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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

The "Modesty Blaise" comic strip made two appearances of note in this movie. There is a close shot of a painting of the comic strip when Willie Garvin (Terence Stamp) is introduced, and in another shot, Modesty Blaise (Monica Vitti) is seen looking at copies of the comic strip. See more »

Goofs

When Modesty shoots an arrow at the guard on the island, when watched in slow motion you can follow the arrow as it flies over the arch to the right as the guard is "hit" by an arrow from the left. See more »

Quotes

Willie Garvin: Here. We now have been through some scrapes together, have we? Funny how we always survived, isn't it?
Modesty Blaise: Survived... each other?
Willie Garvin: Well, we shared the fights.
Modesty Blaise: But never shared the nights.
Willie Garvin: Perhaps we should've.
Modesty Blaise: We could've.
Willie Garvin: [he starts singing ] At Covent Garden, il Trovatore, we were shot at in the stalls.
Modesty Blaise: [she starts singing ] They all believed it was in the story.
Willie Garvin: And we took nine curtain calls.
Modesty Blaise: Perhaps eight would have been enough.
[...]
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 »

Connections

Referenced in CQ (2001) 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

 
Travesty Blaise
6 July 2006 | by ShadeGrenadeSee all my reviews

Fox pinned hopes on 'Modesty' becoming a franchise to rival Bond, but these were cruelly dashed as Joseph Losey's film played to mostly empty theatres in the U.K. and U.S.A. ( it did rather better on the Continent ). Taken on its own terms, its not too bad. Jack Shampan's production design is superb, as is John Dankworth's music, there are a couple of decent performances ( Clive Revill, Harry Andrews, and a wonderfully camp turn from Dirk Bogarde ) and some good moments such as Modesty finding herself trapped in an op art cell. But as an adaptation of Peter O'Donnell and Jim Holdaway's comic-strip, its a non-starter. Monica Vitti fails to project warmth and charm as Modesty, while Terence Stamp sounds like Michael Caine on an off-day. The scene where they sing a romantic duet whilst under fire is just painful. Losey was clearly not the right director for this project. Fox made a rather more successful 'girl power' Bond thriller a year later - 'Fathom', starring Raquel Welch.


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