Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Modesty Blaise (1966)

Modesty Blaise (Monica Vitti) is a thief/spy who becomes involved in a complicated jewel heist. Hired by the British secret service and aided by her friend Willie Garvin (Terence Stamp) Modesty must outwit master criminal Gabriel (Dirk Bogarde) and return the diamonds to Middle Eastern sheik Abu Tahir (Clive Revill).

On the one hand this film doesn't make much sense, on the other hand it's so colourful and so sixties, that it doesn't really matter!
The film is full of funky fashions, and ever changing hairstyles, Bogarde's mansion is bizarrely colourful, filled with patterns that make your head spin. The music is also incredibly catchy (and reminded me of the theme to the Natalie Wood film, Penelope).

There is a plot and it does revolve around the jewels, but it frequently goes off track and there are many moments that don't seem to fit into the rest of the film. As a spy spoof it does have some laugh out loud moments (I must admit the end when Modesty and Garvin are rescued on the beach was my favourite!). There are even some moments of random song, a goldfish in a wine glass and a scene which made me think Garvin was a robot (but he's not….)

The film was based on a comic book series of the same name which featured Modesty as a female version of James Bond (the film apparently bears little resemblance to the comics). It was the first of only two English language films that Vitti made.
It may not be the best film ever made, but it certainly is oddly enjoyable!


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