The plot, set in what appears to be Los Angeles, involves Modesty and Willie preventing the kidnap of a young girl who turns out to be a computer genius and has been working for Tarrant's ... See full summary »
At Oxford, Austrian student Anna von Graz (Jacqueline Sassard) is dating fellow student William (Michael York), whom she plans to marry, but she ends up sleeping with two unhappily married Oxford professors instead.
When her surrogate father who owns the casino she works in gets murdered, Modesty Blaise takes on those that killed him and are now at the casino to rob it. It turns out she is more than just a modest worker.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a parody is based on a British comic strip, and the film came off as another one of the James Bond spoofs that littered the screen in the 1960's (The Matt Helm series, the Dr. Goldfoot series, etc).
The movie is about superspy Modesty Blaise (Vitti), who can change her appearance just by snapping her fingers. She is hired by the British government to protect a shipment of diamonds, which international thief Gabriel (Bogarde) is after. Blaise only accepts the job if Willie Garvin (Stamp) is allowed to work with her. Film goes on its way from there.
Script is infuriating because it misses opportunity after opportunity for satire. It assumes that just because Blaise is a woman superspy, that alone is hilarious. Vitti does her best, and sounds like a smoky voiced Garbo, but the script leaves her high and dry. She gets most of her laughs from intonation, sight gags, and the glint in her eyes. Stamp is on the sidelines, although his appearance changes at will also. Bogarde as Gabriel is the funniest person in the film, whether he's refusing an egg because it's overcooked or reminding a potential killer that it's rude to point.
This one does have Bogarde, and Blaises' changes are spectacular, and so are the sets. There are setpieces that are homages to famous directors, which I found amusing. However, it just goes on too long for what little it is trying to do, there are too many dry spells without laughs, and Bogarde and company are off-screen for too long. Still worth a watch--maybe.
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