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Mata Hari

Released Dec 26, 1931 1h 31m Biography List
67% Tomatometer 9 Reviews 54% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings In Paris during World War II, Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari (Greta Garbo) secretly moonlights as a German spy. Using her feminine wiles to seduce French and Russian agents into bed so she can uncover top-secret information, Mata Hari is a primary target of the French Spy Bureau's Dubois (C. Henry Gordon). When Mata Hari falls in love with one of her intended targets, the dashing Lt. Rosanoff (Ramon Novarro), Dubois uses her former accomplice (Lionel Barrymore) to bring her down. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Reviews

View All (9) Critics Reviews
David Parkinson Empire Magazine Not Garbo's greatest but it has a curious charm. Rated: 3/5 Sep 4, 2012 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Though Garbo is sexy and hot in a less subtle way this time, and though the plot goes about as far as it can in situation warmth, the story presents nothing sensational. Mar 26, 2009 Full Review Time Out The film is Garbo's even before she appears on screen to dazzle her willing audience; once there, it becomes impossible to dissociate the legend of the star from the myth of Mata Hari. Feb 9, 2006 Full Review Grant Watson Fiction Machine This is an excellent example of early 1930s cinema: it boasts a highly melodramatic tone, halfway between the dumb show acting of silent film and the more naturalistic performances of later decades. Rated: 7/10 Apr 10, 2022 Full Review María Luz Morales (Felipe Centeno) La Vanguardia (Spain) Superbly feminine in its last scenes - which are, in our opinion, the best - "Mata-Hari" has found in Greta Garbo, a wonderful personification. [Full Review in Spanish] Feb 29, 2020 Full Review TV Guide Garbo is stunning. Rated: 3.5/4 Sep 4, 2012 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Steve D Your enjoyment rests on how much you like Garbo and I love her. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 07/12/23 Full Review Audience Member Commercially this was Garbo's most successful film. It's about an exotic dancer and courtesan executed for espionage during WW 1. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Audience Member The enigma of Mata Hari is not resolved by this particular version of events but it makes for a reasonable short film with a very touching and sad ending. The rest of the film is a bit too convoluted and could probably do with a cleaner set up. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Audience Member Unflinchingly shot through a female gaze, Mata Hari, the eponymous heroine, cycles through powerful men faster, almost, than ostentatious costumes. She is a vision of female omnipotence, extracting the grovelling devotions of each uniformed stooge while investing none of herself in any. She is divorced from her own sentimentality, but arriving at this state has left her empowered instead of broken. Her sensuality is a weapon for which her admirers, all purportedly experts in war, lack any countermeasure. Were it not for the treacherous conspiracy eventually (inevitably?) hatched against her by a cabal of the scorned, she most definitely would have prevailed. And the cabal only succeeds because she exposes herself more completely than usual. The idealism and youthful exuberance of a Russian pilot leads her to feel, and this indulgence, allowing herself to feel, proves to be her undoing. Even then, she passes on multiple escape opportunities, choosing instead to protect her lofty ideal. The cabal of powerful men are thus not the architects of her demise, but merely its executioners. Empowered to the last, she actively and repeatedly chooses self-sacrifice. The ultimate unselfishness of her selfishness is readily understood by everyone, including her lawyer, her jailers, bystanders and, presumably, even the firing squad. If self-righteous perspective were the same as truth, Mata Hari may well have gone down a saint. Unfortunately for her, pluralism brokers no monopolies. Point: https://aeon.co/essays/revamping-the-vamp-the-woman-behind-the-legend-of-mata-hari Counterpoint: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/27/the-spy-by-paulo-coelho-digested-read Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Audience Member Pre-code Greta Garbo talkie (that was edited to remove some of its risqué content sometime later) tells the story of the famous WWI spy who was also an exotic dancer. Of course, Garbo epitomized exotic glamour at the time, but she is a bit gayer and more free than her later melancholy and tragic image might suggest. Still, the story is tragic in the end, because Mata Hari was ultimately revealed in Paris and died by the firing squad. Her source of information, General Shubin of Russia, is played by pre-wheelchair Lionel Barrymore who gives the role his usual zest, overshadowing nominal leading man Ramon Novarro (a Russian soldier). It doesn't end well for either of them either. George Fitzmaurice's direction is unobtrusive and the sets and costumes create the right atmosphere of romantic intrigue but generally things are a bit static. The script is surely melodramatic enough, yet Garbo somehow isn't able to indulge her torments to the fullest extent. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member I loved Greta Garbo and Lionel Barrymore in this telling of the classic Mata Hari story from World War I. George Fitzmaurice does a decent job in direction, and the truth of the story has been filleted for the purposes of cinematic interpretation, but Garbo is my favourite actress ever, and she more than carries the picture. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Mata Hari

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Movie Info

Synopsis In Paris during World War II, Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari (Greta Garbo) secretly moonlights as a German spy. Using her feminine wiles to seduce French and Russian agents into bed so she can uncover top-secret information, Mata Hari is a primary target of the French Spy Bureau's Dubois (C. Henry Gordon). When Mata Hari falls in love with one of her intended targets, the dashing Lt. Rosanoff (Ramon Novarro), Dubois uses her former accomplice (Lionel Barrymore) to bring her down.
Director
George Fitzmaurice
Producer
Irving Thalberg
Production Co
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Genre
Biography
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Dec 26, 1931, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Nov 21, 2016
Runtime
1h 31m
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