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Modesty Blaise [DVD] [1966]

3.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Monica Vitti, Terence Stamp, Dirk Bogarde, Harry Andrews, Michael Craig
  • Directors: Joseph Losey
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Dolby
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Second Sight Films
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Sept. 2010
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003WOVWTY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,022 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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.

Review

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movies adaption of the popular 60's comic book ticks nearly all the boxes of fan's of the comic and books series (over 90 published)
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.
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Probably no film screams "swinging sixties" at you as much as Modesty Blaise does with its bright colours and pop art and op art designs, a musical score that is a blend of jazz and pop (courtesy of the late great Johnny Dankworth), a script that seems determined not to make sense, a campy collection of character actors, and direction that seems to be anything but direction. And yet despite all of this - or more probably because of it - the film remains oddly entertaining. And it is definitely a reflection of the era in which it was made. Some of us may watch it with twinges of nostalgia mixed with embarrassment. To say the style of the film is dated is to state the blindingly obvious. But that's part of its charm.

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.
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Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I saw "Modesty Blaise" in the cinema when it was first released in 1966. At that time I had already read the book, which I loved, and I came away from the cinema thinking that this travesty, this blasphemy of a movie was total trash.
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.
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When this film was first released, it caused a sensation, it encapsulated everything that was 'hip' at the time. This dvd now gives you the chance to re-live that era. The stunning Italian sex-godess Monica Vitti brings to life the comic-strip heroine in a succession of different ludicrous wigs & veritable fashion show of gowns & 60's outfits. How & why Dirk Bogarde was persuaded to take part in this nonsense remains a mystery, it had to be money! However he gives an astonishing performance as arch-villain Gabriel a high camp character in slit-eyed glasses & wig! The score composed by Johnny Dankworth is also worthy of a mention.
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!
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Format: DVD
Blaise is a 1966 comedic spy-fi film It is loosely based upon the popular comic strip Modesty Blaise by Peter O'Donnell. The film was released at the height of the popularity of the James Bond films with this spy adventure being a parody of the Bond genre. Modesty Blaise is a campy, sometimes surrealistic comedy 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.
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