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 50th, Interview: Trina Robbins, Eddie Izzard, The Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50th, Hugh Hefner R.I.P., Jack Good R.I.P., Interview: Shaken Not Stirred, Callan 50th, Spy Vibe Radio 7, The Prisoner 50th Event, Spy-Fi Event, Kaho Aso 007, Two Million, Bo Diddley, Carnaby Pop, Le Carre Events, Billy Bragg Skiffle, Elvis 68, Jack Kirby The Prisoner, Casino Royale Concert, Review: The Prisoner Vol 2, Interview: The Prisoner Essential Guide, Maud Russell Mottisfont, Spy Vibe Radio 4, Batman Gallants, Adam West R.I.P., Village Triangle, Roger Moore R.I.P., Spy Vibe Radio 3, Sgt Pepper 50th, Satanik Kriminal OST, 60s Overdrive, Make Love in London, Spy Vibe Radio 2, Spy Vibe Radio 1, James Bond Strips, Propaganda Mabuse, Interview: Police Surgeon, XTC Avengers, 1966 Pep Spies, Batman Book Interview, Exclusive Fleming Interview, Avengers Comic Strips, Robert Vaughn RIP, UNCLE Fashions, Thunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview: Spy Film Guide, Lost Avengers Found, The Callan File, Mission Impossible 50th, Green Hornet 50th, Star Trek 50th, Portmeirion Photography 1, Filming the Prisoner, Gaiman McGinnins Project, Ian Fleming Grave, Revolver at 50, Karen Romanko Interview, Mod Tales 2, Umbrella Man: Patrick Macnee, New Beatles Film, The Curious Camera, Esterel Fashion 1966, Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview, 007 Tribute Covers, The Phantom Avon novels return, Ian Fleming Festival, Argoman Design, Sylvia Anderson R.I.P., Ken Adam R.I.P., George Martin R.I.P., The New Avengers Comics, The Phantom at 80, 007 Manga, Avengerworld Book, Diana Rigg Auto Show, The Prisoner Audio Drama Review.
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