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Modesty Blaise (1966) Poster

Trivia

Peter O'Donnell complains that of his original screenplay, only one line remains: "What do you know about Wilberforce?" However, he accepted the invitation to write a novelization of this film. The book, based upon O'Donnell's original screenplay rather than this film, was a huge success and spawned a series of best-selling novels until 1996.
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Joseph Losey found it difficult to work with Monica Vitti, as she would invariably be accompanied onto the set by director Michelangelo Antonioni, in whose films she had become famous. Antonioni would often whisper suggestions to her, and she would take direction from him rather than Losey. Eventually, Losey asked Antonioni, whom he greatly admired, to keep away from the studios during filming. Antonioni complied.
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Although Dirk Bogarde was very complimentary about Monica Vitti when this film was being made, he also claimed, in a radio interview of twenty-five years or so later, that she was the only one of his leading ladies whom he had disliked, saying that she was "beastly".
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Clive Revill was fourth choice and the part was not cast until shooting had begun.
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First ever 'Modesty Blaise' movie. The film is the first of three 'Modesty Blaise' movies, all made separately in different decades and each made around twenty years apart. The others are My Name Is Modesty: A Modesty Blaise Adventure (2004) and Modesty Blaise (1982).
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First English language role for Italian actress Monica Vitti.
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This movie was one of four 20th Century Fox pictures featuring female spies that were released during 1966-1967. The movies were Fathom (1967), Caprice (1967), Come Spy with Me (1967) and Modesty Blaise (1966).
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About a year before this picture premiered, writer Peter O'Donnell wrote a novelization of his draft of this film's screenplay. This novel was called 'Modesty Blaise' and the book was successful both critically and commercially and led O'Donnell to write a series of 'Modesty Blaise' novels alongside the comic-strips that would continue for thirty years.
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The 'Modesty Blaise' comic-strip itself makes two appearances of note in this movie. There is a close shot of a painting of the comic strip when the character of Willie Garvin is introduced and in another shot, Modesty Blaise herself is seen looking at copies of the comic strip.
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It was back-to-back consecutive spy spoofs for cinematographer Jack Hildyard whose next picture he shot was Casino Royale (1967).
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The closing song, "We Should've", was released commercially by John Dankworth's wife Cleo Laine, and Ray Ellington.
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Modesty Blaise is introduced with a close-up of her legs in fishnet stockings, sitting on a couch by two magazines, one showing a color photo of actress Monica Vitti, and on top a full page copy of the Modesty Blaise comic strip where she is depicted as a huntress with a bow-and-arrow and a revolver. Willie Garvin is introduced looking at a blow-up of the same scene, in a wall frame.
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The three major villains all seem to want to protect themselves from the Mediterranean sun. Mr. Gabriel carries an umbrella, McWhirter has sunscreen on his nose, and Mrs. Fothergill has a very wide-brimmed hat. Perhaps mean-spiritedly Modesty and Willie later stake Gabriel out in the open sun.
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This movie was made and released about three years after the comic strip created by Peter O'Donnell (writer) and Jim Holdaway (artist) was first published in 1963.
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One of five films that actor Dirk Bogarde made with director Joseph Losey.
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When the shorter red haired assassin puts out a cigarette in an ashtray, the logo on the ashtray is for the Amsterdam distillery and liquor store "Wynand Fockink.
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This film was entered into competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1966.
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Composer John Dankworth also scored the spy comedies Salt and Pepper (1968) and Fox's later Fathom (1967) as well as the TV spy series The Avengers (1961).
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Sidney Gilliatt was announced as director in 1964.
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Terence Stamp turned down " Alfie " to make this. His friend and former flatmate, Michael Caine, made the role his own, won his first Oscar nomination, and embarked on a major international career due to its huge success.
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Many scenes set in London did not make it to the final print. Among those performers featured in these deleted scenes was Maureen Pryor.
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