Mata Hari
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Mata Hari (1931) More at IMDbPro »


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1 item from 2014


Mata Hari: the partially naked truth about the spook hoofer

20 March 2014 6:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Greta Garbo is a delight in this biopic of the exotic dancer executed for espionage, and the supporting moustaches a special treat

Mata Hari (1931)

Director: George Fitzmaurice

Entertainment grade: B+

History grade: B+

Mata Hari (real name Margaretha Zelle) was an exotic dancer in Paris during the first world war. She was accused of espionage and was executed by firing squad in October 1917.

International relations

It is 1917. Russian aviator Alexis Rosanoff (Ramon Novarro) has an amusing moustache and a strong Mexican accent. This must be very early in 1917: Russia was in turmoil that year, with a revolution in February and the tsar's abdication in March. Fortunately, no sign of that here. Rosanoff is taken by imperial Russian general Serge Shubin (Lionel Barrymore) to see the celebrated Mata Hari dance. In real life, he'd have been disappointed: her final performance was in March 1915.

Performance

"Shiva, I dance for you tonight, »

- Alex von Tunzelmann

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