Review: ‘Modesty Blaise’

Modesty Blaise is one of the nuttiest, screwiest pictures ever made. 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. Fine direction and many solid performances are evident.

Modesty Blaise is one of the nuttiest, screwiest pictures ever made. 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. Fine direction and many solid performances are evident.

Evan Jones has concocted a wacky screenplay, most immediately derived from the English comic strip by Peter O’Donnell and Jim Holdaway, which propels Blaise, played by Monica Vitti, into a British government espionage scheme. Heading the opposition is Dirk Bogarde, an effete international criminal, while Vitti is aided by longtime sidekick, bedhopping Terence Stamp.

Vitti’s English is adequate for her part; her body English, however, transcends all language barriers. Stamp is good, and appropriately animated. Bogarde’s jaded urbanity is very good, and all other players register in solid support.

Modesty Blaise

UK

Production

Janni. Director Joseph Losey; Producer Joseph Janni; Screenplay Evan Jones; Camera Jack Hildyard; Editor Reginald Beck; Music John Dankworth; Art Director Richard MacDonald

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 118 MIN.

With

Monica Vitti Terence Stamp Dirk Bogarde Harry Andrews Michael Craig Scilla Gabel
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