The first full-length screen treatment of the life of infamous WWI spy Mata-Hari was produced in Germany in 1926, a full decade after the subject's death. Magda Sonja stars as the title character, an exotic dancer whose romance with a Russian grand duke comes to an end when she falls for a handsome peasant named Grigori. In due course, Grigori is arrested and threatened with execution unless Mata-Hari agrees to become a spy on behalf of the Russians. Ultimately betrayed by her superiors, Mata-Hari nonetheless faces the firing squad with no regrets, secure in the knowledge that her lover has been spared. When released in the U.S. in 1927, Mata-Hari was extensively ballyhooed on the strength of Magda Sonja's extraordinarily revealing costumes.
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