The Mysterious Lady (1928)

83 mins | Romance | 27 July 1928

Director:

Fred Niblo

Cinematographer:

William Daniels

Editor:

Margaret Booth

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The 24 Mar 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World announced that Fred Niblo would direct the forthcoming picture, referred to as War in the Dark throughout production, for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (M-G-M), with Greta Garbo set to star. The story, based on Ludwig Wolff’s 1915 German novel, Der Krieg im Dunkel (War in the Dark), was being adapted for the screen by Bess Meredyth, and a 9 Apr 1928 production start date was anticipated.
       The 25 Apr 1928 Var reported that Carmel Myers would appear in the film. However, on 2 May 1928, Var noted that Myers’s role had been recast with Betty Blythe, playing the only other woman except Garbo in the picture. Filming was expected to begin the following week.
       Principal photography began one month behind schedule on 9 May 1928 at M-G-M Studios in Culver City, CA, as indicated in the 26 May and 23 Jun 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World.
       The 3 Jun 1928 FD stated that Niblo was considering including sound sequences in the film, but it was ultimately produced only in a silent version.
       The 16 Jun 1928 Moving Picture News added (Prince) Youcca Troubetzkoy to the cast, and the Dec 1928 Screenland noted that Alexander Toluboff served as art director.
       According to the 26 Jun 1928 FD, the film was expected to open in New York City around 1 Aug 1928.

       The 12 Jul 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review announced the title change to The Mysterious Lady, and stated that production was in its “final stages”; an ...

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The 24 Mar 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World announced that Fred Niblo would direct the forthcoming picture, referred to as War in the Dark throughout production, for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (M-G-M), with Greta Garbo set to star. The story, based on Ludwig Wolff’s 1915 German novel, Der Krieg im Dunkel (War in the Dark), was being adapted for the screen by Bess Meredyth, and a 9 Apr 1928 production start date was anticipated.
       The 25 Apr 1928 Var reported that Carmel Myers would appear in the film. However, on 2 May 1928, Var noted that Myers’s role had been recast with Betty Blythe, playing the only other woman except Garbo in the picture. Filming was expected to begin the following week.
       Principal photography began one month behind schedule on 9 May 1928 at M-G-M Studios in Culver City, CA, as indicated in the 26 May and 23 Jun 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World.
       The 3 Jun 1928 FD stated that Niblo was considering including sound sequences in the film, but it was ultimately produced only in a silent version.
       The 16 Jun 1928 Moving Picture News added (Prince) Youcca Troubetzkoy to the cast, and the Dec 1928 Screenland noted that Alexander Toluboff served as art director.
       According to the 26 Jun 1928 FD, the film was expected to open in New York City around 1 Aug 1928.

       The 12 Jul 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review announced the title change to The Mysterious Lady, and stated that production was in its “final stages”; an earlier report in the 23 Jun 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World indicated that filming had completed that week.
       The picture opened at the Loew’s State Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, on 27 Jul 1928, according to the 4 Aug 1928 Motion Picture News.
       Although the 7 Jul 1928 Har listed an 11 Aug 1928 national release date, the film opened in several cities including Cleveland, OH, beginning on 28 Jul 1928, as reported in the 1 Aug 1928 Var.
       The New York City opening was held at the Capitol Theatre on 4 Aug 1928, according to the 8 Aug 1928 Var, which reviewed the film as Mysterious Lady. Var deemed the picture an “average program,” complaining that Garbo deserved a better story, which Niblo “diluted with excess footage.”

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Daily Review
12 Jul 1928
p. 2
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
24 Mar 1928
p. 29
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
26 May 1928
p. 102
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
23 Jun 1928
p. 37
Film Daily
3 Jun 1928
p. 12
Film Daily
26 Jun 1928
p. 3
Film Daily
12 Aug 1928
p. 6
Film Spectator
29 Sep 1928
p. 15
Harrison's Reports
7 Jul 1928
p. 111
Motion Picture News
16 Jun 1928
p. 2024
Motion Picture News
4 Aug 1928
p. 410
New York Times
6 Aug 1928
p. 15
Screenland
Dec 1928
p. 82
Variety
25 Apr 1928
p. 11
Variety
2 May 1928
p. 12
Variety
1 Aug 1928
p. 36
Variety
8 Aug 1928
p. 20, 22
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
WRITERS
Trmt and cont
Titles
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Settings
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Der Krieg im Dunkel (War in the Dark) by Ludwig Wolff (Berlin, 1915).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Mysterious Lady
War in the Dark
Release Date:
27 July 1928
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 27 Jul 1928; New York opening: 4 Aug 1928
Production Date:
began 9 May 1928
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
11 August 1928
LP25530
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
83
Length(in feet):
7,652
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Tania, an exotic St. Petersburg spy, falls in love with an Austrian captain, Karl von Heinersdorff, while taking some important documents from him. Karl is imprisoned for the loss of the papers but escapes to find Tania, to whom he affirms his love. Tania then turns traitor and delivers to Heinersdorff some papers formerly in the possession of her superior, General Alexandroff. The general discovers the theft, and Tania shoots him, after which she and Karl escape to ...

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Tania, an exotic St. Petersburg spy, falls in love with an Austrian captain, Karl von Heinersdorff, while taking some important documents from him. Karl is imprisoned for the loss of the papers but escapes to find Tania, to whom he affirms his love. Tania then turns traitor and delivers to Heinersdorff some papers formerly in the possession of her superior, General Alexandroff. The general discovers the theft, and Tania shoots him, after which she and Karl escape to Austria.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.