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.
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 »
British mathematician Sebastian (Sir Dirk Bogarde), working on code decryption, unexpectedly falls in love with decrypter Rebecca Howard (Susannah York). This leads them to a complicated ... See full summary »
Englishman Bruce Campbell (Sir Dirk Bogarde) takes possession of his grandfather's Canadian land, but he faces various challenges such as disgruntled locals, a ruthless contractor, a new power dam, and his own bad health.
Clever fortune-hunter Edward Bare (Sir Dirk Bogarde), with a penchant for murder, does in his elderly, supposedly rich, wife, and manages to get away with it. After an investigation results... See full summary »
Rather undiplomatic British diplomat Harrington Brande (Sir Michael Hordern) takes up his new post in Spain accompanied by his son Nicholas (Jon Whiteley). The posting is something of a ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
View it on it's own, not as a spoof or adaptation, and you might enjoy!
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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