Before the First World War, Tania (Greta
Garbo), a Russian spy, has a love affair with Austrian Captain Karl von
Heinersdorff (Conrad Nagel)
in order to get secret plans that he has in his possession. She
falls in love with him, but steals the plans anyway.
Karl is court-martialed and jailed.
His uncle (Albert Pollet) helps him to escape, and Karl goes to Russia
to find Tania. He does find her and learns she really loves him.
Tania dedicates herself to Karl's cause and
double-crosses her spy chief, General Alexandroff (Gustav von
Seyffertitz). She gets papers that Alexandroff received from an
Austrian traitor and gives them to Karl. When Alexandroff finds
out, Tania is forced to shoot him. She and Karl flee from Russia
and go to Austria to clear him and to start a new life. This was
Conrad Nagel's first movie with Garbo and the actress' ninth film.
What was said about
The Mysterious Lady:
"She is the dream princess of eternity—the knockout of the ages...Miss
Garbo does it all, and does it gorgeously, and for once in her none-too-even
career she is supported by an excellent cast, and directed with imagination and
sense by Fred Niblo. I recommend The Mysterious Lady highly, even
to those who don't feel about
Greta Garbo quite as I do."
New York Morning Telegraph
"This Garbo girl seems to develop just a little more of that
intangible "it" with each picture, and the love scenes between her and
Nagel are what might be termed burning. There are love scenes by
the score, many of which are in close-ups, with the famous La Garbo kiss
given full sway as well as full camera focus."
New York Times (Mordaunt Hall)
"None of the actors are able to do much about it, save to wander through
and hope for something better next time. Miss Garbo is pretty, but
she doesn't make too good a Russian spy."
New York Evening Graphic (Betty Colfax)
"Miss Garbo takes to a close-up like no other star in Hollywood.
She overcomes the handicap of an atrocious wardrobe, big feet, and
widening hips with a facility of expression and a charm which still keep
her in a class by herself."
The Films of Greta Garbo
by Michael Conway, Dion McGregor,
and Mark Ricci,
Bonanza Books, NY