Modesty Blaise

1966 | Action | Adventure | Feature


Plot:

Modesty Blaise, 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 and a few other friends to outsmart them. Meanwhile, at his island hideaway, Gabriel, the diamond thief has his own plans for Blaise and Garvin.

Modesty Blaise (1966) Review:


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.

Director: Joseph Losey
Writers: Evan Jones (screenplay), Peter O'Donnell (comic strip)
Stars: Monica Vitti, Terence Stamp, Dirk Bogarde



Film Suggestions


Batman: Dead End (2003)

Batman: Dead End - Batman vs Joker vs Aliens vs Predator!The Joker has escaped the Arkham Asylum and Gotham's hero Batman will try to bring him in - once and for all. As it turns out, Joker is not th...

The Count of Monte Cristo (1975)

Plot:The Count of Monte Cristo is a TV adaptation of the classic Alexandre Dumas novel. Edmond Dantes is falsely accused by those jealous of his good fortune, and is sentenced to spend the rest of his...

The Present (2014)

Great film based on a comic stripJake spends most of his time playing video games indoors until his mother decides to give him a present.“The Present” is based on a great little comic strip by the...

The Punisher (1989)

When Frank Castle's family is murdered by criminals, he becomes a vigilante known as The Punisher! Based on the Marvel Comic, Dolph Lundgren is Frank Castle an ex-cop who lives in the sewers and acts...

The Death and Return of Superman (2011)

The Death and Return of Superman - Great FIlm about DC Comics Insider's ChronicleLiteral, insider version what happened in 1992 when DC Comics decided to kill, then resurrect, Superman. Chronicle wri...

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Decent action sci-fi fanfilmThree years after the Jurassic World theme park was closed down, Owen and Claire return to Isla Nublar to save the dinosaurs when they learn that a once dormant volcano on ...