Jean-Louis Richard contributed the screenplay to some first class films of Francois Truffaut notably 'La Peau Douce' and 'La Nuit Americaine'. Here he directs his former wife Jeanne Moreau in a Truffaut screenplay There are, needless to say, a few Hitchcockian touches whilst the scenes of Mata Hari's arrest and execution are brilliantly done. Mlle Moreau in the title role combines sophistication and sensuality and she is luminous in her scenes with Jean-Louis Trintignant. Amazingly Trintignant had to wait another twenty years before being directed by Truffaut in what turned out to the latter's final film. Splendid cinematography by Michel Kelber and Georges Delerue again works his magic as composer. As with previous versions starring Magda Sonja and Greta Garbo liberties have been taken but the 'legend' of Mata Hari has so muddied the waters that we have lost sight of the truth anyway. A strong supporting cast, great sense of period and the fascinating Moreau combine to make this both absorbing and entertaining.
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