Set in WWI France, 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. Beautiful, charismatic and sublimely inaccessible, the miserable figure of history has become an irresistible spy, slavishly aided by her eager admirers. Staged almost entirely indoors and at night, the twilight melodrama of her mission is heightened by William Daniels' stunning visuals: shadows and lines which contrast her total strength with the pale imitations who surround her. And even when (romantically, inevitably) she's destroyed by the love of a young Russian pup, she remains as ever, laconic and riveting.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Benjamin Glazer, Leo Birinski|
C Henry Gordon
Alec B Francis