Modesty Blaise

1966

Comedy

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 44%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 36%
IMDb Rating 5.2 10 1974

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 20,604 times
April 05, 2017 at 04:43 AM

Director

Cast

Terence Stamp as Willie Garvin
Clive Revill as McWhirter / Sheik Abu Tahir
Dirk Bogarde as Gabriel
Harry Andrews as Sir Gerald Tarrant
720p 1080p
858.3 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 59 min
P/S 11 / 34
1.8 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 59 min
P/S 4 / 51

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MARIO GAUCI ([email protected]) 6 / 10

MODESTY BLAISE (Joseph Losey, 1966) **1/2

Truth be told, I hated this movie on first viewing many years ago and, in fact, I only just now purchased the utterly bare-bones Fox DVD for three reasons: the disc is now out-of-print; I found it very cheaply (surprisingly) at a local retailer; and, most importantly perhaps, I was prepared to give it another chance thanks to my ongoing (and very rewarding) Losey-thon.

To say that Joseph Losey was a strange choice to helm this picture would be a massive understatement. In his previous films, very rarely (if at all) had he shown that he had any sense of humor, much less the kind of campy, knowing and irreverent one essential for successful comic strip adaptations. As it happens, the film was not well-received and both leads - Monica Vitti (who apparently phoned Michelangelo Antonioni everyday during the shoot) and Terence Stamp - were unhappy making it; there are those who even go so far as to consider it not just Losey's nadir but quite simply one of the worst films ever made! Well, based on that first TV viewing of it, I probably would have endorsed such sentiments myself...

However, my re-acquaintance with it proved something of a minor revelation: while still as uneven as I recalled, I couldn't now deny that there were some delightful elements which, on the whole, made the film palatable and, at times, even endearing: Evan Jones' script was occasionally quite witty, Losey's own trademark odd compositions (usually so overpowering in his melodramas) suited the "anything goes" mood of the material, Jack Hildyard's glossy cinematography of attractive Mediterranean locations, outrageous outfits and groovy production design was top-notch and Losey's frequent composer Johnny Dankworth provided an infectious score.

And what about that cast? Monica Vitti (who would have guessed that she could ever be as attractive and sexy as this judging by her work for Antonioni?), Terence Stamp (gleefully throwing knives, bedding women and engaging in a charming, impromptu singing duet with Vitti while driving up a mountaintop and reprising it for the action-packed finale), Dirk Bogarde (ironically named Gabriel, he was never campier - or gayer - than as the silver-wigged, self-proclaimed "villain of the piece"), Michael Craig (as Vitti's ex-lover and pursuing British agent), Harry Andrews (as a top British Secret Service official firing away bullets from his umbrella), Alexander Knox (as a bumbling British MP forever mispronouncing names and giving out the wrong information), Clive Revill (for no apparent reason in a dual role: as Bogarde's right-hand man who keeps the accounts even on the field of battle and as Vitti's "father", an Arabian Sheik!), Rossella Falk (as the lethal Miss. Fothergill, Bogarde's manly assistant, who keeps a regiment of mostly aging men in shape through arduous physical exercise), Saro Urzi (as a lowly, opera-singing henchman of Bogarde's), Tina Aumont (as an ill-fated conquest/informer of Stamp's) and real-life magician Silvan (as a duplicitous circus performer).

Ultimately, while the plot is too convoluted to follow at times and the film itself may not be in the same league as Mario Bava's DANGER: DIABOLIK (1968) or even Roger Vadim's BARBARELLA (1968), it's certainly an engaging spy spoof and far better than its reputation suggests.

Reviewed by bojkowski 10 / 10

All time favorite.

This has to be my all time favourite film. I have watched it over and over again and cannot find fault with it (although if I do, I learn to love it too). I think it has something to do with the film's innate spontaneity. It creates a joyous sense of creativity and freeness on the actors and the film-makers part (with Vitti and Stamp at the high of their 'New Wave' popularity). Modesty Blaise is total fun and total filmatic glamour in all it's technicolour radiance. It is a sad fact that there is not a filmmaker alive today that could inject a film with this sort of cheeky decadence and lightheartedness and get away with it. A film of it's time that I personally hope with resonate through the ages.

Reviewed by 23skidoo-4 1 / 10

Mod mod mod mod mod mod mod Modesty!

(This review may have minor spoilers, as if that matters)

I feel I must come to the defence of one of my favorite literary heroines. Modesty Blaise, as originally conceived by Peter O'Donnell for a long-running comic strip and series of novels, was the feminine reply to James Bond, and in many ways a superior character. She had wit, charm, poise, and a unique relationship with her partner, Willie Garvin.

Unfortunately, this movie adaptation preserves almost none of the charm that made the Modesty Blaise stories so entertaining. And now that this travesty has been released on DVD, I fear O'Donnell will lose scores of fans unnecessarily.

That's not to say that Modesty Blaise: the movie doesn't have its moments. Indeed, there are some signs of the original characters, even though O'Donnell has said only a single line of his original script remained in the finished product. Terence Stamp is almost perfect as knife-throwing Willie Garvin (brunette hair notwithstanding) and, when she has her dark wig on, Monica Vitti is a dead ringer for her comic strip counterpart. At least so long as she keeps her mouth shut.

Unfortunately, Vitti just isn't able to pull this off. Her accent is all wrong for the part -- she should have followed in the footsteps of most Bond girls before her and been dubbed, and she just isn't that convincing in the action sequences. And without this glue, the whole movie falls apart.

The script reads like an Avengers reject, with only a sparking of the wit and originality of O'Donnell's work. A number of major errors are made with the characters -- Willie is shown shooting guns, which he never touched in the books, and even worse, Willie and Modesty fall in love! The one aspect of the books and comic strip that sets Modesty Blaise apart from all other fictional heroes is the relationship between Modesty and Willie that goes far beyond romantic entanglements. The only thing I can compare it to is the relationship between Mulder and Scully on The X-Files -- and watch how fast that show died when those characters became lovers.

And don't ask me where that giant scorpion tattoo on Modesty's leg came from!

But the one element that made me just want to be sick is the song. No, not the theme, which isn't bad. I mean the love song Willie and Modesty start crooning FOR NO REASON twice in the film -- once during a driving scene, and again during the final battle. The less said about this the better.

Modesty Blaise came out in 1966, near the start of the "Bond spoof" cycle that included OK Connery (1967) and Casino Royale (1967). Both those films are infinitely preferable to this. I can only hope we don't have to wait long before a serious Modesty Blaise film is made -- if done right, it will blow 007 off the screen.

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