October 15, 2017


Famed spy Mata Hari died 100 years ago today. On October 15th, 1917 she was executed for selling allied secrets to Germany. But as additional artifacts from her trial become available to historians -many are only now being declassified today by the French army 100 years later- her web has become even more tangled. Was she a German spy or a double agent killed as a scapegoat? Followers of her case will undoubtedly pour over new evidence. From any angle, however, she had a tragic life. Born in the Netherlands in 1876, Margaretha Geertruida Zelle suffered family hardships, an abusive marriage, and the loss of her two kids. She found solace in dancing, which she had studied while living in Indonesia. Part of the Orientalist movement, which included Asia-inspired modern dance, Mata made a name for herself as a socialite, exotic dancer, and courtesan. But her career went into decline and she made her last performance on the stage in 1915. She was recruited by France in 1916 to spy on Germany. She also received money from Germany as a spy and was implicated in the outing of a number of Belgian agents. There is more to her story, much of it grisly, and I'm sure new details will be revealed as documents are examined. Some of Mata Hari's artifacts are currently being exhibited at the Fries Museum (ends April 2018). Museum information here. Read more about Mata Hari at BBC. Mata Hari has been immortalized many times in film (starting in 1920) and on television (as recent as 2017). Spy Vibers may be most familiar with the 1931 film starring Greta Garbo, as well as the satirical take on the character in the 1970 children's series, Lancelot Link. What else was happening 100 years ago? Louis Feuillade continued work on his fantastic Judex crime/adventure serial in France, and Charlie Chaplin created some of his best short films for Mutual such as Easy Street, The Cure, and The Immigrant. In other news, check out my episodes of the Cocktail Nation radio show, where I introduce classic spy films/TV series and play soundtracks and rare cuts: Episode #1 (Danger Man) and Episode #2 (The 10th Victim), Epsiode #3 (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), Episode #4 (Roger Moore/The Saint), and Episode #5 (The Avengers). Episode #6 (The Prisoner), and Episode #7 (The Ipcress File). Enjoy! Spy Vibers, don't miss the TV spy gadget event in LA on October 17th, 2017- more info here. 

Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Johnny Sokko 50thInterview: Trina RobbinsEddie IzzardThe Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50thHugh Hefner R.I.P.Jack Good R.I.P.Interview: Shaken Not StirredCallan 50thSpy Vibe Radio 7The Prisoner 50th EventSpy-Fi EventKaho Aso 007Two MillionBo DiddleyCarnaby PopLe Carre EventsBilly Bragg SkiffleElvis 68Jack Kirby The PrisonerCasino Royale ConcertReview: The Prisoner Vol 2Interview: The Prisoner Essential GuideMaud Russell MottisfontSpy Vibe Radio 4Batman GallantsAdam West R.I.P.Village TriangleRoger Moore R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio 3Sgt Pepper 50thSatanik Kriminal OST60s OverdriveMake Love in LondonSpy Vibe Radio 2Spy Vibe Radio 1James Bond StripsPropaganda MabuseInterview: Police SurgeonXTC Avengers1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview: Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama Review.

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