MATA HARI

(USA 1931)

 

FILM SCENES

   
   
   
   

 

COMPANY

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

 

CREDITS

Directed by George Fitzmaurice.
Produced by Bernie Fineman (uncredited).
Original story and screenplay by Benjamin Glazer and Leo Birinski.
Additional dialogue by Doris Anderson and Gilbert Emery.
Photographed by William Daniels.
Edited by Frank Sullivan.
Recording supervised by Douglas Shearer.
Art Direction by Cedric Gibbons.
Gowns by Adrian.

 

TECHNICAL SPECS

89 minutes
MGM Production: 579

 

MATA HARI - GIF

Garbo as the glamourous spy.

 

CAST

Greta Garbo, Ramon Novarro, Lionel Barrymore, Lewis Stone, C. Henry Gordon, Karen Morley,  Alec B. Francis,
Blanche Frederici, Edmund Breese, Helen Jerome Eddy, Frank Reicher, Mischa Auer...

 

GARBO'S CHARACTER 

Mata Hari

 

FILM POSTER


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SYNOPSIS

Mata Hari (Greta Garbo) is a German spy posing as a dancer in Paris. She is sent by Andriani (Lewis Stone) to get Russian messages about military movements. Those were needed by the Allies during the First World War. She meets Lt. Alexis Rosanoff (Ramon Novarro) and has an affair with him. Unaware that he has the messages. General Shubin (Lionel Barrymore) has been her lover. He has passed to her many important messages in return for her favors. When she learns Rosanoff has the messages, she spends the night with him. In this time, her fellow agents copy the messages he has. Shubin learns of her affair with Rosanoff. He picks up a phone and threatens to turn her in as a spy, and Rosanoff too. She shoots Shubin and makes Rosanoff leave when he looks for the General. Rosanoff flies back toward Russia and is shot down. She learns he is in a hospital, blinded, and comes to tell him she still loves him. One of Andriani's men is sent to kill her for disobeying orders. But he is caught when she asks a policeman for help. She is finally arrested, however, and brought to trial. When Rosanoff is to be called in to testify, she pleads guilty rather than have him know about her past. Rosanoff is brought to her in jail thinking she is in a hospital. After their short reunion, she is taken from her cell and executed by a firing squad.

 

QUOTES FROM THE FILM

Mata Hari: "Shiva...i dance for you tonight as the bayadaeres danced in the scared temples of Java.”

 

AUDIO-FILE


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MOVIE PROGRAM


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MOVIE ADVERTISMENTS


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PREMIERED/RELEASED

Premiered in USA: December 26, 1931 (Capitol Theatre in New York)
Release Date in Germany:12.09.1932 / 02.10.1952.
Release date in USA: December 31, 1931

 

LOBBYCARDS


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PRODUCTION

Production dates: October–November 1931
Production Location: USA

 

MOVIE STILLS

The Stills were made during the production by Milton Brown. 133 Movie Stills were shot.
   
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TRIVIA

  Mata Hari was Garbo only film with Navarro.

  It was Lionel Barrymore's second and Lewis Stone's fifth with her.

  Filmed in 43 days.

  While filming a rumour appeared that Garbo and Ramon had a love affair.

  The film was inspired on the Thomas Coulson's 1930 book "Mata Hari: Courtesan and Spy".

  Mata Hari was real but the film is mostly fictional.

  Silent Film vamp Pola Negri also tried make a Mata Hari picture.
      She wanted this film to her debut in talking pictures.

  When MGM applied to the Hays Office for a certificate in a late 1938 re-release.
      It was refused but some years later they issued a certificate.

  Mata Hari was re-released in 1938/1939 (USA) and made 81.000 Dollar.

  Ramon was wearing "special" shoes to make him look taler.

  Greta was paid $7,000 per week.

  The uncensored version of the film was shown in /Belgium at the Cinémathéque in May 2005.

  An alternative beginning was scripted but never filmed.

  The famous "dance scene" was originally longer but edited for the final cut.

  The uncensored version is rumoured to appear in a DVD Box in 2008/2009.
      It could appear in a special "Irving Thalberg" Box set or in "Forbidden Hollywood Vol 4".

  Broadway dancer June Knight doubled for Garbo in the long shots of the dance.
      The Dance was modelled after the 1905 performance of the real-life Mata Hari.

