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      Modesty Blaise

      1966 1h 59m Comedy List
      50% Tomatometer 10 Reviews 34% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings A beautiful former criminal named Modesty (Monica Vitti) decides to go straight and so begins working for the Secret Service, which sends her to infiltrate a ring of jewel thieves. But soon after she joins the gang, dangerous head crook Gabriel (Dirk Bogarde) grows suspicious of his new recruit, and Modesty realizes that British Intelligence gave her a mission she wasn't meant to survive. She then enlists her former partner in crime, Willie (Terence Stamp), to help her outwit both sides. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (10) Critics Reviews
      Richard Brody New Yorker Losey captures with comedy the same chill of modernity beneath the Mediterranean sun that Antonioni captures with melodrama. Jan 16, 2017 Full Review Variety Not merely a spy spoof, based on a book and a comic strip about a femme James Bond type, the colorful production gives the horse laugh to many different film plots and styles. Mar 26, 2009 Full Review Derek Adams Time Out under the non-stop stream of jokes lies a bitter edge of malice, directed not only against the genre itself but against a society which trusts its politicians and its generals. Feb 9, 2006 Full Review David Ehrenstein The Advocate The whole film -- redolent with pop-and op-art imagery -- suggests nothing less than an Arthur Freed musical on acid. Jul 27, 2021 Full Review Philip Kemp Total Film Joseph Losey didn't really do frivolous. Which is probably why his attempt at spoofy pseudo-Bondery is so direly unfunny. Rated: 1/5 Oct 18, 2011 Full Review Jake Euker F5 (Wichita, KS) Rated: 1/5 Jul 29, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Shioka O Swingin London 60s cult. Enjoy the avant-garde style set, fashion, furniture from the era. Story is foolish empty and zero coherence. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 11/17/22 Full Review Audience Member I saw it in my late 'teens, and even at that age I could tell that this was awful. Not "funny" awful. This was garbage. A waste of Dirk Bogarde and Terence Stamp, although they have to take some of the blame. The category that I would put it into is "bad 'camp'." Cheesy, unfunny, and sad. It remains the worst general release film that I have seen in my lifetime. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Audience Member American critics don't know the swinging 60's scene and don't understand the humour, Absolutely superb. It is a camp piss take of the trendy and cliche ridden. This review will never be seen but who cares, it is a good film. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member good campy fun along the lines of 1966's 'batman' or TV's 'the monkees' Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member British Secret Service chief Sir Gerald Tarrant (Harry Andrews) recruits spy Modesty Blaise (Monica Vitti) to protect a shipment of diamonds to a Middle Eastern sheik, Abu Tahir (Clive Revill). The shipment has also attracted Gabriel (Dirk Bogarde), the head of a diamond theft ring that includes his henchman McWhirter (Clive Revill) and Mrs. Fothergill (Rossella Falk). Modesty thinks that Gabriel, who maintains a compound in the Mediterranean, has died, but he reveals himself to her. In Amsterdam, Modesty reunites with her former lover, secret agent Paul Hagen (Michael Craig), while her partner, Willie Garvin (Terence Stamp), is reunited with an old flame, Nicole (Tina Aumont). Nicole is later killed by an assassin working for Gabriel. With Modesty and Willie on the run, they decide to steal the diamonds for themselves but Gabriel captures Modesty and forces Willie to steal the diamonds... "Modesty Blaise" was released at the height of two cinematic trends: The popularity of James Bond had spawned a number of similarly themed films, and many of these films, rather than being serious spy adventures, were instead created as parodies of Bond and his genre. Director Joseph Losey and the screenwriters chose to follow the latter approach, by making Modesty Blaise a campy, sometimes surrealistic comedy-adventure. Modesty Blaise was a moderate success at the time of its original release, and today is generally considered a camp classic, although fans of the Modesty Blaise character remain divided on its merits. This movie was made and released about three years after the comic strip created by Peter O'Donnell (writer) and Jim Holdaway (artist) was first published in 1963. Being a fan of the comic strip, I didn´t like "Modesty Blaise" the first time I saw it and I didn´t really like it when re-seeing it. It´s simply too uneven, too campy, too psychedelic, too illogical and too far from the original character of Modesty Blaise. I can´t understand the idea of having Monica Vitti appear as the Modesty Blaise we know in an instant and then go back to the lavish 60´s model look and the same goes for Terence Stamp. The idea of lifting out the character from its comic strip universe and add her in some sort of psychedelic parallel universe and yet maintain the essence of the comic strip is as well mind boggling. How much acid did they drop when shooting it? The cinematography is glossy and handheld in many occasions putting you in the midst of the action, the outfits are pretty outrageous, nice environments and the production design is quite intriguing. But, that doesn´t make up for a disaster of a movie. Monica Vitti is stunning, but she doesn´t manage to become Modesty Blaise full on even if she is an uncanny look alike at times. Terence Stamp tries as well to channelise Willie Garvin, but not fully succeeding either. Dirk Bogarde´s Gabriel is too campy, too gay and not very villain like. The scene that truly "killed" the film was the impromptu singing duet between Modesty and Willie... Nah, this is not really worthy of being called Modesty Blaise. It´s just piggybacking in a weird way on this excellent character created by the late and great Peter O'Donnell and Jim Holdaway. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Even though Terence Stamp and Sir Dirk are in it and it's very cool visually it's a terrible story.... Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Modesty Blaise

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis A beautiful former criminal named Modesty (Monica Vitti) decides to go straight and so begins working for the Secret Service, which sends her to infiltrate a ring of jewel thieves. But soon after she joins the gang, dangerous head crook Gabriel (Dirk Bogarde) grows suspicious of his new recruit, and Modesty realizes that British Intelligence gave her a mission she wasn't meant to survive. She then enlists her former partner in crime, Willie (Terence Stamp), to help her outwit both sides.
      Director
      Joseph Losey
      Producer
      Joseph Janni
      Screenwriter
      Evan Jones, Peter O'Donnell, Harold Pinter
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (DVD)
      Aug 23, 2016
      Runtime
      1h 59m