6.7/10
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37 user 19 critic

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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Airs Tue. Apr. 02, 11:30 PM on TCM

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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:

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:

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)

Gross USA:

$931,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,227,000
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

Andriani: A spy in love is a tool that has outlived its usefulness.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in MGM Parade: Episode #1.1 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Two Guitars
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

Garbo Makes the Role & the Character Her Own
29 March 2006 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

As the notorious "Mata Hari", Greta Garbo makes both the role and the character her own, providing a portrayal that is much deeper and more complex than the historical character probably was. The rest of the cast and production work well enough, but they are mostly there only to provide Garbo the backdrop and the foils that she uses to develop the main character.

The story focuses Mata Hari's liaisons with two Russian officers, an older general played by Lionel Barrymore, and a young aviator played by Ramon Novarro, with an implacable Secret Service man (played by C. Henry Gordon) trying to stop her. Each of the three plays his part well, while allowing Garbo to take the spotlight. Lewis Stone also makes good use of his limited screen time, and Karen Morley has some memorable moments as another spy.

The story probably has little in common with the historical facts, and while the historical character is an interesting one, it seems certain that Garbo's character is more so, combining her obvious appeal with a depth of feeling and a complicated set of priorities, as few other actresses could have done. Designing the story and characters with her in mind works well, making for good drama and one of Garbo's many effective performances.


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