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Modesty Blaise (1966)

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A spy spoof in the 1960s tradition, featuring the comic book heroine Modesty Blaise (Monica Vitti) set in the Italian Mediterranean.

Director:

Joseph Losey

Writers:

Evan Jones (screenplay), Peter O'Donnell (original story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Monica Vitti ... Modesty Blaise
Terence Stamp ... Willie Garvin
Dirk Bogarde ... Gabriel
Harry Andrews ... Sir Gerald Tarrant
Clive Revill ... McWhirter / Sheik Abu Tahir
Alexander Knox ... Minister
Rossella Falk ... Mrs. Fothergill (as Rosella Falk)
Scilla Gabel ... Melina
Michael Chow ... Weng
Joe Melia ... Crevier
Saro Urzì ... Basilio (as Saro Urzi)
Tina Aumont ... Nicole (as Tina Marquand)
Oliver MacGreevy Oliver MacGreevy ... Tattooed Man
Jon Bluming Jon Bluming ... Hans
Lex Schoorel Lex Schoorel ... Walter
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Storyline

Modesty Blaise (Monica Vitti), a secret agent whose hair color, hair style, and mod clothing change at a snap of her fingers, is being used by the British government as a decoy in an effort to thwart a diamond heist. She is being set-up by the feds, but is wise to the plot, and calls in sidekick Willie Garvin (Terence Stamp) and a few other friends to outsmart them. Meanwhile, at his island hideaway, Gabriel (Sir Dirk Bogarde), the diamond thief, has his own plans for Blaise and Garvin. Written by Dean Harris <hepcat@inch.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nothing can faze Modesty Blaise, the world's deadliest and most dazzlingly female agent!


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | Italian | Arabic | German | Dutch

Release Date:

4 July 1966 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

Modesty Blaise - Die tödliche Lady See more »

Filming Locations:

Naples, Campania, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many scenes set in London did not make it to the final print. Amongst those featured in the deleted scenes was Maureen Pryor. See more »

Goofs

when Modesty is fighting Mrs Fothergill, her leg tattoos have mysteriously disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Modesty Blaise: Where are you taking me?
Gabriel: You are on board the Andronicus bound from Bizerte to Dubroynik with a cargo of fruits and nuts.
Willie Garvin: He's a fruit merchant, see?
Modesty Blaise: He is a nut.
Gabriel: That's enough of that.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Although previously passed uncut for cinema and video the 2010 UK DVD was raised to a 12 certificate and cut by 2 secs to remove a horsefall. See more »


Soundtracks

Ice Is Nice
Written by John Dankworth and Evan Jones
Sung by Bob Breen
See more »

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User Reviews

View it on it's own, not as a spoof or adaptation, and you might enjoy!
20 September 2002 | by Muffy-5See all my reviews

I've never read the Modesty Blaise comics. What inspired me to rent this DVD was a love of 60's kitsch fashions, and an immense respect for Monica Vitti. And while I was baffled by the events in the film -- it didn't seem to make a DAMN bit of sense the first time around -- I still found myself loving it. And on repeated viewings I love it even more.

What's to love? Primarily, the quirkiness of EVERYTHING in the film: the direction is off-kilter (so many things happen in parts of the screen that you're not looking at, and the pacing is bizarre to say the least: a constant string of anticlimaxes that I found refreshing), the acting is deadpan and weird (Bogarde's shifty, psychopathic, and slightly flaky villain...Stamp's disgruntled but cheerful anti-hero...Rosella Falk's twitchy, wide-eyed, barely-restrained violence -- she is a stand-out highlight in the movie...and Monica Vitti, expressing herself mostly through strangely-timed gestures and facial expressions...just check out her "How do you get this off?" routine), the sets are gorgeously dressed (Gabriel's atmospheric island, and the fantastic cell with the spiral staircase), and the plotting is all over the place. Who's double-crossing who? Why are they doing that? WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON? On first impression, I felt the film was just "winging it," making it up as it went along. But far from it...it's elaborately plotted, just strangely presented.

Really, I love this film, and I'm so glad it's seen re-release. It's sloppy, crazy, irreverent, and fun. If you view it as a weird little film -- not as a spoof, or an adaptation of the comic, or a reflection of the times, or as an attempt to be hip or strange -- I think you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

And yes, the clothes ARE fantastic.


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