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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:

(uncredited)

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
... Mata Hari
... Lt. Alexis Rosanoff
... General Serge Shubin
... Andriani
... Dubois
... Carlotta
... Caron
... Sister Angelica (as Blanche Frederici)
... Warden
... Sister Genevieve
... 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:

Men worshipped her like a goddess, only to be betrayed by a kiss! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 December 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Мата Хари  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$558,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$931,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,227,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Major Thomas Coulson's 1930 book, "Mata Hari: Courtesan and Spy", piqued interest in turning it into a movie, but an MGM executive said that no one book was the basis of their movie. Mata hari translates to "eye of the day" in Indonesian (and Malay), and is the most common word for "sun" in those languages. Censors of many cities required cuts in the movie, which was typical of many pre-code films. When MGM applied to the Hays Office for a certificate in 1936 for re-release, it was refused. However, a certificate was issued in 1939, when the movie was re-released. 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

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

Connections

Version of Mata Hari (1920) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Campy, but fun
9 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

"Mata Hari" is a pre-code film that took lots of liberties with the real life story of the World War One spy, but who cares? One watches a film like this to enjoy the old stars in action, including Lionel Barrymore, hamming it up sans wheelchair. Though Garbo has never been one of my favorites I enjoyed her performance here; she smiled quite a bit and never once said she wanted to be alone. Most of the time she just wanted to be with handsome Ramon Novarro, and who could blame her?

Funniest moment to me: Ramon's character is obviously Catholic (as Ramon was in real life) and he has promised his mother to keep a candle lit before this Madonna icon and never let the flame go out, because if it goes out then evil will descend upon him. So Mata (Greta) tells Alexi (Ramon) that his room is too brightly lit; he goes around and turns off all the lights -- except for the candle. So then she asks him to blow out the candle. "If I am everything to you then you will blow it out." He asks her in shock: "But why would you ask me to?" (a perfectly reasonable question she doesn't answer). He ends up rejecting the sacred for the profane, blowing the flame out and the room goes into darkness. The camera pulls away and we are supposed to know instinctively that they are making love all through the night. And of course evil descends on Ramon's character, and he goes blind, but what the heck, this is Hollywood.

Watch it for the stars, not for history. If you want history, read a book.


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