Shri Nathji had liked the movie on the female character of Mata Hari, which He had seen on T.V. in 1982. HH Priya Nathji never forgot how he and Shri Nathji watched the western film, “Mata Hari”, which was about a female spy who was executed by the French. Shri Nathji was deeply touched in the last scene when Mata Hari goes to her execution without telling her lover that she was going to die. Shri Nathji has tears in his eyes as he says to Priya Nath:
“Vaise to ladies barri affectionate hoti hain!
“Ladies are generally very affectionate by nature!”
Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" Zelle (7 August 1876 – 15 October 1917), better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan, and accused spy who was executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I.
At 18, Margaretha answered an advertisement in a Dutch newspaper placed by Dutch Colonial Army Captain Rudolf MacLeod (1 March 1856 – 9 January 1928) who was living in the then Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and was looking for a wife. Margaretha married Rudolf in Amsterdam on 11 July 1895. The marriage was an overall disappointment. MacLeod appears to have been an alcoholic who would take out his frustrations on his wife, who was twenty years younger, and whom he blamed for his lack of promotion. For months, she studied the Indonesian traditions intensively, joining a local dance company. In 1897, she revealed her artistic name: Mata Hari, Indonesian for "sun" (literally, "eye of the day"), via correspondence to her relatives in Holland.
In 1903, Margaretha moved to Paris, where she performed as a dancer. By 1905, Mata Hari began to win fame as an exotic dancer. Mata Hari captivated her audiences and was an overnight success from the debut of her act at the Musée Guimet on 13 March 1905.
During World War I, the Netherlands remained neutral. As a Dutch subject, Margaretha Zelle was thus able to cross national borders freely. In January 1917, the German military attaché in Madrid transmitted radio messages to Berlin describing the helpful activities of a German spy, code-named H-21. French intelligence agents intercepted the messages and, from the information it contained, identified H-21 as Mata Hari.On 13 February 1917, Mata Hari was arrested in her room at the Hotel Elysee Palace. The court in France declared her guilty and she was executed by firing squad on 15 October 1917, at the age of 41.
About four movies were made on Mata Hari. But the movie Shri Nathji and HH Priya Nathji had seen was a 1931 American pre-code film loosely based on the life of Mata Hari. The film stars Greta Garbo in the title role. (The posters and covers of that movie are given here) The film is credited with popularizing the legend of Mata Hari. Commercially, this was Garbo's most successful film and MGM's biggest hit of the year, netting a profit of nearly one million dollars. It was a sensation in the US, and overseas rentals, especially in Continental Europe, matched those in the US. These combined grosses amounted to $2,227,000 or $31,601,862, adjusted for inflation.
Shri Nathji liked the last scene in this film. Mata Hari writes to her lover Rosanoff, telling him that she cannot see him for a while, as she has to go to a sanatorium for her health. Shortly before her execution, Rosanoff is brought to her. The jailor and the attending nuns all maintain the pretense that they are in a sanatorium. She doesn’t let him know that, she is being taken away to face the firing squad.