Modesty Blaise [DVD] 
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Straight from the pages of Peter O'Donnell's newspaper comic strip, Monica Vitti is Modesty Blaise - the world's deadliest female agent! With her outlandish James Bond-style weapons and ever-changing hair colour, international super-spy Modesty Blaise and her faithful sidekick Willie Garvin (Terence Stamp) battle villains the world over. Modesty and Willie become embroiled in a government conspiracy involving diamonds, a Middle Eastern sheik and a heist plot by arch-villain Gabriel, played in high camp by Dirk Bogarde in a wig and sinister glasses. Josephy Losey directs this psychedelic adventure straight from the swinging sixties, where the jokes come thick and fast, the violence is outlandish and the action never stops.
Modesty Blaise is, like Rolls-Royces, built to last --Time Out
Gloriously camp caper that superbly captures the mod-mad pop art times --Film4.com
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Top Customer Reviews
Terence Stamp is great as Willie Garvin and Dirk Bogarde equally good as the villian Gabriel.
Excellent British support cast with Harry Andrew's and Michael Craig and Clive Revill as McWhirter the "accountant"
Color,fashion and verve of the 60's is well captured.
If you want a "taste" of the 60's this movie deliver's that experience.
If you are willing to dispense with logic and enter into the spirit of the film, the experience can be quite good fun. Based on a popular comic strip and released at a time when every other film was about spies, Modesty Blaise refuses to take itself, or anything else, seriously. Monica Vitti - always a strange choice for the role - is seldom made up to look like the character she is portraying. Terence Stamp, as her sidekick Willie Garvin, seems to be having a great time. Other British stalwarts such as Clive Revill and Harry Andrews happily do their bits. But it falls to Dirk Bogarde and Rosella Falk to go as far over the top as the film's mood and style requires. Falk in particular seems to have realised exactly what was called for by director Joseph Losey.
But it is Dirk Bogarde as the villain who carries things along and whose performance will be most remembered. It is a performance for which the word "camp" might have been invented.Read more ›
Peter O'Donnell, the author of the book and the comic strip that inspired the movie, went on to write a whole series of books about Modesty Blaise, and I loved them all, especially the first five - six of them, after which the series declined somewhat. I became a greater and greater fan of Modesty Blaise, and my memory of this movie remained completely negative.
Why this negativity? Because the movie does not follow the true concept of Modesty at all. The Modesty books are intelligent and exciting and character-driven, with a touch of humor. In particular, the characters of Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin (Modesty's loyal side-kick) and their unusual relationship are key factors in the books.
This movie, on the other hand, is just plain silly. It's "campy", with all of the characters acting strangely and with everything that is done being exaggerated. Modesty and Willie, who are both poorly cast relative to their appearance and physique as described in the books, even break into song a couple of times!
So as a movie depicting the "true Modesty Blaise" this movie deserves one star, even though the script does actually follow the first book to a large extent, although everything is modified a bit one way or another.
Now I've watched the movie again on DVD, and my opinion is less harsh.
If you take the point of view that this isn't a Modesty Blaise movie, but a Joseph Losey movie, then it isn't all that bad.Read more ›
The one thing worth watching this film for is the saucy duet sung by Vitti & sidekick Terence Stamp atop a snazzy sports car with ice cream! It's lyrically resolved in a reprise in the film's closing moments.
So, sit back & enjoy this over-the-top 'Op-Art' inspired adventure!
Modesty Blaise (played by Italian actress Monica Vitti) is recruited by a branch of British Intelligence to help prevent a diamond theft, which leads to Blaise getting into conflict with Gabriel (Dirk Bogarde), the head of the diamond theft ring.
As the mission progresses, Blaise is united with her longtime assistant and confidant, the Cockney Willie Garvin played by a very glamourous looking Terence Stamp.
The film is highly stylised but still has a contemporary feel to it in its locations, settings, and costumes. It does have that retro camp feel to it and it reminds me in its style of the 1968 film Barbarella, although I think the format does not work as well here.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really dreadful - if you've read the book it is a huge disappointment. Watched it then sent it to a charity shop. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Acey
I have read all of the books which were great. If you are thinking of buying a DVD which reflects the quality of the books DO NOT BUY THIS DVD, it is absolutely dreadful. Read morePublished 7 months ago by D. F. A. James
Not my cup of tea! good service arrived on time but the film its self was giving me a headache.Published 10 months ago by Miss Rachel Dempster
As a movie this is a failure. Top actors are wasted in a chaotic plot which - and that's the point - isn't filmed in an impressive cinematic style. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Wilma
Almost so bad it becomes good - Modesty Blaise such a brilliant creation - why can't someone portray her properly in a tv series or film?
Great opportunity missed.