a sinister German spymaster. C. Henry Gordon gives some nice moments as a tough French policeman. Lionel Barrymore is also on hand, flamboyantly overacting as a Russian general who delivers military secrets to Mata Hari in exchange for her favours; he apparently decided Garbo wasn't going to steal the entire picture and he puts up an outrageous display of ham acting.

Karen Morley & Frank Reicher appear as German agents who learn the price of becoming no longer useful to Berlin; movie mavens will recognize an uncredited Mischa Auer in the opening scene as an unfortunate victim of Mata's wiles.

*******************************

Born to a prosperous hatter in The Netherlands on August 7, 1876, Margeretha Geertruida Zelle was convent schooled and later attended a teacher's college. In 1895 she married British-born Campbell MacLeod, a captain in the Dutch colonial army and lived with him in Java & Sumatra from 1897 until 1902.

After their divorce, Margeretha settled in Paris, where she changed her name to the Malay 'Mata Hari,' which means 'eye of the day.' Fabricating a mystique of exotic mysticism, the beautiful Mata supported herself quite nicely as a courtesan and erotic dancer, giving special performances around Europe to delighted clientele. Several military officers of various nations counted themselves among her lovers.

The details of Mata's involvement in espionage still remain rather vague. It's possible she entered the German Secret Service as early as 1907, but she later is thought to have worked for the French Secret Service, as well. As a citizen of neutral Holland, she was still able to travel freely after the commencement of the War and it is alleged that she garnered secrets from Allied officers for her German employers. It was the British who tipped off the French as to Mata's supposed activities while in Belgium, and she was arrested upon her return to France.

At the court martial trial, she could only be found guilty of giving outdated information to the Germans, which she claimed was entirely innocent. However, it was more than enough to imprison her for three months, before her final rendezvous with a firing squad on October 15, 1917.

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