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Mata Hari (1931)

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

Director:

George Fitzmaurice (uncredited)

Writers:

Benjamin Glazer (by), Leo Birinsky (by) (as Leo Birinski) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Greta Garbo ... Mata Hari
Ramon Novarro ... Lt. Alexis Rosanoff
Lionel Barrymore ... General Serge 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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The most dangerous spy of all time, See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 December 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Мата Хари See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$558,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ramon Novarro wears internal lifts in his boots so that the difference in height between himself and Greta Garbo was increased on screen. See more »

Goofs

Towards the climax of the film, when Mata Hari confronts General Shubin, she is wearing a ring on her left ring finger. She hurries out of the room, and moments later she encounters Rosanoff. He takes her by the hand and the ring is no longer there. See more »

Quotes

General Serge Shubin: Gay? With DiSignac? Is that necessary?
Mata Hari: Why not? He's very attractive.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Tango des Amours
(uncredited)
Music by Jack Milton
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worth a watch
19 September 2005 | by mik-19See 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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