  Mata Hari was the first complete Garbo performance to communicate a coded message to gay  and lesbian audiences.
      It in notable for Ramon Novarro's passive femininity as well as Garbo's more aggressive masculine posture. While filming
      Mata Hari, Film magazines reported that Garbo and Novarro had an affair.

 

THE REAL MATA HARI

Mata Hari was the stage name of Margaretha Geertruida Zelle (1876–1917), a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was executed by firing squad for alleged espionage during World War I.

 

MATA HARI CARICATURE


More  HERE!

 

BACKGROUND STORY

(in Treatment)

 

BUSINESS DATA

Budget: 558.000 Dollar
Gross: USA: 931.000 Dollar, Non-USA:1.296.000 Dollar, World: 2.227.000 Dollar.
Profit: 879.000 Dollar.
Garbo's Salary: $7,000 per week

 

PORTRAITS

Clarence Sinclair Bull made the portraits for the film on November 19, 1931.
   
More  HERE!

 

REVIEWS

Mordaunt Hall for New York Times:

Changed though it may be from the actual career of Mata Hari, the Dutch dancer and spy. The picture that bears her name is an entertainment of no mean value. In which that mysterious actress, Greta Garbo, gives another flawless portrayal.... Miss Garbo may not be any more like Mata Hari, whose real name was Margaret Zella MacLeod, than the film narrative is like an authentic account of the spy's career. There is, in the skillfully arranged series of incidents enough truth to make a most compelling melodrama.
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.... [Garbo] does a polite cooch to Oriental music as a starter. In the same number makes a symbolic play for a huge idol, with the hips in motion all the while. The finish is a neatly masked strip, with Greta's back to the lens.... Two other torrid moments later in the running are given to Garbo and Novarro. Both times they turn out the lights.

Screen Book:

Garbo as the German spy, Mata Hari, who wrecked men's lives to gain information. She has the best role of her career and sets a standard which is almost untouchable. The real Mata Hari was a colorful person. But she could in no way touch the personality displayed by the Swedish star.

 

SIMILAR FILMS

(in Treatment)

 

MATA HARI  FAN ART


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MGM PROMO-PICTURE


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PICTURE FROM THE FILM-SET

Director Cukor and Garbo

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HERE!

 

STORY FROM THE FILM-SET

(in Treatment)

 

ALTERNATE SCENES
Various books wrote how the film was a victim of censorship when it was re-released in 1938/1939. Some scenes were cut out to satisfy the Hays Office.  In spring 2005 the uncensored version of the film was shown in Brussels/Belgium at the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique. Warner is aware of it and it is now up to them to restore the film and release it on DVD.  The Uncensored Version does contain the following scenes and takes:
The Mata Hari Dance Scene
The Mata Hari's dance scene at the beginning is much longer.  The original dance scene goes on and on. Most revealing as Garbo continues in a frenetic dance to  approach the statue of Shiva. She does is in such a suggestive way, that she seems to imply that she actually makes love with it. In the last shot she takes the top off and we see her from behind - totally nude.
The most revealing Negligee Scene
In this version we see the scene where Garbo goes into her bedroom. After closing a satin  curtain and  then changes into a most revealing negligee. Novarro left behind and hesitate and then we see that wonderful close up of Garbo with the orchids. Than she emerges to initiate a wonderful love scene with Ramon Novarro.
The Madonna Light Scene

Another scene included, follows after the scene where Garbo tells Novarro  to put off the candle on the Madonna icon and Novarro obeys. After the light goes out, there is a fade out in the cencored version. In this one, there is much more. We see a wonderful close up of Garbo, the two lovers embrace. Novarro micks her up in his arms and carries her to his room.

 

PICTURES FROM THE UNCENSORED VERSION

 

 

MATA HARI DOLL

 
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THE ORIGINAL BOOK

Inspired by the book Mata Hari: Courtesan and Spy (1930) by Thomas Coulson.

 

NICI'S WALLPAPER


More  HERE!

 

DVD/VHS

Available on DVD & VHS.

See HERE!


 
SOURCE
 
 
Greta Garbo: A Cinematic Legacy – by Mark A. Vieira
(Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, New York 2005).
This is the best and most accurate book
about Garbo's-Films.


 
 
OTHER SOURCES
 

Karen Swenson – A life Apart
Barry Paris – Garbo
IMDB – International Movie Database
plus many other books, magazines and internet sites.
   
  
Film - Introduction  

 

 

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