GRETA GARBO, RAMON NOVARRO | MATA HARI (1931) Oversized pre-Code portrait by Milton Brown


[Los Angeles]: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, [1931]. Vintage original 10 x 13″ (25 x 32 cm.) black-and-white double weight semi-glossy silver gelatin photo. Attached informational paper blurb on verso. Handwritten in pencil is code “579-18”. Ink stamped on verso “Photographed by MILTON BROWN, credit appreciated”. Fine.

So censored was Mata Hari even in pre-Code Hollywood (and though allowed in a few released photographs), the footage of Greta Garbo wearing this most revealing négligée designed by Adrian was cut. The highly fictionalized story of the exotic dancer-turned-spy was one of the top box office attractions of 1931.

In 1936 a re-release was allowed, minus three minutes of footage which included scenes in which Garbo, seen here with Ramon Novarro, wears this costume.

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